Technical Writing Tip: Reformatting PowerPoint Slides

January 17, 2023 Breanne MacDonald

When you think of technical writing, I’m sure you think of instruction guides, operations manuals, and other technical documents, but do you also think of PowerPoint presentations? These are a useful tool for teaching new material and many of our ASCENT guides have Instructor resources that include PowerPoint decks to help instructors teach the material. Starting with our Autodesk 2023 guides, we have been converting these decks to a widescreen format to better fit the screens more people are now using for their presentations.

This blog isn’t going to discuss how to change the size of your slides (a quick internet search will let you find those instructions), but I will talk about some potential errors to watch out for if you are converting the size of your PowerPoint slides.

Use a Theme
We use themes with our decks, so these tips are coming from that assumption (if you want help developing your own theme, please reach out to us!).  When we began the conversion process, we started with converting our theme to the correct size and proportions. This will give you a base to work from and make it easier to transition your slides.

If you have a widescreen theme that you want to apply, you will need to change the size of the slides first. This is important! If you apply the theme before changing the slide size, your elements will size down to fit the standard size and will then be too small when the slide is changed to widescreen. This is the case in the image on the top – the title and heading copy is too small compared to the correct version on the bottom where the size was changed before applying the theme.

Graphical user interface, application

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