How to Change PowerPoint Slide Orientation

Changing the orientation of your PowerPoint slides from landscape to portrait (or vice versa) allows you to better fit the natural shape of your content. For example, if you have a tall chart or image, switching to portrait makes use of the extra vertical space.

Changing orientation is easy – just a few clicks and PowerPoint does the rest. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process using recent versions of PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac.

When Would You Change Slide Orientation?

There are a few common reasons why you may want to switch slide orientation:

  • To fit tall images/charts – As mentioned above, portrait is great for content that’s taller than wider. Bar charts and graphs often work well in portrait.
  • For variety – Mixing up portrait and landscape slides can help add visual interest to your presentation.
  • To print handouts – When printing slides as handouts, you may want to use portrait orientation to fit more slides on each page.
  • For impact – Certain slides, like title slides, can pack more punch in a portrait layout.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Windows

Changing orientation in PowerPoint on Windows is very straightforward:

  1. Open your presentation and select the “Design” tab on the ribbon
  2. Click “Slide Size” > “Custom Slide Size”
  3. Under “Slides sized for:” select “Portrait” or “Landscape”
  4. Click OK to apply the changes

If your slide content doesn’t fit after changing orientation, PowerPoint will give you two options:

  • Maximize – Scales content to fill the slide (may clip content)
  • Ensure Fit – Scales content to fit inside the slide (may leave empty space)

Generally Maximize works best, as you can adjust any clipped content after.

And that’s it! All your slides are now switched to the new orientation.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Mac

The process is almost identical on Mac:

  1. Open your presentation and click the “Design” tab
  2. Click “Slide Size” > “Custom Slide Size”
  3. Under “Slides sized for” pick “Portrait” or “Landscape”
  4. Click OK to change the orientation

Like on Windows, PowerPoint will ask you to Maximize or Ensure Fit if your content doesn’t fit the new slide size.

Changing Individual Slides

PowerPoint doesn’t allow mixing portrait and landscape slides in the same deck. But there is a workaround.

You can insert a portrait-oriented picture or text box onto a landscape slide. It will look the same as if that content was on an actual portrait slide.

To change orientation of only certain slides:

  1. Insert portrait-oriented objects (pictures, text boxes) on desired landscape slides
  2. Resize/position objects to fill the slide appropriately
  3. Optionally, add backgrounds to portrait objects to make them stand out more

This gives you the visual effect of portrait slides, while keeping your presentation in one landscape orientation.

Tips for Changing Slide Orientation

When switching slide orientation, keep these tips in mind:

  • Change orientation first – It’s easier if content hasn’t been added yet
  • Check layouts – Make sure they still work in the new orientation
  • Watch master slides – Changing orientation affects masters too
  • Check the order – Switching orientation resets slide order
  • Preview before presenting – Zoom to 100% and check for issues
  • Use section dividers – Visually separate portrait slides from landscape

Changing orientation is super easy in PowerPoint. With just a few clicks you can better fit the natural shape of your content, add variety, or make your presentation easier to print.

Hope this helps explain exactly how to switch slide orientation on both Windows and Mac! Let me know if you have any other questions.