How to Make Just One Slide Portrait in PowerPoint Using a Workaround

PowerPoint presentations are typically designed with standard landscape slide orientation. However, you may want to have just one or two slides displayed in portrait mode to showcase a tall image, infographic, or other vertical content. Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not allow mixing slide orientations within the same presentation.

This article explains an easy workaround to display a single PowerPoint slide in portrait orientation, while keeping all other slides as landscape.

The Problem with Changing Slide Orientation

PowerPoint forces you to set one slide orientation for the entire presentation. If you change the slide size to portrait, all slides will switch to vertical.

Likewise, if you insert a new portrait slide, then go back and add more slides later, the new slides will inherit the portrait orientation.

PowerPoint simply does not enable a mix of landscape and portrait slides in the same file. So what can you do?

The Workaround: Save the Portrait Slide as a Separate File

Here is a simple workaround to have a single portrait slide in your otherwise landscape deck:

  1. Design your presentation with landscape orientation for all slides except the one you want as portrait.
  2. When you get to the slide you want as portrait, save the presentation as a new, separate PowerPoint file.
  3. In the new file, go to the Design tab and change the Slide Size to a portrait dimension.
  4. Delete all slides except the one you want as portrait.
  5. Save this new one-slide presentation.
  6. Return to your original landscape presentation.
  7. Insert the new portrait presentation you created as an object on one slide.

Now when you present, you will display your landscape deck as usual. When you get to the slide with the embedded portrait presentation, it will open in a vertical orientation for that one slide before returning to landscape.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these steps to create a PowerPoint presentation with one slide in portrait orientation:

  1. Start in PowerPoint and set the slide size for a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio.
  2. Design your presentation using the landscape layout until you reach the slide you want in portrait.
  3. On the Insert tab, click on New Slide to add a completely blank slide.
  4. With the blank slide active, select File > Save As to save a copy of the presentation.
  5. In the Save As window, give the file a new name. Click Save.
  6. You now have two presentations open ??? the original and the copy you just created.
  7. Maximize the copy presentation so you see only the blank slide.
  8. On the Design tab, click Slide Size and change the orientation to Portrait.
  9. Delete all the leftover landscape slides so only the blank portrait slide remains.
  10. Design your content on the portrait slide (add images, text, etc.).
  11. When finished, save and close this one-slide portrait presentation.
  12. Return to your original landscape presentation.
  13. On the slide after the blank one you inserted earlier, select the Insert tab.
  14. Click Object > Object to open the Insert Object window.
  15. Select “Create from File” and choose the PowerPoint presentation you saved with the portrait slide.
  16. Click Insert. This adds the portrait slide as an object.
  17. Present as usual. When you advance to the slide with the embedded PPT object, it will display in portrait temporarily while all other slides remain in landscape orientation.

And that’s it! You now have a single slide in portrait orientation within your landscape presentation using this simple workaround process.

Alternative: Use Two Monitors

Another option is to connect a second monitor and display your PowerPoint slides on the first monitor. When you reach the portrait slide, drag PowerPoint to your secondary display and it will fill the screen in a vertical view.

The dual monitor method allows you to display the mix of orientations in true fullscreen. However, it requires more equipment. The embedded object workaround outlined above works with just one projector or monitor.

Remember to Bring Portrait Slide Object Files

One caveat to this method is that you will need to bring both the original PowerPoint file AND the embedded one-slide portrait presentation to open properly on other computers. Without the object file, you’ll just see a blank box.

If presenting on your own laptop this is not an issue. But if using a conference room PC, don’t forget to copy both presentation files and keep them in the same folder location for access.

Benefits of Using Portrait Slides

Using a portrait slide orientation is great for:

  • Showcasing tall images like architectural designs, product photos, etc.
  • Displaying long infographics or illustrations
  • Accommodating text-heavy slides (the vertical shape provides more room for bulleted lists)
  • Embedding presentation videos in a larger, more viewable size

So if you have vertical images or content you want to highlight without black bars on the sides, utilizing the object workaround to embed a portrait slide is an effective approach.

Just remember it takes a few extra steps compared to a normal PowerPoint file. But the end result is eye-catching slides displayed in their intended orientations.