How to Make PowerPoint Vertical (Portrait Orientation)

Last week we talked about how to change slide size in PowerPoint. This time, we’ll look at changing slide orientation in a PowerPoint presentation. Specifically, we’ll discuss changing the slide orientation from landscape to portrait.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the number of ways participants in our Microsoft PowerPoint training use presentation software.

I’m especially impressed when people use PowerPoint to create content for social media.

Vertical Video
Vertical video is popular in social media

Why Would You Change the Slide Orientation?

Most of the main social media platforms showcase short, vertical videos.

If you want to incorporate Microsoft PowerPoint content into videos created for TikTok, YouTube Shorts, or Facebook and Instagram Reels, you’ll want to create slides with a 9:16 aspect ratio and a portrait orientation.

Portrait and Landscape Orientation

In the graphic below, the first image shows a smartphone displaying an image in portrait orientation, the second image is a smartphone displaying a graphic in landscape orientation.

Portrait and Landscape on a smartphone

You can create content in either orientation in a PowerPoint presentation. Make sure to choose portrait orientation for vertical videos on social media.

Change Slide Orientation with Custom Slide Size

To change the slide orientation in PowerPoint:

  1. Click the Slide Size button on the Design tab in the Customize group.
    A drop-down menu appears.
  2. Select Custom Slide Size…
  3. Select Portrait in the Orientation section of the Slide Size dialog box then click OK.
Portrait Orientation
Portrait orientation selected in Slide Size
  1. In the final dialog box, select Maximize or Ensure Fit.
Maximize or Ensure Fit

Maximize will fill the screen but some elements may be cut off, Ensure Fit will ensure that all elements are visible but the presentation may have borders.

Once you’ve select portrait orientation, you can add elements to your PowerPoint presentation as you normally would.

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.