BrightCarbon Warns of Impending PowerPoint format Wars

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Presentation design agency BrightCarbon urges companies to prepare for slide format incompatibility before upgrading to PowerPoint 2013.

16:9 against 4:3

PowerPoint 2013 Format War

Recently the PowerPoint 2013 Preview was released by Microsoft to generally positive reaction. One of the changes that Microsoft has implemented has been to make the default slide dimensions 16:9 (widescreen), rather than the previous 4:3 ratio. This change has been made because the common format for current displays is widescreen, so it seems like an obvious progression for PowerPoint to follow suit. This move will eliminate vertical black bars on widescreen displays when showing 4:3 ratio slides.

However, BrightCarbon are today urging companies to prepare for the forthcoming format war that will be caused. Within PowerPoint 2013, only a single slide dimension may be used within a single presentation. The new format of 16:9 will work well for new material, but existing 4:3 slide material will need to be reformatted for use in 16:9 presentations. If this reformatting of existing material is done automatically, PowerPoint 2013 will simply stretch and deform content. This presents a problem for companies wishing to keep using existing slide content, in terms of PowerPoint design consistency. If existing slide material is manually re-designed to 16:9 format, existing work will be required by companies in preparation for the new software standard. Previous widescreen slide dimensions in PowerPoint are smaller than those in 2013, so these slides will still need to be reworked.

BrightCarbon urge companies to consider adopting an asset strategy before they move to PowerPoint 2013. This must involve choosing an aspect ratio for slides to use with the new software. For those moving to widescreen, a new template will be required, along with work to redesign all 4:3 slides that will be required for use with new 16:9 slides.

BrightCarbon Managing Consultant Richard Goring commented “The move to widescreen makes a lot of sense, but companies need to prepare. New slides and old slides won’t work well together – so something needs to be done.”

About BrightCarbon

BrightCarbon helps sales and marketing teams hit their numbers, offering a full range of presentation services, B2B sales tools, and sales presentations. BrightCarbon also runs presentation skills training for sales people, and provides pitch presentation support to clients for their important deals.

BrightCarbon helps companies to tell their stories elegantly and visually. With BrightCarbon:

  •     Sales representatives stop wasting time creating their own collateral, and become more productive
  •     Training is more effective, and easier to deliver
  •     Presentations become visual and more effective

BrightCarbon also offers a complete presentation outsourcing helpdesk service for companies without a dedicated presentation department.

BrightCarbon has offices in the UK and Singapore.

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Karl Parry
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