Microsoft KB Archive/102935

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Minimizing Bitmap Distortion in PowerPoint Slide Show PSS ID Number: Q102935 Article last modified on 09-15-1993 PSS database name: W_PowerPt

2.00 2.00e 3.00


The information in this article applies to:
- Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows, versions 2.0, 2.0e, and 3.0


When you display bitmaps in a Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows slide show, pictures may distort and/or text pasted into PowerPoint as a graphic may degrade.


To avoid distortion of bitmap graphics while running a slide show:

  1. From the File menu, choose Slide Setup.

  2. Enter the proper height and width for the video resolution you are using.

  3. Reimport the graphic. (This size depends only on the screen resolution, not on the actual physical size of the monitor.) The dimensions for some common resolutions are shown below.

    Resolution Width Height ———————————————-

    EGA (640 x 350) 6.67 inches 3.65 inches VGA (640 x 480) 6.67 5.00 Super VGA (800 x 600) 8.33 6.25 Super VGA (1024 x 768) 10.67 8.00 Other resolutions (See note below)

If the correct values are not known, use Microsoft Paintbrush to determine the correct dimensions to enter in the Slide Setup dialog box:

  1. Using the computer and display on which the slide show will be presented, run Paintbrush.
  2. From the Options menu in Paintbrush, choose Image Attributes.
  3. Choose the Default button. This will give you the height and width measurements corresponding to the video driver that Windows is using. Record these values.
  4. From the File menu in PowerPoint, choose Slide Setup. Enter the values for height and width that you recorded from Paintbrush in the previous step.
  5. Reimport the bitmap or picture you captured, (it must be reimported) then click the Slide Show icon. Do not attempt to resize the picture after it has been imported.

The picture should no longer be distorted when displayed in a slide show as long as you don’t change display drivers or take presentation to another computer that uses a different display resolution.

If Paintbrush is not available, but you know your display resolution, you can divide your vertical and horizontal resolution by 96 to get the correct slide dimensions in inches, or by 37 to get your dimensions in centimeters. This means that if you are running a custom display that uses a screen resolution of 1000 x 1000 pixels, you can choose a slide size of 10.41 by 10.41 inches or 27.02 by 27.02 centimeters.


When you display a slide show, PowerPoint scales your presentation to provide a full screen display of the slides. If the size of the slide under Slide Setup is not the same as your true display size (you must translate display pixels to inches or centimeters to determine this), then PowerPoint will change the dimensions of the slide to conform to your display subsystem. Using Paintbrush to determine the dimensions of your display allows you to match the slide size to your display.

When the slide size matches the display, PowerPoint will not scale the slide in Slide Show mode, so your bitmap or captured screen will not be distorted by unnecessary resizing. Note though, that the existing graphics pasted into PowerPoint as bitmaps (including captured screens, .BMP, .PCX, .TIF, and other objects) must be reimported for this to work.

If the imported picture is smaller than the slide and must be resized to fill more of the slide, distortion can be minimized by using the method outlined above, but not eliminated completely. Because the dimension in pixels of the typical captures screen pasted as a graphic is often less than VGA resolution, the resulting graphic will be smaller than the slide size. Manually resizing the graphic to completely cover the slide will cause distortion that will be especially evident if text or curves are involved. The only way to avoid this is to obtain a higher resolution version of the image and use it instead. If a captured screen of an MS-DOS-based application is involved, try running the application through an MS-DOS window, and changing the font as follows:

Steps to increase the size a captured screen in Windows:

  1. From Program Manager, double-click the MS-DOS Prompt icon. At the MS-DOS command prompt, start your MS-DOS-based application as usual.
  2. Press ALT+ENTER to place the application in an MS-DOS window.
  3. The MS-DOS window can then be maximized by clicking the Control menu (-) for that window (or by pressing ALT+SPACEBAR) and choosing Maximize.
  4. Click the Control menu again and choose Fonts.
  5. Choose a screen font that gives you the most practical image size for your purposes. Choose OK.
  6. Capture the screen by pressing ALT+PRINT SCREEN. This will copy a bitmap of the MS-DOS window to the Windows Clipboard, and make the bitmap ready to paste into PowerPoint.

If the application cannot be run in an MS-DOS window, then it will be necessary (if possible) to run the application in a higher-resolution mode (using video drivers supplied with that application) before capturing the screen.

Additional reference words: All versions power point powerpt printscreen prntscrn powerpnt dump bit map bitmap picture ugly distort SlideShow scale resize tiff gif wrong screen capture bitmapped

Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1993.