Coming from a video background I’ve always been a little confused why PowerPoint works in inches and centimeters rather than pixels. On the surface PowerPoint seems better suited to print media rather than digital displays like screens and projectors.

When you set up a slide deck PowerPoint asks for dimensions to be set in either inches or centimeters. However you can enter a pixel value followed by “px” and PowerPoint will convert it to either centimeters or inches.

Using this conversion I understand that PowerPoint assumes 0.0104166666666667 inches per pixel or 0.0264583333333333 centimeters per pixel.

Using these values I have created a table of common 16:9 video resolutions and their print equivalents.

Pixel Inches Centimeter
HD 1280 x 720 13.334 x 7.5 33.867 x 19.05
FHD 1920 x 1080 20 x 11.25 50.8 x 28.575
UHD-1 (4K) 3840 x 2160 40 x 22.5 101.6 x 57.15
5K 5120 x 2880 53.334 x 30 135.467 x 76.2
PPT Max Resolution 5376 x 5376 56 x 56 142.24 x 142.24
UHD-2 (8K) 7680 x 4320 80 x 45 203.2 x 114.3

 

The default settings are 33.867 x 19.05 cm which equates to an HD video resolution of 1280 x 720 px.

Currently the maximum resolution in PowerPoint is 56 x 56 inches or 142.24 x 142.24 centimeters. Which means the maximum standard 16:9 video resolution would be 5K (5120 x 2880 px).

Using a DPI calculator it appears that Powerpoint uses a print resolution is 96 DPI or 38 dots / cm.

The Slide Size options in PowerPoint can be found under the Design tab.

Export Settings

This article outlines how to change the export resolution of a PowerPoint slide.