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Correct dimensions for Power Point Import

Captivate 3 (and now 4) supports importing a Microsoft Power Point file.

Captivate slide dimensions are defined in pixels, while Power Point defines slide size in inches. Many of you might have faced problems with stretched / shrunken objects because of a mismatch in the dimensions of the imported Power Point slides and your Captivate project. Below are a couple of tips that will help you avoid this issue in future.

You can create a new project “From MS Power Point” – Here you don’t have to worry about the dimensions, as Captivate creates a project of same dimension as your Power Point (yes it calculates correctly!). You can see this dimension while importing.

You might need to just consider whether this is the required dimension for your target audience.

No problems so far !

You might also want to Import a Power Point presentation to an existing project. Captivate’s behavior in such a scenario is to resize the Power Point presentation to the dimension of your project. In many cases this resizing is undesirable due to (possible but not always) loss of quality. So, Captivate gives a warning (which you can of course ignore).

One option is to resize the original Power Point presentation, so that it matches your existing Captivate project dimensions.

Now, how you do it …

Firstly, you need to convert pixels to inches. You might consider using some of the free tools available on the web and avoid the number crunching. I used this tool with the DPI value of 96. I will list down some popular values as well here:



960 x 720

Default Power Point (10 x 7.5)

640 x 480

6.67 x 5

800 x 600

8.33 x 6.25

Second, you need to change your Power Point presentation to this dimension. For Power Point 2003, this is possible in “File > Page Setup” and in 2007, you can do this in “Design > Page Setup”. Key in your custom values here. It would be a good idea to check whether your font sizes, objects etc are appropriate for the new dimension.

Now, you can Import this into your Captivate project without any dimension warning.

OK… Go ahead and Captivate your Power Points !

9 Responses

  1. I’m glad you posted on this topic. I tried this method (resizing my powerpoint file to match the dimensions of my captivate file) but am not having fantastic results. The images I have on my power point are screen shots of software that has a particularly small font. The screen shots look crystal clear in power point, but when brought into an existing captivate module via File > Import > Power Point slides, the end result in Captivate is a blurry screenshot. Do you have any suggestions or explanations as to why I can’t translate the quality in power point over to my captivate file?

  2. The images you have inside captivate might look blurry, as we take an image snapshot of your animations and show. This but is only during the edit time, and doesnt have any bearing on the final published output. Please publish and see, whether you regain all the document fidelity

  3. I am facing the following problem.I created a custom size 16:10 ppt and create a Captivate project from that that correctly selects 960×600 as resolution.But all the imported text look somewhat blurry, certainly different from the crisp text that is added afterwards using Captivate.Any ideas on how to solve this ?Thanks in advance.

  4. This blurriness is just inside the Captivate. Once you publish the the project and view the SWF the lost clarity will be regained. Please try.(Captivate converts the power point slides to animations and when these are represented in Captivate, you see this blurriness, which will just go away and you will get back the original quality).

  5. I am having a problem importing PPT 2007 (and 2003) slides as well. No matter what I try, Captivate 4 displays the slides as very small animations in both the edit and storyboard views. This makes adding additional text or animation very difficult.

  6. My Powerpoint (2010) size is 10 inches by 7.5 inches, and I am attempting to import into my trial version of Captivate as a 960 x 720 work space, but the lower portion of my slide is missing. What am I doing wrong?

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