Configuring the Page Layout

How to configure a Powerpoint slide for book cover and other sizes.


Next, I’ll show you how to configure the PowerPoint slide size from wide screen format to something closer to the Portrait layout of a book cover (6”x9”). I’ll conclude with a look at other common image sizes you might want to configure for such things as Audiobook covers and Facebook memes.

Configuring PowerPoint for Standard Book Cover Layout

The size is a little unusual, but the cheapest book size for Print on Demand (POD) paperback publication is 6” by 9”. You should configure your book cover for this paperback size (or whatever alternate size in which you decide to print your paperback) since Kindle publication will adapt to any size cover that you choose.

To prepare your book cover project, follow the instructions laid out in section 2.3 Creating a New Book Cover Project to create a blank project. To configure your project for book cover size, select the Design->Slide Size->Custom Slide Size… menu item. In the dialog box that appears, set your slide size to 6” wide by 9” high and click the OK button. In response to the next dialog box displayed, click either Maximize or Ensure fit, it doesn’t matter since there’s nothing on your slide.

You should now have a blank book cover sized slide to begin working on.

Configuring Powerpoint for Audiobook Covers

To create an audiobook cover, create a blank project and configure your slide size to 8” by 8” square. You can save time by saving your book cover project as a new name (e.g. audiobookCover.pptx) and using it as the base for your audiobook cover. When doing this, be sure to Maximize your cover content while resizing it.

Configuring Powerpoint for Memes and Banners

Refer to the following blog post for the sizes of various social media images:

Note that all the guidance provided in this document for creating book covers can be applied to making memes and banners and any other social media image. The only thing that changes are the image dimension, and you now know how to change those in Powerpoint.

One more quick point. Social media image dimensions are often expressed in pixels rather than inches. To convert pixels to inches for setting sizes in Powerpoint, simply divide the specified pixel dimensions by 300. For example, 2500 pixels equals 8.33 inches.

Configuring the Book Cover Background

The background of your book cover can be configured by right clicking on the background and selecting Format Background. This action will open the Format Background page to the right of the work area. Here you can set the background to a solid color, a gradient, a texture or an image. Note that background images will be centered by default and often cropped. You can change this default behavior by moving and resizing the background image using the control at the bottom of the pane.

The other option for creating a background is to insert a shape or an image and stretch it across the background. The downside to this option is that the image gets in the way when placing elements on top of it and you’ll find that you often move the background instead of the element you intended to move.

Use the Format Background pane to configure the background of your book cover.

Adding and Duplicating Book Covers

You can work on multiple book covers at once by using the Navigation pane along the left of the work area to move between book covers. I’ve created a single Powerpoint project to hold all of my book covers for this eight book series. They’re stored as separate slides. I can export them all at once to a directory by selecting “All Slide” during export.

Use the Insert->New Slide menu item to add a new blank slide. Another option is to duplicate an existing slide to have a base to work from. This can be done by right clicking on the slide to be duplicated in the Navigation pane and selecting duplicate from the pop up context menu.

Powerpoint Configuration Exercises

To insure you understand the information conveyed in this section and to prepare to follow along with future sections, create a blank Powerpoint slide that is 6” wide and 9” high. Give your book cover a gradient background. Duplicate your book cover and give it a different background.