Plasma screen guidelines

Plasma screen guidelines

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to create and submit automated PowerPoint presentations for display on the college's plasma screens.

Requirements and suggestions for effective plasma screen slides.

Use 16:9 aspect ratio (no exceptions!)

  • All slides must be created in 16:9 aspect ratio; otherwise they will stretch disproportionately to fit the plasma screen and thus will not be legible.

  • In the File > Page Setup menu, enter 16" for width and 9" for height.

  • The 10" x 7.5" PowerPoint default page size will not work on the plasma screens.

Keep your message terse and to the point

  • The plasma screens target a passive, pedestrian audience, not a captive one.

  • Few viewers stop to watch the presentation, so your entire message should be terse and to the point and should not exceed one minute playing time.

Avoid using long, dense blocks of text

  • A lot of text is daunting and few people will bother to read it.

  • Stick to short sentences and terse phrases and avoid long narratives.

Avoid using small text

  • Don't use text smaller than 24-point (30 if possible)

  • Stick to short sentences and terse phrases and avoid long narratives.

Avoid exotic fonts

  • Only a few fonts are loaded on the computers that run the plasma screens. Stick with ubiquitous PC standards like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, Georgia, etc.

  • You may also use the official Texas A&M fonts which may be downloaded from the Shared Drive on the server: Frutiger, Frutiger Condensed and New Baskerville.

  • The College of Architecture fonts are also available for download on the Shared Drive: Myriad Pro, Myriad Pro Condensed, Futura Std.

Use interesting graphical element(s)

  • A photograph or appropriate graphic will attract attention and make your presentation more compelling.

  • Avoid using photo montages that clutter the presentation. One or two well selected images are better than a lot of small ones.

Size photos and graphics correctly

  • The density of imported graphics should not exceed 72 dpi.

  • The maximum vertical size should not exceed 9 inches at 72 dpi.

  • The maximum horizontal size should not exceed 16 inches at 72 dpi.

  • Imported background images should be 9" x 16" at 72 dpi.

  • Large graphics slow down the PowerPoint and could cause it to crash.

All slide elements must be animated

  • No one is there to click through the slides.

  • The elements on each slide, as well as the slides, must advance automatically without clicking. If you don't know how to do this, find someone who does.

Introduce text in sequence, not all at once

  • The slides are easier to read when the elements are automated and introduced in sequence, rather than appearing all at once on a static slide.

  • This is especially true when a lot of text is utilized.

  • Use the automated commands to phase elements into (and out) of the presentation.

Keep it fast-paced, snappy;

  • Remember, your audience is walking by the plasma screen, not sitting in front of it.

  • Advance elements rapidly.

  • Avoid long pauses or delays.

Don't crowd the slide

  • You may use as many slides as required to convey your message.

  • You don't have to fit everything onto one slide.

  • Don't forget to set your slide transition speed.

Important slide show automation settings:

  • Under Slide Show > Setup Show choose "Loop continuously until ESC"

  • Under Slide Show > Slide Transition controls, set transition and timing of each slide.

  • Under Slide Show > Custom Animation controls, set the animation and automation of individual slide elements such as text and graphics.

Avoid using video and audio

  • The plasma screens are not currently set up to support video or audio elements in a PowerPoint presentation.

E-mail automated PowerPoint presentations to

  • We can often make time to tweak a submitted plasma screen presentations, but cannot create them from scratch or completely automate static shows.

  • The more work that a slides needs, the longer it will take to post.

  • Submitted slides that require considerable reworking may not be posted at all.

Direct questions regarding PowerPoint presentations for the plasma screens to: