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Why does Resize work the way it does?

Or the other side of the same question: Why doesn't it work the way I want it to?

When people ask this question, it's usually because they want:

Unfortunately, this is one of those "Pick any two" situations. You can't have all three. Let's look at why that is ...

Fist, assume that Resize won't distort any of the shapes on your slides. If distortion were ok, all you'd need to do is change the slide size in PowerPoint. Voila. Resized slides, with all the free distortion you could want!

Instead, Resize looks at the original slide size, looks at the "safety margins" and offsets you've dialed in (if any) and calculates how large a "window" on the resized slide it can drop all of your slide content into; it makes this as large as possible but keeps it proportional to the original slide size so that nothing gets distorted.

In theory, Resize could instead copy each shape onto the new slide and work out its position proportionally. In other words, if the original slide were 10" wide and the new slide were 20" wide, it could take a shape 2" from the left of the slide on the original and place it 4" from the left of the new slide.

In fact, an upcoming version of Resize will probably do just that. But only as an option. Here's why. Take our original 7.5 x 10" slide:

It has two 2" blue squares, the first one at the left edge of the slide, the second exactly adjoining the right edge of the first.

Now suppose we let Resize convert this to a 7.5 x 20" presentation. That's a bit extreme but it makes the effect more visible. Here's the result:

All of the original slide content (the gray area) now fills the new slide (light blue area) top to bottom and is centered on the slide, leaving empty area left and right. The leftmost blue square no longer touches the left edge of the slide, but the two squares still touch. Resize has preserved the relationship of the shapes instead of trying to space them out to fill the new slide proportions.

If it had adjusted the layout, keeping the left side of each shape proportionally distant from the left side of the slide, the result would have been something like this:

The leftmost rectangle still touches the left of the slide; the other rectangle is now 4" from the left instead of 2" (since the new slide is twice as wide as the original). But the relationship of the two rectangles has been destroyed. They no longer touch one another.

So in short, Resize assumes that the relationship of one shape to another is more important than the relationship of each shape to the overall slide size and acts accordingly.

That said, we're looking at offering a "Favor layout over shape relationships" option. The human always knows better than the computer what the human wants, so why not let the human choose? Stay tuned!

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