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Pixel-Accurate display of images in PowerPoint screenshows


When you insert images into your presentations, PowerPoint blurs them slightly. In some cases, this can improve the image by helping to eliminate the "jaggies". In that case, we call it "anti-aliasing" and it's A Good Thing. In other cases, you may not want that, in which case we call this "a @#$*^ nuisance".

You're here reading this, so it's a good bet you're in the latter crowd.

You probably have images that you want to display as-is, no blurring, anti-aliasing, no changes. One screen pixel for one image pixel.


PowerPoint won't do that. But you can get what you want. It just takes a bit of extra work. You need to:

Our sponsor, PPTools, has written a handy (and free) little program to do just this. It's called FullScreenPicture. When you ask it to display an image (BMP, JPG or GIF formats only), it fills the entire screen with black then centers your image on the screen. If the image is exactly the same size as your display, it will fill the display. One image pixel = One screen pixel. No distortion. No blurring.

You can download here. The zip file contains:

You can store FullScreenPicture.EXE anywhere on your computer. We recommend putting it in a folder with a short, easy-to-remember name.

To use it to display images during a presentation, you'll use an Action Setting on a shape. Here's how:

Start the slide show, click the shape and PowerPoint will launch FullScreenShow, which will display your image.

Well. Almost. Actually, depending on your version of PowerPoint, it may warn you of the dangers of launching programs like this. You can make that stop: make the folder holding FullScreenPIcture.EXE a trusted folder. Then your version of Windows may get into the act and warn you again. You can probably adjust your UAC controls to make it quit doing that.


You can instead launch FullScreenPicture using a macro or two. Once you give permission for macros to run, neither PowerPoint nor Windows will annoy you with their idiotic security prompts.

To learn now, open FullScreenPicture.PPT (also included in the ZIP file) and press Alt + F11 to open the VBA editor (macro editor). There are several macros that will make launching images much simpler (and that will save you from having to remember and type the full path to FullScreenPicture.EXE each time you want to use it.)

About FullScreenPicture

Other approaches

If you don't want to use FullScreenPicture, you can instead use any other program that:

We've worked with IrfanView. It's free, works very well, and does a thousand other useful things with images, but it's a bit trickier to set up for this particular use than FullScreenImage (which is why we wrote FSI in the first place).

However, if you want to show a series of images, you can use an IrfanView slideshow driven by a text file containing the names of the images.

Choose the tool that best suits your needs.

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Pixel-Accurate display of images in PowerPoint screenshows
Last update 27 September, 2011