Power Tip: Room Projector Tester

About this lesson

How Will My Presentation Look On the Big Screen?  Or even in a Zoom Call?

Don’t let your hard work crafting a PowerPoint presentation fail due to an unexpected presentation room surprise.  Use this projector tester to survey the capabilities of the presentation in advance.

Learn to use our free PowerPoint Projector Tester to optimize your presentation in advance of the big show. Check color, font size, aspect ratio with our four-slide presentation download.

What if I Don’t Use PowerPoint?

Works equally well to prepare for Apple Keynote or Google Slides, just import in the file to your preferred presentation tool.

Will this work for TV Monitors? Or just Projectors?

This is great for all types of display systems and is a great way to test the limits and capabilities of both the projection system and the room that the audience will be sitting in.


  • 00:00  Intro
  • 01:06  Slide 1 Tester – B&W Font Eye Chart
  • 02:16  Slide 2 Tester with color
  • 02:59  Serif vs San Serif Font Explained
  • 05:14  Slide 3 Tester Slide with dark background
  • 06:06  Slide 4 Aspect Ratios
  • 08:44  Color Matching
  • 09:34  Wrap-Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All Versions of PowerPoint


Course Completed




Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking the AUTO SUBSCRIBE! button below

Subscriptions help us create more free video training for YOU!


Video Training Transcript

Projector Tester Script

Here is a great tip plus a download resource to prepare for your next stand-up presentation with my four-slide room projector checker.

Hi, this is Les McCarter from Power Up Training where I provide my decades of expertise to you for free.

Using my free download four-slide presentation file, you will check your presentation based on a projector or big screen TV monitor to make sure that your presentation can be optimized by looking at different fonts sizes, backgrounds, color contrast brightness and visibility around the room.

I am about to walk you through the use of this file, which you can download here or by finding the link in the YouTube notes below.

While this is a PowerPoint file, it will be equally instructive for Apple’s KEYNOTE and Google SLIDES.

Let’s look at them and Power Up your presentation


Before you get started in testing a room, do take notes on as you go through the slides on what does and does not work so that you can go back and incorporate the needed changes into your planned presentation

This first slide is a simple black and white file using the most basic sanserif Calibri font shown in different font sizes.

With the first slide displayed on the presentation room screen, use it has an eye reading chart by going to the farthest sitting spot and decide which is the smallest readable font.

I will explain more about the four arrows and the importance of them touching the edges of your screen in a few moments.

Do recognize that black on white (or white and black) is the most readable combination.  It may not be the most pleasing color combo, but it is the most readable. In our following test slides, the colors and font family choices will change, and that may impact the back of the room readability.


Slide tester #2 introduces a soft gray background, which may be more attractive than flat white. But, it will potentially impact readability depending on the quality of your projector system and the brightness of the presenting room.

If the room has various lighting controls, you might experiment with dimming the room or turning off the front of the room lights by the projection screen.

But beware, while turning the room into a dark movie theater mode will make your presentation more dramatic, you do risk putting your audience to sleep.

With me, just darken a room and my eyes automatically start to close!

Another change on slide tester #2 is that I have employed a different font called CORBEL.  Different font families have different characteristics and emotions, plus compactness of spacing between letters.


Take a look at this sample slide, that is NOT included in our projector tester, but it does help illustrate how different fonts have different kerning and spacing results.

I am using the three font families and you can visually see that even though they are all set at a size of 28 points, the line length is different based on the red lines.


, the letter height might have different characteristics that give them their unique styles, the height really is not impacted based on the font choice.


Readability may be impacted by the font family you choose.

Serif versus San Serif.

There are two classes of fonts: “plain” vs “decorative.”  Serif fonts have an extra flair at the edges.  See the embellishments on the letter T’s edges versus the SAN SERIF that is more straightforward.

Typically a SANS SERIF font is more readable and is often used in newspaper headlines. At the same time, the news story itself is usually set in SERIF. In long-form text found in magazines and books, SERIF Fonts will traditionally be used as some consider it easier to read for dense amounts of text.

Looking at our small sample columns of both types, you see that each has its own attraction.

Use your own sensibility of what looks suitable for your presentation and do test with different fonts for best impact both artistically and visually on your presentation projector.


Back to our Projector Checker slide number 3.

Here is what we are testing: 1) a new font, and this one is our first SERIF based font of Bookman Old Font.

The words are now white on a dark background, just to contrast with all our previous slides with light or white backgrounds.  See how this works in your target room.

Also, look to see that the slide is not just a solid background, but one with a delicate pattern, which is an excellent test of the projector or big screen TV’s ability to render subtle differences in objects.


Projector Checker Slide 4 is our last test, but lots of individual tests are happening here.

First up is the aspect ratio of the projector.  The tester assumes you are using the most common widescreen aspect ratio of 16 by 9.


Here is what widescreen looks like versus “standard” of 4:3 found on older projectors.

The 16 unit count is the wide side, and the 9 units are tall.  The units can be anything, inches, feet meters: it is just a ratio of width to height.

Also, I am showing where you make the change in PowerPoint in the DESIGN menu and the top right corner choice of SLIDE SIZE.  If you have an older projector, it is IMPORTANT to change this before you build your first slide. Get the canvas size just right before working on the content.

To learn more about these choices and the impact, look for our video listed above called “Formatting PowerPoint for Effective Design.”


Back to the last projector checker slide.

What happens if you have the wrong aspect ratio? One of two things, the computer forces it to fit the full screen by squeezing the edges and then the ROUND circle will look like a tall Oval; or it will stretch the sides but put a black bar on the bottom and top of the screen.

That is where the “Edge of Slide” arrows come to play.  Look to make sure that the point of each arrow fills the projector screen.  This works as a great test on TV screens, but for light projectors, do note that the actual projector screen itself is usually slightly, or in some rooms, much bigger than projector’s ability to fill of the screen.  Pay close attention to the edges of the projections when the projector is first turned on with the manufacture’s logo.  You can see where the light edges are located and then compare with the projector checker slide arrows.

The last item to check is the fidelity of the color pallets.  Cheaper or older faded projector bulbs will not show the correct colors, according to our human eyes.  The best way to check is to look at skin colors.  Humans are great at detecting if something looks off, so examine our little girl scientist’s face, noting the freckles and a bit of red color in her cheeks.

Do they look right?

What to do if the colors look off?  Other than putting in the most likely to be ignored request for a new projector, the alternative is to design your presentation so as not to depend on subtle colors and even limiting the inclusion of color-specific photo graphics.



Once you are done checking the room’s capabilities, take your notes back and adjust your presentation to best work in your target conference space, classroom or even in a virtual Zoom or teams meeting video conference.


To get this PowerPoint checker file, go this link on Power-UP. TRAINING website or use the link in the YouTube notes section below.


If you want more insightful PowerPoint training, do subscribe to our YouTube channel all about Microsoft PowerPoint.

Remember that subscriptions help greatly to support my work for you.

And like this video, if it was helpful. LIKES encourages me to make more free videos for you.

Be generous and share this video with your coworkers.

Now go POWER UP your presentations!