In desktop versions of PowerPoint, you don’t have to use the measurement units PowerPoint comes with. A few clicks, as described below, change PowerPoint units, for example, from inches to centimeters.

PowerPoint displays the measurement system your computer uses, so to change from inches to metric (or vice versa), you make the change in Control Panel in Windows rather than in PowerPoint.

  1. Close PowerPoint.

  2. Go to Control Panel by doing one of the following:

    • In Windows 10, click Start and type Control Panel.

    • In Windows 8, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.) Enter Control Panel in the search box, tap or click Apps, and then tap or click Control Panel.

  3. Select the app that has Region in its name. (The exact name varies depending on which version of Windows you’re using.) The exact options that appear are different for various versions of Windows:

    • If you’re using Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7, in the Region or Clock, Language and Region dialog box, click the Change Date, Time or Number Formats tab, and then click Additional settings. Select Metric from the Measurement system list, and click OK.

    • If you’re using Windows Vista or Windows XP, click the Regional Options tab, and then click Customize. On the Numbers tab, in the Measurement system list, click Metric. Apply the changes.

    • If you’re using another version of Windows, look for a Numbers option that includes a Measurements setting, and then change the value to Metric. Apply the changes.

  4. Start PowerPoint.

The ruler (and dialog boxes that show units of measure) now display measurements in the system you've chosen.

Tip: To change back from centimeters to inches, repeat the steps above and select U.S. instead of Metric in step 3.

  1. On the Apple menu, select System Preferences.

  2. Click Language & Region.

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. On the General tab, click the arrow next to Measurement units, and select a unit of measure from the list. You can choose Metric, US, or UK.

  1. On the PowerPoint menu, select Preferences, and then select View.

  2. Click the arrow next to Ruler units, and select a unit of measure from the list. You can select Inches, Centimeters, Points, or Picas.

PowerPoint for the web only shows measurements in inches.

See Also

Show or hide the ruler

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