May 20, 2019 notebooks update

We recently improved how Aha! notebooks are created and presented on May 17, 2019. When editing and viewing, all slides are displayed in the same 16:9 aspect ratio to provide the best editing and viewing experience. This update impacts all new or regenerated notebooks.

What changed?

The following aspects of notebooks have been improved:

  • Slide editor: The default size of the slide editor uses a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is consistent with a widescreen format. This makes it easier to know where elements on each slide will be positioned when sharing a 16:9 web page or presentation. It will still be possible for elements, such as Aha! views, to extend beyond the boundaries of the slide. When this happens, a dotted horizontal and vertical line will appear on the slide to demonstrate which parts of the slide will be visible by default to viewers of the notebook. Anything beyond the dotted lines can be viewed by viewers of notebooks by scrolling in the browser.

  • Presenting notebooks: There are two ways to present notebooks: web pages and presentation mode. Both presenting experiences maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio to ensure that your slides are viewed exactly as you had designed them, no matter the size of the viewer's monitor. This is a common experience used by other leading presentation software as it provides the best viewing experience. Please note that in some scenarios, black bars may be shown on the right and left or bottom and top of the slides to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio if the viewer's screen has a wider or taller ratio.

    • Web pages should be used when sharing a link with someone who is viewing it without you present in the room. This is the presenting option that many of you are likely already familiar with.

    • Presentation mode should be used when you are presenting the notebook to others in the same room as you. This is a new option which will show the slides in full screen mode; it is accessible with the new Present button within the notebook slide editor. In presentation mode, slide controls will disappear when not in use to keep the focus on the content of your presentation.

Why did it change?

In the past, it was not possible to know what a viewer would see when you were creating a notebook. Each view of the slides would differ and be dependent on the screen size and/or browser window being used by the viewer. This would lead to uncertainty as to what the viewer would actually see without needing to scroll. We now ensure that all slides are displayed at the same 16:9 aspect ratio when both editing and viewing. This creates a consistent experience across all screen sizes.

What should you do next?

  • It is important to note that any existing notebooks will continue to work as they always have. This optimization for aspect ratio is only reflected in new or regenerated notebooks. If you do click the Publish updates button, the notebook will be updated to the new aspect ratio.

  • If you update the notebook and create a new shareable link, you should review the notebook to verify that the slides are laid out as you want them.

  • We suggest updating the contents of your slides to fit within the default slide area. This will ensure that the content will be visible on the slide with no scrolling needed.

  • Slides that have large Aha! views or other content that extends outside the default slide area will include scrollbars to allow viewers to see the entire slide. If you wish to avoid having scrollbars, you will need to resize the content on the slide so that it fits within the default slide area.

Please reach out to if you have any questions.