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A modification to accommodate loss is made to a method developed by D. Murray and E. A. Ash [1977 Ultrasonics Symposium Proceedings, IEEE Cat. No. 77CH1264‐1SU (IEEE, New York, 1977), p. 823] for computing the surface acoustic wave slowness surface of piezoelectric substrates. The resulting algorithm is used to determine the slowness surface for the leaky or pseudosurface wave which propagates on ‐cut GaAs and for a cut 5° off from this. The data thus obtained are used in a diffraction theory computer program to predict the shape of beam profiles as they propagate in the substrate material and accurate predictions of beam shapes are obtained.