How to set up "Presenter View" in Powerpoint

Earlier this afternoon I helped a friend (Tony) with a couple of Microsoft Outlook problems (mainly due to the immense size of his .pst file!) when I happened to show him a couple tricks of the trade. Tony has used Microsoft Powerpoint to present to audiences all over the place for years hence I was surprised that he didn't know about "Presenter View" - he's not alone therefore I've written up what I showed him as follows...

It's amazing quite how few regular presenters know about Powerpoint's "Presenter View" - it's been around for years - I think back to Office '97 but I'm sure someone will correct me if that's not exact.

"Presenter View" is a really handy feature of Powerpoint that uses the operating system's dual screen facility to show the speaker additional information whilst presenting including slide notes, timings and a glimse of the slides that are to come. It works with both Windows XP and Windows Vista.

On Windows Vista: if you have plugged in an external display (monitor or projector) and don't get the following panel (or want to bring it back up to make changes) then simply press the "Windows" / "flag" key and "X"

Click on "Connect Display" to reveal the following:

Select "Show different parts of my desktop on each display (extended)" - the default is "Duplicate..."

All being well you'll now be running in dual screen - the external display will currently show just your desktop wallpaper.

For 2007 Office System (there's a very similar setting in previous versions of Office): Open a presentation, select "slide show" followed by "Set up slideshow" to reveal a screen similar to the following

Enable "Show Presenter View" followed by "OK". Finally run the presentation as normal - you should see something like the following image. Note: the image is actually showing both displays - the right hand half is actually what's shown on the external display

Comments (3)

  1. Steve Lamb says:

    John> Hopefully you’ll find it useful.

    What problems are you having with Office/Outlook? Have you reported them anywhere?

  2. John A Thomson says:

    Thanks Steve. Didn’t know about Presenter View, which looks to be really useful.

    Hopefully Office 2007 SP1 isn’t too far away to fix the “issues” in the new office suite, especially Outlook 2007!

  3. AdamV says:

    Presenter view is great, but was not called that back on PowerPoint 2000.

    By going to advanced display settings you could extend the desktop to a second monitor in a similar way to how you describe (with Windows 98 or 2000, but not earlier, hence I am fairly sure this feature was not enabled in Office 97). With that done, you simply go to Slide Show > Set up show and there is a box for “show on” and you choose which monitor to show the actual presentation on (the external one, number 2 in most cases presumably).

    This is a bit more clunky than later implementations as you are stuck with the old three-pane view with the text-based outline on the left for the presenter (if you go to slide sorter it does not  show you which is the current slide). If your slides are very graphical it can be hard to know what is coming up (which is why good slide titles are very important).

    A nice thing to remember is that you can also edit the slides as you go along. As soon as you click and edit the presentation (which is running in another window) just halts. Maybe add a blank slide or two for other people’s input – especially if discussion is a main theme of the event such as a project meeting where you might make an action list at the end. To carry on you would just Alt-Tab back to the presentation (or F5) and carry on using normal N/P and other buttons to progress. At the end you can just save the whole thing with the extra stuff you added and mail people a copy of the slides including all of this. Presto – a handout of the actual version of the event they attended, not just a generic one.

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