Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Work with PowerPoint presentations and dual monitors Apps
As anyone who has tried it will know, the implementation of dual monitor support in Microsoft Powerpoint v X for Mac is really really useless. It lets you pick which screen to show the fullscreen presentation on, but if you move the cursor back onto the screen showing the PowerPoint app itself and do anything useful there (click a window, resize a view, scroll down, etc.), there is no obvious way of getting back to controlling the presentation that is displaying fullscreen on the other monitor. The View Slideshow menu item does nothing, as does the slideshow icon at the bottom of the document. You can't even end the slideshow. Very frustrating and confusing.

Through trial and error I have discovered two ways to recover from this - one easy but ugly, and the other much more useful.

Method One:
You have to move the cursor over onto the monitor showing the fullscreen slideshow and click once. This will change the focus back to the running slideshow and let you control it again. Be careful not to click twice as a click also advances the slides once the slideshow has the focus again. The downside of this method is that the cursor has to be moved onto the second screen so if you are using a projector, everyone in the audience will see the mouse cursor on the screen which can be distracting.

Method Two:
The second method takes a bit more setting up, but is much more useful. It involves adding a new toolbar which contains tools to control the slideshow. Note: some of my terminology might be wrong here, as I am not sure about menus and toolbars and tools etc. etc., but it is more obvious to do than to explain.

You can click on the tiny arrow at the end of the toolbar to get to the Customise dialog box. I then created a new toolbar that I called "slide control" and also turned on the "slideshow" toolbar (from what I can tell, the "slideshow" toolbar is the one that appears when you right click on a running slideshow and lets you control things). I dragged the "Previous," "Next," and "End Show" tools from the slideshow toolbar into my new toolbar, and also the one that lets you select slides by title. I then positioned this new toolbar at the end of my existing toolbar and closed the "customise" dialog box. By default, they show up as blank boxes, but if you right click the tool and select Properties, you can choose an icon and select for the text to be visible.

So what I have done is steal menu items from the rightclick menu and make them available in a toolbar that is visible all the time while running a show on the second monitor.

Here is the final bit of info to make this trick work ... these tools will only work when the fullscreen slideshow is 'active' or 'in focus.' Unlike before, however, now if you do something on the control monitor and then click the 'slideshow' icon, or select 'view slideshow' in the menu, these controls start to work even though they appear greyed out and the normal up arrow, down arrow controls still don't work.

The only disconcerting thing is that there is absolutely NO visible feedback as to which mode you are in - editing or controlling slideshow. You just have to remember to click the "slideshow" icon every time you want to go back to controlling the slideshow. This is analagous to the "resume slideshow" floating button in the windows version - now if only MS had added one of them! So the full sequence of actually driving a presentation would be:

  1. Open your presentation and set the display monitor for full screen to be the second monitor (in "set up show" and "monitors")
  2. Click the "slideshow" icon to start the slideshow on the second monitor. Notice that a different menu list has appeared showing that the slideshow is active. You can use your usual up arrow, down arrow etc. to control at this stage.
  3. If you need to change something, or change the view, click back on the open presentation file in the first monitor (it seems to matter where you click - you'll know it has worked when your toolbars re-appear)
  4. Make the changes you want, or set up the view you want.
  5. Now click the "slideshow" icon again to 'return to controlling the slideshow' as it were.
  6. Now you can control the show using your new toolbar, or if you need to edit something or switch views, or look ahead, just repeat this process from step three. You can switch in and out as many times as you like.
If you don't "return to the slideshow" as it were by clicking the slideshow icon, then the controls don't work. Sadly whatever you are showing on the control screen doesn't track the active slideshow, so you are limited to using the thumbnail view to see all your slides while presenting. You CAN, however, edit the live slide and it will change immediately - very useful for correcting typos on the fly, or typing up responses as they are shouted out or whatever.

OK, this took a fair bit of fiddling to find, and I have never seen anyone else show a way to allow control of a fullscreen slideshow on dual monitors so I reckon it could be of interest. Of course it would be far better if MS just fixed the dual screen support to do what it should, but who know when/if that might happen.

  • Currently 2.75 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (4 votes cast)

Work with PowerPoint presentations and dual monitors | 3 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Work with PowerPoint presentations and dual monitors' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Work with PowerPoint presentations and dual monitors
Authored by: dkulp on Jan 06, '04 03:35:26PM

Actually, I'm impressed with the way that PowerPoint works with two monitors. You can edit your presentation in your non-slide show monitor and see it displayed in the slide show monitor. Importantly for this post, when PowerPoint becomes the active app, it automatically returns to Slide Show mode. Thus, a simpler way to return to Slide Show mode after clicking in the non-display monitor is to use Alt-Tab twice to leave PowerPoint and then return to it.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Work with PowerPoint presentations and dual monitors
Authored by: jonask on Jan 06, '04 05:16:05PM
No, I agree with the original poster that PowerPoint is a pain in the ass to use with dual monitoris. If I have notes that I want to follow along with on the second monitor, it really should advance through these as I advance through the slide show, but it doesn't.

Keynote is much better for this - can't wait until it catches up to PowerPoint with some of its other features...

[ Reply to This | # ]
Work with PowerPoint presentations and dual monitors
Authored by: RickoKid on Jan 06, '04 05:23:25PM

Good suggestions! Microsoft don't seem to have thought very hard about the multi monitor functions of Powerpoint - for example if you set a show to the second monitor, save it and put it on a computer with no second monitor - no slide show!

Anyway - I usually just use Alt-Tab to switch between the active file and the show - it is transparent to anyone watching just the slideshow and means you can do all the things you can usually do in a slideshow (use the arrow keys and so on). You can also have several different slideshows running at the same time and switch between them.



[ Reply to This | # ]