How to display PowerPoint presentations on a single monitor

Have you ever needed to do a PowerPoint presentation by Skype, Hangout or the like? Although both become very easy to share the screen and show the PowerPoint window, the experience falls short of the ideal. But there's a trick that makes it that much better!

If you use PowerPoint very often to do live performances, using a projector, you've probably noticed that he is very "smart" and a few cool tricks when you press F5. But specifically:

  • It automatically changes the mode of two duplicate Windows screens for extended;
  • On the main screen (on your computer/notebook) it opens the window of the presenter view (Presenter View);
  • On secondary screen (projector) he puts the presentation in full screen.

Cool, huh? Only when our presentation will be online, via Skype or Hangout, this behavior is not so cool.

If you press F5 to display a PPT during its webcast or meeting, you will come across one of these problems, depending on your configuration:

  1. If you have only one monitor: PowerPoint will display the presentation in full screen, which makes it harder to control the presentation, because you can't see the thumbnails of the PowerPoint slides;
  2. If you have more than one monitor: PowerPoint will try to be "smart" and play the presentation on the second monitor. The problem is that this typically involves changes in resolution (sometimes even of DPI), not to mention the fact that the presentation changes from monitor. Skype and can be fine Hangout confused when this kind of change happens during a screen sharing!

So, normally I see people do is just let the PowerPoint open in edit mode and share your window:

PowerPoint in edit mode, with the screen being shared in the Skype for Business
About uploading presentations: some of the online meeting services such as Skype for Business, allow you to upload of your PPTs before the meeting and use the features of the tool (and not PowerPoint) to control the presentation. Yes, this would be a solution to this problem, it wasn't the fact that (1) not all services offer this facility and (2) that the offer, doesn't always work.

This brings up, however, another problem: in the edit mode the animations do not work, so the experience for the audience falls short of the desired:

Slide with animation. Note that the purple rectangle has an animation (it should appear only after click). You can't replicate it in edit mode. The purple area appears visible all the time

So, what's the middle ground?

Simple: If you could open the presenter view without going into presentation mode (i.e. without opening the presentation in full screen on the other monitor), we'd have the best of the world:

  • The thumbnails would be available; and
  • The animations work.

The good news is that doing so is easier than you think. When you start a presentation, instead of F5 press Alt-F5. Simple as that!

PowerPoint with the shared screen in Presenter view (Presenter View). You can view the current slide with your animations (1), the next slide and/or animation (2), (3) slide notes and access the screen with all the thumbnails (4)

And there, I knew this trick? Is there any other trick that you use when you do PowerPoint presentations over the internet? Be sure to share.

Author: Igor Abade

Igor Abade V. Leite ([email protected]) is a Visual Studio ALM MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) since 2006. Speaker at various Software Development community events (TechEd Brasil, The Developers’ Conference, DevOps Summit Brasil, Agile Brazil, Visual Studio Summit, QCON among others), has also written articles in magazines and websites such as MSDN Brazil. Since March/2011 is one of the owners of Lambda3, a Brazilian consulting company specialized in ALM, software development and training. Visit his blog about VS ALM at and follow him on Twitter @igorabade.

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