Recently, a reader asked if PowerPoint allows the presenter to view notes and upcoming slides during the actual presentation. In other words, the presenter wants to see a completely different screen than the screen the audience sees. PowerPoint’s Presenter View displays two different views — one for the presenter and one for the audience — during the presentation. In Presenter View, you can:

  • Click slide thumbnails out of sequence to create a custom display on the fly.
  • Preview the next slide (or the next list item).
  • View speaker notes.
  • Black out the screen and resume the presentation later, where you left off.

But not every setup will support Presenter View. To use this view, your computer must meet the following requirements:

  • You need multiple monitor capability. Most newer desktop and laptop computers come with two video cards to support multiple monitors.
  • The computer must run Windows 98 or later. In addition,  your service packs should be up to date.
  • You must enable multiple monitor support by clicking Display in the Control Panel (or by right-clicking your monitor and choosing Properties). If you see two monitor icons, you’re set. If not, you must insert your secondary display adapter and connect to a second monitor. To learn more about setting up multiple monitors, search in Windows Help on “multiple monitor capability.”
  • You must enable Presenter View.

After enabling multiple monitors, you can enable Presenter View as follows:

  1. In PowerPoint, choose Set Up Show from the Slide Show menu.
  2. Check the Show Presenter View option in the Multiple Monitors section. PowerPoint will disable this option until you enable multiple monitors.
  3. From the Display Slide Show On drop-down list, select the monitor you want to display the presentation.