Set up your show

Recently, a reader asked me how to present without using any of the animation he had created. You can do that in the Set Up Show dialog box, but I realized that most people never go there, so they don’t know its settings. I thought I would systematically run through this useful dialog box.

What’s it for?

The Set Up Show dialog box has settings that determine what happens when you go into Slide Show view and deliver your presentation. You can use these settings for many purposes.

Here’s the dialog box.


Specify the show type

The show type is the type of window that PowerPoint uses when you go into Slide Show view. There are 3 types:

  • Presented by a speaker (full screen): This is the default option. Slide Show view is full screen and you can click from slide to slide.
  • Browsed by an individual (window): If you choose this option, Slide Show view is not full screen. Instead, you get a resizable window. You can click from slide to slide.
  • Browsed at a kiosk (full screen): If you choose this option, Slide Show is full screen but you can NOT click from slide to slide. So, how does the viewer navigate through the presentation? You can create automatic timing so that the viewer doesn’t have to navigate or you can create action buttons or other hyperlinked objects that allow navigation. Such a presentation can be called a self-running presentation. I explain the concept in my post, “How to create a self-running presentation.”

Set show options

You have a number of options that you can set, including running the presentation without animation, as I mentioned at the start of this post. Here are your options:

  • Loop continuously until ‘Esc’: This loops your presentation over and over. It’s a good option for a trade show situation. I also use it for a looping introduction. See my tip, “Create a looping introduction.”
  • Show without narration: If you use PowerPoint’s narration feature, the narration will play when you present. You may have narrated the presentation for a self-running presentation but need to sometimes present live; then, this is a useful option.
  • Show without animation: You may have animation that you only want to use with certain audiences or in certain situations. If so, you can turn off all animation here. I recommend going through the slide show this way to check it.
  • Disable hardware graphics acceleration: Hardware acceleration helps animation and video move more smoothly. You might get a message suggesting that you upgrade your graphics card or its drivers. If you can’t or don’t want to do so, you can stop seeing this message by checking this checkbox.
  • Pen color: Sets the pen color for drawing during Slide Show view.
  • Laser pointer color: Sets the laser pointer color. This feature is new for PowerPoint 2010 and creates a circle that you can move around like a laser pointer.

Choose which slides you want to show

You can specify which slides you want to show. Of course, the default option is to show all slides. Note that you can hide slides — that’s another technique if you want to not show certain individual slides. To hide a slide, select it in the left-hand pane. On the Slide Show tab, click Hide Slide.

Use automatic timing — or not

When you create a self-running presentation, you often set automatic timing.  I explain how in my blog post, “Create a looping ending for your PowerPoint presentation.” The default option is to use the automatic timing if it exists. If you’re presenting live, you can disable this timing by choosing the Manually option.

Configure multiple monitors

Usually a second monitor is an LCD projector, but it can also be a second monitor attached to your computer. From the Slide Show monitor drop-down list, you can choose where Slide Show view appears. From the Resolution drop-down you can choose a resolution. You may want to match the native resolution of your projector.

Finally, you can check the Use Presenter View check box to see a special Presenter View on your primary monitor. I explain Presenter View in my post, “Presenter View: Your secret presentation tool.”

Please share any tips you have for using the Set Up Show dialog box!

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7 comments to Set up your show

  • Tim Kraft

    The Presenter View is a feature I wish I would have known about long ago! It’s terrific. Thanks for the tip.

  • Great information and all collected in one place! I have a question for you: Is it possible to run Presenter View while deliver a webinar presentation? Or would I need to have 2 monitors to do that?

  • Susan,
    What a cool question! You don’t actually need 2 monitors to use Presenter view, but webinars aren’t like a projector or 2nd monitor; most of them use desktop sharing. I haven’t tried putting Presenter view on a second monitor during a webinar, but it’s a great idea. I just got a second monitor, so I might try it. Usually, I set up my laptop and log in as a participant to easily see what they are seeing. It’s a good double-check.

  • Thanks, Ellen. That makes sense; the webinar program (WebEx or whatever) is going to display what’s on the screen, not what the Presenter View would determine. I have sometimes done as you describe, but I’m usually more interested in seeing slides are coming next, rather than what the participants are seeing!

  • Carolyn Lewis

    Regarding Powerpoints in webinars: If you’re using WebEx (we use WebEx Training Center) and you are the presenter, just share the PP file rather your desktop. Then in the upper right corner of your screen (right above participants list) you have an option where you, and only you, can see the speaker’s notes for the Powerpoint. It’s like the presenter’s view Ellen describes above. The viewers will see the slides like in a regular PP show but can also still use the chat and Q&A feature to communicate with you.

  • I want a slide show to download and run when the user advances each slide manually (not kiosk auto with timings) with a full window like the kiosk allows. But as you say browsing by individual doesn’t produce a full screen. Also, if the user has PowerPoint and PPT Reader the OS seems to want to use the former which shows the slides in the left column etc. I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • Sotactile -tablette numérique

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