Power Tip: Controlling Multiple Monitors in Presenter Mode

About this lesson

Take control of 1 or 2 or 3 multiple monitors in PowerPoint. Learn pro tricks for presenter mode and even editing while “live.” The tutorial shows all three scenarios with live screen views. Plus a bonus on how to set up a conference presentation without a projector.


00:00 Intro
01:16 Controlling 1 Monitor
01:58 Running Presenter View on 1 Monitor
02:22 Controlling 2 Monitors
03:23 Force Presenter View to Chosen Monitor
03:56 Controlling 3 Monitors
05:20 How to Use 3 Monitors While Editing
06:10 Bonus Tip: Running Without a Projector
06:41 Wrap-Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All Versions

Level Tips

Course Completed Complete

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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Mulitple Monitor Transcript


If you are fine with just plugging your projector into your external display port of your laptop and hitting F5 to run your slide show on a big project. And it works every time, then you are good to go.  But if you want to take full control of utilizing one or two or even three combinations of monitors or projector systems, then the next five minutes will put you in control.

Hi, this is Les McCarter of Power UP Training, where I take my decades of PowerPoint experience and share it with you for free.

Do subscribe to our YouTube channel to encourage me to make more free training videos for you.

In the next five minutes, I will show you how to take complete control of how PowerPoint interacts with multiple monitors, including tricks of how to get Presenter view to show up on one monitor plus how to control where the project screen show will show up every time! No fumbling on stage in front of your audience. Plus some bonus tips.


Let’s go power up to Taking Control of your multiple monitors.

Let’s start with a single connected monitor and get used to examining the DISPLAY SETTINGS to confirm our configuration.


Make sure you can see your desktop; for me it is one of my ocean photographs.


Right-click the empty desktop and select  DISPLAY SETTINGS.


In our 1 monitor scenario, we see NO MENTION display.  Take note, as when we return, we will see a screen like this.


So no changes here, lets go ahead and open up PowerPoint with an existing



It should come as no surprise that if you launch a slide show, it show up full screen on your single monitor.


But here is a SLICK TRICK of on your keyboard do a ALT+F5 to show the presenter mode on a single monitor to do a practice run on presenting without a two-screen setup.  This is just for practice but it is useful.  Once again, just ALT-F5 and he PRESENTER MODE pops up instead of the full-screen presentation


Let’s move on to the TWO MONITOR Scenario.


Just like before, I will show my desktop and right click to select DISPLAY SETTINGS.


Here we see that we do have two displays and if we click IDENTIFY, we can match up which one is which in relative relations to each other


Do note that my background is duplicated on all my displays, so I will add some numbers for us to track which is which.


Back to the same PowerPoint Presentation  which pops up on monitor 1. and  when in SLIDE SHOW view, we can see that the display is set on the default AUTOMATIC.  Which to me is just a roll of the dice for which monitor will pop up the slide show and which for the presenter view.


If you don’t like the layout, then just go the PRESENTER VIEW, and click DISPLAY SETTINGS and chooses SWAP PRESENTER VIEW AND SLIDE SHOW to have them jump back and forth.


If you want to take full control, then in SLIDE SHOW view, click the drop down arrow for MONITOR and choose.  It may be confusing as you need to know either which is your primary monitor or use the earlier trick to find you DISPLAY number.  In our case, we will force the presentation to MONITOR #1


So you can either just swap when live, or elect to choose in advance in SLIDE SHOW and MONITOR.


Now to our last scenario: 3 monitors on one computer.  As before, let’s look at  our setup by going to  our desktop RIGHT CLICKing and choosing DISPLAY SETTINGS


In Windows 10, the monitor numbering is tied to your video card ports, not where they are physically located on your desk.  Like a card in the computer game solitaire, you can click and drag the monitor number to match the physical location of each monitor.  Also take note, the my monitor #2 is a much smaller resolution monitor as seen in the screen menu, but I am showing it as full screen in this tutorial.


Now let’s check out where the slide show and presenter windows will show up.  I will reset the DISPLAY in SLIDE SHOW VIEW back to Automatic and then launch the slide show.


So the actual presentation show is on monitor #2 to the farthest right and the presenter view is on Monitor #3 in the middle and our regular edit NORMAL view is shown on Monitor #1 on the far left.


Now watch what happens when in the presenter windows, I tell it to swap monitors and all it does is swap between monitors #2 and #3, leaving monitors #1 untouched.


So is there any advantage to working on three monitors?


Yes.  In my final workflow, while do a last minute quality review, I will have all three views up on my workstation to look at how everything flows both on the big screen slide show and the presenter view.  And if I have any corrections, I can do them LIVE on the normal edit view with the results immediately shows.


Watch how I add in a new slide in the normal edit view and insert a photo, with the resulting new slide automatically showing up in both the slide show and in my presenter view.

Wrap Up (New Slide)

Now you have all the need knowledge to take complete control of your PowerPoint presentation monitors.

Here is one extra bonus tip.  If you have a tabletop presentation, but no projector, just setup a second monitor to face away from you. Then put your display settings (Windows Key + P for Project) and select DUPLICATE.  Now the slide show will be facing you and your tabletop audience.

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