Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 15, 200811:57 PM

PowerPoint Help

I figure I would turn to the community to see if there is something (anything) to help me with two Microsoft PowerPoint issues that I have. You can feel free to leave a message below or email directly. Please keep in mind, that this is for PowerPoint on PC, and I am using PowerPoint 2003 (mostly because when I last updated to the newer PowerPoint, the main font I use in my presentations - Akzidenz Grotesk BE Super - gets garbled up. If you have a fix for that too, I'm listening ;).

Issue #1 - I've seen on a Mac (no, I'm not switching to a Mac just yet) that you can have have the main projector screen showing the slide in slideshow mode while the computer screen shows two slides (the current one and the one coming up) as well as a timer and other goodies. Does PowerPoint do this, or is there any software/add-ins that enable you to get the same effect? I've often tried the Multiple Monitor and Presenter View to no avail.

Issue #2 - At Podcasters Across Borders, Tod Maffin had a nifty little animation in his presentation that was a countdown timer. This way, when he takes a ten minute break, everyone can see on the screen how much time is left before he starts up again. I've seen many "hacks" to get your entire screen to do this, but I liked Tod's because he could embed the animation in his deck without having to switch styles, etc... Does this exist for PC?

If you can help, I'm listening. In fact, here's what I'll do: I have two extra copies of Joseph Jaffe's excellent book, Life After The 30-Second Spot, that I will mail to the person who comes up with the best solution for each issue. I'll also toss in my audio CD, Your Personal Brand Audio Workbook for your troubles.


By Mitch Joel

Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Derrick Kwa
    Mitch Joel

    I'm not sure about the first issue.

    For the second issue, though, maybe you could try ?

    I'm looking forward to seeing the solutions your other readers find.

  • Posted by Paolo Pelloni
    Paolo Pelloni

    If you want a free countdown you can go here:

    If you switch to OPenOffice (which is a good idea per se) you can also use this:

  • Posted by Tim
    Mitch Joel

    For issue #1, PowerPoint does do this.

    Make sure you've connected the computer and monitor for Dual Monitor mode, then follow these steps.

    1. Start PowerPoint on the primary monitor and open the required slide show.

    2. Choose Slide Show – Set up Show menu.

    3. Notice that there is a section called Multiple Monitors.

    4. This is enabled only when dual monitors are configured.

    5. Open the popup – “Display slide show on� popup and choose ‘Secondary Display’.

    6. Also enable the Presenter View.

    7. That’s it. Now run the presentation as usual.

    8. The secondary display will show the presentation in full screen mode.

    9. You will also see a Presenter view on your base monitor. From this view, you can read notes, navigate slides, view slide thumbnails, view elapsed time and so on.

  • Posted by Rick Altman
    Mitch Joel

    Tim's post earlier today is right on the money for using what is referred to as "Presenter's View." As for the second question, I suggest a blended animation of several objects to create a face, around which a minute hand sweeps across whatever duration you want. You would use the Spin emphasis animation, and the key is to apply it to a group of two objects, one of which is invisible. That gives the impression that the hand is pivoting from one of its corners, instead of spinning around its middle. Example is available at:

    I set the duration for 30 seconds just so you could see how it behaves. If you want to implement it, you would change the duration to 600 seconds (10 min.)

    Should work just fine...

    Rick Altman
    The PowerPoint Live User Conference
    Sep 21-24 | San Diego

  • Posted by Ramiro Caso
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, I know this is not what you asked, but why don´t you switch to Mac? I did and I love it. Besides, I really believe that Keynote is a lot better than Powerpoint. It is really simple to use and has a lot of features that can make your life (and presentation) a lot easier. For instance, you can put any video format on it and play it without having to make link. Better yet, you can copy the file on another mac, and it will run just the same.
    I know I´m a fan, but give it a thought.

  • So far, Derrik's solution for the timer is the best and I'm going to try what Tim suggested (again) - hopefully that will work.

    Ramiro, at this point, it's mostly a software issue. I use CastBlaster to record my Podcast and some other tools that I can't get on Mac... the pain is a little too high (for now), but you never know :)

  • some timer love from Christopher S. Penn (the guy behind PodCamp, Marketing Over Coffee and The Financial Aid Podcast):

  • Posted by Kirk Skodis
    Mitch Joel

    Don't forget Mitch, you can run Windows (and Windows apps) on a Mac for the best of both worlds.

    That's when I jumped. When Apple went to Intel and I could run Windows, they took away all my excuses. No pain!

  • Posted by Avinash Kaushik
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch: Thanks for asking these wonderful questions, they have been on my mind for a while as well!

    Tim: Thanks for adding the detailed answer for Presenter View. I followed it and it works great. I so wish that the view itself was more like a Mac, or atleast allow me to configure it (I don't care about the notes and I wish I could zoom the next side a bit more) but that is ok. Atleast I am further along! Gracias.


  • Posted by Bob Mathews
    Mitch Joel

    With regard to question 1 (about Presenter View), Tim had a good step-by-step comment. I used to respond in pretty much the same way when someone would ask me the same question. Then a conference attendee asked me "I got it into Presenter View, but how do I turn it off?" That's one of those basic things that people like Tim and Rick and I no doubt take for granted because we're long-time users of PV.

    First, and even before you get to step 1 in Tim's comment, he correctly states that you need to make "sure you've connected the computer and monitor for Dual Monitor mode." To do that, select Control Panel > Display. In the Display Properties dialog, click on the Settings tab, click on the blue rectangle labeled 2, and check the box labeled "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor". Click OK, and your monitors are ready for Presenter View. To turn off Presenter View, you don't need to reverse all of these steps; just uncheck the "Extend my Windows desktop" checkbox on the Display Properties dialog.

    PV is great, but there are times when it's not appropriate. One example of such a case is when you need to demonstrate something on your computer (how to do something in Word, for example), and you need to temporarily switch from your PowerPoint slide show to the other app, then switch back. If you're in PV, you can indeed conduct such a demonstration, but you'll have to look at the screen to do it, since the only thing that will show on your computer is PV. Personally, I'd rather do without PV for the entire presentation in situations like this. Catching myself looking at the screen during a presentation is sort of like the times when I trip over my own 2 feet in public – first thing I want to do is look around to see if anyone saw me do it, and if I can consciously avoid it, I do.

    (BTW, I'm a Windows guy and don't care to get into the debate over which OS is better, but PV on the Mac is SO much better than on Windows, and is just 1 of several reasons I prefer PowerPoint on the Mac to the Windows versions.)

  • Posted by David Resseguie
    David Resseguie

    I've started using MediaShout for my presentations because it gives you the power of Presenter View plus so much more. It gives you a full script that you can navigate rather than just the current and next slides. You can preview and jump to any point in your presentation immediately. (Just one of the many benefits.)

    If you do lots of presentations, especially with multimedia, and you're willing to purchase another software product I highly recommend checking it out. Note that it's designed primarily as church worship software, but it works great as a general purpose presentation tool as well. It also imports existing PowerPoint presentations, so you can start using it immediately with existing slides.

  • Posted by Trond
    Mitch Joel

    I found a great time for PowerPoint, which I haven't seen anyone else refer to. Pls see:

    It's not free, but costs only $30 and seems to exactly what you want. There is a great small video tutorial right on the site.

  • Wow, I'm impressed. I'm flat out getting animations to work properly let alone countdown timers and previews. Thanks for the post and the resulting comments.

  • Posted by Big Roo
    Mitch Joel

    I don't know the answer, but I do know that having switched to the Open Office version of Microsoft apps, I won't be switching back.

  • Posted by Mark French
    Mitch Joel

    I was searching for how to do the timer. I also have openoffice running concurrently with MS Office solutions. There are advantages to both.

  • Posted by GB
    Mitch Joel

    Actually, lot of what you are describing about PPT on a Mac is untrue. Mac's have a systems preferences and you can change the locations of the dual monitor, or put it in "mirror mode" which makes all monitors the same screen. The issue with PPT 2008 for Mac is that there is no way that I have seen to turn off presenter view. If someone knows how please tell me.

    Mac's already have the built in requirements to "extend my desktop." Presenter view in PPT does give you the option as to which screen you want to present on, but now way to remove presenter view.

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    Mitch Joel

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    Mitch Joel

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