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My PowerPoint presentation on my Mac is not displaying properly on the projector.

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In PowerPoint 2011 and 2016, by default, when you go to present your PowerPoint, the software will enter Presenter View. This will automatically extend your desktop without telling you. Presenter View can be helpful because it gives the instructor a view of the current slide, a preview of the next slide, and the ability to read notes associated with the slides.

If you wish to use Presenter View, you may need to adjust your screen resolution prior to using PowerPoint. If your image on the screen is stretched, inverted, or otherwise not appearing as it should, but it looks fine on your own desktop, try these steps: 

  • Close PowerPoint.
  • Go to the Apple Menu in the upper left corner on your Mac.
  • Choose System Preferences.
  • Under System Preferences, choose Displays.
  • Select the Arrangement tab.
  • Make sure the Mirror Displays checkbox is not checked.

Once your Mac is set to have the displays extended, test your PowerPoint. If it is still not displaying properly, go back to the Arrangement tab.

  • Select the projector screen. You can tell which is which by the size shown on the display window, or by choosing the one that is not Built-In Display.
  • Adjust the screen resolution until you find one that looks good to you.
  • Retest your PowerPoint. To be safe, it is a good idea to disconnect the projector cable, restart your Mac, and reconnect as if you were starting class again. This will help to ensure your settings have been saved.

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