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Using a Projector with Windows 7

Especially around conference time we often get asked how to use Windows with a projector. Most often, this question arises when someone is attempting to give a presentation but cannot get it to display from the projector. The reason is that Windows does not realize you want to use an additional display device other than your notebook screen.

To fix this, first make sure the video cable from your computer to the projector is inserted firmly on both ends and that the projector is turned on.

Next, bring up Windows’ display options by pressing the Windows key (located between the left Ctrl and Alt keys) and the P key at the same time. In the screen that appears, you will have four options: Computer Only, Duplicate, Extend and Projector only.

display optionsIn most cases, we recommend you select Duplicate. This will show the same presentation on both the notebook computer and the projector. However, if you wish to use PowerPoint to display on the projector while utilizing its presenter tools on the computer, you’d want to select Extend instead.

Once you’ve decided on the option you need, left click to select it. Give the computer a few seconds to make the adjustments; you may see your screen flash or flicker. Now you should see your image start to appear from the projector. If the projector has been on but not displaying an image previously, it could take a few moments for the bulb to warm up and the image to become bright.

For additional information, Microsoft has an instructional page that provides a brief tutorial video on this process. Due to their use of Silverlight (the Microsoft alternative to Adobe Flash), the page may be best viewed using Internet Explorer.

Jerry Ranum, Jon Fry and Blair Johnson, Desktop Support Specialists; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

Filed under: Windows
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