What PowerPoint’s ‘Set Up Show’ Dialog Box Can Do for You

Recently a reader asked me how to present without using any of the animation he had created. You can do that in PowerPoint’s 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:


Specifiy 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, good for a variety of purposes. 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 don’t want to 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.  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 Manual 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 this post, “Presenter View: Your secret presentation tool.”

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is a noted presentation design consultant and trainer, a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and a multi-published author in the presentations field. For more information on her services, visit http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/


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