In this article, you will learn how to present two PowerPoint presentations side-by-side at the same time. In other words, presenting two or more presentations on the same screen at the same time.
Presenting two or more presentations at the same time is useful in several different presentation scenarios.
- When you want to present different translations of the same PowerPoint presentation in Slide Show Mode on a single screen for multiple audiences.
- When you want to compare and contrast two different presentations side-by-side.
- When you want to view a PowerPoint presentation on half of your screen in Slide Show Mode, while using the other half to type your speaker notes. Doing so allows you to double-check your hyperlinks too.
Viewing two PowerPoint presentations at the same time is not hard, but it is not intuitive the first time you set this up.
How to Run Two Presentations Side-by-Side
By default, PowerPoint presentations are set to run as a full screen display. That is, they take up the entirety of your monitor, screen, or overhead projector.
The trick to getting two presentations to run at the same time is simply changing the default behavior of how PowerPoint runs. Thankfully, PowerPoint makes changing this behavior easy.
Note: When changing how a presentation runs, it only affects the presentation you change the settings for. That means that the settings are only changed for those specific presentations you set them for. It does not change the default behavior for all your PowerPoint presentations.
Note: When running presentations as individual (and resizable) windows, some of the slide show shortcuts do not work. For example, you cannot use the Pen (Ctrl+P) or Highlight (Ctrl+I) to annotate on your slides.
To expand your knowledge and learn how to annotate your slides in the Presentation view, read our guide here.
1. Open the Set Up Slide Show dialog box
To open the Slide Show Dialog box, simply:
- Click the Slide Show tab
- Select the Set Up Slide Show command
You can also shortcut the process by holding the Shift key on your keyboard and clicking the Reading Pane icon at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen. For details on how this works, and other hidden PowerPoint shortcuts like this, read our guide here.
2. Select Browsed by an individual (window)
Within the Setup Slide Show dialog box, you have several options for presenting your presentation.
To present multiple slideshows at the same time, you simply need to change the default behavior from Presented by a speaker (full screen) to Browsed by an individual (window).
Once you’ve made the selection (or changed any of the other default settings for your presentation), click OK to return to the Normal View.
Note: Once you have your two or more presentations setup to run as individual windows, you can use the Windows snap shortcuts to quickly arrange the windows on your screen. To learn how to use these Windows shortcuts and more, read our guide here.
3. Run and resize your Slide Show
Once you have changed both of your presentations to run in individual windows, simply start your first slide show and resize the window to fit your screen. To expand your knowledge and learn the different ways you can start a slide show in PowerPoint, read our guide here.
4. Run and resize your other slide shows
Once you have one presentation up and running, you will want to repeat the process for your other presentation(s). Hit F5 to start the slide shows and then resize them to fit your screen.
What about advancing your slides in your presentations? Unfortunately, you will need to advance the slides for each of the presentations you are running at the same time. There is no way to click once and have all your slide shows advance.
When running multiple presentations at the same time like this, you can still use the built-in PowerPoint laser point to highlight things in your presentations. To expand your knowledge and learn everything there is to know about the PowerPoint laser pointer, read our guide here.
The Set Up Slide Show dialog box is the trick to running multiple presentations at the same time.
Just remember that when running a presentation in an individual window like this, you cannot use the Pen or Highlight shortcuts to draw on your PowerPoint slides. That said, you can still use the PowerPoint laser pointer to point out what you are talking about.
If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about our other PowerPoint resources and training courses, visit us here.