Using a Projector with Windows 7

by Chris Sanders [Published on 15 July 2010 / Last Updated on 2 Aug. 2009]

Is there a worse fear than walking up in front of a crown to give a presentation, hooking your laptop up to a projector, and having the fiddle with it for 10 minutes before you can get things showing up correctly? Windows 7 has a great solution to this.

Most all of us have been there before. You are getting ready to give a big presentation to your administration about the new network upgrade you are proposing; this could be a huge budget increase for your department. You walk up to the front of the board room, plug your laptop in, pull up your fancy PowerPoint complete with graphics and charts, and then comes the “oh crap” moment…you can’t get the laptop to display your screen through the projector.

In previous versions of Windows, displaying through a projector was dependent upon the graphics drivers in use on the system. Some laptops have a specialized key combination you can press to achieve this, but sometimes this isn’t always too apparent. Either way, this isn’t exactly the ideal situation to be in when its crunch time.

Windows 7 provides a great solution to this problem with its new Projector Display menu. You can access this menu by pressing Windows Key + P on your keyboard or by going to your start menu and typing DisplaySwitch.exe. From this screen you will have a few options and can select to duplicate your screen, extend your screen, or display on the projector only.

Aside from picturing the audience in their underwear, making sure your presentation devices are squared away is one of the best methods to getting rid of the public speaking jitters!

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The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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