1. How to Set Up a Computer Projector for PowerPoint

The best way to share a PowerPoint presentation with a large group is to project your slides on a screen using a digital projector connected to your computer's video output. Most modern computers and a growing number of tablets have a built-in Video Graphics Adapter (VGA) or High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) video output or can output video to one of those formats through a third-party adapter.

Step 1

Press the "Power" buttons on your laptop and projector to turn them off.

Step 2
Connect a VGA or HDMI video cable to the Video output on your computer, being careful to insert the plug correctly. If your computer or tablet requires an adapter, insert it into the computer's output and then plug the cable into it.

Step 3

Connect the other end of the cable to the Video input on your projector.

Step 4

Connect the 3.5 mm plug on the audio cable to your computer's Line Out or Headphone jack, and insert the other end into your projector's Audio input. If your projector does not have an audio input, you can plug speakers or another audio system into your computer's output. Alternately, if your laptop and projector both use an HDMI connection and support audio-over-HDMI, you can skip this step.

Step 5

Press the "Power" button on your projector to turn it on, and then do the same with your laptop computer.

Step 6

Press the "Input" or "Source" button on your projector corresponding to the video input you used. On some projectors, you may need to press the button several times, or you might need to select the correct input from a menu.

Step 7

Press your computer's key combination to activate its video port if its display does not appear on the projector. Doing this typically requires that you hold down the "Function" key while pressing a certain F-key. Different F-keys are used from one computer to another, but you'll generally look for a key with a picture of a monitor and a computer, just a monitor or a text label such as "LCD," "CRT" or "VGA."

Step 8
Set your laptop computer display resolution to match the resolution of the projector system.

  1. Open the Display Properties dialog box for your laptop computer, and click the Settings tab.
  2. Under Screen Area, move the slider to adjust the display resolution of your laptop. If you are unsure which setting to choose, try 800x600 pixels; this is a common setting for many projector systems.
  3. If you will be using audio in your presentation, connect the cable between your laptop computer and the projector, and test the volume by playing a sound file or part of your presentation.