Presenter Tip: Force PowerPoint to behave

If you present a lot, you probably came across this major annoyance with PowerPoint. From time to time I like to use PowerPoint’s Presenter View so I can have my notes nearby or can easily see what slide is coming next. And that’s where frustration happens.

PowerPoint RestoreTopology

Usually my sessions are a mix of slides and demonstration materials. Before I start, I hook up my laptop to a projector, go in “Duplicate” mode by pressing Windows + P and check the resolution for my demo’s. When I start presenting while using Presenter View however, PowerPoint switches my display mode from “Duplicate” to “Extend” - which is logical because the presenter notes are on one screen while the slide show is on the other one.

The problem is that it doesn’t switch back to “Duplicate” when I want to demo something and end the slideshow. The result is me fiddling around with the screen projection settings. And that doesn’t look professional.

The trick is implementing a registry setting that forces PowerPoint to go back to “Duplicate” mode when you stop your slideshow while in Presenter Mode. Works beautifully!

To set the registry entry through PowerShell:

$path = "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\PowerPoint\Options"
Set-ItemProperty -Path $path -Name "RestoreTopology" -Value "1"

For Office 2016 and beyond use “16.0” in that path, for Office 2013 that’s “15.0”