There is much to like about Windows 7. At first impression, you might think it is just an upgrade of Vista, but when carefully examined it becomes apparent that there was immaculate attention to the details. Everything just works smoothly, beautifully, and just like I expect. What really earned my unabashed enthusiasm is the way to control a projector. I do a good number of presentations. The host organization provides the projection equipment but I use my own laptop for presentation. I don’t do presentations every week, so it is easy for me to forget just how to do the setup. It always used to take most of the make-ready hour to figure out how to get the projector connected and to get the screen resolution settings right. Even then the presentations suffered from having to toggle through modes right in front of the audience. How many times do I need to press Fn+F4 to get to “extend” or back to “duplicate” the laptop’s screen?
Well, all that is history with Windows 7. I plug in the projector, press logo+P and the options are right there:
Click Duplicate and Windows 7 gets the projector’s native resolution and sets my laptop accordingly. That’s all it takes to show my desktop on the large screen. Click Extend and my laptop returns to its normal resolution and shows a copy of the wallpaper on the projection screen in its native resolution. Switching between the two is quick and easy.
Now I can spend the time before the presentation to get acquainted with the hosts and the audience. The pressure is off, and I dare say that I do a better job with my presentations.
I must share a couple of tips.
I often make an appropriate picture with the host organization logo and set it as my desktop background. With the external video set to Extend, just that picture is shown on the projection screen – great as the intro when the participants come in and take their seats.
Using PowerPoint in Presenter mode allows my laptop to show the speaker notes and supporting information in other apps – helps me appear outright professional. I have the speaker notes, clock, and other aids in front of me on my laptop with the PowerPoint slides being shown to the audience. Better than teleprompters!
In Extend mode, dragging a window to the right edge does not set it to half-screen, it moves it over to the extended desktop – the external projector. The logo+right arrow key combination, however, sets a window to half-screen on the desktop.
With Windows 7, I feel like I have a presentation support staff right there inside my laptop. Windows 7 makes me look good, it really works for me. I wish I could say Windows 7 was my idea!