Switching Presentation Display in OpenOffice.org Impress

If you’ve used OpenOffice.org Impress to run a slideshow with your laptop plugged into an external monitor or projector, you’ve probably noticed that it prefers to switch the primary and secondary display, showing you the slideshow while it shows your audience the notes and preview of your next slide! This is exactly the reverse of what you want, which is to show your audience the slideshow and let you see notes, the countdown timer, and so on.

This is annoying, but it’s easy to fix. You’ll need to plug your computer into your external monitor, though. It turns out that this setting is embedded in the slideshow itself – it is not a preference in OpenOffice.org – and it is only activated when multiple monitors are detected. Go to the Slide Show/Settings menu…

… and at the bottom of the dialog, under Multiple Displays, choose the correct display for the slideshow to appear on. I don’t have my laptop plugged into an external display, so the choice is grayed out for me:

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I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and lots of open-source software for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB. More about me.