Showing a Powerpoint Presentation in Scopia

You may want to show a Powerpoint slide show while in Scopia, or alternately your students may wish to do so. The first step is to create a suitable Powerpoint set of slides. Be sure to use larger fonts (putting it in Scopia reduces size a bit so large fonts are a must), use contrasting colors for background and text, and use NO slide transitions such as slide in and slide out. Also make sure there is no audio or video on any of your slides since that will not play correctly. Text and graphic images are fine, video and audio multimedia applications are not. If people at the other end need to see a video, post that separately (either on a streaming server or Youtube) and send them the web address. They can look at it independently of the video conference.

There are two ways to successfully show a Powerpoint in Scopia. Since it is just an application residing on your desktop, it operates no differently than would showing an excel spreadsheet, a word document, or a web page. The only difference is that Powerpoint uniquely takes over the ENTIRE screen when it is in Powerpoint Play mode. The problem this creates is that for the presenter, they cannot see the other participants or their text comments because the Powerpoint slide show covers the entire screen, eclipsing the participant’s window that, upon entering presentation mode, moves to the left. So, to solve this problem and allow the presenter to continue to see the participant’s window, the presenter can simply present the slide presentation in editor mode or they can run the presentation in its own window. Frankly I prefer editor mode since it allows me to jump from any slide to any other by clicking on the slide thumbnail in the ribbon on the left. I can then choose to go out of order. I do, however, need to remove any templating that may exist on the slide in editor mode since that will be seen, as will any slide comments at the bottom.

Now alternately you can present a Powerpoint in its own window. That does preserve slide transitions (though as I said you should never use them) and automatically eliminates any template artifacts and slide notes. If you want to show a Powerpoint in its own window you must be running Office 2010 and the file must be an actual pptx file, not a ppt file. Here is how you run a Powerpoint in a window. From the editor click the View choice at the top.

Select Reading View across the new top ribbon.

Now you will see this: (the window below can be sized, once in the video conference. To advance to the next slide click the arrow at the bottom.)

So, once this decision has been made, one goes into the video conference. If you are first in you will see yourself in the big window and the little one in the lower right. (that little one is just to keep you “in frame” when others come in and take over the big window. You can shut it off, turn it back on, or move it to another corner by clicking the yellow box or the arrow next to the box that is circled.) While here, if you have to cut off your own audio, click the blue circled mic. To cut off someone else’s click the orange circled mic next to their name. If you cut them off, they will have to raise their hand in order to get your attention to turn it back on. The first one in the room assumes the role of moderator so it is important for the leader to be first. Some rooms have a moderator PIN. Then the person inserting the PIN becomes the moderator.

I recommend starting all meetings in the mode above where everyone can be seen in the large window and can see everyone else. Each participant can click the handle bar (top bar) to make the window go full screen. The presenter should have the Powerpoint open (in either editor mode OR play in window mode) on their screen. That can be minimized. Keep in mind that the people viewing the presentation will see the Powerpoint in the window where the video currently resides. The large video of my face (as well as any participants’ videos there, will be replaced by the Powerpoint. Our video windows will become very small and move into the left pane where the participants’ names currently reside.

The presenter should click the Presenter icon (looks like a small screen at the top)

What you want to do is select “Share the entire desktop”. I have all these applications below minimized to the taskbar. Also be aware that since people will see your entire screen, you need to be careful what is on your screen. If you don’t want people to see it, remove it before you share your screen.

It will come up looking like this (if you have a high resolution screen …mine is very high….it would be a good idea to reduce your screen resolution to allow for the letters to be larger. This is one of those odd situations where a finer screen resolution isn’t better, it is worse.)

Now pick up your Powerpoint window by the top handlebar and move it up and to the left so it abuts next to the video window which is a vertical column on the left. Once there you can grab the window’s lower right corner and drag it right and down making the window larger until the person with the worst screen resolution yells “STOP”. At that point you have made the window as large as you can to avoid that person having to scroll right or left to see your Powerpoint. If the window is much larger you can now adjust the image slider to make the Powerpoint slide fill the window.

Of course instead of using the Powerpoint editor window here, you could have used the Play in a Window window or any other window’d application.


If I am teaching a regular class to the same group week after week, I will mark the bottom and right side of the window with a small piece of tape on the frame surrounding my screen. That way I know the following week not to exceed that position without having to ask someone to tell me to stop while dragging the application window larger.


JSG: 041412