Dual screen Latex Beamer presentations under Windows

The Latex Beamer class let’s you create dual screen presentations. These presentations are basically extra wide pdf-documents. So to use this feature you have to spread your pdf-reader across multiple screens or a screen and a beamer, with one screen being shown to the audience only and the other screen shown to the presenter. I’ve found an easy way to make this work on a Windows computer.

  1. Download and install Sumatra PDF. (even if you don’t use Beamer, it might be a good idea to install this tiny pdf-reader as it has the huge benefit of allowing inverse search).
  2. Download and and extract Dual Monitor Tools.
  3. I assume that you’ve already installed the Beamer class. Add the following to the preamble of your Latex-document, and create a pdf  as usual :
  4. \setbeameroption{show notes on second screen=left}

  5. Go to the folder where you’ve extracted the Dual Monitor Tools and open DualLauncher.exe. You should now see a tiny screen-shaped icon on your taskbar, click on the icon with you right mouse button and select Add New Magic Word.
  6. You are now presented with a screen that will help you to span Sumatra PDF across two screens. Fill in the following:
    • Magic word: sumatra (choose any word you like)
    • Filename: C:\Program Files (x86)\SumatraPDF\SumatraPDF.exe (assuming Sumatra PDF is installed in the default location)
    • Parameters: -presentation “name and location of file you want to present”
    • Start position 1: select Position window on startup and assuming your beamer has a resolution of 1024 x 768 fill in Size: 2048,768.
    • Click OK
  7. Plugin your second screen or beamer and ensure that you beamer actually displays the action from your computer.
  8. Use the Windows key + P to set your beamer as an adjacent screen an make sure that this screen is to the (virtual) right of your normal screen. You can check whether it’s set correctly by right-clicking on you desktop and selecting screen resolution. If everything has been set up as it should, you should see two screens there, which you can drag  into position.
  9. Right-click on the Dual Launcher icon and select Enter Magic Word, double-click on the Sumatra PDF icon and everything should display as you want it to.

19 reacties

  1. Pingback: Answer: Solutions for presenting PDF slides with presenter notes on second display #computers #solution #development | StackCopy
  2. Matej

    When I use pdfLatex everything works great. But when I use Latex the command “\setbeameroption{show notes on second screen=left}” doesn’t work. It gives me only notes. Any idea?

  3. Huaqiang

    It really works. (with sumatra 1.3, you can download the old versions in their site).
    Thanks a lot!

  4. Pingback: Tools For Presenting PDF Slides With Presenter Notes On Second Display | Click & Find Answer !
  5. mbdev

    Great article. And useful comments, too!

    @Hunyadi – thaks a lot

    I was going through comments because at first the solution didn’t work. And the last comment saved me :)

    I’ve had identical problems with SumatraPDF 2.2.1, I’ve downloaded 1.3 and it works nearly perfectly.

    I say nearly, because in my layout I have taskbar on the left side of my main screen (not bottom that is default in Windows), and somehow my presentation is fullscreen minus area of the taskbar. But, when I temporarily set taskbar to auto-hide, the problem is resolved. BTW I have Win7x64.

    Also, the solution given in the article seems to work even if the main monitor is on the right. Then the “start point” in Dual Monitor Tools wizard have to be set to something negative. In my case there are two monitors 1680×1050, main is on the right, and when I set start point:-1680,0 size:3360,1050 everything works like a charm!

    Again many thanks!

  6. Hunyadi

    It doesn’t work with Sumatra 1.9.
    I tried with an older version and it worked!

    Win XP SP3 + DualMonitor 1.8 + SumatraPDF 1.3 (even with the portable version)

    Thanks for the post!

  7. Bart van Beek

    If you open Sumatra using the magic word, you should get the program to open in full screen on both monitors, with one monitor containing the notes and the other containing the actual presentation as it should be shown to the audience.

    I think that I got a similar issue through not filling in the parameters correctly. Could you check those again?

  8. Andreas

    Even if I set both my monitors to the same resolution, the presentation only goes into full screen mode in one of the monitors. Have I understood this right… the application should go into full screen using both monitors?

  9. Bart van Beek

    I think that when I plug my laptop into a beamer and set it as an adjacent screen, my screen resolution usually changes automatically to match the beamer’s resolution. So perhaps this is what I assumed throughout writing the instructions. In any case it couldn’t hurt to try.

  10. Bart van Beek

    Hi Srikant,

    I can think of a few things that are causing your problems.

    1. You did not enclose the name and location of your presentation in quotation marks. For example, if you want to use the presentation c:\somefile\somename.pdf, then your Parameter should read -presentation “c:\somefile\somename.pdf”.
    2. Windows isn’t aware of the beamer attached to your computer. As I don’t use Windows XP it is hard for me to say what to do about this, but I think you should be able to ‘tell’ Windows about the beamer by right-clicking on your desktop and going Screen resolution.
    3. As soon as the beamer is actually recognised by your computer, Screen resolution is also the place to set the beamer as an adjacent screen. You can so under the heading “multiple screens”. In Windows 7, you can use the Windows key + P to do the same thing. But apparently there is no such option under Windows XP.

  11. Srikant

    Hi Bart,
    For last 2 days I am trying without any luck. I am able to get dual screen mode, but when I go for presentation mode the pdf shrinks to any one of the monitors. I am using XP-SP2 and for pdf generation I am using texnic. I also do not follow few things,
    1. Parameters: -presentation “name and location of file you want to present”
    When I use this option I get an additional file with error titled “-presentation”. Is it really necessary to use “-presentation”
    2. What do you mean by “beamer actually displays the action from your computer”.
    3. “Use the Windows key + P”, nothing happens when use this

    Can you PLEASE help me out. My thesis defense is round the corner and I am quite excited to use this.

  12. buergi

    What the fuck, Bart you absolutely made my day.
    You won’t believe for how long i’m trying to get this working. And today after another long search i stumbled across your description.

    This absolutely rocks! Just as i’ve ever dreamed, this is so unbelievable awesome.

    And not only that i can span the presentation across the monitors with some crazy PDF viewer, no! Now i can even use SumatraPDF, which is also my favorite PDF viewer since quite a while now. Fast as hell, slim as a spaghetti and beautiful as paradise (except the ugly yellow background :D)

    Those DualMonitorTools are exactly what i’ve searched for so long. Thanks million times Bart!

  13. Bart van Beek

    That’s strange. When I run Sumatra PDF in presentation mode I never get any taksbars (I’m assuming that’s what you mean by Windows bars). Neither when I run the presentation on one screen, nor when run it on two screens. So nope, I don’t think I have a solution for that one.

  14. Andi

    Hey Bart,

    yes, I extended my screen.
    But right now, I figured out how to do it.
    The presentation has to be in the screens aspect ratio, otherwise it won’t work.
    Theres just one pain in the ass. How can I get rid of the Windows bars in the fullscreen mode. If I run the presentation normally, the bars vanish completely. Do you happen to have a solution?

    Best regards, Andi

  15. Bart

    Hi Andi,

    Have you extended your desktop by going to Screen resolution and selecting Extend these displays under multiple displays? Because I seem to have left out that setting in my guide. I hope this solves your problem, as I think that the additional settings are unlikely to be very important. I will try to list the additional settings on the weekend.

    Best regards,


  16. Andi

    Hey Bart,

    it doesn’t work for me.
    I used several configurations but it just don’t work.
    Could you please share with us your detailed settings using an example?

    What is missing to me:

    Start in
    Window Class

    Start Position 1
    Button >>Position on window on startup<>Position on window on startup<<
    Start Position

    The pdf just does'nt expand over my 2 screens.

    Best regards, Andi

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