How to connect your Mac laptop to a classroom projector

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Display Preferences for a Mac allows you to change your computer's resolution (pixel width/height) and connect to a projector or TV.


To locate it, you will first need to select the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and go to System Preferences, then click the Display icon.

How to Connect to a Projector or TV/Computer Screen with Your Mac

1. While you are in Display settings in System Preferences, plug your Mac into your display device (projector, tv, computer monitor, etc). MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs require a MiniDisplay Port to VGA adapter in order to connect to displays. If you do not have one, you may purchase one online or at an electronics retail outlet, or you may check one out from Tech Support or the WSU library for a week.

2. Locate the Arrangement tab in the Display window. Click on it.


An example of Presenter View in PowerPoint 2015 for Mac

3. Your Mac should automatically have its settings to extend your desktop to the connected display. If you want to learn more about the extended desktop, you can read the following bullets, otherwise go to step 4 if you would like to know how to duplicate your desktop to the connected display. You may also run things such as PowerPoints with Presenter Tools or Presenter View to make your presentations easier. If you run PowerPoints in this manner, you will be able to see the slides coming up and how much time you have been running your presentation. It is very useful!

  • The extended desktop allows you to drag windows into each display. For example, if you had an internet browser open and you wanted to watch it at the same time while doing something else, if you dragged it off screen and put it into the connected display's screen, you would be able to do that.
  • If you would like to place your desktop and connected display in a certain order, you can drag the windows (shown as icons) in any order you desire. For example, if you would want your Mac's screen to be on the left and the display screen to move to the right (if you were moving your mouse from screen to screen), you could drag the image for your Mac's screen to the left and it would automatically create that preference for you.

4. If you want your connected display to duplicate what is on the screen of your laptop for the purposes of things such as playing videos, instructing, or just showing websites to other people, you will need to check mark Mirror Displays in your Display settings. Everything you have on your Macbook's screen should be mirrored in the connected display you are using.