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Impress presenter mode specification

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This page exists to make a spec for issue 12719. (Other specifications can be created using the Specification template)

This specification is for an enhancement to Impress to create a presentation view for controlling a presentation on another display in a multi-display environment. A related specification for being able to display the presentation on another screen is Impress simple multiple display specification. This is a follow-on to that and requires it before it can be implemented.

Any discussion of the specification should happen in the issue, or on the discussion pages. It will probably be neccessary to create a separate issue for this specification.

If you would like these features to be implemented, vote for this issue in the database: 18486

Support for multiscreen displays (dual monitors)


Document - ID Specification Owner Last Change Status
DavidFraser 2005-12-15 Draft
Conforms to
Applies to sd, vcl
Task ID(s) 12179
Category Feature


More and more graphics cards support more than one monitor simultaneously. These can either be configured as one large screen (which on X11 is called Xinerama mode) or multiple independent screens. When displaying presentations on video projectors or alternate displays it would be preferable for the user to be able to include a separate display for the presenter to see and control what is being displayed, along with ancillary (but important) information.

i-Team Members (The specification owner is part of the i-Team)

Name E-mail Address
User Experience Mathis Dirksen-Thedens (MDT) ooo@jesusfan.de
Development <Name + Initials>
Quality Assurance <Name + Initials>
Documentation <Name + Initials>

Approved for Implementation

Approved by Date
User Experience <Name> <Date>
Development <Name> <Date>
Quality Assurance <Name> <Date>
Documentation <Name> <Date>
String Review <Name> <Date>

Document Change History

Rev. Level Change Initials Date
1.0 initial version 2005-06-10
1.01 added many texts MDT 2005-06-28
1.1 Added more detail about presenter view, and possible improvements to it. Mike Dark - khelmar@gmail.com MJD 2005-08-26
1.11 ported to this new wiki (pre-split) JWP 2005-12-02
1.2 split into simple and presenter mode specs DF 2005-12-15
1.3 add this feature to the specification Controlling Slide Show; target is OOo 2.1; thanks for the great effort at this point MMP 2006-09-13


Term Description
dual head the ability to have two separate display devices configured (which together form the desktop)


Many applications for presentation software such as Impress involve multiple displays. Being able to support a separate control display and presentation display, would allow Impress to function as a replacement for PowerPoint in these applications.

User Scenarios

User has a projection system, with a dual graphics card. One output is connected to a monitor that is visible only to the presenter. The other output is connected to a video projector. The user will display the actual presentation on the video projector, while simultaneously being able to view and access the control window on the monitor. One example is during church worship services, where it is desirable for the operator to search through the slides of the presentation without disrupting the display of the current slide to the congregation.

Another example is for those giving a talk at a scientific conference; it's very useful to know what slide is being displayed, while being able to look out over the audience. Ideally, this would be similar to the Presenter View in Powerpoint, which has a timer, navigation buttons, and an area at the bottom of the screen for notes about each slide (which would, ideally, come from the notes page). Notes are VERY useful for keeping track of important points, specific numbers or ratios, etc., and making sure points aren't missed.

The timer is useful for keeping track of how long you're running, especially for practice and monitoring presentations that are time-limited. If someone wanted to get really fancy, it'd be great to setup a time limit and have a separate slide counter; i.e., this presentation lasts 10 minutes, and I have 20 slides, so each slide has a countdown timer of 30 seconds. Then, if one slide goes long, the timer on the remaining slides is decremented, or if one slide takes less time, each additional slide gets more time. That would be fantastic to keep track of how a presentation is going.

present_window20050111.jpg For an idea of what this should look like, see the above (from Apple's website, listed in the references) - the view on the left would be the output hooked to the projector, while the view on the right would be the laptop / desktop the presenter is viewing. However, it would be nice to have something similar to the "Slides" toolbar showing upcoming slides. Ideally, it would be great to edit slides elsewhere in the presentation while showing another, but that's not a requirement.


Provide a robust and easy-to-use dialog, to allow those with multiple-monitor setups to have a separate presenter view that provides additional information (notes, timing, upcoming slides, and the current slide).

Requirements and Dependencies


Would need to specify the exact layout and functionality of the presenter view. Then would require implementation of that mode in Impress.

Technical Dependencies

Requires the implementation of the Impress simple multiple display specification.

Competitive Analyses

[MS PowerPoint] has a presenter view and in many forums it is named as the key reason why people can't use OOo instead.

Virtually every professor and scientist I know uses Powerpoint's "Presenter View" to lecture or give talks, and most are unwilling to switch without similar functionality.

[Apple's iWork Keynote has a presenter view].

Detailed Specification

In the Impress options, there should be a check-box or separate tab for "Presenter View", allowing enabling of ther presenter view on another monitor. When checked, various options should be presented, such as:

Drop-down box Screen to show the view on - this should include all screens attached to the computer with the exception of the screen selected to show the full-screen presentation on.

A series of check-boxes


  • Current Slide - shows the slide displayed on the fullscreen view on the presenter's view
  • Next Slide - Shows a large view of the next slide on the presenter's view
  • Slide thumbnails - Shows a view similar to the "Slides" toolbar to see multiple upcoming slides on the presenter's view
  • Navigation buttons - Add "back", "next", and "blank screen" buttons to the presenter's view
  • Notes - Show the "notes" section for the current slide on the presenter's view
  • Clock - Shows the current time on the presenter's view
  • Timer - Adds a timer to the presenter's view

While the timer could be a simple count-up timer, ideally selecting this checkbox should enable other options:

- Count-up: makes the timer function as a simple stopwatch (starts at 0:00:00 when the presentation starts and counts up from there). - Count-down (with an associated scroll-box to set the values): Starts counting down from the value entered by the user when the presentation starts; perhaps with color changes (i.e., green -> yellow and yellow -> red) at user-specified values (yellow -> red at 1 minute remaining). - Individual slide timing - Asks the user to enter the desired presentation length. From that, it divides by the number of slides in the current presentation to determine the amount of time per slide. i.e., a 10 minute presentation with 5 slides means each slide should take 2 minutes. The number of time per slide would be automatically updated with navigation, based on the actual time taken per slide. i.e., if slide #2 in the 10 minute presentation takes 3 minutes, then there would only be 1 minute 40 seconds for the remaining slides (3 slides remaining * 2 minutes per slide = 6 minutes; 6 minutes - 1 minute overrun = 5 minutes remaining; 5 minutes / 3 slides = 1 minute 40 seconds per slide.)

String list

Item English German Swedish Comments
Dropdown Element Screen 1 Bildschirm 1 Skärm 1

Tab Order

Not of any importance.

Key Board Shortcuts

It would be handy, if you could map a Shorcut (e.g. F5 which is used by many presenting devices)


Nothing known.

Error Conditions

Nothing known.


Not needed.

Future Tasks

None at this time.


I think it would be useful to have a mode in which Impress does not rely on any X11 server information for the layout of the presenter screen. For example, I might not want the presentation window to be full screen, or I might be sharing a subrectangle of my desktop with VNC. To specify what the presentation layout should be, maybe there could be a mode similar to Apple's Keynote design screen, except that in addition to all the presenter tools, the absolute position and size of the slide that the audience sees could also be chosen. Of course, "full screen on the second display" is a special case of this. In some other presentations, I might want to have the slide window and an editable notes window up on the audience screen.


http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=71505 Issue 71505 Add a presenter view

http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=12719 Bug 12719 Support for multiscreen displays (dual monitors)

http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=19080 Other forum posts requesting feature

http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?p=86445#86445 Temporary Linux workaround

http://www.apple.com/iwork/keynote/features/presentertools.html Apple's implementation

http://michaelhyatt.blogs.com/workingsmart/2005/01/powerpoints_pre.html Article describing Microsoft's implementation

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