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In Computer Literacy for the Mac, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use Mac computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Apple Mac OS X operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered.
Another peripheral device you should know how to connect to is a projector. If you ever have to give a presentation using software like PowerPoint or Keynote, or even if you have to demo something on your Mac to an audience, you'll most likely need to use a projector like this one. In reality, a projector works just like a monitor, as far as your Mac is concerned, and setting up a projector is just like setting up a second monitor for your Mac. Many people these days use a second monitor for both Notebook and Desktop Macs so they have more onscreen room to work with. So whether you need to connect your projector or just want to use an additional monitor, you will learn everything you need to know in this movie.
You are going to start by connecting your projector or monitor to your Mac. Now if you have a newer Notebook Mac, you are most likely going to need an adapter, since all recent Notebooks uses Mini-DVI port you see right here. So to be safe, I always carry both the Mini-DVI to DVI and Mini-DVI to VGA adapters in my laptop bag. Some older Mac notebooks use the full size DVI connectors, like the ones found on the Mac Pro Desktop computer, and you won't need one of these adapters if your projector or monitor also uses the DVI connector.
But if your projector or monitor uses the old VGA-style connector, you will need a DVI to VGA adapter like this one, which you can pick up in any store that sells computer accessories. Now on this particular projector, I have both the DVI and VGA ports. So as you can see, it can get a little confusing trying to figure out which cables and adapters you are going to need. If you have the option, choose DVI over VGA since DVI offers a digital signal. So I am going to connect this DVI cable I have to my projector, and I am going to plug the other end into my DVI adapter, and I will plug the Mini-DVI end of the adapter into my MacBook.
Again, your particular setup may vary depending on which Mac you have and what connector your projector uses. Just remember that it will either be DVI, VGA, or some combination of the two, and if you have a newer MacBook, you are going to need one of these Mini-DVI adapters in all cases. So once I have all that figured out, and I have the projector or monitor connected to my computer, I just make sure they're both turned on, and now we'll see what we would have to do to set up the projector in Mac OS X. Now at this point your Mac may have already detected the projector or second monitor, and the appearance of your screen might have changed.
We'll take care of that in a moment. But let's begin by going to the Apple menu and choosing System Preferences, then click Displays. Here in Displays, go to the Arrangement tab. Now depending on what you want to display on your projector or second monitor, you will either want to check or uncheck Mirror Displays. With it checked, both monitors will be identical to each other. So, for example, if you are using a projector and want your audience to see exactly what you see on your screen, you would check Mirror Displays. With it unchecked, the projector or second monitor becomes an extension of your main screen, meaning you can move your mouse from one screen to the other as if there were one large monitor.
This can be useful if you are using presentation software like PowerPoint or Keynote. Those applications support what's called Presenter Displays, which helps you view your upcoming slides, notes and other info on your screen, while your audience only sees your presentation on the projector screen. So, for example, I have a Keynote presentation file on my desktop. Now this isn't included with any exercise files for this course; I am just using it to demonstrate Presenter Display mode, so I'll open that up, and I will play it. So you can see the right side of the screen represents what the projector is displaying, and it just shows my slides, while of the left side of the screen represents my laptop screen, which only I see during my presentation.
So this is one advantage of turning off Mirror Displays when using a projector with your Mac. So as I click through my presentation, you can see the slides appearing to the right, but all the information is kept on my display on the left. Let's press Escape to exit this, and I will go ahead and quit Keynote. So with Mirror Displays unchecked, you see your monitor is represented by these blue rectangles. Now you can drag the blue rectangles around to specify the arrangement for your screens. So, for example, if I am using two monitors and I place my second monitor to the right of the main monitor, I just drag the monitor that doesn't have the Menu Bar icon in it to the right, like so.
If you have different sized monitors, you can also drag their icons up and down to better represent their actual relationship, for instance, if my main monitor was slightly higher on my desk than my secondary monitor. My secondary monitor though, is on the left, so I will leave it there. Now you also want to go back to the Display tab. Under the Display tab, you choose the resolution for each monitor or projector connected to your Mac. The higher the resolution, the more data and detail can be displayed on the screen. Notice both monitors have their own display window. For the most part, you are going to want the highest resolution available in each list.
That's what's called the monitor's native resolution, and it's going to look its sharpest at that size. So if I wanted my monitor to look its best, I would choose 1920 x 1200. I don't currently have that selected though, because of the way I am recording this movie. Now if you have chosen to mirror your monitors under Arrangement, you will be limited to the resolution of the device with the lowest resolution. Usually, that's going to be the projector, if you are connected to a projector. Most projector display at only say 800 x 600, with some newer ones displaying at 1024 x 768.
It will probably take some clicking around and experimenting with different resolutions before you find the one that works for both your computer and your projector if you have your displays mirrored. Now as a side note, be aware that when you change resolutions, the screens may flicker or go back momentarily. This is normal. Now if you happen to pick a resolution that doesn't work, just don't touch the keyboard or the mouse for a few seconds. You have to confirm that a selected resolution works before it's locked in, and if you don't confirm it, your Mac will go back to the previously working resolution. And that's the basics of what you need to know to get a projector or second monitor working with your Mac.
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