Using Virtual Desktops for Presentations
One of the things that really annoys me when presenting is the transition between slides and demos. Usually, I try to improve the process as much as possible by having the least minimum amount of windows open while presenting, so that I don’t land on the wrong window. Unfortunately, that is not always easy.
Another thing that I would like to be smoother is the transition itself. The ideal process should be:
- Leave the powerpoint slides open at full screen
- Switch immediately to the virtual machine with the demos
- Go back to the slides, to the exact point where I left
What I usually do is show the desktop with the WIN+D hotkey, then activate the Virtualbox window with my demos, but this shows my desktop for a moment and I don’t really like this extra transition.
I could also use ALT+Tab to switch to the Virtualbox window, but this would briefly show the list of running applications, which is not exactly what I want.
Turns out that Windows 10 has the perfect solution built-in: Virtual Desktops.
Here is the setup described:
- If you press WIN+Tab, you will see a “New desktop” button on the bottom right corner. Use it to create three desktops:
- desktop 3 for the slides
- desktop 2 for the demos
- desktop 1 for the rest
- Press WIN+Tab, find your virtual machine and move it to desktop 2. It is really easy: you just have right click the window you want to send to a different desktop and select which desktop to use.
- Open your presentation and start it by pressing F5. Again, hit WIN+Tab, find the fullscreen window of your PowerPoint presentation and move it to desktop 3.
- In order to transition from one desktop to another, you can use the hotkey CTRL+WIN+Arrow, as shown in this GIF:
Here it is! Perfectly smooth, a nice transition animation and nothing but your slides and your demos shown to the attendees.