Making PowerPoint operate on 2 or more monitors

For those of us who regularly want to copy and paste information from numerous slide decks into a new deck relying on an open office tool has always been a requirement, and on many locked down corporate builds this isn’t possible (and to be fair what I’m suggesting here may not be possible on heavily locked down machines).  A solution exists!!  Firstly I have to thank George for sending me the link and thank the Please Make a Note Blog:

  1. Create a new user on your machine
  2. Locate the Powerpoint icon in your start menu (or search for Powerpoint in your start menu)
  3. Press "Shift" and right click on the icon
  4. select "Run as"
  5. Enter the credentials of the newly created user

Now you have a new Powerpoint instance that you can place on a second monitor.
Alternatively, for the "programmatically" inclined users, you can invoke the "Run as" command through the command shell

  1. Open a new command shell (Start menu/ search for "cmd")
  2. Type the following

    runas /user:username "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12POWERPNT.EXE"

  3. Press enter



Some caveats/additional information:  I’d recommend the run-as window is used to copy from.  The reason I say this is that saving files from the session running as the secondary user proved problematic for me on vista with UAC (even running in admin mode and granting permissions to folders), as by default it wants to save files into the second user’s my documents area.  Also some plugins for powerpoint will complain if they detect their processes are already running (Camtasia plugin was the main one I noted) and I didn’t test any of those plugins while 2 powerpoint sessions were running.

When the second window opens it automatically stacked on top of the existing powerpoint icons making me initially think it hadn’t worked, it had – just needed to move that version across to the second monitor.


  1. Hi Carl, unless you have a really large monitor you can’t really arrange both presentations within the single window of the application. For me it is more productive working with full screen powerpoints on rather than struggling in a single small window.


  2. You can do that as well if you just open two empty powerpoint windows (or one empty after the opening of the other) and then open the files via File -> Open. The problem is with opening all the files via doubleclick: they will all go to one Windows.

    That’s at least the trick with excel…


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