Presentations

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Using a laptop with MEPIS for presentations is a great way to spread the word about MEPIS. Here are a couple of important things to know if you are going to do that.

Software

Presentations can be made easily using Open Office's Impress, a part of the OpenOffice.org office suite, It is similar to Microsoft's PowerPoint, and imports and exports files in .ppt format. It is also able to create PDF files from presentations, and to export presentations to Macromedia Flash (SWF) files.

The program does not come with many ready-made presentation designs, although additional ones can be found on the Internet by searching "Impress templates."

Home page
Impress Quickstart (PDF)
Tutorials
Differences from PowerPoint

Hardware

1. Your laptop's key combination for toggling the LCD/CRT (Ctrl-Fn7 or F8 or F9, depending on the machine) may not work. You can, nevertheless, get both screens to display and then just close the laptop cover.

2. Right-click the Kpowersave icon in the system tray to the right of Kicker and select Configure Kpowersave. Click on Presentations in the left panel, and verify that Disable screensaver is checked. When you are ready to give a presentation, right-click the Kpowersave icon --> Set Active Scheme --> Presentation. NOTE: if you are using Xscreensaver outside of KDE's screensave module, this setting will not prevent the screensaver from starting after the set interval.

3. When a projector is plugged into a laptop, the display is often automatically detected, but other times not. If your laptop display is not automatically cloned to the projector:

  • Try restarting X with the combination Ctrl-Alt-Bksp.
  • Open MEPIS_X-Windows_Assistant, click on the Monitor tab, and verify that you have selected the make and model of your laptop monitor. When you select a model with the word "Laptop" such as this:
1024x768 Laptop Display Panel

the Assistant will write the required configuration to your xorg.conf file for using an external monitor.

4. You can edit the xorg.conf file manually by following these steps:

  • Go to KMenu --> System --> File System --> File Manger - Super User Mode, and enter your root password.
  • Navigate to /etc/X11 and open the xorg.conf file, then save it as xorg.conf_original. This step will allow you to roll back if necessary!
  • In MEPIS 7, you will need to make a change in the first section on Section "ServerLayout." Look for the sixth entry about clone, and uncomment it so it reads:
Option "Clone" "True" 
  • In MEPIS 7 and earlier versions, another change in the xorg.conf file must be made. Scroll down the file until you hit the first Section "Monitor" entry. This is the entry for your laptop monitor, and it probably has a lot of monitor resolutions listed.
  • At the end of the section, right before the words "EndSection", insert these two entries (LFP stands for Local Flat Panel):
              Option "MonitorLayout" "CRT,LFP"
              Option "Clone" "True"

These options state that the monitor layout (i.e. the outputs of the video card) are CRT and LFP and that the display should be the same on both.

  • Save the file as xorg.conf, accepting to overwrite, then exit File Manager.
  • Ctrl-Alt-Bksp to end session and restart X, enter user password, and your external monitor/projector should be operating.
  • If there is any problem with your changes, reboot, hit F2 to see the details of the boot process. Log in when asked, then become superuser (su + password), navigate to /etc/XII, and type
               mv xorg.conf_original xorg.conf

When you reboot, your original xorg.conf file will be functional again and so will your laptop display!

5. If the projected screen size is too big or too small, use the resize and rotate tool located at KMenu --> System --> More Applications --> Screen Resize and Rotate (KRandRTray).

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