#392 Super Easy PDF Slideshows

This week I’d like to  introduce you to a handy presentation tool that you already have but probably didn’t know about — Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you’re scratching your head over that, let me show you a few reasons why you should add this to your presentation bag of tricks.

PDFs travel very well.

One common challenge presenters have to deal with is what their slides will look like when they are moved to another computer. That nice custom font you built into your slide deck can turn your slides into an ugly mess when you display them on another computer that doesn’t have that same font installed. Funky things happen to slides when you upload them for sharing online via sites like Slideshare. And what if you work in Keynote but you’re not sure if the computer you’re using to present even has that software? Saving your presentation as a PDF document can help you solve all of these challenges. With a PDF your slides will always look exactly the way you intended and they can be opened on virtually any computer or tablet you might present with.

Setting Up Your Slideshow

Since most computers already have the Acrobat Reader installed you already have everything you need to run your PDF slides as a slide show. Here’s how to set it up.

STEP 1: Open the PDF and choose your display preferences

Open your PDF version of your slides and open the preferences window by going to Edit » Preferences. Then select the Full Screen category on the left.


Here you’ll find a number of preferences you can set for running your presentation.

  • Show Navigation bar This displays next and previous buttons in the bottom left corner similar to those in PowerPoints Slide Show mode.
  • Left click to move forward one page, right click to move back one page  Turning this one makes it easier to move through your slides
  • Loop after last page: This option to loop your slideshow indefinitely is great for self-running kiosk type presentations.
  • Advance every __ seconds:  Specify how long you want to display each slide to make it a self-running presentation
  • Default transition: Who knew that you could have animated transitions in a PDF? You can!
STEP 2: View your slides in Full Screen mode

Go to View » Full Screen Mode


And that is all there is to it! Save this one to your memory banks and pull it out for your next presentation.  Even if you don’t think you’ll ever need this tip it is a great option to have as a backup plan. And when you’re presenting you should always have a back up plan! Or two…or three…or….you know what I mean.


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