Hack for running external display only on MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Marky_Mark, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Marky_Mark macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    I use a unibody MBP for business, and often have to give presentations. Is there a method or hack for making the MBP only use the external display (ie the projector) rather than being limited to mirroring or extended desktop? This is so I can drive the presentation using the laptop keyboard but at the full 4:3 resolution of the projector, which is better for slides.

    I am aware of the clamshell method but this requires either doing a cold boot and quickly closing the lid, or connecting an external keyboard and waking from sleep with the lid shut - neither of which is very convenient or should even be necessary, frankly.

    On my old Thinkpad I could toggle/cycle through LCD/Mirror/External - is there a hack or some shareware which would duplicate this functionality on the MBP?

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks :)
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I don't believe it's possible.

    You can change resolution to a 4:3 ratio while in mirror. The MBP will either crop (pillar) or stretch, depending on which resolution you choose.


    Since you have to either boot up or wake the machine when you arrive anyway, just plug in the power, keyboard, and external display and you're good to go. Guess I'm missing why that's a delay in the presentation.
  3. stuarthatto macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2008
    I present every day on projectors with 4:3 resolutions. Its not difficult, perhaps you haven't had the time to fully explore this.

    Plug-in your projector - most of the time the MBP will detect the projector correctly, however sometimes it doesn't so click the displays icon in the menu bar and select Detect Displays.

    Then turn mirroring OFF.

    Then click displays again and select one of the resolutions supported by your projector - 1024x768 is common although 1280x1024 is also. If you don't see additional resolutions then click displays-> Number of recent items and select 7 or 10.

    Now start Powerpoint and set up show... the select the Screen... button and choose which screen you audience will see.

    Simple, takes 5 seconds when you are used to it. And in fact is better than the Thinkpad way because you can view your screen at its native resolution.

  4. Marky_Mark thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    Thanks. I'll give it a try - I didn't realise it was quite so involved though!

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