How to Automatically Start a PowerPoint Presentation

We recently discussed how to both automatically start a Keynote presentation, and how to automatically stop a Keynote presentation, all to a schedule.

This time, I would like to cover how to automatically start a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on Mac OS X using Power Manager. Unlike Keynote, starting a PowerPoint presentation requires a little bit of AppleScript. If you are not familiar with AppleScript, do not worry. We will walk through each step needed.

Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software

Preparing Your PowerPoint Presentation

  1. Open your presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint.
  2. Select the menu item Slide Show > Set Up Show…
    Select the Slide Show > Set Up Show… menu item
  3. Select the Browsed at a kiosk (full screen) option.
    Select the Browsed at a kiosk (full screen) option
  4. Save a copy of your presentation on the Desktop.

For this example, I am calling my presentation My Great Presentation.pptx. You will need to use the name of the file in your AppleScript.

Your presentation is now ready to be started by a Power Manager event.

Scheduling Your PowerPoint Presentation to Automatically Launch

  1. Launch System Preferences and select Power Manager.
  2. Click Add… to create a new event.
    Click Add… to create a new event in Power Manager
  3. Choose the template Run a script daily.
    Choose the Schedule Assistant's template Run a script daily
  4. Continue and where Power Manager asks Script to run, copy and paste the following AppleScript in the text field:
    #!/usr/bin/osascript
    
    -- Name of the presentation
    set presentationName to "My Great Presentation.pptx"
    
    -- Create a full path the presentation
    set myPresentation to ((path to desktop folder as string) & presentationName)
    
    -- launch PowerPoint and bring the application to the front
    tell application "Microsoft PowerPoint"
        activate
    
        -- open the presentation in PowerPoint
        open myPresentation
    
        -- run the presentation, looping until the Mac is shut down
        set loop until stopped of slide show settings of active presentation to true
        run slide show slide show settings of active presentation
    
    end tell
    Replace the default script with your AppleScript
    Copy and paste in your AppleScript to start PowerPoint
  5. Continue to the next When step.
  6. Select the time and days to begin your presentation.
    Set up when to begin your PowerPoint presentation
  7. Continue through the remaining steps until your event is created.
    Your PowerPoint presentation is ready and scheduled

Your PowerPoint presentation is now ready and scheduled to automatically begin playing. Power Manager will wake up your Mac if it is asleep when the presentation is due to start.

If you need to power on and power off your Mac, Power Manager can help with these tasks as well.

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Published by Graham Miln on