Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Multiple Instances of Powerpoint

Sometimes I find it very useful to run multiple instances of powerpoint, i.e. have a different presentation in a different powerpoint window so that I can compare the content of two different presentations. This is especially useful when you have multiple montiors, so that you can have a different Powerpoint presentation on each monitor. Unfortunately, Powerpoint does not allow multiple instances to run; however, there is a neat trick to achieve this.
  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 Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\POWERPNT.EXE"
  3. Press enter

You will be asked to type in the username password, of course. Also, don't forget to replace username with the newly created user account.

Finally, the best way is to put the above command in a batch file that you can place on your desktop. To do this, simply open up a new notepad document, paste the above command, and save the file with the ".bat" extension (without quotes). All you need to do from now on is simply double click that batch file to run a new instance of Powerpoint.

Cite as:
Saad, T. "Multiple Instances of Powerpoint". Weblog entry from Please Make A Note. http://pleasemakeanote.blogspot.com/2008/06/multiple-instances-of-powerpoint.html


  1. Why go through all this hassle?
    Two ways:
    1. Open the PPTs you want to compare. In Powerpoint click Windows -> Arrange all. It neatly arranges your PPTs side by side.

    2. In PowerPoint, go to Tools -> Options -> View. Check that 'Windows in Taskbar' is on. Open your PPTs. CTRL+Click the taskbar icons corresponding to the PPTs that you want to open side by side. Right click and then click on 'Tile Vertically' or 'Tile Horizontally'.

  2. Unfortunately, that does not allow you to have each presentation on a separate monitor.

    I see no benefit in cascading two or more presentations, whether horizontally or vertically, unless you have a 72 inch monitor. The window sizes become inconvenient for editing and comparison.


  3. Aha, at last a technique that actually works for Office 2007!
    You have to use the command line approach from the run dialog (Windows + M), but of all the methods I have tried, this is the only way to get it to work.

    Windows -> Arrange All only gives the one ribbon at the top and only really works if you have two monitors of the same size, which a lot of people don't (well, most peopel in offices generally only have one anyway).

    Thank you!

  4. For editing different PowerPoint presentations in their own separate windows, look at HerbiSoft Multiple PowerPoint Windows at http://www.herbisoft.com/products/mpw/

    You can also move the separate PowerPoint windows to their own separate monitors.

  5. thank you anonymous

  6. At last a method to do this, thanks for details.

  7. Thanks. It's very creative idea to solve an inconvenient problem of MS PPT.


    Advantages: Not limited to only 2 instances, does not require any new users, etc.

    1. Open 1 PowerPoint Instance.
    2. Open 1 or more presentations in internet explorer, using the right click menu pick "Open With"
    3. On the instances within internet explorer, right click the presentation and select "Edit Slide".

    I think this works because IE acts as an OLE container for the presentation(s).

    - dudenohair

  9. Is there any way to open it automatically without the .bat file asking for a password everytime before it will open?

  10. you can add the /savecred option (i.e. runas /savecred /user:username...) to save the credentials. However, according to the documentation of runas "This option is not available on Windows Vista Home or Windows Vista Starter Editions".

  11. WONDERFUL! Perfect! Thank you so very much. Now if only the next version of Office could include this without the hack...

    Very much appreciate it!

  12. It appears that the next version of Office will include a solution for this:


  13. nice post...

    I just want to share this wonderful website that I know would be very useful for ppt-users...


    The site provides free download of powerpoint presentation templates and many more PowerPoint stuffs...

  14. dudenohair: best solution here. I am now working on three seperate PPT files. Thanks!!!!

  15. dudenohair's explorer option sounds great but when I tried it, I got the File Download dialog box and when I picked 'open' it just called up powerpoint instead of opening it in IE.

    I'm running Win7 Pro, IE 8, Office 2007.

    Am I missing something in explorer's settings or something? Why won't it just open the ppt file in an IE window?


  16. PS. I am successfully using the 'runas' solution posted by Ynot (many thanks for that!!!) - very slick with the batch file. Just wanting to figure out why the explorer option isn't working as a matter of principle...


  17. Thank you - run as works under Win7 Pro w/ PP 2007.

  18. For win 7 pro you have to use the cmd window, can't shift+right click and use a different user. Very nice trick, I like it. Patrick

  19. Works under Win7 Pro with PPT 2007 BUT with one limitation that I've found so far. When you copy and paste a slide from the 2nd instance into the 1st instance, it shows up as a "picture" inserted into the current slide. Doing exactly the same copy and paste between two presentations in the 1st instance works properly. If I can't figure out how to change this "picture" behavior, it removes one of the main reasons for having two instances of PPT in the first place.

  20. by way of detail, with Windows 7 64-bit & Office 2007 the command file (I call mine PPoint_as_Admin.bat) is

    runas /savecred /user:for_2nd_ppoint "c:\program files (x86)\microsoft office\office12\POWERPNT.EXE"

    (whole command on one line, )(replace 'for_2nd_ppoint' by whatever account name you like)
    (as others have noted, the /savecred option saves repeating the password but does not function with Windows 7 Home or Starter)

  21. As another user said, this issue is corrected in PowerPoint 2010. However, if you're running 2003/2007, I've heard that simply holding down the Shift key and clicking the program icon again will allow you to run multiple instances.

  22. Wasn´t working for me until I realized I was on some domain. So for the benefit of others scratching their heads wondering why it doesn´t work...use

    runas /user:MYDOMAIN\newusername "C:\Pr
    ogram Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\POWERPNT.EXE"

  23. I am running Windows 7 Home Premium.

    The following CMD line within .BAT file works perfectly without needing a Password each time:

    runas /savecred /user:username "c:\program files (x86)\microsoft office\office12\POWERPNT.EXE"

    Change 'username' as appropriate and you're in business. Great fix yNot! Cheers

  24. I am running Windows Vista Enterprise and was unable to get the .BAT file working as no matter which secondary users I tried (I created a new one) I kept getting the following RUNAS error:

    1311: There are currently no logon servers available to service the logon request.

    I then tried the trick of opening powerpoint in Internet Explorer and editing the slides. This didn't work for me because the registry was configured to default open Office documents in their native application. I found this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927009 which explained how to change the default behavior. I downloaded the "Fix it for me" solution and was able to open a powerpoint file in internet explorer and then edit the slides.

    I found that I could paste slides back and forth between the native and internet explorer versions of power point without any problems. I was able to edit text and it didn't show up as an image or picture as Geoff stated above (at least for me).

    Running from internet explorer is not idea as running a 2nd instance, but it is not a bad work around until my company upgrades to Office 2010.

  25. The fix of starting via batch file is useful, but if you are trying to open PPT's on a network share then the 2nd_ppoint_user needs to be a full domain account with sufficient permissions. Our issue, like others I guess, is that we want to preset multiple PPT's before a meeting to display the slide show on different monitors and you currently cannot do that with 2010 out of the box

  26. *************************************************
    -Just use Shift+Right Click on the powerpoint icon.
    -Click Run-as and then Click OK (current user)
    -That's it


  27. Has anyone tried this with multi-monitors? With 2 presentations open, make ppt not full screen (the application window, not the single presentation itself), stretch the application across both monitors and size to your liking. Drag one presentation to the other monitor....one instance, 2 presentations on separate monitors..

  28. dudenohair method sounded promising, but with my Office 2007 and IE8, IE8 kicks the file back into opening as another window within the Powerpoint instance.

  29. Creating a second instance through another user is great, but doesn't allow to copy and paste between instances.
    Is there anyway to fix this?

  30. How do I convert a Mac powerpoint to one that can be opened on a Windows computer?

  31. A few of the response to the first comment (using Windows -> Arrange all) says "You do not really get a second window". If you want to really get a second window, then of course this does not work. But if you want to have each of the 2 ppts displayed on 2 screens, this still works. Basically you have to manually stretch the powerpoint window to cover two screens (assuming you have extended desktop), and then use Arrange all, and arrange vertically. Voila .. 2 ppts on two separate screens, w/o having to go through creating a new user. Hope this helps.

  32. Why doesn't Microsoft hear the Cries of the public and fix this problem?!?!??!?!

  33. Open the second ppt in open office.
    And the third
    and even the fourth if you are lucky enough to have 4 monitors.
    Copy and paste between oo and mso is no good but oo to oo is good.

  34. Great!

    A clever method.

  35. Dennis, thanks.

    that was so straightforward

  36. the runas doesn't work with powerpoint 2007 and windows 7

  37. via code, I do it all the time... I share it, if you want it.