How Do I Project from a Laptop?

Projecting from a laptop image.Every DCS classroom with a data projector has a VGA cable that may be used to connect a laptop to the projector. The VGA port on a laptop consists of three rows of five holes. All classrooms equipped with the Digital Classroom Podium and some Pixie and Crestron classrooms have HDMI inputs that may also be used to project from laptops.

To see if your classroom has a data projector, search for the room and click on the "Technology" tab. To see if your room also has a HDMI input, click on "Classroom Features" and check "Additional Items."

Newer laptops may not have a VGA or HDMI port. If your laptop does not have a VGA or HDMI port, you will need to purchase an adapter that allows you to connect one of these two cables to your laptop. Please note: if you purchase a HDMI to VGA adapter, we encourage you to buy one with a power supply.

For quick reference in your classroom, you may also download our printable pamphlet.

Getting Started

  1. Turn on the system and select "Laptop."
  2. Connect the VGA or HDMI cable to your laptop's VGA or HDMI port. If you are using a HDMI or VGA adapter, plug the adapter into your laptop and connect the provided cable to the other end of the adapter. In DCS rooms where the VGA and HDMI cables are not attached to the system, you will need to connect the other end of this cable to the system jack.
  3. Turn on your laptop. After your desktop has loaded, your laptop image should project. If it does not, please follow the instructions below that pertain your laptop's operating system.


Adjusting the Resolution

Although most laptops will adjust the resolution of the image it sends out to the projector, sometimes the laptop and projector are unable to "handshake." As a result, the laptop image will not project until you manually adjust the laptop resolution. While most classroom projectors use a resolution of 1024 x 768, newer projector use a higher resolution. However, a good place to start is to set your laptop's external display resolution to 1024 x 768. If you would like to increase the quality of the projected image, you can then raise the resolution, stopping before you reach a resolution at which the image no longer projects. See the instructions below in order to access the resolution settings for laptops running Mac and Windows operating systems.