Control PowerPoint with a $10 Wireless Presenter (and AutoHotkey)

I received a bunch of email after I posted my Stream Deck project to control PowerPoint. Some were happy to see the clues to make their AutoHotkey scripts work properly and others were wondering how to do this without a Stream Deck. Stream Deck controllers are really awesome and have been in high demand in the past year. Some marketplaces are selling Stream Deck controllers for 2-3 times the MSRP.

Controlling PowerPoint with the KNORVAY N27 Presenter

I have a solution for you. And, it’s way cheaper… and it’s also the way that I present on camera. I use a $10 PowerPoint presenter device by KNORVAY/NORWII. The trick with this device that it comes with a little utility that enables you to remap the buttons on the presenter remote to almost anything that you want. The default button mappings do work with PowerPoint, but they only work when PowerPoint is in focus. In our modern world presenting with Microsft Teams or Zoom, it’s easy to lose your PowerPoint presentation and then get all flustered trying to find it. By using an AutoHotkey script, you can also always advance your slides no matter what window is in focus.

Steps

  1. Buy a KNORVAY/NORWII presenter device on Amazon. I prefer the N27 at $10. They make a rechargeable version, but I like the idea of throwing a AAA battery in when I need it. You could also get both for less than $25.
  2. Install the NORWII Presenter utility for Windows and remap the buttons to point to your AutoHotkey macros buttons.
  3. Install AutoHotkey on your Windows computer and upload the scripts for each key

Remapping Buttons

On Windows, you need to install a utility for the KNORVAY/NORWII presenter devices. This utility allows you to remap the buttons on the presenter: Page Up, Page Down, Volume Up, Volume Down, and Tab. Other models have different buttons, but they all at least have the Page Up and Page Down buttons. I actually mapped all of the buttons to advance my slides. This way, I don’t have to think about what button I am pressing to move my slides forward or advance an animation.

NORWII Presenter for the N27

AutoHotkey

Install AutoHotkey on your Windows PC. AHK will run in the background waiting for keyboard commands that match the rules that you have created. For help, check out the documentation and the Hello World video on YouTube. I know, it will be daunting, but a community of people for the last decade have been creating videos, examples, and tutorials. You just have to stick with it for a while. You just might be inspired to automate other computing tasks. My goal is to map Shift+F12 and Shift+F11 to Page Up and Page Down. Page Up and Page Down are keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint.

  1. Right-click on your desktop
  2. Find “New” in the menu
  3. Click “AutoHotkey Script” inside the “New” menu
  4. Name it PowerPoint.ahk
  5. Right-click on PowerPoint.ahk and click “Edit Script”
  6. Enter and save the code below:
+F12::
    
    If WinExist("PowerPoint Slide Show")
    {
        WinActivate ;
        Send {PgDn}
        return
    }
    Else
    {
        ControlSend,mdiClass1,+{F5},ahk_exe POWERPNT.EXE
        return
    }

+F11::

    if WinExist("PowerPoint Slide Show")
    {
        WinActivate ;
        Send {PgUp}
        return
    }

    return

The Else clause in the the first part of the script will put your PowerPoint into presentation mode if it is not already. I have found this also to be really useful for when I am sharing my screen and presenting.

Profit

Now that you have this all rigged up, you can PowerPoint like a pro. I use this for all of my presentations now. It is more natural for me to be holding the KNORVAY/NORWII Presenter devices and be able to sit back while looking into the camera. Have fun messing around with your new setup. It is a low-cost way to get into controlling PowerPoint and giving you some new tricks to try out.

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