How to Connect a Mac Book Pro to an LCD Projector

By Colin Bondi

All Macintosh computers including laptops have the ability to connect to a variety of external displays. Whether the display is a standard monitor, a large screen or a projector, the Mac will connect with little setup required. LCD projectors have become popular for displaying presentations and slide shows from software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple's Keynote. Connecting a projector to a Mac is relatively straightforward provided you have the necessary video adapters.

Things You'll Need

  • MacBook laptop computer
  • LCD projector
  • Video adapter (see Tips)

Connecting the Projector

Step 1

Power off your MacBook Pro.

Step 2

Plug the video adapter into your MacBook Pro's DVI display port located between the Ethernet port and the FireWire port on the left side of the computer.

Step 3

Power on the LCD projector.

Step 4

Plug your projector's video cable into the video adapter connected to your MacBook Pro.

Step 5

Power on your MacBook Pro.

Enabling the Display

Step 1

Open System Preferences and select Displays.

Step 2

Click the "detect displays" button if the projector is not showing an image of your desktop.

Step 3

Adjust the display resolution of the projector, if desired, by selecting the appropriate resolution from the resolutions menu displayed on the projector screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Determine what type of video connector your projector uses, the most common being a VGA connector. Since the MacBook Pro has a DVI video connector, you must purchase a DVI to VGA adapter (see Resources). If your projector uses another type of connector, you must purchase the appropriate adapter from Apple.
  • Consult the projector's documentation to determine if there is a procedure to activate the projector's display if you don't see an image on the projector after connecting and powering on the projector and the MacBook.
  • Make sure to remove the projector's lens cover.