How to Create a Full Screen PDF Presentation

By Tom Chmielewski

Updated September 28, 2017

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You can use Adobe Acrobat to prepare a PDF file as a presentation in full-screen mode when opened by any viewer. In this mode, you can allow the viewer to turn pages manually, or set the pages to turn automatically after a set time. You can even add special effect transitions when going to the next page. In essence, you can create a PDF equivalent of a PowerPoint display.

Set Full-Screen Mode

In Acrobat, choose “Properties” under the “File” menu to open the “Document Properties” box, and select “Initial View.”

Select “Page Only” from the “Navigation” drop-down menu so that only the page shows when the file opens, and not the panels showing bookmarks, thumbnails or attachments. For “Page Layout,” select “Single Page,” the layout that works best in a presentation.

Set the “Open to Page” choice to the first page you wish the viewer to see as the beginning of the presentation. Set "Magnification" to “Fit Page” so the entire page appears on the screen.

Check the box for “Open in Full-Screen Mode” so that only the page comes in view. Any part of the screen not taken up by the page is black. Click “OK” to close the "Document Properties" box.

Determine Page Transitions

Choose “Document Processing” under the “Advanced” menu and select “Page Transitions.”

Select the type of transition for turning pages from more than a dozen choices in the “Set Transitions” drop-down menu.

Chose the direction of the action the transition takes, if your choice allows. Your options include vertical, horizontal and diagonal choices. For transitions where direction don’t apply, such as “Fade,” the “Direction” drop-down menu is grayed out.

Check the box to turn on “Auto Flip,” and select the length of time between page turns. You can also leave Auto Flip turned off so that the viewer uses keyboard controls or a page action triggered by a button created in the layout to manually turn the page.

Select the range of pages automatically turned. You can choose “All The Pages in the Document” or specify by page number the range to be affected. Then click "OK."


You will not be able to see the transition effects until you close the PDF file and open it again.


You can choose to hide two of three types of viewer interface controls in the "Interface Options" section of the Initial View menu: Menu bar, Tool Bars and Window Controls. Hiding only the tool bars will result in the page alone coming to view in full-screen mode. But if the viewer presses the "Escape" key for normal viewing mode, the menu bar at the top of the screen reappears, giving the viewer some control over the document, if needed, without depending on the viewer knowing keyboard shortcuts.