How to Connect SMART Boards

by Regina Edwards

SMART Tech developed the SMART Board and SMART Notebook program to provide a convenient method of displaying presentations and capturing annotations using an interactive white board model. The SMART Board integrates a screen, sensors and a computer connection to transfer movements on the screen as presentation commands, text or drawings. Users can connect an LCD projector to the SMART Board and computer set up to display slides and documents on the white board screen. All computer platforms can be connected to he SMART Board with the standard cables or using adapter kits.

Hardware Connections


Insert the serial cable connection into the serial port (9-pin port) of the SMART Board connection panel and tighten the screws so that it's finger-tight. Note: some SMART Board models include an integrated USB cord with the connection panel.


Connect the serial plug to the computer's serial port, or plug the USB cord from the SMART Board connection panel if applicable. Note: if your Windows computer doesn't have a serial port and the SMART Board uses a serial connection, connect the SMART Board serial port with the computer's USB port using the SMART USB adapter cable kit (that replaces the cable set included with the SMART Board). Mac computers require a special SMART USB adapter cable kit for connecting to SMART Board connection panels with a serial port.


Connect the external speakers on the SMART Board to the audio ports on the computer, if applicable.


Plug the keyboard cord into the adapter on the SMART Board cable and then insert the adaptor into the keyboard port on the computer (which is either a round port or a second USB port).


Insert the video plug for the LCD projector in the external monitor port of the computer.


Connect the other end of the video plug into the LCD projector's "Video In" port.


Attach the power cords to each device and plug it into an outlet: SMART Board, projector and computer.


Turn on the devices in the following sequence: SMART Board, LCD projector and computer.


Activate the external display if the projector doesn't automatically display the computer screen. On most Windows computers press and hold the "Fn" key and then press the F5 key to toggle displays; on Dell computers press the F8 key (while holding down the "Fn" key); on Macs, press and hold the "Fn" key and press either the F1 or F7 key (depending on computer model).

Software Installation


Insert the SMART Board installation CD in the disk drive and launch the installation program.


Install the SMART Notebook software and the drivers for the SMART Board according to the installation wizard.


Click the SMART Board icon installed on the task menu or Start menu (Windows) or the dock (Mac) and select the "Control Panel."


Establish communication among all devices by clicking the "Connect" button, click the "Detect SMART Hardware" button and then click the "OK" button.


Click the SMART Board icon, select "Control Panel" and choose "Orientation/Alignment Settings" to calibrate the computer and SMART Board tools.


Follow the on-screen prompts to touch the center of the red cross with your finger or a SMART Board pen to calibrate the sensors.


  • check SMART Tech suggest calibrating (orienting) the SMART Board whenever you connect a computer to the SMART Board for precise tracking.
  • check If you need additional USB ports, consider installing a powered multi-port USB hub to expand the computer ports.

Items you will need

About the Author

Regina Edwards has been a freelance writer since 1990. She has penned video scripts, instructional manuals, white papers and abstracts. She has also ghostwritten diabetes journals. Edwards is a scuba instructor and Usui and Karuna Reiki teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Saint Joseph's University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images