Smartboard FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)external image 1356985550_72c14745f0.jpg?v=0

This page is for PESD teachers who have Smartboards, projectors, and audio systems installed in their classrooms. The primary focus is on wall-mounted Smartboards and ceiling-mounted projectors, but some of the information will also help users of portable Smartboards and projectors.

If something isn't working, check this page before contacting Instructional Technology for help. The problem may be very easy to solve.

Links to Smartboard tutorials:

Orienting Your Smartboard
Using the Smart Notebook Toolbar
Using the Smart Notebook Gallery
Creating a Screencast with Smart Recorder & Windows Movie Maker
**VT695_manual_e.pdf** **VT695_index_e.pdf**


  • What are two all-purpose solutions to any technology problem?
    • Restart your computer.
    • Look at the cable from the device that isn't working. Follow the cable to where it's plugged in to your computer. Unplug the cable, count to ten, then plug it back in.
  • How do I know the Smartboard and projector are ready to use?
    • Turn on the projector. It will take a minute for the projector lamp to power up. You should see the computer image on the Smartboard.
    • Check the light in the lower right corner of the Smartboard. It should be a steady green (not blinking, not red, not dark).
    • Tap the Smartboard in several places. The cursor should follow your taps. Pick up a pen and write.
    • If you don't see the Smartboard Tools icon in your taskbar, you need to launch it. Click here for instructions.
  • My projector is turned on and I see an image on my computer monitor. But there's no image on the Smartboard. Here are some possible solutions:
On your projector remote, press the Computer 1 button. If that doesn't work, press the Computer 2** button.
    • Make sure the projector VGA cable is plugged into the back of your computer. On a desktop computer, the VGA cable will be plugged into a large white adapter. On a laptop, it will be plugged directly into the blue VGA port.
    • If the Smartboard and projector are connected to a laptop, press and hold the Fn key (near the lower-left corner of the keyboard) and the F8 key (at the top of the keyboard) for a a couple seconds, then release them. Repeat this press-and-release process until you see the image on the laptop screen and the Smartboard.
  • The light in the lower right corner of my Smartboard isn't green. This means your computer is not connected to your Smartboard.
    • Make sure all the cables are plugged into your your splitter box and the back of your computer. Click here to see a diagram.
    • Make sure all the cables are plugged into your Smart Converter box. Click here to see a diagram.
    • There is a USB cable that comes out of the Smart Converter box and plugs into the back of your computer. Unplug it from the USB port in your computer, count to ten, then plug it back in.
    • You can also try plugging the USB cable into a different USB port. You may have two USB ports on the side of your monitor; if you do, try one of those.
  • The Smartboard Tools icon appears in the taskbar, but there is an X on it. This means the Smartboard isn't connected to your computer. Repeat the steps for The light in the lower right corner of my Smartboard isn't green.
  • Do I need the projector remote? Yes! There are several projector functions that can be accessed only from the remote. Also, if you have a ceiling-mounted projector, you may not be able to reach the buttons on the projector. You may contact John Kain, Linda Cooper, or Noreen Strehlow in Instructional Technology to get a couple Velcro strips so you can Velcro the remote somewhere to avoid losing it.
  • Can I hide the image on my Smartboard and still see it on my computer?
    • Yes, as long as you have the remote for your projector. Press the Pic Mute button on your remote (on some older projector remotes, this button is called AV Mute). The Smartboard will go dark. Press Pic Mute again to instantly restore the image to the Smartboard. (Thanks to Anthony Pietrangeli at Edison for this tip.)
    • In Smart Notebook, there is a Shade tool that allows you to conceal all or part of the image on the Smartboard. However, the Shade tool will also conceal the image on your computer.
  • Can I have one image on the Smartboard and a different image on my computer? Yes, within certain limits. If you press the Freeze button on your projector remote, you can freeze the current image on the Smartboard. Then if you bring up a new image on your computer, the new image will not appear on the Smartboard; the frozen image will remain. Press the Freeze button again to replace the frozen image with the new image on your computer. The frozen image on the Smartboard is not interactive (i.e., if you tap on the Smartboard, nothing will happen).
  • To scan an image directly into SMART Notebook:
    • Put your original in scanner window face down
    • Open SMART Notebook
    • Go to Insert
    • Select Picture from scanner
    • A window will pop up with the name of the scanner
    • Click OK
    • Click Preview
    • Change the resolution settings if needed
    • Click Scan
    • After the scan is completed, click done.
    • The image will go directly to SMART Notebook as a graphic image.
  • How can I extend the life of the projector lamp? Use the Pic Mute button to put the projector to sleep when you're not using it during the day. This uses much less energy than repeatedly powering the projector up and down. However, please power down your projector at the end of the day. One projector lamp costs more than $100.
  • Can I connect my Smartboard and projector to a different computer? Yes, but be aware that the cabling was configured for the original computer connection. So, for example, if the Smartboard and projector were connected to your desktop computer and you want to switch the connection to a laptop, you will have to place the laptop near your desktop in order for the cables to reach
  • The computer image doesn't fit on the Smartboard (it doesn't fill the Smartboard or it bleeds off the edges of the Smartboard). This may occur if the original connection was with a desktop computer and you switched the connection to a laptop.
    • Adjust the zoom on the projector. There is a manual zoom behind the lens, or you can use the zoom button on the remote.
    • Adjust the resolution of your computer image:
      • Close all programs.
      • Right click on a blank area of the desktop
      • Left click on Properties
      • Left click on the Settings tab.
      • Drag the Screen Resolution slider to 1280 by 768.
      • Click Apply and OK.
      • If the image still doesn't fit on the Smartboard, repeat these steps but choose a different screen resolution.
  • My wireless microphones don't work.
      • Make sure the batteries are charged. You should see a green light on the mic when your turn it on.
      • Open the battery cover and make sure the batteries are placed snugly against the terminals.
      • Even rechargeable batteries will eventually die. Ask Instructional Technology (257-2899) for fresh batteries.
  • I'm playing a DVD or CD on my computer, but no sound is coming out of the ceiling speakers. Make sure the sound box is turned on and volume turned up.
  • All Smart board audio receivers contain an auxiliary input. Simply “run” a 1/8 “phono plug from the speaker output on desktop to auxiliary input on the receiver. The receiver has an independent volume control for the auxiliary input. It is as simple as that. (Randy Perez gave us this bit)
  • If that doesn't solve the problem, you will probably need a visit from Randy Perez. (see numbers below)

Contact Instructional Technology
  • 257-2899 for John Kain (Instructional Technology Specialist)
  • 257-2879 for Linda Cooper (Instructional Technology Specialist)
  • 257-3786 for Noreen Strehlow (Instructional Technology Specialist)
  • 257-3775 for Randy Perez (AV Technician)
  • 257-2846 for Celia Waite (Director of Instructional Technology)