Professor: Using the Presentation Tool (Old Top Hat)

Do your presentations have animations or videos? 

Top Hat’s Presentation Tool is a desktop application that has been designed to “float” inconspicuously over your favourite presentation software. Whether it’s PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or any other application, the Presentation Tool will save you from switching back-and-forth between windows. The Presentation Tool also lets you create and ask a Question on the fly, without having to create it in advance.

Check out the following video tutorial to learn more, or check out the step-by-step instructions for downloading the Presentation Tool to a USB below, and then complete the accompanying tutorial exercises. All told, we estimate this Top Hat Orientation course will take you just 10 minutes!

The following video will show you how to:

☐ download the Top Hat Presentation Tool (PT)

☐ float the PT over your presentation software (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi) 

☐ Ask and Close Questions using the PT

☐ create a Quick-Add Question on the fly


Installing the Presentation Tool on a USB

If you do not have administration rights to install programs on the computer in your classroom, you can download the Presentation Tool to a USB.

If you're using a Mac and you do not have admin rights, it is possible to set up the presentation tool on a USB for Mac. The USB does not require admin rights, and allows you to present on a computer where you have limited access. 

If you are using a Windows PC and you do not have admin rights, it is also possible to set up the presentation tool on a USB for PC. Once again, this allows you to bypass installing the presentation tool, and allows you to present on a computer where access is limited.

Presentation Tool Basics

To use the Presentation Tool (PT) in class after your download, simply open up your presentation file (powerpoint, prezi or keynote) and open the PT icon. This will bring up a login screen for you to sign into using your account credentials:

After signing into Top Hat, you will be presented with the familiar dashboard of your course content. Please keep in mind that the Presentation Tool is not designed as an application to create content with. To do so, please log into our website

For the majority of the time you can minimize the window by clicking on the small minimize button in the upper right hand corner. This will make the window small and easy to place into a corner of your presentation to be ready to use when you are ready to do so. You can also adjust the size of the window by dragging the corners to a size you prefer. 

Asking Questions 

From the dashboard you are free to open any questions or discussions you have created already. These will then display the questions on your screen as well as your student's devices. The question will display and operate much like our web application for professors. To ask a question simply click on the grey book icon and select "Ask". click "Magnify" to bring it to full-screen mode for your students. 

Once all student submissions have come in, click "Disable Submission" to stop further submissions. You can then click on the "Reports" tab as well as "Show Answer" to facilitate discussion on the question. To move on with your lecture, simply click "Close". Also, see our Best Practices - Questions article if you want to learn more!

Quick-Add Questions

Sometimes, you simply don't have time to create Top Hat questions beforehand. Not to worry, Top Hat has you covered. Should this be the case or if you already have questions in your slides, you can take advantage of our Quick-Add Feature

To begin, click on the small "plus" sign on the Presentation Tool. From here, you can select your question type as well as the ability to attach a screenshot of the question to the Top Hat question. Click on the arrow to proceed.

The question will then open on your student's devices. You will see the 4 digit SMS code (for student's texting in their answer) on the left side and the percentage of student submissions on the right.  To close student submissions, you can click on the "Lock" symbol. This will prevent students from submitting further answers. Additionally you can select the "Graph" symbol on the right hand side to bring up the results of your class's answers. On this screen, you can also select the correct answer as applicable. 

To minimize the screen, simply click the "Cross". You are now ready to move on with your lecture. It's that easy!


If you need any additional support, please feel free to reach out to us. The easiest way to get in touch with us is to click Support at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen (when logged into your Top Hat Account) or click the 'Submit a Request' button in the top right-hand corner of this screen. You can also drop us a line; 1-888-663-5491 ext 1 or shoot us an email at We are happy to help resolve any issues!