Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Presentation Remote

Posted by Jen Tong on February 5, 2018

I aspire to travel light. I can usually live out of a backpack. The Nintendo Switch is a recent addition to my kit. It’s heavy but totally worth the weight. Anything that adds 400 grams to my bag has to carry it’s weight, and the Switch delivers. Not only does it melt away those too-tired-to-code hours of airport delays, it turns out that the Joy-Con controllers make wonderful presentation remotes on MacOS!

Here’s how to turn a fun game controller into a boring slide clicker.

Ingredients

  • A Nintendo Switch Joy-Con (I prefer the ergonomics of the right Joy-Con)
  • USB Overdrive

Directions

  1. Open System Preference -> Bluetooth on your laptop.
  2. Hold the little pairing button down tiny pairing button on your Joy-Con for a few seconds. The lights might blink.

  3. The Joy-Con will show up in the Bluetooth device list. Click through the strange pairing menu to pair it.

  4. Open USB Overdrive, go to Status and verify that it sees the Joy-Con.

  5. Switch back to the Settings tab. Press the buttons on the Joy-Con to see what they map to.

  6. Pick a button to use for next slide, I used ZR. Map it to Press Key and use the select menu at the bottom choose to Page Down.
  7. Pick a button for previous slide, and repeat the mapping but for Page Up. I used R.
  8. Open your favorite slide program, and give it a spin. I’ve tested it for Keynote, Google Slides, reveal.js, and PDF decks opened in Preview.

When you’re done with slides and ready to game, slide the Joy-Con back on to your Switch. Once you turn the console on, it will re-pair the Joy-Con with the Switch and disconnect from your computer. You must re-pair it with your computer to click through slides again, but the USB Overdrive mapping should stick.

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