Accommodating (ex-) PowerPoint users
It seems to me that there are three groups of users who begin using OpenLP:
- Those who have no experience with presentation software (migrating from transparencies/song books)
- Those who are migrating from another worship-specific presentation program (whether open source, freeware, or commercial)
- Those who are migrating from using PowerPoint/OpenOffice Impress
If this is indeed the case, I think it is particuarly important that OpenLP makes an effort to accommodate non-technical PowerPoint users. OpenLP should thus be an all-round improvement over PowerPoint, and the learning curve must be as easy as possible.
With this in mind, I want to suggest several features which are missing from OpenLP, but are routine in PowerPoint, and relied on by its users.
I do so at the risk of incurring the wrath of the forum moderators, since they are already listed in the wiki's Feature Requests . Is there any facility for users to vote on future feature requests?
Live control feature :
- "Ability to page/cursor-down [or spacebar] throughout the entire service, with blank slides in between each item"
Comment: This is the normal method of operation in PowerPoint, and it is a very low barrier of entry for someone new to operate the slideshow. It is a more difficult process to alternate bewteen down and right arrow keys as required in OpenLP.
Slide formatting features :
- "Separate title slide for showing copyright/author information instead of on songs"
- "Option to hide title/copyright/etc info after fixed amount of live time"
- "Option to specify which slide(s) the footer information appears on i.e. First|Last|All"
- "Ability to split out Title from other Footer info, and position this separately to author/copyright info. Also option to only show it on first, last or all pages."
Comment: All these features surround the issue of the user's level of control over the appearance of the presented slides. In PowerPoint, the user is accustomed to having complete control in this area. They can choose exactly where and how to display the song title/author/copyright info. In OpenLP, the user is much more limited in having to display this info on every slide, and all in one 'footer' block (though the block can be positioned anywhere).
CCLI does not (in my understanding) require copyright info to be displayed on every slide, but only once per song.
Ref: From CCLI Australia's Church Copyright License (CCL) Terms of Agreement :
5.2 The Church shall ensure that every reproduced version of a Song shall contain the full and correct song title, writer credit(s) and copyright notice in substantially the following form:
"Hallelujah", words and music by John Smith and Mary Doe
© 1975 John Smith Music Co. ICS. ARR.
Used By Permission. CCLI Licence #__________
Ref: The same requirement exists with CCLI in the US  (see sction 4.2).
"If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been." -- Samwise Gamgee