Some evaluation questions

edited February 2013 in General Support
I'm looking at using OpenLP as a replacement for SongPro, certainly in our cafe church service and possibly in our main morning service.  I'd be using a Macbook in the evening service while the morning service uses Windows 8.

So far, it seems reasonably straightforward but I'd just like to clarify a couple of things in my head:

1) if two songs use the same theme, then must they also use the same font, font size, text alignment and position?  Or is it possible to set one or more of those parameters at the song level, rather than the theme level?

2) Some of our songs have instrumental sections where we don't want any words displayed.  From what I've read, I could either press 'T' to blank the words when an instrumental piece starts or create a verse in the song but not have any words on it; then I could position that verse at the appropriate point in the song.  Is that correct or is there another way to display blank screens?

3) In your (excellent!) online manual, some images of the service editor show a theme followed by a song followed by a theme.  Is this so that a blank image is displayed before and after a song?

4) I think I understand how you create a service on, say, an iMac and then save it to a memory stick and then open it on the Macbook.  If a song is created on the iMac then it will be copied to the Macbook database (if you activate the copy song setting).  What about themes?  If I create a theme for a service on my iMac, will it be automatically copied to the Macbook?  Similarly with editing a theme - will those changes be automatically copied to the Macbook when I open the service plan?



  • 1. In short, no. You can set each song with its own theme, and then use song-level themes. Check the configuration for theme levels.

    2. You are correct.

    3. I think you are misreading the icons. There is no way to add a theme to a service. I imagine you're confusing images with themes?

    4. Everything that originates in the media manager is embedded in the service file, nothing else. Themes are not embedded, but they can be exported and imported.
  • Thank you.

    Re point 3, I think what I see in the service manager section of the manual is an image (e.g. clouds.jpeg) followed by a song where the theme uses that image.

    It seems to me that the bulk of the time is spent creating and editing the theme.  In SongPro, positioning the text on an image is very easy whereas in OpenLP, setting the X and Y co-ordinates and the width of the text is much more trial and error.  However, I can see the benefit of a liturgy theme, for example,  so that all liturgy looks the same.

  • I used OpenLP in our evening service for the first time tonight and it was a pleasant experience.  My only gripe is setting the text position, font size and line spacing.  It is very much trial and error to set it up for each theme.  I think it could take some time to set up all the themes so that they work with our laptop.

    Would it be possible to add a function to automatically increase/decrease the font size while in live mode?
  • What I do is open the image in Macromedia Fireworks (Yes, pre-adobe version, works great for my needs still).  And then I'll draw a box where I want text to appear.  Fireworks gives me the X/Y co-ords as well as the height/width to set in the theme. 
  • One advantage of themes, is that once you set the text position, font size and line spacing for a theme, you can forget it.   You can save some work, by using the same font throughout.  I pretty much standardized on DejaVu Sans on Linux and Calibri on Windows, both were set up as 70pt, single spacing.  Headers were 18pt, in the same font.   Occasionally I would use something else, but only for a special effect.   This meant that most of the time, the positioning was identical theme to theme.   If you use photos that have a blank section in them for text, then it can be tricky, but once you figure it out, it's easy.
  • When 'T' is pressed to remove text from live display, when a new text goes live from preview, it first display flash of previous song or Bible. Is there a way this can be corrected.
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