Progressing from Powerpoint to next item in service

edited July 2013 in General Support
Sorry if this is a dumb question and answered elsewhere - but, if so, I couldn't find anything.

We are currently evaluating OpenLP with a view to moving away from SongPro. There are, though, a number of things we use that I can't seem to replicate in OpenLP. In particular, our operators are used to simply pressing the down arrow key to cycle through the whole service plan. We are a small church and some of our operators remain nervous of computers. They thus want things as simple as possible!We also make use of a wireless presenter which simply has two buttons (corresponding to up and down arrow). 

Unfortunately, it appears that OpenLP gets stuck at the end of powerpoint presentations and does not move to the next item in the service plan with a simple down arrow. Instead, I need to press a different key to progress (by default, the right arrow key). Is there any way round this (eg. through the appropriate configuration)? 

Secondly, in SongPro is it very easy to play a music track and set a single picture for display. With OpenLP, again it is easy to play a music track through adding it as a media file but I couldn't find a way of setting a theme/picture for display. I appreciate that it may not be able to distinguish between a music track and a video track and there may be alternative ways to do what I want, but if anyone could point me in the right direction I would be grateful.

Must say, OpenLP has a lot going for it so thank you to everyone for their work! We hope to continue to see how we might be able to adapt things to our needs.



  • I don't have OpenLP on this computer to try things out or give you the exact names of the different options but here are a few ideas.
    • There's an option in the settings to change what happens at the end of a song (or reading etc). You can tell it to stop, move on to the next item in the service, or go back to the beginning of the song.
    • You can change the key bindings so that left and right and up and down move to the previous or next slide instead of moving to the previous or next item in the service.
    • There's an option labeled "replace live background" in the toolbar of the media manager. I think you can start playing your audio track and then do replace live background with an image. Alternatively, it may be possible to create a special theme with the background image and associate it with the audio track that you've added to the service.

    Sorry the above is a bit vague. Hopefully it'll point you in the right direction. Let us know if it helps.

  • Many thanks, Carl. Your suggestions aren't vague at all! Sadly, though, I haven't had much luck.

    There is indeed an option to set the behaviour of next/previous on the last/first slide and I can set it to move to the next/previous service item. Sadly, it doesn't do anything! It seems to be a setting for other items (eg. the songs), where it does work (set it to go back to the beginning and it loops round the song, set it to go the next item and it goes to the next song). But it doesn't seem to have any effect with Powerpoint presentations.

    Tried replacing the live background. The picture is displayed okay but the music stops! So I then tried to tackle the playing of an audio track by creating a song with a blank verse (to which I can associate an appropriate theme) and attaching an audio file. Again, that doesn't seem to work at all.

    Maybe there is something wrong with my setup - I'm on Windows 8.

    Best wishes

  • nathan_1163  The audio one I bet I can guess what has gone south there.   Webkit is used by live background.   Only 1 item can be playing by webkit at a time.   Install VLC  use VLC to play audio file use webkit to play video for the live background and it should work.

    Powerpoint is a pain in but.   Due to animation effects in slides the number of next slide messages that need to be sent to powerpoint can be greater than the number of slides in presentation.    Openlp is doing that intentionally not auto moving on to the next item at the end of a powerpoint this is working around a bug.  The example ppt of the bug contain those slide where not all the slides appear straight way and like a line at a line appears.    Yes it counts as 1 slide.   So you get to last slide on a presentation like that and you don't want to skip over to the next slide until all the lines are displayed.   Problem is Powerpoint does not tell you as a third party program that the next slide message you are sending is doing nothing.   Everything bar powerpoint/powerpoint viewer the next at end works.   Next at end of a powerpoint will require Microsoft to update their interface for third party programs.

    Yes a lot of other programs you have to remember to put in a non animated last slide or you will have screw up as it displays a little bit of slide then jumps on to the next item in presentation.   Developers with this problem are dammed if the do and dammed if they don't.  Requesting a option switch to control the behaviour would be possible.
  • HI, oiaohm!

    Thank you very much for your detailed reply. Interestingly, it is possible in SongPro even when the last slide has animation, but I don't know how they do it!

    As for the audio, I'm not quite sure how I do as you suggest. I do have VLC installed - but how do I make sure VLC is used for audio playback and webkit for the video?

    Many thanks!

  • Backing tracks in songs uses the native playback system of your operating system; for instance, on Windows this is usually a complete mess whereas on Linux it works fine.
  • Fixed it! I had the "Start background audio paused" button ticked and, in single-screen mode, couldn't see the unpause button. Without the "background audio paused" box ticked, all works fine.

  • Does everyone else see the latest comments on this thread with a date of December 27th? Pretty sure it's July where I live. Other comments I've posted recently seem to have the correct date.
  • For me the first several are from July 10 and the last 3 before your's are July 11.
  • Interesting. The date is right for the last two comments but 7 months behind for earlier ones. Your last comment reads 9:07AM (today I assume) which was actually 15:07 my time (UK summer time). The time offset could be explained if the server is running on an American timezone (UTC -5:00). Not sure why the dates would be wrong for me but correct for you.

    This probably isn't the best place to discuss this issue. Sorry for hijacking the thread :-)
  • nathan_1163 ok just want to ask songpro when powerpoint you have animation on last slide where the next is required to make the animation display in stages works??

    That is the problem causing bit.  Slides in powerpoint that act as many sides to the next action.   If Songpro has a method that works says some more investigation is required.

    I did not even know that audio blocking checkbox existed.   I have had the fun conflict in Windows with the playback engine being hell.
  • Hi, I'm having almost exactly the same issues with powerpoint. Again, a congregation not too confident with technology (yet), or we give a remote clicker to a worship leader to cycle through the slides. 

    I've found that changing the setting in powerpoint to continuously cycle through the slides stops it crashing out to a black screen, but that's about it. Sounds like there's not an easy fix but if anyone manages it there will be much gratitude!

  • Just to confirm the behaviour with SongPro. I have a PowerPoint presentation which contains bullet points on the last slide. Each bullet comes up one at a time, as expected. After the last bullet, I get a blank screen (and a brief message "end of sideshow, click to exit" at the top of the screen which rapidly disappears). Clicking again takes me to the next item in the service. All I am doing is pressing the down arrow key (or clicking on my presenter). If the presentation is set to loop mode, I do not get the blank screen but immediately it goes back to the first slide. Everything seems to mimic exactly the behaviour I get if I simply use powerpoint itself to display the file. This is with PowerPoint 2007.

    As I say, I don't know how SongPro is doing it - but it does seem to be achieving the required effect!
  • We had a different but possibly related issue with a particular series of PowerPoint presentations with animations. When running them directly in PowerPoint, everything would show as planned, the text would float in and stop in the correct position, the sequence of slides was correct. But when starting the slideshow from inside OpenLP the animation doesn't complete, the floating text stops in a corner of the screen and some slides are skipped completely. PowerPoints with no animations work as expected, and some animated slideshows seem to work fine. Changing the format of the presentation to the older .ppt instead of .pptx doesn't solve the problem. I haven't been able to reproduce the issue with my own slides but could probably find a sample if anyone is interested.

    This is on Windows 7 with Office 2007 and OpenLP 2.0.1.
  • I've encountered this issue again this morning. The gentleman who was preaching has recently upgraded to Office 2013 (or whatever the latest version is). We've never had any issues with his slides before. They're very basic, white bullet points on a blue background, each bullet point floats in from the bottom of the screen. Running the slideshow from outside OpenLP (double click on the file in Windows Explorer) it runs fine, but running from inside OpenLP, the animated text all floats to the very top of the screen and piles up on top of the previous bullet points.

    I've kept a copy of the file and would be interested if someone with Office 2007 (or other versions) could confirm this issue. Any takers?
  • Hi @carl

    Please save that file. I'm trying to track down someone with Office (well, with Windows) to test this stuff out.
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