While running ProPresenter this past weekend, I was reminded again of how much I like that program. Both powerful and easy to use, ProPresenter 4 gets words on the screen like nothing else. I haven’t written about Pro in a while, and I thought it was time to revisit the topic.
The first thing you’ll notice about ProPresenter at Coast Hills is that the songs are all color-coded. As you probably know by now, I’m a bit CDO (that’s OCD in alphabetical order), and I like to keep things organized. There are a few features in Pro that help facilitate that.
As you can see in the screen shot above, each element of the song is colored differently. I developed this method at Upper Room while I was TD there. Our worship leaders there had the tendency to randomly jump around in the song. To make it easier when they looped back to a chorus, I color-coded each element. There’s nothing significant about the colors, it’s just what I chose.
- Yellow=Blank (or instrumental)
- Green=Anything else
At Coast, our worship leaders are really quite good about sticking to the order they rehearse in. Still, it’s nice to have a quick visual reference of where we are in the song, simply by looking at the colors.
You’ll also notice that each slide is labeled with the part of the song it represents. Songs with multiple slides in each verse would be named like this:
- Verse 1-A
- Verse 1-B
- Verse 2-A
- Verse 2-B
If there is a single verse, chorus or bridge, I just use A, B, C, etc.. The reason go to this level of labeling is to ease moving songs parts around. I found when dealing with volunteers who don’t do this every week, it’s best to keep things as organized as possible. Because there can be a lot of slides for a song, it’s easy to accidentally get a few of them out of order and not realize it. Labeling them not only by what section they are (verse 1, chorus 2, etc.) but by each slide helps make sure everything stays organized.
It used to be a little tedious to color code and label each slide. In Pro4, we have the ability to build a custom label menu that includes color coding. So while it took me 5-10 minutes to set up, I can now completely label a song in under a minute.
Again, you can see my CDO coming out in the organization of the menu. They also include an “Other...” option if you have a very unusual section, or if you like to make notes. I use the Other... label a lot to write a note about how long an instrumental bridge might be (8 bars). That keeps the operators from bringing the next slide up too early.
Those are a few of my favorite, or at least most useful features of Pro4. What tricks and tips do you have to share with the class?