Fresh on the heels of my last post, I thought of a few more tips that might be helpful. Actually, Dave Smith over at Creative Church Media reminded me of one, which promoted me to think of a second (giving credit where credit is due…).

ProPresenter is designed to be a “point and shoot” interface. Click on a slide and it goes live. It’s a great concept, and one of the attributes that makes it so easy to teach to volunteers. They don’t have to learn any fancy keystrokes, or weird icons. Just click the slide. Or hit the spacebar. That’s pretty easy.

But there are times when the keyboard is faster. As much as I’m a fan of the mouse, I’m a bigger fan of keyboard shortcuts. Like when the worship leader goes back to the chorus–which is faster, look down to the control screen, grab the mouse, find the right slide, move the pointer to the slide and click…or…hit the “C” key? Here’s how it works.

Any slide can have a hot key associated with it. Any slide can have a hot key associated with it.To get to this menu, I simply control clicked (actually, I right-clicked ’cause that’s how my mouse is set up) on slide 2, which is Verse 1–A. You can see I’ve already assigned “B” to the first slide of the bridge, “C” to the first slide of the chorus, and “I” to the instrumental. If I had screen capture software, you’d see me next assign “V” to Verse 1–A. It might play out like this:

You have  the song set up to go verse, instrumental, chorus, instrumental, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus. But at the last minute, the WL goes back to the bridge at the end. Rather than hunt around for the bridge slides, just hit “B.” Done. If he goes back for an acoustic reprise of verse 1, it’s “V.” Or “C” if he finishes up with the chorus. This particular song is pretty easy, but there are plenty of others that get big and complicated and these quick keys could get the right slide on the screen a lot faster. The only downside is that you can only use a single letter, and it’s a-z only. You can’t use numbers for hot keys. Why not? Because you can access slides individually with the number keys!

Use the number keypad or the ones on the main keyboard and access any slide in a presentation directly. Use the number keypad or the ones on the main keyboard and access any slide in a presentation directly.Here, I’ve just hit the number 2 key. Pro throws up this nice orange box to confirm that 2 is in fact what you want. Hit return or enter and you’re there. If you’re good with the numeric keypad, you could really fly around a presentation with this trick. While I doubt any song would ever get this long, you can go up to 4 digits of slide numbers. If anyone has a presentation with 1,000+ slides in it, please let me know!

Still, this is a cool way to quickly get around a song without trying to figure out where the pointer went. I applaud Renewed Vision for putting these shortcuts in there, because as great as the mouse is, the keyboard is faster in the hands of a skilled operator. You want to be a skilled operator, don’t you? Thought so!