Repeat Signage V4 help

Control - PDF/Document/PowerPoint

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PDF/Document/PowerPoint control

 

Supported file types *.pdf, *.doc, *.docx, *.xls, *.xlsx, *.odt, *.rtf, *.xps, *.tif, *.xls, *.xlsx; *.ppt; *.pptx
Playlist support Yes
Scheduler support Yes
Scrolling support Yes
Rotation support Yes
Transitions 25 transition effects when using this control in play list mode
File locations Files and folders on local or network drives (all editions), Internet websites, RepeatServer.com and FTP sites (Standard and above editions)
YouTube videos Repeat Signage controls - document control 2014

Description

This control allows the display of PDF files (plus Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel files and Microsoft Powerpoint slides).  Most PDF files have more than one page and this control allows you to select which page you want to display.  OpenOffice.org Writer (.odt) documents are also supported.  If you display PDF files, Word documents, etc, they generally have multi-page pages.  In play list mode, you can now use the 'Page' tab to specify that you would like to display all pages, or multiple pages, from your files.  Support for multi-page Tif files has also been added.

Microsoft XPS files are also supported.  An XPS file is the Microsoft equivalent of a PDF file.  Windows Vista, 7 and 8 have a built in printer which is installed on all computers called 'Microsoft XPS Document Writer'.  You can use this to print your documents directly to a .xps file and then use this control to display these.   If you get this control to monitor for new versions (using the properties screen 'Refresh' tab), then you can get Repeat Signage to automatically display the latest XPS file every time you print to the same XPS file, as soon as it changes.

The control supports the playing of Excel spreadsheets.  These are for whole pages from a spreadsheet file, the same as you would see if printed out.  If you want to display specific sheets and cells from a spreadsheet, then use the Spreadsheet control instead.


Alternative to this control plus Page Flipper

Our Flash Banner control supports all of the above file types as well.  This has a number of different effects including a conveyor belt of pages and a book page flipper effect.  Consider using this instead for play lists of pages or items.


Simple PDFs and documents

On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert PDF/Document'.  This will allow you to choose a PDF/Excel/Word/Powerpoint file.  You can then position and size your PDF/Document control as required.  Double click the PDF/Document control to view the properties.


Playlists of PDF/Document files

You can create a play list of PDF controls.  Insert a PDF control as for 'Simple PDFs'  above.  Then double click the PDF control to display it's properties.  Put a tick in the 'Use play list instead' tick box.  This will take you to the Playlist  tab.  Your first PDF appears in the grid for you.  Use the 'Add' button to add other PDFs to the list.  Use 'Add blank' to add blank items which can be used to give a pause between playing website pages.  For example, you could insert a single PDF and set it to display for 2 seconds.  Then insert a blank item again for 2 seconds.  This would then give the effect of flashing the PDF on and off the screen.

If you want to add multiple pages from a PDF or all PowerPoint slides, then use the 'Page' tab to specify that you would like to display all pages.

 
Scrolling PDF files

Create a play list of PDFs (see above).  Open the control's properties by double clicking it and select the 'Scrolling tab'.  Change the 'Scroll direction' combo box to an entry other than NONE, for example RIGHT TO LEFT.   Click on OK to see it scrolling.  For more scrolling options, on the properties 'Scrolling tab', press the F1 key to see the various options.

Also see Single, playlist, scrolling and advanced scrolling for visual examples of what is currently possible.


Playing PDF files from RepeatServer.com or another website

You can create a free RepeatServer.com account and use this to upload PDF files to your online account.  When you insert a PDF file in your presentation you can choose to collect it from a website and point it at PDF files that you have uploaded.  You then get your presentation to monitor the online version for changes.  When it detects that you have uploaded a new version of the, then this is automatically downloaded and played whilst your presentation is running.   You can do this in the following way:

1.  Create a free RepeatServer.com if you haven't already done this.  This can be done by visiting www.RepeatServer.com in your web browser or via the 'RepeatServer.com' tab on the main Repeat Signage screen.

2.  Log onto your RepeatServer.com account and on the menu click on 'File' then 'Upload files'.

3.  Use the 'Browse' button and then locate your PDF files on your hard disk (hold down your keyboard Ctrl key to select more than one at a time) and then click the 'Upload' button.

4.  On the RepeatServer.com menu, click on 'File' then 'Documents and files' list.

5.  Find the line in the grid for one of your PDF files that you just uploaded.  (You may have to use the page buttons if you can't see your file on the first page).

6.  Back to Repeat Signage.  Go to the main screen and select the 'RepeatServer.com' tab.  If you haven't already linked your Repeat Server account to Repeat Signage, then you will need to follow the instructions on screen.  When this has been done, then please click on the 'Refresh' button to display all your Repeat Server files, which should include all the files you have uploaded.  This needs to be visible before we can continue.

7.  Create a Repeat Signage presentation on your computer or open an existing one. In the Repeat Signage designer, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert PDF'. 

8.  Click the 'RepeatServer' option and a list of your files will be displayed, which will include any you have just added above.  Now select your file by clicking on it, then click on the 'OK' button.  

9.  Click on 'OK' to insert the control.  The next thing to do is to resize the control to an appropriate size.

10. Double click your new control to see it's properties.  Click on the 'Refresh' tab.  By default, new controls that are collected from a website location will automatically check for changes every 15 minutes.  You can set this value appropriately.  If you need the presentation to update itself almost as soon as you make a change online, then set this value to check every minute, or 15 seconds, etc. 

To give this a test:

11.  Edit the PDF file and make some changes (or overwrite it with a different PDF file). 

12.  Log onto your RepeatServer.com account and upload the new version which will overwrite the original.

13.  Your presentation will update itself (even in the Repeat Signage designer) within 15 seconds.

You don't have to use RepeatServer.com as you could use your own website instead and use FTP software to upload and download files. 


Creating and editing PDF files

Adobe Acrobat was the original product for creating and editing PDF files.  Since then many applications including most graphic design software and OpenOffice have the ability to export documents directly into PDF files, so you don't need to purchase software to create PDF's.   Most document scanners will scan paper documents and turn them into PDF files.

To edit PDF files, so that you can add and remove pages from documents, etc, you require a PDF software.  Do a search on Google for 'PDF editor' if you need this ability.  Adobe Acrobat is the most professional software for this, but comes with a professional price tag.  You could download the free trial and use the software free for 30 days.


Printing from other programs directly to a playing Repeat Signage presentation

If you have a PDF/Image printer installed on your system then you can print from any program (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Internet Explorer, etc) directly to a PDF file.  Many applications, including most graphic design packages have the option to export files in PDF format.  For example, OpenOffice, the free office software enabled you to export directly to PDF files.

January 2014 - Windows Vista, 7 and 8 have a built in printer which is installed on all computers called 'Microsoft XPS Document Writer'.  You can use this to print your documents directly to a .xps file and then use this control to display these.

There are several free and paid for PDF/Image printers on the market.  The Cute PDF writer and BullZip PDF printer are completely free and work with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.  BullZip also allows you to print to picture files such as .png files.

BullZip (and other PDF printers) work in the following way:

1.  Click on 'Print' in your program (Word, Excel, Paint, etc)

2.  Select which pages to print in the Print dialog box and select the printer name, which you change to 'BullZip PDF printer' if this is not the default printer.

3.  Click on OK to print.

4.  You are the prompted by BullZip to enter a name and location for your PDF file.  Type one in and click on 'Save'.  BullZip has loads of other options when producing PDF's or images.

The above is useful for digital signage.  You can insert a PDF file in your presentation and then double click the PDF control to open it's properties and use the 'Refresh' tab to tell Repeat Signage to monitor the original file for changes.  This means that when you print to the same PDF again, Repeat Signage instantly displays the new PDF.  Imagine that you have a reception area and are expecting important visitors from one of your clients.  You could create a PDF document with a welcome message and that company's logo on and display it on a plasma screen.  When the next customer is expected, then the receptionist, on another computer, can 'Print' off a new copy of the PDF document with the next customers details on.  The PDF would have to be on a network drive so that the computer attached to the plasma screen would read the PDF from there and the receptionist would be able to print and overwrite the PDF on the same network drive from her computer, or indeed any computer with access to the network drive.   Remote users with network access to that drive, via a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or via dialup software such as PC Anywhere, could overwrite that file allowing presentations to be updated as they are playing for anywhere in the world
 

Exporting from other programs directly to a playing Repeat Signage presentation

See the above on 'Printing from other programs ...'.  Many packages, such as OpenOffice applications allow export to either image files, such as .png files, or to PDF files.  Instead of using a print driver to do this, which may be restrictive in the sizes of images produced, then you can export as an image instead to overwrite a playing file.


PDF and Word document compatibility

See our PDF file compatibility page if you have any issues with displaying PDF files and our Microsoft Word and OpenOffice Writer documents in Repeat Digital Signage software if you have any problems with Word documents.


Displaying Microsoft Excel spreadsheet pages with the PDF/Document control

See Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc spreadsheets in Repeat Signage digital signage software.