Repeat Signage 2014 help

Control - PowerPoint presentation scheduler

Repeat Digital Signage Software
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PowerPoint presentation scheduler control

 

Supported file types

*.ppt, *.pptx


Playlist support Yes
Scheduler support Hourly, daily and weekly scheduling
Scrolling support No
Rotation support No
Notes IMPORTANT NOTE - This plays PowerPoint files full screen above Repeat Signage.  Also, playing PowerPoint files is limited to the primary monitor only on dual screen systems.
File locations Files on local or network drives (all editions), Internet websites and FTP sites (Standard/Professional editions)
YouTube videos Repeat Signage controls - Powerpoint scheduler control 2014
Setting up PointPoint files for use in Repeat Signage 2014 digital signage software


Description

Available in Standard and Professional Editions only

The PowerPoint presentation scheduler control is used to play Microsoft PowerPoint files full screen using the free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2007 (or 2010) which can be downloaded from:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=6

If you are using Windows 8, then install the later version from:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13

These play full screen above a Repeat Signage presentation, so that you don't see the Repeat Signage presentation.  If you are just interested in playing and scheduling the playing of PowerPoint presentations, then the Repeat Signage presentation can be blank, but usually give a black background and just a single PowerPoint presentation scheduler control in the middle (this is invisible) when playing.

IMPORTANT - playing PowerPoint files is limited to the primary monitor only on dual screen systems.

However, you may want to design a Repeat Signage presentation to display other information, RSS feeds, etc to users some of the time.  You can do this by designing your Repeat Signage presentation and also inserting a PowerPoint presentation scheduler control.  Use the hourly, daily or weekly feature of this to display PowerPoint presentation as certain times, but then insert blank items (i.e. gaps) when you don't want PowerPoint presentations playing.  In these gaps, just your Repeat Signage presentation is displayed instead.

You can also use the Repeat Signage Audio control to play background music (and schedule different music at different times) whilst your PowerPoint files are playing.

In many organisations, such as colleges, there are already digital signage screen playing PowerPoint presentations, but these presentations are changed manually.  Repeat Signage gives you the flexibility to continue displaying these presentations but allowing centralised scheduling and update of them from a network drive.  One nice feature that this control has is that you could just display a single PowerPoint presentation from a network drive, but set Repeat Signage to 'monitor' the PowerPoint presentation.  If this file is updated, then Repeat Signage automatically downloads the latest version from the network to the player and displays it.

In September 2012 we launched the Flash banner control which allows a really easy way to display playlists of pictures, with or without text, and offers 50 transition effects between slides. 

Note - When designing a presentation and you insert a PowerPoint presentation scheduler control onto the screen, you will see a symbol:

Presentation scheduler symbol

This allows you to interact with your control so that you can double click it to change it's settings.  When you play your presentation, this is not shown.


Powerpoint file setup

Many existing Powerpoint files need the presenter to click their mouse to move between slides.  You need to edit your Powerpoint files and set each slide to transition automatically and also to loop at the end.  We have a video on how to do this here:

Setting up PointPoint files for use in Repeat Signage 2014 digital signage software



Repeat Signage trial version note

On the trial version of Repeat Signage, you can only play and schedule PowerPoint presentations for the first 10 minutes.  After that, a self closing message box is displayed when ever a PowerPoint file would have been displayed.


Full screen PowerPoint presentations versus PowerPoint presentations within Repeat Signage presentations

The above describes using the free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer to display PowerPoint files full screen above Repeat Signage.  However, you may want a PowerPoint presentation playing within Repeat Signage so that you can also see RSS feed information and use other Repeat Signage controls such as pictures and text.  You can do this by converting PowerPoint presentations to flv or wmv video files that can be played by Repeat Signage.  For more information on how to do this, take a look at the Using Microsoft PowerPoint presentations in Repeat Signage page.


Preparing PowerPoint presentations for use with Repeat Signage

Repeat Signage displays PowerPoint files using the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer.  If your presentation is no set to automatically play each slide, then you will only see the first slide on screen. 


Single PowerPoint files played full screen

On the designer screen menu, click on 'Insert' then 'Insert PowerPoint presentation scheduler'.  This will allow you to choose a Microsoft PowerPoint file and then click on 'OK' to insert the control.  You see the control on screen, but this is not displayed when playing or previewing the presentation.  Double click the control to view the properties.


Playlists of PowerPoint files

You can create a play list of PowerPoint presentations.  Insert a PowerPoint presentation scheduler as for 'Single PowerPoint files played full screen'  above.  Then double click the PowerPoint presentation 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 PowerPoint file appears in the grid for you.  Use the 'Add' button to add other PowerPoint files to the list.  Use 'Add blank' to add blank items which can be used to give a pause between playing your PowerPoint files. 


Scheduling the playing of PowerPoint files

The information on creating a play list above shows you how to create a play list that just loops files.  On the play list tab, there is a 'Schedule type' drop down list.  You can change this from 'PLAYLIST' to 'HOURLY', 'DAILY', or 'WEEKLY'.  The difference of these to the 'PLAYLIST' option is that when you add items you have to specify 'From' and 'To' time values. 

For example, an HOURLY scheduler can be used to play a file at the start of every hour for 1 minute (0 minutes 0 seconds to 0 minutes 59 seconds).  You have to put in files to cover the entire hour.  If you don't want anything playing for the rest of the hour, then insert a blank item that covers from 1 minute 0 seconds to 59 minutes 59 seconds.  At the end of an hour, the entire hourly schedule will loop again.  When you play a presentation, it displays items based on the current time or day.

When you add a blank item, you can decide whether to make the blank item display the background of the control (which you can specify a colour or picture for) or whether to make the entire control invisible.  When adding or editing a blank item, go to the 'Blank item' tab and either tick or un-tick the 'Entire control is visible' box.   This is useful for scheduling when you want a control invisible.

The DAILY schedule type allows you to specify files and blank items to cover the entire day.  At the end of the day, the schedule will start again.  WEEKLY allows you to schedule what happens on each day of the week (at any time), and then restarts at the beginning of the next week.  Repeat Signage uses Monday as the first day of the business week.  Another thing to note is that every control that supports scheduling runs independently of all others, so you can have lots of different controls all doing different things.

Tools have been added to Repeat Signage to help you test scheduling.  On the designer screen menu, you can click on 'View' then 'View program time for schedule testing'.  Clicking on this puts the time on the bottom right of the designer screen menu.  This is the clock that Repeat Signage uses with controls.  You can change this time using 'View' then 'Change program time for schedule testing'.  This allows you to change either the time or date, so that you can see what will be displayed at any point.  For example, you may have an 'offer of the day' for each day of the week, made by displaying pictures in a picture control.  Changing the program date to another day will allow you to test that the correct picture file, with that day's offer on, is being displayed.


Closing Repeat Signage Player or Preview

The Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer files plays PowerPoint files full screen.  In order to close Repeat Signage, you will need to right mouse click the playing PowerPoint file and click on 'End show' and then on the Repeat Signage screen, right mouse click and on 'Exit' to close Repeat Signage.   It is recommended that you have a minimum of a 10 second play time for PowerPoint files, otherwise it becomes very difficult to close Repeat Signage without resorting to using the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keyboard combination to bring up Windows Task Manager to kill off Repeat Signage.


Playing PowerPoint files from RepeatServer.com or another website

You can create a free RepeatServer.com account and use this to upload PowerPoint files to your online account.  When you insert an PowerPoint file in your presentation you can choose to collect it from a website and point it at PowerPoint 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 PowerPoint 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 PowerPoint files that you just uploaded.  (You may have to use the page buttons if you can't see you 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 upload.  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 PowerPoint presentation scheduler'. 

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 PowerPoint file and make some changes (or overwrite it with a different PowerPoint 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. 


Designing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations

 

The best software to design PowerPoint presentation is Microsoft PowerPoint itself.   It costs around 120+VAT in the UK.  There is a 60 day free trial for this.

 

You can also use OpenOffice.org Impress to design PowerPoint presentations free of charge.  Unfortunately, the really useful export to video option is not available in this software.

 

PowerPoint Templates

 

Try visiting the Microsoft PowerPoint website gives you access to loads of free PowerPoint templates that you can use as well.  

 

PowerPoint scheduler control limitations

The Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer will only play presentations on the primary monitor.  If you have a dual screen system, then this control is limited to playing presentations on the main monitor only.  However, you still have the option to export PowerPoint to video and using the video control on a second screen to display it instead.  See Using Microsoft PowerPoint presentations in Repeat Signage for more information. 

 

PowerPoint scheduler control known issues

When a PowerPoint presentation is launched, then sometimes the user can see the Windows Taskbar displayed for a split second as Repeat Signage loses focus.  The best way to stop this happening on player computers is to set the Windows Taskbar to automatically hide itself.  To do this, then right mouse click the Windows Start Button or Start Orb and choose Properties.  Then click on the 'Taskbar' tab and put a tick in 'Auto-hide the taskbar' and click on the 'Apply' button.