Summary:

  • Get a really good computer for ProPresenter. A dual core laptop with integrated graphics does NOT work very well with ProPresenter 5 / 6 Windows.
  • Whilst the Mac version is proven but not perfect, the Windows version is generally “slow” as my volunteers tell me.
  • Test things out before going live!!

Editorial note:

If you’re thinking about buying ProPresenter 6 Windows, I recommend you take a look at the official forums beforehand to get a feel for the kind of problems others have/are facing with the software. It works mostly fine for what its good at - projecting lyrics sequences, but I still prefer PowerPoint for everything else.

e.g. I have had to explain how to insert a new non-lyric slide in ProPresenter quite a few times now!!


Original blog post:

Hardware advice

Do not run ProPresenter 6 on integrated graphics!!

Running ProPresenter on integrated graphics is a bad idea and will cause major cause of instability.

  • Tested on: Intel HD Graphics 5000. Very bad idea – even for text-only slides. If this is what you’ve got, stick to PP5 (see end of this blog post). It onced crashed in the middle of a song, but fortunately it was only a rehearsal for what was a large evangelism night.

  • This is partly because integrated graphics solutions don’t have much video memory. If you peek at the crash logs, you can infer that some crashes are caused by not enough video memory.

NOTE More “RAM is not the same as more “video memory”. ProPresenter is a 32-bit only application, so will not utilise more than 2GB of memory (in theory). Therefore it is advisable to upgrade the video card rather than adding another RAM stick.

ProPresenter or PowerPoint?

Sometimes PowerPoint is still the way to go. ProPresenter is good at handling lyric sequences with non-trivial display outputs.

Did you know? The Mac version of PowerPoint does not have slide editing capabilities during live mode; only the Windows version does.

Set your DPI to 100%, or the stage display won’t fit on the monitor.

You MUST do this or the stage display won’t fit properly. Also, some of the application’s dialogs may not show correctly onscreen.

Set the DPI in Windows to 100%, then log out and in again.

It won’t look great on your Surface Book, but at least ProPresenter will work better.

A couple of remedies

If ProPresenter freezes on first start……

When prompting for the registration key, ProPresenter just freezes. Force quit it and start it again.

There’s also another case I’ve run into a few times:

Screenshot

Enable write permissions for the Everyone group for C:\ProgramData\Renewed Vision Media

If ProPresenter does not license because the Bonjour service is not running……

If the Bonjour service _is _crashing when you manually try to start the service, try uninstalling your current version of Bonjour, then installing https://support.apple.com/kb/dl999.

If ProPresenter freezes during service..

First thing to try is pressing the ESC key. If you have… an interesting monitor set-up with different DPI’s… sometimes dialogs don’t _appear_ onscreen.

Screenshot

A strange empty white dialog box kept popping up.

Other times, it’s actually frozen. The best you can do is ‘freeze’ the projector display, and restart PP6 – this takes about 4 minutes between killing the program, waiting for it to restart, and waiting for the presentation to load.

You can also try looking at the PP6 log, found under the start menu folder. If you have time, try send a bug report. Unfortunately I’ve found this to be largely impractical (I’ve tried) as I the steps to reproduce can be very specific, or it was simply a random crash.

Example crashes:

  • Once, video playback froze 3 seconds in (this was with a live school audience). –
  • ProPresenter also crashes sometimes after simply starting it 🙁
  • Crash when changing slides during a song (text only slide elements)
  • Hanging blank white dialog

Sync is weird

We’re using the local sync mode, pointed to Google Drive.

Sync is still weird

I dunno man. Sometimes templates get cleared, sometimes playlists get duplicated, or error messages such as the above. It’s all the weird edge cases which make sync algorithms hard!

Screenshot

In practice, this makes editing slides from home a bit tricky. I’ve found it better to just point the entire Library Folder to your Google Drive folder, etc.

@jeremy TODO migrate image > Screenshot

User error: ‘Plus’ button doesn’t do anything.

Screenshot Whoops.. you know how that pane usually has two columns? Turns out I  had resized the splitter such that one side was completely hidden 🤣.

4. A tip to import PowerPoint presentations

Screenshot

TLDR; Always choose “Import All Slides as JPEG Images” (the second option), unless your doing something special.

The other options have their purposes too, but likely lead to… surprising slides.

The first option (“Import native PowerPoint slides (all layers and animations)” doesn’t actually import the PowerPoint presentation at all – instead, it uses runs the actual PowerPoint application. This “should just work”, but I haven’t really tested this option myself. (Having worked with the ugly PowerPoint COM API myself; I even found such COM related errors logged by PP6).

Picking #3 and #4 will require some time to go through and fix slide elements after import:

  • #3. – If the pictures were cropped in PowerPoint (i.e. you inserted an image to the slide, then cropped it), when ProPresenter imports the presentation it ignores the crop. Many of the shapes, lines, arrows, etc. created in PowerPoint also don’t actually import as they should. Thus, things can go missing or won’t look right. This is therefore not very useful and is best to avoid, from personal experience.
  • #4. – Useful if you want to import text-only slides (e.g. confessions and other liturgical things). But don’t use if during service time as you will need a bunch of time to fix things up: fonts, resizing text areas, etc.

5. Final note… installing ProPresenter 5 on Windows 10

ProPresenter 5 generally feels more responsive (but can still lag). Beware that you may experience codec issues, so please test before live use.

It certainly runs acceptably with my integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000, so that’s a good sign.

To get it to install on Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, there’s a little trick required to bypass this blocking setup error: “You do not have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 installed and it is required. Do you wish to download it now from the Microsoft website?” in case you have .NET already installed.

The problem here is that installer is searching for specific .NET version number/s, and the most recent version number is now greater than that hardcoded value (a common trap).

I couldn’t actually find the exact registry entry which the installer was searching for, but there’s another way: we can disable this .NET version check altogether.

  • Grab yourself SuperOrca (freeware).
  • Extract ProPresenter5.Setup.msi from ProPresenter5_Setup.exe using 7-zip.
  • Open the msi in SuperOrca, and CTRL+F search for NET45INSTALLED
  • Right click the match, and select Drop Row
  • Save the MSI.