Categorizing and Backing Up Styles

You’re perfectly happy wandering all over the place in search of a style you know for a fact is there.
Your hard drive will never suffer a heart attack.
You’ll never need or want a new computer.
You’re in denial.

CATEGORIZING

Now that you’ve admitted the problem, let’s look at categorizing your styles so you can stop the frantic searching and also be prepared. Here’s how to change or add categories:

1. Click the “fx – Effects” button ( or use “Tools > Manage Effects” or press Ctrl+E) to bring up the Effects screen.
2. Choose a category, and within that category, select the slide style(s) you want to recategorize.
3. At the bottom, click the Categorize button to bring up the editing window.
4. What you can do:

  • Add checkmarks to categories where you want to include the chosen styles.
  • Remove checkmarks for categories where you don’t want the style(s) included.
  • Click the “+add” button to create an entirely new category of your own making.

5. When finished editing, click “Apply” to save your changes.

Let’s say you do lots of wedding shows and have various styles suitable for weddings. In Photodex’s “Captions and Titles” category, there are 4 wedding styles. Wouldn’t it be easier if all your wedding styles plus those title styles were included in a category called “Wedding”? Indeed, it would:

1. Bring up the Effects screen.
2. Find the “Captions and Titles” category and select it.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the list where you’ll see the 4 wedding title styles.
4. Select all 4 styles by clicking on the first one, and while holding the Shift key, click on the last one.
5. Click the “categorize” button.
6. Click the “+add” button.
7. Type “Wedding” in the New Category Name box, and click “Ok”.
8. A new Wedding category will appear. It will be checkmarked and highlighted.
9. Click the “Apply” button.
10. Locate your other wedding styles, select them, and choose to add them to the Wedding category.

Here’s what creating a new category looks like:

Category Window

After you go through this process one or two times, you’ll see how quick and easy it is.

BACKING UP

NOTE: Back up only those built-in styles for which you’ve modified the categories. Otherwise, if you reinstall ProShow and reload your styles, ProShow will question your sanity about every built-in style, asking if you want to overwrite it. For those built-ins you’ve actually changed, and to retain those changes, you must answer “Yes.” You do NOT want to go through this for every last one of the built-ins!

Here’s a comprehensive backup plan:

1. Create a folder on your hard drive called Styles.
2. Inside the Styles folder, create sub-folders, one for each category you’ve created or are part of purchased styles. Add one more folder called Built-ins.
3. Using the Effects screen, select each category, ignoring any built-in category containing styles you haven’t changed.
4. Selecting one category at a time, highlight all the styles inside it, click “export,” browse to the matching folder you created, and click “Save.”
5. Do this for all the categories you’ve created.
6. Whenever you change or add a style, export it to the appropriate folder. (Add Photodex’s styles to the Built-ins folder.)
7. Final step: Whenever you’ve made a number of changes, burn the Styles folder to a backup disk. Someday you’ll need it.

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Add or Remove Time Between Keyframes

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

• Even though the right-click command says “Add/Remove Time from Keyframe,” it’s a lie. You’re adding or removing time after the keyframe.

• Compounding the problem is that the dialogue box instructions say, “To add time to the end of a slide, select the last keyframe. To remove time, enter a negative number,” This is misleading because, if the last keyframe is all the way to the right, you can’t subtract time. Not ever.

FOUR TIPS:

• Making changes to a keyframe at the beginning of or within a transition area changes the transition time, not the base slide time. Unless this is what you really want to do, zero out the transition before adding/removing time. It will make life easier.

• Time is added or removed a tiny fraction to the right of the keyframe. The same amount of time will be added/removed in precisely the same location in any other layers.

• Open the keyframe editor before you make any changes so you can see where the time change will occur in other layers.

• Don’t work on the original slide. It’s too easy to mess things up. Instead, copy the slide and make changes to the copy. If it works like a charm, delete the original and use the copy; if it doesn’t work, you still have the original.

CONCLUSION:

Play with the command. Getting comfortable with it is truly worth your time for even the simplest situation. If, say, you have just one layer with 4 keyframes, you can quickly change the timing between keyframes 2 and 3 without affecting the time before or after them.

Dale Fenimore has an article on adding/removing time that goes into more depth: On Dale’s Blog

Published in: on December 14, 2014 at 10:29 am  Comments Off on Add or Remove Time Between Keyframes  
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Getting in Sync with ProShow

Do you struggle syncing slide and sound? If you’re a newcomer to ProShow, no doubt you do, but be assured that ProShow veterans can also have problems.

I’ve put together tips, three example shows using 3 very different soundtracks, and a method for easing some of the syncing pain for both newcomers and old-timers.

Will it make you an instant expert? No. It gives you guidance. The rest is up to you.

Download for both Gold and Producer: Getting in Sync

Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 11:36 am  Comments Off on Getting in Sync with ProShow  
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Instant Outline Fonts in ProShow!

A few days ago while fooling around with gradient fills for captions, I wondered what would happen if the gradient was transparent. As you might guess, it makes the caption disappear. Not to be deterred by invisible captions, I turned on Outline and was rewarded with the loveliest transformation. Here are the simple steps:

1. Add a Color Solid to a blank slide so you can see what’s happening.
2. Using any font other than one that’s ultra-thin, type your caption. Here I’ve used 30-point Verdana:

Step 1

3. Place a check next to “Use Texture on Caption.” (The Gradient option is selected by default.)
4. Click the “Edit Gradient” button.
5. Select the color marker at the left and set its Opacity to 0%. Do the same for the marker on the right, and click OK.
6. Place a check next to “Outline,” and watch your caption reappear:

Instant Outline

7. Change the color to anything you want, and if you turn on Bold, it’ll be a larger outline font.

Isn’t this cool?

Published in: on April 10, 2013 at 10:19 am  Comments (4)  
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Go Gracefully between Songs in ProShow

Most songs are 3 or 4 minutes long, but our slide shows can run a whole lot longer, so we add multiple songs. Fading out the end of one song and fading in the beginning of the next can lead to a fade that sinks down into silence before the next song fades in. Very ungraceful. The solution is to overlap the end of the first and the beginning of the next song. Don’t be afraid to apply long fades–they’re far more graceful. For example, here’s where two songs meet:

Notice the flat line between the songs? The first song has a short stretch of silence at the end of it. It’s this kind of thing that makes supplying a formula for fade and overlap impossible, but if you look at the tracks, you’ll be able to take such things into account.

For this pair of songs, I found that using 10 seconds for the first song’s fade-out and the second song’s fade-in worked perfectly when combined with a -2 offset for the second song. Had the silence at the end of the first song been longer, I would have had to account for it, supplying a longer negative offset. Only our ears can tell us when something is right.

Here’s how I set song #1:

And here are song #2’s settings:

Listen for a gradual fading out, and before the first song is completely gone, the second song slowly fading in. You want neither silence nor abruptness.

You can do these adjustments directly in the soundtrack, but for me, the sound options screen is faster and more precise. How you do it is up to you.

Published in: on November 29, 2012 at 11:05 am  Comments (10)  
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