ProShow 6 Caption Tips

This one bears repeating because it’s something we’re all likely to trip over periodically even if we know better. When converted, the text layer is automatically at 100% zoom, which is no different from any standard image. Make sure the font size you choose matches the largest size you’ll want when zooming. You can reduce the zoom beneath 100% but not above 100%.

This is what happens when you don’t use a font size to match your largest zoom. Notice those unattractively fuzzy edges:

Fuzzy Zoom

This is how the same caption appears at 100% zoom when the font size was matched to the greatest level of zoom:

Sharp Zoom


Other than choosing to center or justify left or right, don’t position the text until you’re working with the layer. Most important is to allow space on all four sides. If you do, you’re less likely to have readjust things if you change the amount of text. Here’s what can happen in the converted text layer if you haven’t allowed room, and then you extend it into a paragraph:

No breathing room


Glorious Texture Fill!
Finally, we can quickly edit the texture used to fill a caption without resorting to an image editor. Just create the caption, turn it into a layer, place an image beneath that layer, and then select the caption layer, choosing to use it as a mask. Now you can select the image layer and change it on a mere whim. Play in the Adjustments tab, or reposition the image to take advantage of specific areas in it. Flip it or even set it in motion.

Here’s a standard texture fill using an image of sand:

Standard texture fill

Here it’s set as a mask above the sand image. Games were played in the Adjustments tab (Hue and Black Point sliders) along with repositioning the image to take advantage of a dark streak:

Caption Mask


Great Shadows
The default text shadow has always been inflexible–specific size at a specific offset with a specific amount of blur. Now we can duplicate a caption layer,  turn the second caption black, blur it, reduce its opacity, and set it anywhere we want. Here are three examples showing how to create an illusiong of height. The first shows a caption just a bit above the surface, the second with the caption higher up, and the third with a caption all but soaring:

Just above surface

Farther above surface

Far above surface


Captions as layers? Best thing since sliced bread!


Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm  Comments (4)  
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Avoiding Caption Blur in ProShow 6

Zooming in on a caption layer causes blur. Why? Because the original text is automatically converted to 100% zoom, and the result of zooming will be no different from that of zooming in on a small image. To avoid the problem, increase the font size to approximately the largest zoom you’ll be using, and only after that should you convert it to a layer.

One way to do it:

  1. Create the text and convert it.
  2. Zoom the layer to the largest you’ll want.
  3. Create a brand-new text line, using the same words, and then move it over the “layerized” caption.
  4. Change the font size of the new text until it matches the size of the zoomed version.
  5. Delete the zoomed caption layer, and then convert the plain text to a caption layer.
  6. Now, instead of zooming in, zoom out so the caption starts out (or ends) at the smallest size you want. Increasing the zoom to 100% will give you a caption that’s both large and sharp as a tack.

Another way to do it:

  1. Create the text and convert it.
  2. Zoom the layer to what you’ll want, and note the percentage.
  3. Reset the percentage to 100%.
  4. In the Text Settings tab, multiply the current font size by the zoom percentage. For instance, if the current size is 12 and the zoom you’ll want is 130%, then 12 times 1.3 (percentage as a decimal) will be a font size of 15.6, which you can type in, or you can round it up, using a size of 16.
  5. Use the same final step as in the first method, zooming the caption out wherever you want it at a smaller size.

As you get used to how captions work in ProShow 6, you’ll probably end up no longer needing these instructions. (Thank goodness, right?)

Published in: on December 21, 2013 at 10:06 am  Comments Off on Avoiding Caption Blur in ProShow 6  
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Any Number You Want

No matter how it looks, you aren’t limited to default settings in ProShow. Here’s the truth:

ZOOM – Sometimes a setting such as 103 is too small while 104 is too large. No problem. Type in a decimal such as 103.5, and you’ll have just what you need. If you leave the slide and then go back to it, you’ll find that the number has been rounded off, but don’t be fooled. Beneath the hood, your decimal number is still there.

ROTATION – Do you want an object to spin like a top? You probably already know you can go from -360 degrees to +360 degrees, (two full rotations), but you can also make it spin from -720 degrees to +720 degrees or from -980 degrees to +980 degrees or from whatever to whatever you like.

TILT – What holds true for rotation also holds true for tilt, but in this case, instead of spinning clockwise or counterclockwise, the object will appear spin on a vertical axis like a weather vane.

FONT POINT SIZE – Don’t believe for one minute that the largest you can go is up to 120 points. Type in any point size you want…any. If 56 is too small and 72 is too large, type in 60 or 63 or whatever suits.

All you need remember is that, if there’s a box where you can enter a number, you’re free to enter any number you want.

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm  Comments Off on Any Number You Want  
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