Tools We Use: ProPresenter 4

ProPresenter is, in my opinion, the best presentation software for churches on the market. The power and ease of use make it perfect for churches because the volunteer church tech staff can learn it quite easily. At $400, it is not cheap, but it is an investment well worth the money.

So, what can ProPresenter do?

UPDATE: Two additional Pro presenter resources: 155+ Free looping backgrounds for ProPresenter & Pro Presenter 4: Expand Your Looping Background Library For Free

Play full screen foreground and background videos: The playback engine in ProPresenter isn’t perfect, but it is very good. It allows you to quickly play videos from your computer with a seamless fade in and out. The playback engine allows videos to be sped up and slowed down, and hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast can be adjusted.

Display Images: Images behave in much the same way that videos do. You can adjust hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast. You can also assign centering and stretch behavior on a per image basis.

Play Audio: You can use ProPresenter to play tracks as well. You can choose to set the audio as a “Track” or as a “Sound Effect”. Tracks play one at a time. Sound Effects play over top of tracks.

Play full screen DVDs: The DVD playback software is quite nice. It lets you pick in and out points on the DVD to play back as clips. You can save them to your playlist for playback during the service. This does not actually store the video on the computer, so you will still have to have the DVD in the drive to play the clip. It also has an option to not let the DVD “spin down”. This makes playing DVD clips very fast.

Display web pages: If you want to show a website, or play a web-only video, you can do it from within ProPresenter. There is not a lot of functionality here, but it can be useful in some situations.

Display text and graphics: The text engine in ProPresenter is awesome. You can format text any way you choose. It lets you assign templates that format and add graphics to any text you bring in. You can set up different looks and then apply them to any group of text all at once. You can also display “Messages.” These are alerts or information that appear over anything else on the screen. This feature can also be used to display countdowns.

Display Bible verses: ProPresenter offers several public domain Bibles for free on their website. These include Bibles like the KJV and the ASV. You can purchase other Bibles like the NIV and MSG for $15 each. The Bible tool lets you pick chapter and verses, then use templates to format them. You have the option to include verse numbers, break on new verse, and other display options. You can also just keyword search to find verses if you don’t know the location.

Organize songs, videos, and presentations: You can store all your media in different categories. These categories are searchable so that you can always find what you are looking for quickly. You can also set up playlists for your services. That lets you plan ahead and have everything you need set up ahead of time.

This is an overview of what ProPresenter can do. I plan on making some video tutorials that show how to use each of these features in the future.
ProPresenter is from Renewed Vision.

Editor’s note: ProPresenter is an upgrade for us. In the tools we use articles, the intent is to give you a peek into our processes and tools. There are cheaper alternatives when it comes to showing graphics and text on a screen. Before we got ProPresenter, we were using EasyWorship. Before that we were using PowerPoint and switching programs (or equipment) to show video. There are also a few free products available that will do the job too. However, in this category, there is absolute truth in the old adage that “you get what you pay for.” While you can find products cheaper than ProPresenter 4, you will have to live with other issues, like interface clunky-ness, software instability, or pauses in your service while hardware and software is switched. Sometimes, investing in one thing can free up all kinds of other resources. For us, ProPresenter is one such investment.

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