Power Prompter User Guide


Introduction

Welcome to the Power Prompter Guide. This document will teach you about Power Prompter's features and how to use the application productively.

While Power Prompter might look intimidating at first it really is easy to use. All the advanced settings and options can be safely ignored by the beginner so that getting started will take only a few minutes.

Getting Started (in just a few steps)

Let's be honest: No one reads manuals. That's why we start this guide with a short step-by-step "getting started" tutorial which will get you started in just 2 minutes.

  1. Start Power Prompter by double clicking its application icon in Finder.

  2. Either start typing or open an existing document (.ppr, .txt, .rtf are supported)

  3. Select "Script" from the right side segment control and adjust the script properties to your liking. Adjust "Words per Line" until you are comfortable with the word count/font size.

  4. Select "Overlay" from the segment control and select which kind of indicator you would like to display during prompting.

  5. Select "Screens" from the segment controls and select on which displays the teleprompter window should appear. You can also open free floating teleprompter windows by pressing the "New Teleprompter Window" button.

  6. Now you're ready to press the "Play" button on the transport controller to start prompting. While the teleprompter is doing its work you can still adjust all settings from steps 3 through 5. You can also change the scroll speed until you can comfortably read the displayed text.


The Script Editor Window

The script editor is where you adjust all teleprompter settings and the text contents of the current script.

The editor window consists of the following elements:

#1 - The Text Editor

This essentially is a rich text editor just like you know from Text Edit or Apple Pages with a few differences.

You can mark text as bold, italic or underline it by pressing the standard key shortcuts or by using the "Format" menu. You can also change color of selected text and you can change the font face.

But you can not adjust font size as font size is dynamically adjusted to fit the "Words per Line" and "Prompter Margin" settings.

Nor can you embed images, pictures or other rich media - although you can use emoji characters which offer many useful symbols like arrows, etc.

#2 - Mode Selection Segment Control

Use this control to select the editor mode. Each editor mode is discussed in this manual.

#3 - Transport Control

The transport is used to control teleprompting. You can start or pause prompting, rewind or reverse. You can also temporarily increase or decrease scroll speed by holding down the ffwd buttons.

#4 - Time Labels

The first label displays the current scrolling position while the second label displays the estimate runtime of the script given the current scrolling speed, words per line and prompter margin settings.

One feature that many other teleprompting applications lack is that with Power Prompter the runtime of the script won't change when you resize the prompter window. Power Prompter will always honor your word count, margin and scroll speed settings no matter the screen resolution and your script will look the same on all screens.

Please Note: This window is for editing work and shouldn't be used for teleprompting. While the editor will accurately reflect all script properties it isn't optimized for low latency scrolling and will from time to time experience hiccups. For "live" teleprompting tasks please use the dedicated teleprompter windows which you can spawn in the "Screens" sidebar.

The Script Sidebar

Here you can adjust most of the script properties. The first three controls allow you to change the script background color, the text color and the font face. The buttons labeled with "ø" next to each control restore the default value. So if you want to get rid of that ugly pink text color just press the ø button and you're back to the default text color.

The second group of controls focuses on the script background image. You can choose to display a background image behind the scrolling text. For best results the image should be visible only lightly which you can adjust with the opacity slider.

The third group focuses on text flipping. You can simulate how the script will look when it's flipped (for example to use a mirror system).

Don't worry: This setting can be adjusted in each prompter window separately - so you can use a display with a mirror system and one without simultaneously.

Prompter margin and Words per Line control the font size and the number of words in a line. Most people are comfortable with around 4 to 6 words per line and no prompter margin (empty space left/right around the text).

The final two control groups center around scroll speed. You can either adjust the scroll speed manually via the slider or you can let the computer set a scroll speed based on the script's desired runtime. Please not that margin and word/line count affect the total runtime so make sure you have set up your desired word count before adjusting the run time.

The Overlay Sidebar

This sidebar centers around current position indicators. Power Prompter currently supports two types of indicators: A graphical one which is displayed on the left side and is called an "Indicator" and another type which is overlaid on the prompter.

Both types of indicators can be displayed simultaneously.

The first control group allows you to control which kind of graphical indicator to display. You have the choice between none, an arrow, a dot and a line. Each indicator can be shown in three sizes from small to medium and in three different colors.

The second control group focuses on the overlay indicators. Currently the options are "Fade In" or "Highlight". Fade In fades text around the current reading position into the background. Only the reading position is visible at 100%. The Highlight overlay highlights the current reading position and leave other text alone.

The last control group is the indicator position slider. You can use it to adjust the indicator's vertical position in the teleprompter window. Most people prefer the position to be slightly to the top of the screen (around 60-65% slider value).

The Screens Sidebar

With this sidebar you are able to control on which displays a teleprompter is going to be show. The first group contains a list of all displays that are attached to your Mac.

By selecting the checkbox next to a display you are going to spawn a teleprompter window on said display. The flip buttons let you toggle on/off text flipping on that particular display. And the "eye" button will render a graphical glow around the display so you can easily find it in a studio environment.

The button located below the list allows you to spawn a free floating teleprompter window. You can move the window around like any other OS X window. This allows for more complex prompter arrangements.


The Teleprompter Window

The teleprompter window is where teleprompting takes place. This window uses a highly optimized layouting and rendering engine to provide low latency high quality scrolling while utilizing as little CPU as possible.

You should use only teleprompter windows for teleprompting. The editor window is not optimized for scrolling and will produce less than optimal results.

Usually a teleprompter window is used in full screen mode and you will see the upper toolbar only when you hover the mouse pointer over the top portion of the window.

The elements of the toolbar are (from left to right):

  1. Controls Toggle: If this is on then the on screen controls (play/pause, rewind and speed control) will be displayed in the teleprompter window. Usually you want to turn this off when doing the actual teleprompting.

  2. Controls Opacity Slider: With this slider you can adjust the controls' opacity/transparency.

  3. Horizontal + Vertical Flip Toggles: With the flip toggles you can control if the teleprompter script should be displayed flipped or normal. The flip toggles are essential when you're working with a professional mirroring system. If you're not using a mirroring system you don't need to care about text flipping.

  4. Full Screen Toggle: If you want to enter or exit full screen you can use this toggle. (It mirrors OS X' green window button behavior so you can use both interchangeably).


Remote Controlling Power Prompter

Power Prompter can be controlled remotely via a remote control. This can be either another Mac running Power Prompter or an iOS device running the Power Prompter Remote app. Or even an ordinary hardware presentation remote control.

In this section you'll learn how to get each kind of remote control to work with Power Prompter.

Mac to Mac

You can open the remote control window via the File menu. Select the "New Remote Control" item.

In the upper list you can see available local network instances of Power Prompter. Click on an entry in the list and you will be connected to the running Power Prompter instance.

The slider to the left lets you adjust playback speed and the two buttons to the right fulfill "rewind" and "play/pause" functions.

There's a status label above those two buttons which displays the current document name and its prompting status.

Fixing Mac to Mac Issues

For remote control to work both devices (controller and controlled) need to be on the same local network. Usually this is the case when both devices are using the same WiFi network. But if your teleprompter Mac connects via Ethernet wire to the network and your remote control device uses WiFi you need to make sure that both devices are on the same local subnet.

Also make sure Bonjour services are not filtered on the network and that UDP port 19824 is not blocked by your firewall.

iOS to Mac

Once you have downloaded the iOS remote control app (link below) you can use it to remotely control a Power Prompter instance via either a local WiFi network or Bluetooth LE. The iOS remote app comes with an extensive manual that covers connection setup and trouble shooting.

Having said that Bluetooth LE should work out of the box (provided you enable Bluetooth both on your Mac and iOS device).

To download the iOS remote control app wither scan this QR code or visit suborbital.io/ppr with your iPhone/iPad.

Both links will take you to the iOS App Store page for "Power Prompter Remote". Alternatively you can search directly for "Power Prompter Remote" in the App Store.

Fixing iOS to Mac Issues

If you encounter any problems with connection the iOS remote to your Mac please refer to the provided iOS app manual for detailed trouble shooting instructions.

Presentation Remote to Mac

You can use almost any presentation remote control with Power Prompter. Standard remotes which are compatible with Keynote and/or PowerPoint should work out of the box.

If your remote is nonstandard and uses different keycodes you can use the "Custom Keybindings" panel in Preferences to map the remote's buttons to Power Prompter functions.


The Preferences Dialog

General Pane

Startup Options

Select through this drop down what should happen when you open Power Prompter.

User Interface Options

Open teleprompter window on play.

If this option is on then Power Prompter will open a teleprompter window whenever you initiate teleprompting. This will happen only if there's no other teleprompter window visible for the current script.

Show controls in teleprompter window.

Toggle this box to select if you'd like to have controls in the teleprompter window visible by default. You can always individually disable/enable controls for each teleprompter window seperately in the window's toolbar.

Show timestamp in teleprompter window.

If you'd like to enable the timestamp display by default check this box. You can always individually disable/enable the timestamp for each teleprompter window seperately in the window's toolbar.

Use dark User Interface.

Checking this box will change the UI style of Power Prompter to 'dark mode'. Use this option if you're getting distracted by the editor window in a low light setting.

Note that Power Prompter automatically changes to dark mode if you put the app into full screen mode.

Manual Scrolling

If you need to manually scroll the script enable this checkbox and set the duration for scrolling one line.

Script Pane

Default Background Color

Use this option to change the default background color of new scripts. The Reset button will reset the color to the 'factory' settings.

Default Text Color

Use this option to change the default text color of new scripts. The Reset button will reset the color to the 'factory' settings.

Default Font

Use this option to change the default font of new scripts. The Reset button will reset the color to the 'factory' settings.

Please note that the font size will be ignored as Power Prompter dynamically resizes the font to fit the 'words per line' and 'prompter margin' constraints you provide in the Script Editor window.

Remote Control Pane

Network Remote Control

Allow Power Prompter to be remotely ...

If this option is selected then Power Prompter will listen to remote control connections via the local network and Bluetooth LE. (Provided you have an active network connection and/or activated Bluetooth in your Mac's system preferences).

Name on Network

This is the 'human friendly' name under which your Power Prompter instance will be visible to the iOS remote control app and other Power Prompter instances on the local network.

If you leave this field empty then your Mac's network name will be used.As this an be confusing we suggest you use an easily recognizable name.

Presenter Support

Power Prompter supports most common Keynote and MS PowerPoint compatible presentation remotes. If you enable this checkbox you can control Power Prompter with your presentation clicker.

Please note that the clicker commands only work as long as the teleprompter window has keyboard focus.

Key Bindings Pane

Custom Key Bindings

This panel allows you to assign custom key bindings to various teleprompter functions. Simply click on one of the buttons and press a key. The button will then change its text to reflect its assigned key.

Now whenever you press the key its assigned function will trigger. (Please note that this will only work as long as the teleprompter window has keyboard focus.)

There are a few limitations though: You can't re-assign the default key bindings (like space to play/pause) and you shouldn't assign system wide bindings like CMD-O because the system will respond to these bindings first before the app can handle them.

The bingins are triggered if you let the key go (on key up). If you'd rather have the action triggered as soon as you press down the key just select the "Perform action on Key Down" checkbox. This will also enable key repeat (with the delay you set in System Preferences). Tip: If you want to change scroll speed by holding a key make sure this box is selected.

Help & Support Pane

If you're reading this you probably already found out about the "Help & Support" pane. Just click the buttons and find out where they take you ;)

Need Support?

You can contact us 24 hours a day directly via email support@suborbital.io.