Improved scripture text support for slide shows
Inserting text slides into a slide show has frankly, up to now, been a bit tedious. Not tedious like like monks-transcribing-Latin-text-in-the-middle-ages-tedious, but more tedious than it should be with current technology. While SSP has provided a way to insert scripture text directly into a program for some time now, what I am referring to here is actually the process to insert scripture text into a slide show that also contains other text slides, such as bullet points, titles, and visuals, etc., in other words, inserting scripture into a slide show that you would also use as part of the message.
In the previous edition of SSP, inserting scripture text involved a fairly manual process of adding text object elements to a slide, then pasting the text into the edit boxes, typically then followed by formatting the text. The Slide Show Builder did provide a way to directly connect to an external Bible software application like QuickVerse or Online Bible, providing a way to directly import text into a text object, but even this feature was a bit awkward and wasn't consistent with the way scripture slides were built in SSP itself.
Another issue was that the slide show builder only provided one layout mechanism: Title, Main Text, and Footer. For some, such as our own church, having separate layouts for text slides and scripture slides is desirable. For instance, when building the slide shows for our services, I prefer to have slide text horizontally centered, but scripture text to be left aligned. In the previous edition, doing this required manual editing of each text element to specify the horizontal alignment.
With the April 2008 Edition, you can now specify separate layouts for text slides and scripture slides. The Main Text, Title, and Footer layout properties still exist, but you can now also use the Scripture Text and Scripture Reference layout properties as well within a slide. This means separate horizontal, vertical, spacing, word wrap, and tab size for Main Text and Scripture Text. You can also specify different font, size, and style settings as well.
The process for pasting scripture text has been improved. For one, by default, most formatting is stripped from rich text sources. Unless you specify otherwise, font, size, and color formatting is removed from text that is being pasted to a text object. Style is preserved, but you can change these settings in the Preferences window.
Pasting scripture text, is even easier to manage with the new Scripture Slides Builder. This builder is specifically designed to let you paste text, such as from www.biblegateway.com, into its editor, then lets you split or merge the text into the slide arrangements that you wish. When showing scripture text, you typically want just one verse on a slide at a time, but at other times, its appropriate to show more than one verse, or to split the slide along sentence boundaries rather than verse boundaries. This builder lets you manipulate the text in the way that is best suited for the occasion in a way that is much easier than doing the same thing within the Slide Show Builder itself.
The Scripture Slides Builder also connects with any scripture database supported by SSP so that you can easily insert a passage of scripture into the builder. By default, it will place scripture imported from these databases with each verse on its own slide. With the convenient editing commands, however, you can merge these slides as you see fit within the builder.
Scripture Slides Builder can be used multiple times within a single slide show. All scripture elements are set to use the default scripture properties, which lets you easily change the layout and appearance of all scripture elements within your slide show.
New tool button and keyboard commands have been added that let you toggle superscript within text, also handy when editing scripture text that has been pasted from another source and contains verse numbers that need to be superscripted.
Then finally, there is a new option within Slide Show Builder letting you insert one or more verses of scripture text from a scripture database source into a new slide. The new slide contains both the text and reference elements, both defaulting to the scripture layout properties.
So to summarize:
- Separate layout for text slides and scripture slides
- Improved properties letting you control the layout and look of all scripture text within a slide show
- New builder designed specifically for the easy importing of scripture text into a slide show
- Improved process for quickly adding a single scripture slide to a slide show
- Improved changes for pasting and editing scripture text