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What's New in Worship Assistant 5.0

Requirements

Worship Assistant 5.0 requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, which is included in Windows Vista and Window 7. If you are running Windows XP, and you don't have the framework installed, you will be prompted to download and install during the installation of Worship Assistant.

You must have DirectX 9.0 installed to use the new video features. Also, you must have the proper codecs installed for the video files you are trying to play. If the file will play in Windows Media Center, it should play in Worship Assistant.

You must have Microsoft PowerPoint XP, 2003 or 2007 installed to use PowerPoint presentations from within Worship Assistant. The PowerPoint Viewer application alone will not work.

Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 98 are no longer supported.

Side by Side Installation

Version 5 can be installed and ran side by side with version 4. Installing version 5 will not overwrite your installation of version 4, and version 5 uses it's own settings and dataset files.

To import your version 4 data, make sure the 'Current Dataset' points to the location of your version 4 data files, then select File->Upgrade from Version 4 from the main menu.

Media Folder

On the General Setup screen, you can specify a specific folder to store all your media files (video, backgrounds, and PowerPoint files). The purpose of this folder is to make it easier for you to move your work from one computer to another. Simply copy the contents of your Media Folder on the first computer onto a flash drive or other removable media, then copy those files into the Media Folder on the second computer.

The program will use this folder in two ways. First, when the program attempts to open a media file, if it can't find it in the original location as saved in the program or dataset, it will then check to see if the file is in the Media Folder. Second, whenever you select a media file in another location, you will be asked if you want to copy the file into your Media Folder. 

Video Presentations

Video files can now be added to the set list for presentation, either stand-alone or as the background for song lyrics or free text.

In each place in the program where you could previously select a picture for the background of your presentation, you can now select a video file as well. This includes the default background in Presentation Setup (used when no other background is selected for a song), the default background selected for a specific song in Song Manager (used as the default background when the song is added to a worship set), and the background selected for each item in a set in Set Manager.

To add a video to the set that is intended for playback and not as the background to lyrics or free text, click the +Video button in Set Manager. The Description for the new item defaults to the name of the video file, but this can be changed to anything you want.

During presentation, when a video serves as the background for a song (or free text), it will automatically start when a slide for the song is selected, and it will loop to the beginning when it is finished. If a video file is specified for a non-song item in the set list, you will need to click the Play button in the toolbar to start it, and it will not loop to the beginning when it is finished.
PowerPoint Presentations

To add a PowerPoint file to your set, click on the +PowerPoint button in Set Manager. The Description for the new item defaults to the name of the PowerPoint file, but this can be changed to anything you want.

During presentation, you will have full control over how the file is presented. You will be able to choose a particular slide from the main set list on the left side of the Presentation control panel, or from the list of actual slide images on the right.

Note: the focus must be the Presentation Control Panel in order to navigate through a PowerPoint using the keyboard. PowerPoint selections will start again at the beginning when you reach the last slide (or the last animation of the last slide). To stop the PowerPoint, you must select a different item in the set using the mouse or keyboard.

Presentations
  • New font styles: on the Presentation Setup window, you can now select Shadow, Emboss, Engrave, and Outline for your fonts. You can also specify the color and depth for Shadow and Outline.
  • When a presentation is started, the first slide is no longer automatically displayed.
  • If you blank a slide in the presentation, it will show blank in the preview window of the Presentation Control Panel as well.
  • Play, Stop and Pause buttons have been added to the Presentation Manager to support video playback during presentation.
Media Player

This is an alternate way to queue up and play video files. To display the Media Player, select View->Media Player from the main menu.

Set Manager

There is an icon in the first column of each row that indicates the type of entry:

  • Song selected from songs in the dataset
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Video clip
  • Free Text (with or without display text)

Free Text entries can be added to your current set that represent other activities that occur during your service. They can simply be named items such as 'Offering', or they can contain free form test that you wish to display using the projector (with an optional background image or video). To add a 'free-text' entry, click the +Free Text button. A dialog will be displayed that will allow you type in the name of the entry (or choose from a list of previous entries). To add display text, right-click on the item in the Current Set and select View/Edit Display Text.

You can add comments to each item in the current set by right-clicking on the item and selecting View/Edit comments. These comments can be printed on the Set List.

The All Songs context menu now has Default Columns selection for resetting the columns to their default location and width.

Printing

Significant improvements have been made to printing engine and preview window. Choosing to print any item will display the print preview window for that item. From this window, you can do any of the following:

  • Send to the printer by selecting 'Print' from the menu or toolbar.
  • Export to a file by selecting 'Export Document' from the menu or toolbar.
  • E-mail the item by selecting 'Send via E-Mail' from the menu or toolbar.
  • Change the page setup for the item by selecting 'Page Setup' from the menu or toolbar. Note that this is the same Page Setup window that is displayed when you select Setup->Page Setup from the main menu. After closing this window, the preview will be refreshed reflecting any changes made to the setup.
Set List
  • added the option of printing comments for individual items (comments can be added by right-clicking on the item in Set Manager).
  • added the ability to print a horizontal line by adding a 'free text' entry of '---'.
  • now prints correctly when set notes are longer than what will fit on one page.
  • now uses the Windows long date format for the date.
Lead Sheets
  • You can now print Lead Sheets for all songs or all active songs from the Reports menu (from the main menu).
Song Reports
  • Song Reports now has the option to specify songs used within a certain date range, and will also calculate and print the 'Last Used' date and number of 'Times Used'.
  • When creating a new template, you are now immediately prompted for the name (also true on Team Reports)..
Miscellaneous Improvements
  • Quick access to a number of often-used tasks.were added to the Navigation Bar.
  • Separate spell check dictionaries for the four English-speaking locales are now included, and the proper dictionary is selected based on the Locale selected in Windows.
  • The dataset is now a single file on the hard drive. The proprietary database format used in version 4 has been replaced by SQLite.
  • Buttons were added to the main window toolbar for General Setup, Page Setup, and Presentation Setup.

Other Changes

Manager Windows
  • The 'Change' button must now be clicked to edit an existing record ( (this is no longer an option). The F2 key is a shortcut for clicking the 'Change' button.
  • The 'Sort' combobox has been removed from all manager windows.
  • 'Load all Records' in the Browse window is always enabled (this is no longer an option).
Song Manager
  • The Export CRD File button was removed from the toolbar (CRD files are no longer supported).
  • The Introduced, Last Used and Count fields were removed. This information can be gleaned from the Usage list.
Set Manager
  • All Songs (right-click) context menu now has Default Columns selection.
  • 'Add Free Text' is now done from a popup window.
  • Drag and drop for reordering set items and set members is no longer supported.
Dataset Management
  • The dataset choices are no longer displayed when the program is started.
    New menu items have been added to open the Default and Sample datasets.
  • The 'Close Dataset' item has been removed from the main menu.
Import/Export
  • Support for importing and exporting CRD files has been discontinued.
  • Importing Songs no longer supports files not created by Worship Assistant.
Miscellaneous Changes
  • Program settings are always saved as part of a backup (this is no longer an option). You still have the option to not restore program settings.
  • File->Calculate Usage has been removed from the main menu (the equivalent functionality has been added to Song Reports).
  • Setup->Printer Setup has been removed from the main menu. This is now managed from the print preview window.
  • When Merging Songs, the Sort By and Filter controls have been removed (this can be done through the grid).
  • The Filter selection panes work a bit differently now.
  • The Edit menu was removed from the main menu, and the Cut/Copy/Paste buttons were removed from the main window toolbar.
  • Window->Close has been changed to Close All. This now closes all the manager windows instead of just the one that is active.


   
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