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How do I display Messages in ProPresenter?

Messages can be shown on screen to communicate a number of things. The most common use other than a countdown is for something like a nursery alert at church or "your head lights are on" at a meeting. These Messages can be manually entered by the operator in all versions of ProPresenter, or they can be sent from the ProPresenter Remote app with ProPresenter 5 and ProPresenter 6. Additionally, in ProPresenter 6, someone can send a message to the computer over the network via a special link. All of this is covered below.

Configuring Messages in ProPresenter

Regardless of whether you are sending your message from the computer or from a remote option, you will need to start in Messages in ProPresenter. You need to create your message and its options, as well as set a template for it.

Before you create your alert message you will want to create a new Template and test your font settings for the message to ensure it looks the way you want it to look on screen. Once you are happy with your template you are ready to set up your message. Click on "Messages" in the toolbar, or select it from the View menu if it is not on your toolbar.

There are two ways to view the Messages module. One is the initial collapsed view. Once you have your messages in place this is the view you will use most often. Any message or countdown that you've created is available by clicking on the dropdown menu. Clicking the plus (+) button will add a new message that you can give a custom name. The pen icon (or "Edit" icon in Pro4) expands the simple view to the advanced view.


As you can see in the simple view (first image), "Message" is selected and there is a single text box that a message can be entered in. This field is generated by a token, which is a predefined text element.

The advanced view (second image) shows a nursery call message with regular text and tokens embedded in it. There are several default tokens, but if you need to add extra tokens like "Child number" or "Room number", type them in the box below the tokens list and click the plus (+) button to add the token. You can drag tokens from the list into the Message Text box.

When the Nursery Call message is selected in the simple view, only the "Child number" and "Room number" boxes will be shown. These will be in the same spot that "Message" is in the first image above. You can type in the custom text for each child and it will replace the token when you click "Show Message". The message is shown based on the template that you have selected and will show for as long as you have the Display option set for, or until you click Hide or click the 'X' next to the name in the title bar of the window.

ProPresenter 6 Network Messages

ProPresenter 6 includes the ability to have someone send Messages from a separate computer. This can be used for things like displaying a nursery number when a parent is needed or for sending an alert about someone's headlights being on. The only requirement for this to work is an Internet connection on the computer running ProPresenter and the other device sending the message. The person sending the message can be using a computer or a mobile device, they just need to know the proper link to go to in order to send the message. The ProPresenter operator is still in control of actually displaying the message.

The instructions assume that you have two Internet-enabled devices available and that there are no unexpected network configurations that may cause problems with this connection. ProPresenter generates a locally hosted page via a built-in web server, so the ProPresenter computer and second device both need to be on the same network.

Step 1: Open Preferences

Click the ProPresenter 6 menu and then click on Preferences. You can also use Command-Comma on your keyboard.

Step 2: Enable Network and set the Port

In Preferences, select the Network tab. You will need to select "Enable Network". The network name should be filled in automatically using your computer's name, and there's no need to change it. The port number is set automatically. By default, a random open port is selected each time you open ProPresenter. If you intend to use the Network Messaging feature on a regular basis, you will want to manually change the port number. The good news is that you can just type the port number that is currently assigned to ProPresente,r then press the Return key on your keyboard to manually set the port. Check that the number was saved by restarting ProPresenter. If the number you picked is not still there, change the number again and ensure that you press the Return key. Press the Return key confirms that value and locks it in. You can close Preferences once you have done this step.

Step 3: Setup Messages

The next step is setting up your Messages. Click on the Messages button in the toolbar. Expand the Message view by clicking the pencil icon. You will see the option for "Visible on Network". Check the box next to each message that you want to be available to someone on another device.

Step 4: Get the Remote Message link

Click the computer icon to the right of your Message list to get the link for Remote Messages. The link structure will include your computer name (from the Network tab) and the port. If your port changes, then you will have to provide a new link. If you are worried about maintaining control over who can send a Message to ProPresenter, you may want to change your port from week to week, or even between events depending on how often you are using this feature.

Step 5: Send and display the Message

Once you have the link for Messages, you can enter and send your Message. If your Message has multiple tokens, each of those will be available on this page as well. For this example, only one token is being used in the Message. Type your Message and then click Send. Whoever is on the computer will receive a notification in the top right corner that a Message is available. The operator will have to click on this notification to display the Message or to dismiss it without it being displayed.

Optional configurations

By default, the notification used by OS X is not ideal for ProPresenter. You will need to change the notification options from the Notification Center. Open System Preferences and click on the Notifications menu.

Once Notifications is open, locate ProPresenter 6 in the menu on the left. You can then change your Notification types. The settings shown in the image below give you the most flexibility. The only change would be to disable the "Play sound for notifications" if you don't have system notification sounds turned off universally from the Sound preferences already. The "Alerts" style is the one shown in the animation above. This alert style allows you to either dismiss or show the message.

If your notifications aren't appearing, make sure that Do Not Disturb is not turned on. Click on the Notification Center icon in the top right corner, click on the Notifications tab, scroll up slightly, and verify the setting.

keywords: messages, message, notification, notifications, network, messaging, nursery, alert, fire, headlights, alert

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  1. Chris Rouse

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