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Using Group Labels to organize your slides

There are several ways to get songs into ProPresenter. The fastest and easiest way to do this is with CCLI's SongSelect service. (Subscriptions required.) For the first part of this article we'll focus on Group Labels as they relate to SongSelect songs. Much of this information applies to importing songs from text files or manually entering songs as well.

Let's begin by going over the difference between the types of labels available in ProPresenter.

ProPresenter has two types of labels: Slide Labels and Group Labels. Slide Labels are used to make small comments on slides such as "Cue Lights", "Instrumental", or "Repeats 5x". These labels are simply there to help you out. Group Labels are equivalent to stanzas. By default, these labels are for verses and choruses, plus a few others. These labels are also what facilitate building Arrangements for a song. Group Labels can be anything you want them to be, just like Slide Labels can be, but for our purposes in this article, we'll be covering how they relate to songs.

Below is a screenshot of the Labels Preferences in ProPresenter 6.

Now, let's take a look at a song imported from SongSelect. In the screenshot below you can see Matt Redman's "10,000 Reasons" immediately after it has been imported. If you look at the previous screenshot, you'll see that the Groups and Colors have been automatically assigned to the groups that matched with a stanza from SongSelect. However, [Ending] doesn't have a pre-assigned Group Label.

You can right-click on the slide, go to Group Label and select Other... to create a new Group Label and color, as well as save it for future use. You can also add new Group Labels and colors in Preferences by clicking on the plus (+) button below the list. If you add labels through Preferences you can select any color you want; selecting from the slide view only offers limited colors. You can go into the Editor and change names and colors on existing labels at any time as well. To delete an existing label, just select it from the list in Preferences and press the Delete key on your keyboard. 

A new feature for Group Labels in ProPresenter 6 is the ability to attach a Hot Key automatically. If you use Hot Keys in ProPresenter, you probably have a set system that you use for every song. Rather than having to set your Hot Keys up on every song every time you add a new song, you can set Hot Keys for Group Labels. When you assign a Group Label, the Hot Key will also be set for the first slide of the group. This guarnatees that every song gets the same Hot Keys. Group Label Hot Keys can only be set in Preferences. You can  still manually set Hot Keys on any slide by right-clicking on a slide.

One important thing to note about labels: They are not dynamically linked to documents in your Library. This means that if you modify your labels in any way--name, color, Hot Key--songs that have already been setup will not be changed. 

If you have been provided with a text file, you can also import from that and still get your Group Labels to assign automatically, however, you need to prep your text file first. You should also know that importing from a text file may still require you to manually adjust some of the content that is imported. Importing text is not a perfect process due to the variety of ways the content can be structured.

Let's look at a text file generated by SongSelect from their website. The image below is of an unedited text file. You can see that the file starts with the title, then each stanza, and ends with the copyright info. When you import directly from SongSelect, this content is easily handled by ProPresenter and everything ends up in its right place. Since the text file doesn't include all the same data, it's a little less accurate. Without modifying anything in this file, the title would be messed up on import and the copyright info gets lumped in with the last group. (As of the writing of this article, there are a few development tickets related to this that may improve this process.) You can also see that there is one stanza that says "Misc 1 (Ending)". SongSelect sometimes labels extra sections of songs like this. In ProPresenter 6 we were able to improve the handling of these types of stanza labels and can turn them into the right label. As you saw in the first example at the top, "Misc 1" was completely ignored and "Ending" was used as the Group Label. This also works when importing a text file.

To improve the import of this file, you can add Title: and a space before the title and remove the copyright info at the end. This will then import everything for you. As long as your stanza labels match what you have in ProPresenter, they will be setup automatically. If there are any that are new and don't exist yet, they'll still be labeled, but won't have a color or Hot Key assigned to them until you update the Group Label for them.

The above process applies to importing text files or importing copied text. If you have a text file with multiple songs, adding the title tag before each title will ensure ProPresenter is able to split the songs into individual documents during import.

If you are importing text that does not have "Verse 1", "Chorus", etc. applied, then the text will be imported as a single undefined group. You can then apply your Group Labels to the song if you want to.

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  1. Chris Rouse

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