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Tools For ProShow (Update)

For the past few months I’ve been working on my Tools for ProShow on and off. As I was doing this, one change, improvement, or tweak led to another. All in all, the Tools for ProShow are an even more useful tool than they were previously for those wanting to take advantage of capabilities within ProShow that Photodex does not provide to its customers. For those of you who don’t know it, ProShow has considerable capability that Photodex hasn’t provided a framework that allows you to take advantage of it. Its cropping feature is weak. Its outline and shadow creation features are poor. Its Rotate Center feature has a very limited implementation of what it’s capable of doing. Right now, as long as you keep the Rotate Center values within the boundaries of the layer, you can make somewhat effective use of the feature. However, that does not mean you can specify your own rotation location on the screen … just within the layer’s boundaries. ProShow tells you little about a layer’s width and height. This is information that could be helpful in proper positioning of your layers on or off of the slide. ProShow does not document its modifiers or the functions that the modifiers use. While I don’t either, at least I provide the means to effectively use the Quadratic Curve and Linear Ramp functions. Captions or the Text on Text Layers use a different positioning method than layers use. Specific positioning of the text relative to a layer can prove confusing, if not daunting, if accuracy in positioning is important. ProShow provides no bridge between the two. ProShow provides you with timing information but provides no means to determine time between various points within the slideshow. This is all addressed in the Tools for ProShow … and then some.

Tools for ProShow is an Excel Worksheet that performs calculations that let you do things in ProShow once thought impossible, very difficult, or labor intensive. These tools started their life when I first discovered the relationships between Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center in June 2011.

 Tools For ProShow Enhancements/Changes.


The Tools worksheet has been updated. It has a release version of 10.15e. Extensive revisions, enhancements, or tweaks of many of the tools has occurred since the last update.

The Equal Size Changes tool was renamed LAYER: Outlines/Frames. This tool was extensively revised. The tool is used to create the appearance of an outline or frame around another layer. One enhancement was the ability to specify the width of the outline on each layer’s side. This width is applied to each layer’s side. A second enhancement was that the layer’s aspect is now selected from a dropdown list of defined aspects as well the three original layers given in the Layer Information tool. A third enhancement was the ability to give the layer a Polaroid outline. That is, equal sized outline widths on three sides and a very wide outline width on the fourth side. A fourth enhancement was that the number of modifier-based zoom changes was changed from three to six. A fifth enhancement involved the Aspect, Effective section. A user defined Aspect, Effective End layer was included. This extends this tool’s usefulness to ProShow Gold. With the ability to use a layer with a size specified by the user, cropping or editing it in a graphical editor becomes even easier than previously possible.

Findings: Calculated Settings. The calculations for the layer zoom and width were extensively revised for improved speed and reduced resources. A few calculation errors related to the safe zone were also corrected.

Findings: Formulae. Removed. In its place were two new tools: Largest Width During Rotation and Cover Layer During Rotation.

The Largest Width During Rotation calculates the largest width of the layer during its rotation at the currently entered zoom setting.

The Cover Layer During Rotation gives the required zoom setting of the current layer to cover a layer of its given zoom setting during a rotation.

Layer Support Information. Removed. In its place are the new tools Width & Height and Modifier Zoom.

Numerous minor data arrangements within various tools were also made.

OVERVIEW


 The Tools for ProShow include the following:

1)  Cropping Tool. Obtain cropping dimensions for a layer for a specific aspect. A sophisticated too that far exceeds the limited capabilities of the ProShow cropping feature.. PSG/PSP.

2)  Distances. Move a layer along the line of an angle of rotation for a specified distance or along a line perpendicular to that angle of rotation for a specified distance. PSG/PSP.

3)  Find Halfway Point. Find the slide location point located halfway between two layers given their Starting and Ending locations (X-Axis and Y-Axis). PSG/PSP.

4)  Findings. Exploits the relationships between pan, zoom, and rotate center, layer width and height. PSG/PSP. Note that PSG zoom values are always the same for each axis.

  1. Align Here. Position a layer’s side, corner, or center to a specific screen location.
  2. Calculated Settings. Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center functions are interrelated. So, when two function values are known, deriving the missing function’s value is possible. This section calculates the value of the unknown function.
  3. Cover Layer During Rotation. Sometimes you will want to rotate a layer over the top of another, completely obscuring it from view. This tool provides information to do just that It gives the minimum zoom values necessary to cover the layer and what its width is while it is doing that.
  4. Layer Width and Height. ProShow provides no layer width or height information directly. You must make some assumptions or a bit of math if you need that information. This section provides this information. (NEW)
  5. Largest Width During Rotation. Sometimes you need to know what the largest width of a layer is when rotated at a given zoom setting. This tool provides that information. (NEW)
  6. Locations. This gives the screen location of a layer, its side, or its corner. This information is provided for a given Rotation on some portion of the layer.
  7. ProShow Settings. Layer values from ProShow layer settings.

5) Layer Information. This provides the slideshow’s layer information. There are three layers provided in this section. The section provides each of the three ProsShow Layers with dimensions (to identify the layer’s aspect) and associated scale. This tool’s information is also used by other tools: Findings, Cropping, Width & Height, Distances, Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4, Layer: Outlines and Frames, Slide Information. PSG/PSP.

6)  Layer: Outlines/Frames. This tool gives settings required of a layer to give another layer the appearance of an outline. An outline typically has an equal size on each side of the layer. It also gives settings for an outline that creates the look of a Polaroid Photo (a larger outline section either at the layer top or bottom than on the other two sides). The tool provides zoom and modifier settings for creating a size change via the zoom feature versus changing the layer’s zoom directly. There is also a section that gives settings that allow a layer size change via cropping, a graphic editor, or the ProShow create Layer (Solid/Gradient) feature: Frame Creation Helper (for Bitmap Editors). This feature allows the creation of an outline or frame layer within ProShow Gold.   Cropping of an existing layer or creating a graphic of a specific aspect for use in PSG may be required to achieve results that are otherwise only possible from within PSP. PSG/PSP.

7)  Modifier Rotation Calculation. Find the rotation value in terms of degrees, phase change, or modifier value. Modifiers make rotation changes in terms of a percent of a rotation. This tool makes choosing the appropriate rotation amount easy. PSP

8)  Modifier Zoom. This tool calculates the missing value when given two of three values: Starting Zoom, Ending Zoom, and Modifier. This tool works for either a layer’s single axis or both axes. PSP. (NEW)

9)  Position a Rotated Layer. Given a starting and final location, this tool gives the distance a layer has moved. When Desired Final Position is provided (for a layer that has been tilted — either vertical or horizontal) or rotated, the layer’s pan settings to position the layer at that desired location are provided. PSG/PSP.

10) Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4. This tool is useful for creating a layer that is proportional in size and location to another layer. PSG/PSP.

11)  Quadratic/Linear Function. This section provides answers for the ProShow modifier functions of Quadratic Curve and Linear Ramp. The quadratic curve uses an equation that defines a parabola. The ProShow factors define a region of that curve to position a layer. When the Quadratic Curve’s first factor (the quadratic factor) is set to zero, the effective equation defines the Linear Ramp. A linear equation defines a sloped line (which can also be defined as “ramp”). PSP.

12)  Slide Information. This provides the slideshow’s Frame Aspect and the Safe Zone size. This information is used by other Tools For ProShow tools: Layer Information, Findings, Width & Height, Distances, Proportional Sizing and Placement: Layer 4, Layer: Outlines and Frames. PSG/PSP.

13)  Time: Show/Slide/Keyframe. Giving a Starting time (minutes and seconds) and a Final (or ending) time, a difference in time is calculated. Some modifier functions have the ability to start at the following three locations: Show, Slide, or Keyframe. As it can be important to know the actual start time at any given location because of the function used and it’s value at that time can be calculated. PSG/PSP. Usefulness within PSG is very limited.

14)  Text Layer Text Positioning. Captions use a different positioning system than Layers do. Text layers are layers on which captions have been placed. As such, they have the benefits and characteristics of both Layers and Captions. A text layer caption is positioned on the layer using caption positioning. The text layer is positioned as a layer is positioned. Therefore, the actual position of that text might need some calculation. This tool provides that information to give TEXT POSITION or SCREEN POSITION. To get text position, the Layer Pan value and the desired Screen location are needed. To get the screen position, the Layer Pan and the Text Position information is needed. PSP.

15)  USER Calculations. This section allows you to make calculations or use the contents of results found within the worksheet to create other calculations you can use for a variety of purposes. PSG/PSP.

16)  Width & Height.  This tool asks for the following information: frame aspect, layer aspect, and layer scale.  If the zoom is provided, the tool calculates the width and/or height. If the width and/or height is provided, the associated zoom value is provided. This can be helpful when dealing with v8’s text region that you want constrained to a specific size and/or aspect. PSG/PSP. (NEW)

NOTES:
PSG: ProShow Gold
PSP: ProShow Producer

161018-2130 DLF-FPVP

FPVP TOOLS Update Coming

A revised release of the full version of FPVP Tools is coming in the near future. Time permitting, I hope to released in the next week or so. Those who’ve already purchased a copy of the FPVP Tools will receive the update automatically. I’ve had very little time

FPVP TOOLS OVERVIEW
For those of you unfamiliar with FPVP tools, it’s a set of tools I started developing right after I discovered how to effectively use the Rotate Center function back in 2010. Discovering how to use actually use the rotate center function for something other than rotating a layer on its side or corner opened up lots of possibilities. So, I kept notes. The tools I developed kept me from re-inventing things and helped reduce some calculations when creating effects within ProShow.

ProShow provides absolutely no way to effectively use the Rotate Center function for other than rotating a layer on its side, corner, or center. Beyond those limitations, you are on your own. With FPVP Tools, you can select the exact screen position around with to rotate or tilt a layer. Also, any layer can rotate on that same location. It doesn’t matter that the layers can all have different sizes, scales, aspects, or locations themselves. FPVP Tools tells you the appropriate rotate center value.

I now knew exactly what a layer’s height and width was no matter what scale or zoom setting. That helped with layer placement. Not all images I use have the same aspect. Sometimes I used those images together in the same slide. So, I created a copping tool to let me crop images to a specific aspect. That improved the look and feel of the images on the slide. While Proshow allows you to crop (and move that crop region around) a layer, it provides no feedback to let you know what aspect the layer is cropped to. It means you must perform the math to figure out the proper cropping amounts.

The rotation and tilt entry values are in degrees. But, when it comes to creating a rotation/tilt using a macro, you are entering a rotation amount in terms of a percent of a 360-deg rotation. So FPVP Tools has a tool to do the conversion calculation for you.

A new tool helps you determine the screen location of text on a text layer. The text on a text layer is simply a caption encapsulated on a normal layer. The text on that layer is positioned like any caption is: 0 to 100 from left to right and 0 to 100 from top to bottom. Then, the layer itself is positioned according to 50% of the layer being on each side of layer center. Sometimes you need to know specific information. For those times, I’ve created a tool that helps determine the actual location on the screen of that text. It can saves you time and effort.

Want to rotate a layer and then move a specific distance along the angle of rotation or along a line perpendicular to that rotation value? There’s a tool for that too. To do that manually in ProShow is a kind of hunt and peck method. When you need precision, the tool in FPVP Tools is the only way to go. It saves time, effort, and frustration.

And there’s more …

FPVP TOOLS REVISIONS OVERVIEW
A while back, I received a request for reseting layer settings. So, I took a look. This capability required macros, a feature I’ve had little use for over the years. After looking into it a bit, I included a variety of macros that achieve the desired effect. I also looked into other areas in which improvements could be made to the FPVP tools. I subsequently made 52 tweaks, fixes, and changes to the them since the last release. Some of the more visible changes:

The Cropping Tool was expanded to include a set of defined target cropping aspects. Instead of manually entering the aspect to which you wanted a layer cropped, you could simply select the desired aspect from a drop down list.

The Modifier Rotation Calculation was expanded to include the calculation of a difference between layer’s rotation values. It includes a Master layer entry to make it easier to calculate a modifier to follow the rotation of another layer by a specific amount. This might be easy to calculate manually, but this takes some of the guesswork, time, and effort out of it.

Resets. There are now 4 different resets provided. One resets a layer’s aspect, all of its settings, and the highlighters. Another resets only the layer’s settings. Another resets only the layer’s highlighters. The final one resets the dropdown box selections when the worksheet’s language was changed. Previously, a change in language required manually changing each dropdown choice to get the correctly displayed language.

Equal Size Changes.
1) Layer Zoom. Earlier versions did not correctly calculate the layer size change for each axis when the layer’s initial zoom settings were not the same. The previous release locked the Y-Axis to the X-Axis value, keeping the initial layer aspect unchanged. The upcoming release now allows different values of zoom for the X and Y axes. When the desired change in size is selected, the tool now correctly calculates both axes settings (zoom and modifiers), for any scale selected.

2) Exact Size Change. It is now possible to select the exact amount of change to each side of the layer’s center. Select a size of 0.01 or 5 or 20 … and the tool will correctly calculate the necessary values for the new X and Y axis zoom settings. When using a layer to create an outline for another layer, it is now much easier to select the exact width of that outline.

3) Width, Height, Aspect. This tool now displays the layer’s width, height and effective aspect both before and after the selected amount of change is displayed. This is important for those wanting more precise control over how their layers appear in ProShow. Controlling a layer’s width and height can be very important to the look and feel of a slide’s content from one slide to another.

Text Layer Text Position. As discussed earlier, this new tool allows you to determine where the text of a text layer is in the layer coordinate system. Or, it will tell you the text layer position for display at a specific screen location. Of course, this tool only works with a layer that has no applied tilt or rotation.

A number of changes were also on some look and feel, bug fixes, or minor corrective actions. This is particularly true of the OpenOffice version of the worksheet. That worksheet now also works within LibreOffice. Both of which are freeware alternatives to Excel. The look and feel or the OpenOffice version has been made to be as close to the Excel version as possible.