Digital Signage Using PowerPoint
1.0 – Overview
When you think about it, digital signage is nothing much more than a multimedia presentation displayed on a TV screen. So why not create and display digital signage using PowerPoint? It’s design templates, drag-and-drop screen layout features and broad multimedia support make PowerPoint an ideal tool for displaying digital signage. This article will explore displaying digital signage using PowerPoint and how to go about doing it.
Digital signage using PowerPoint has two (2) basic requirements. First, you must setup your presentation to be displayed on a TV in a continuous loop without the need for mouse clicks to advance each slide (we will discuss how to do this in the next section). Second, to display PowerPoint on a TV screen you need a Windows PC.
PowerPlayer – Windows 10 Mini-PC
PowerPlayer meets the second requirement for displaying digital signage using PowerPoint. It’s is a pocket-sized Windows 10 PC stick that plugs into your TV’s HDMI. PowerPlayer was designed to display PowerPoint presentations on any standard TV screen. While you can use any Windows PC, PowerPlayer’s small size and low-cost make it ideal for displaying PowerPoint on your TV.
The product package also includes PowerSignage, our cloud-based content management service (CMS) which is used to upload, schedule and display PowerPoint signage presentations.
PowerPlayer makes it easy to display digital signage using PowerPoint. It supports native PowerPoint files—there is no need to convert your presentation into video or export the slides as image files. Simply use your web browser to upload PowerPoint presentation files to our CMS and assign them to TV points for automatic display.
1.0 – Using PowerPoint for Digital Signage
Microsoft® PowerPoint® is an ideal tool for creating digital signage content because of its ease of use, wide range of supported multi-media formats, animation features and the wealth of free and low-cost design templates. To use PowerPoint for digital signage there are two things you must do: make your presentation self-running—ensuring each page is displayed for a specified time—and to configure it to run in a continuous loop.
Normally a PowerPoint presentation only advances, slide-to-slide, with a presenter clicking their keyboard or mouse. And, by default, when the presentation reaches the last page it will simply end—the presentation will not automatically loop back to the beginning and continue running.
1.1 – Make Your Presentation Self-running
Open your presentation in PowerPoint. To make the presentation self-running click the TRANSITIONS tab on the main menu. On the far right of the TRANSITIONS sub-menu there is the Advance Slide section. For each page in your presentation uncheck On Mouse Click and check After in this section. Enter the number of seconds (or minutes) you want the particular slide to be displayed. If you want the same display time for all your slides click the Apply To All icon. In the example below (see Figure 1) the first page will be displayed for 8 seconds before moving to the next page in the presentation.
Figure 1 – Make Presentation self running
1.2 – Setup Kiosk Mode – Loop Presentation
By default, when a presentation reaches its last page PowerPoint will not automatically advance (loop back) to the starting page. PowerPoint will quit the presentation after displaying the last page the specified time. To continuously loop the presentation select kiosk mode. To setup kiosk mode select SLIDE SHOW tab from the PowerPoint main menu. From this sub-menu click the Set Up Slide Show icon.
Figure 2 – Kiosk Mode (Continuous Looping)
After clicking the Set Up Show icon the Set Up Show dialog box is displayed which is used to configure how your PowerPoint presentation will be displayed.
Figure 3 – Setup Kiosk Mode
Select Browsed at a kiosk (full screen) option and click OK. After this is done your PowerPoint presentation will automatically run at full screen and loop the presentation continuously.
1.3 – Portrait Display Orientation
To specify portrait (vertical) orientation for your PowerPoint presentation select the DESIGN tab and click Slide Size. then select Custom Slide Size from the drop-down list.
Figure 4 – Slide Size
The Slide Size dialog box will be displayed. Select the Portrait option in the Orientation/Slides section in the dialog box and press OK.
Figure 5 – Setup Portrait Orientation
To display the presentation with a portrait orientation on your TV screen your PowerPoint presentation must be setup as discussed earlier. However, by default a Windows PC (for example, PowerPlayer) will display all content in a landscape orientation. To change the display orientation on any Windows PC simply right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Display settings from the context menu. The Settings dialog box will be displayed.
Select Portrait from the Orientation drop-down. After confirming the orientation change the Windows PC will automatically display in portrait orientation whenever it boots and successfully logs in.
Figure 6 – Windows Display Settings Dialog Box
3.0 – PowerPoint Font Issues
It is possible that fonts used by your presentation will not be available on your PowerPoint TV player (e.g., PowerPlayer). In this case PowerPoint running on the TV player will use the “best available font”. To work around any font problems embed your fonts into the presentation file. When the digital signage presentation is shown the correct fonts will be displayed. To embed fonts into your presentation file select the FILE tab which will display the File menu.
Figure 7 – PowerPoint File Menu
Click Options from the File menu command list. This will display the PowerPoint Options dialog box. Select Save from this menu. At the bottom of the Save menu check Embed fonts in the file and click OK.
Figure 8 – Embed Fonts in PowerPoint File
4.0 – PowerPoint Digital Signage Demo
Here’s an example of a hotel lobby digital signage presentation that was created using PowerPoint.
PowerPoint is an ideal tool to create multimedia signage presentation on a TV screen. And PowerPlayer is a simple and cost-effective way to display digital signage using PowerPoint. For more information please take a look at our PowerPlayer product brochure or visit our website at www.powerdigitalsignage.com.
Copyright© 2018 – Power Media Design – all rights reserved
Windows and PowerPoint are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. PowerPlayer and PowerSignage are trademarks of Power Digital Signage.