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Problem Solver & FAQs

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Here is a list of common issues and problems. We hope this will get you on your way with IDEAS
If you still have a problem then use our form to report your issue and we will all we can to help you


Downloading files.

For videos there are usually two links labelled Download and Sample.

Clicking on Sample will download a 30 clip from the video so that you can see if it is a resource that you can use. This will usually cause your media player to be loaded and the video will run. On many media players it will start almost immediately.

Clicking on Download will take you to a download page that will give you some information. We have to do this in order to count the number of downloads which is a condition of our PRS licence. This page should automatically start the download and when the download is complete it should load your media player and play the video. Please note that it can take up to several minutes to download a video depending on the size of the video and the speed of your connection. Once it is fully downloaded then you should use “File” and “Save as ...” to save your file in the folder of your choice. Please be sure that you know and remember where you are saving the files so that you can find them later.

Please note that in Mozilla Firefox, once a download has started you can go back and even start other downloads.

For hymns and songs click on the hymnbook of your choice and again this should take you to the Download page and a few moments later PowerPoint should be loaded with you hymn, This can be easily saved with "File" and "Save as ...". For readings click on the text or the picture and the same will happen.

For PDFs (prayers and all age addresses mainly) click on Download, you will be taken to the Download page in a new tab on most browsers and within a few moments the PDF should appear in your reader.

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Mozilla Firefox

We recommend the use of Mozilla Firefox as your browser. Mozilla Firefox can be downloaded free of charge from
http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/

Ensure that the Downloads window is turned on. This can be done by clicking on “Tools” and then “Options” and ticking the box next to “Show the Downloads window when downloading a file”.

The advantage of Firefox is that it displays a window showing the progress of a download. This is very helpful as it allows you to monitor the progress during the downloading of a video file. You can  even go back to the resources page and start new downloads before the previous one has finished.

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I cannot see where to enter the Username and Password?

You don't need to enter a Username and Password until you want to download a resource. Just click on the resource you want to download and you will be prompted for Username and Password of the resource that you want.

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Passwords

The resources do have to be securely protected because a lot of them are copyright material and the copyright owners have given their consent on this basis.

However you should not need to keep re-entering the passwords. Most browsers will prompt the first time and not again during that session (unless you use material from a different month).

In addition most browsers will give you the option to save passwords. These will then be permanently remembered. The box might still appear, but it will already contain the Username and Password.

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Entering passwords
  • Firstly ensure that you have the right combination of username and password for the material you are wanting to download. This will either be a single week's password or a monthly password. You cannot use the combination for resources in any other week or month. In particular check that the year of the material matches the year of the username and password, it is very easy to use get the years muddled
  • Secondly ensure that you type the username and password exactly as given to you, including capital letters in the right place and we  never put spaces into the passwords.
  • If these do not work you will invited to keep entering the username and password until you give up. If this is not what happens then the problem lies elsewhere and get back to us.
  • We have found that rebooting your computer and resetting the router (by switching it offf, waiting a few seconds, and then turning it on again) can clear a problem.
  • If you are still having problems, if you have another browser then try using it to download the resources. In addition ensure that you are using the latest version of your browser and update it if necessary.
  • Failing all the above then clear the history, cookies and cache of yourr browser and try again.
  • We find that just occasionally a download may hang and then you will need to press the reload button on your browser to restart the download. Note that videos can take up to a few minutes to download.
  • Very occasionally you might be trying to download something as we are updating it. This problem should be cleared within a few seconds.
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Saving a video in your Media Player

Windows Media Player: In later versions of Windows Media Player, for reasons best known to Microsoft the “classic menus”, i.e. the “File View Play Tools Help” menus, are turned off by default. To turn them on click on the black bar at the very top of the Media Player window with the RIGHT mouse button and then select “Show Classic Menus”. These menus will then appear and allow you to select “File” and “Save as …” to save the IDEAS video.

Quicktime: Although Quicktime works very well as a media player for IDEAS, it does not provide facilities to save the video file in the free version. To save you should click on the video with the right mouse button and you are then presented with a list of options including ones to save the file either in its original format or in Quicktime format. However if you are using the free version of Quicktime at this time you will be invited to purchase the “Pro” version which has these facilities. For this reason we cannot recommend Quicktime for use with IDEAS and the best thing to do is remove it from your system if you are a PC user.

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Help for Mac Users

We offer PowerPoint files which are designed for Microsoft Office PowerPoint, but can be loaded into Keynote although there may be some small changes in the formatting. We also offer PDF files which should work easily on a Mac.

However the issue for Mac Users is that Macs as they are delivered support fewer video formats than a Windows PC and so without loading extra software will not be able to display IDEAS videos. This page is designed to help users locate and install these video formats.

We use 2 video formats:

MPEG1: The main video format for the downloads is MPEG1 which is one the  most used formats for Video and is an industry standard. It is effectively the video version of JPEG, which the vast majority of digital cameras use.

In order to display these on a Mac then you need to load a program called Perian which can be downloaded from:
http://perian.org/

Please note that many of these videos are very large files and may take up to 10 minutes to download even on some Broadband connections. Many people think they have a problem when, in fact, they just haven't waited long enough for the file to download.

WMV: This is a Windows format that we use for all our samples. We use it because it gives reasonable quality using very small files and on many computers they will start almost instantaneoulsy. This makes them ideal for our samples.

In order to display these on a Mac then  you need to load a program called Flip4Mac which can be downloaded from:
http://download.cnet.com/Flip4Mac-WMV-Player/3000-13632_4-87679.html

Quicktime is the default media player on a Mac. When a video file is fully downloaded then it should play under Quicktime (provided you have loaded Perian and Flip4Mac as above). When the video is playing right click on it (if you are using a tablet instead of a mouse, then I think the equivalent is tapping with 2 fingers) and then select "Save as source" and give a file name.

VLC: Some Mac users seem to prefer using the VLC Media Player. This can be downloaded from:
http://vlc-media-player.en.softonic.com/mac

Mozilla Firefox: We recommend use of Mozilla Firefox as the ideal browser for IDEAS because it seems to handle downloads so much better than the others. When starting a download  you are given the option of just downloading the file or running it in a program of your choice. It also runs downloads in the background, which means that you can go off and do something else (even trigger another download) while waiting for a file download. It monitors the download in a new window so you can check progress at any point

There is a version for Macs in many languages at:
http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all.html

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Language

Language causes us a real problem. We believe where possible inclusive language should be used, but we also believe that the words on the screen should match the books that are being used in the church. This is vital for those who have some sight impairments. For this reason we produce the readings in NIV format. Our own research shows that around 60% of churches use this version for their pew bibles, with about 35% using the Good News version. Currently less than 3% of churches are using inclusive versions of the biblical text.

The same situation applies to the words of hymns. We provide words to match the main hymnbooks in use in churches. This again is to benefit those with some kind of sight impairment. If you wish to use inclusive versions of the hymns then we would recommend using the hymns from “Rejoice and Sing” as generally these seem to be inclusive. However you should remember to print out paper versions of these for those who cannot see the screen.



Why do the PDF files not read properly?

There are now a number of alternative PDF Readers available. Unfortunately not all them interpret PDF correctly. If you are having problems downloading or reading our PDF files then first of all check that you are using the proper Adobe PDF Reader. If not then download the proper Adobe Reader and check that it is downloading from the Adobe web site. It can be found here

If you find that you are still not using the Adobe Reader then you will need to change the file association for PDF files. Go to a folder then contains a PDF file and right click on it. Select properties and then select the Adobe Reader as the file you wish to view these files.




Copying words into other programs

This can be done easily by copying the whole hymn from the “Outline” tab on the left hand side of the PowerPoint window and then pasting it into you favourite Word Processor. You should then be able to remove any repetitions of choruses and versions.

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Inserting videos into PowerPoint

IDEAS videos can be inserted into PowerPoint by using “Insert”, then selecting “Movies and Sounds” followed by “Movie from file”. In PowerPoint this is “Insert”, then “Movie” followed by “Movie from file”. This will allow you to locate your video file. After selection there may be short pause and then the first frame of the video will appear and you will be asked how you want the movie to start. Always answer “Automatically”. In later versions this will be in Video Menu.

You can then move and adjust the size of the video as if it were a picture.

You make some changes to how the video runs under “Slide Show” and “Custom Animation”. When you select this for a slide with a video on it, the name of the video will appear in the right hand pane (known as the task plane”. Click on the name of the video and then the little down arrow at the end of the name. Selecting “Effect Options” will give you a menu that allows you to make changes to the video, including increasing the volume of the sound. We recommend that you do this.

You can also add an animation such as a fade at the start of the film. When the animation appears in the task plane, then move it above the 2 entries for the videos using the arrows at the bottom of the task plane. This then allows you start the video with the mouse or remote control, the animation will happen and the video starts. If you use a fade this can look really good.

NB We strongly recommend that you keep the video in the same folder as the PowerPoint file that is using it. This is really important if you plan to move the presentation onto a memory stick for use on another computer. When you copy you MUST remember to copy BOTH the PowerPoint file and the video file. It will only work if you copy both files and always keep them in the same folder.

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Playing the tunes of hymns and songs under PowerPoint versions of the words.

There are several ways of doing this.

The trust provides videos of the words of hymns with tunes through IDEAS. Generally we provide between 2 and 4 a week linked to the lectionary. We are also able to provide some that are in copyright.

It is possible to put tunes under the words of PowerPoint files of the words. On the 1st slide of the hymn insert the tune file (either a MIDI file or MP3 file) using "Insert", "Movies and Sounds" and "Sound from file...". When it loads choose for it to start "Automatically".

Then select "Slide Show" at the top and the "Custom Animation". On the right hand side should be the name of the music file. Click on it and the select the down arrow  followed by "Effect Options". Under "Stop Playing" select "After" and then the number of slides that you wish it to play over. At the same time you can turn up the volume under "Sound Settings".

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Copying a presentation to another computer using a memory stick?

Place the stick into a USB port.

Wait for the box to appear and select "Open folder to view files". A window will open for the stick.

Open a window for the folder that contains the files you wish to copy and then drag them across from one window to the other and the files will be copied onto the stick. To copy off the stick then simply reverse the direction.

If you are copying PowerPoint presentations that use video or sound files it is vital that you copy both the PowerPoint file and the video and sound files.

In addition everything will work much better if you keep the PowerPoint files, video files and sound files all in the same folder

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When I run a video all I get on the projector screen is a large black rectangle.

This is a sign that your PC is struggling to show a video simultaneously on 2 screens. Running a video on a PC takes an enormous amount of computer power. Running it on 2 screens simultaneously takes even more.

For some reason if PowerPoint concludes that there is not enough power to run 2 screens simultaneously then it generally runs it in the laptop screen but just leaves a black rectangle on the projector.

There are a number of things you can do to try and sort it out:

1)    If turned off them turn on hardware graphics in PowerPoint. This is done by selecting “Slide show” on the menu bar and then “Set up Show”. Tick the box marked “Use hardware graphics acceleration”. If your PC has this facility then it may solve this problem. If it doesn’t then turn it off again.

2)    Reduce the number of colours to 16 bit. This will make no noticeable difference to the display, but may help in this problem. Use “Control Panel”, “Displays” and “Settings”  to do this with “Color Quality” (sic)

3)     Reduce the resolution at the same place. This may reduce picture quality slightly on the screen

4)    If all else fails. Then place a piece of text on a slide, say the title of the video. Highlight it and select “Slide show” on the menu bar followed by “Action Settings”. Select “Hyperlink to …” then “Other file…” and then locate the file name. When running the presentation click on the text and your choice of media player will load and then run your video. When complete click on cancel and you should be back at your presentation.

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Current Resources

Tea-time Church
October - Raising of the girl & the persistant widow

Ordinary 29
October 22nd - Whose world? & James and John's request

Ordinary 30
October 29th - The first commandment & Love the Lord your God

Tea-time Church
November - The workers in the vineyard

Ordinary 31
November 5th - God exalts the humble & Luke's Beatitudes

Ordinary 32 & Remembrance
November 12th - Be ready & Friends of God

  Contact us
 Copyright 2017, IDEAS by Mike and Ann Bossingham