Tag Archives: Gold

FPVP Tools for ProShow

ProShow has capability that the ordinary user has no access to because Photodex has yet to provide any infrastructure to. That is where my Tools for ProShow come in. In September of 2014 I released a version of the Excel worksheet that I developed to assist me with creating various effects within ProShow. I started developing this worksheet around July 2010. I ported this worksheet into Libre Office and OpenOffice formats (both of which are freeware worksheets). These tools are in an Excel 2010 worksheet. The OpenOffice is compatible with v4.1 and later. Libre Office formats are version 5.03 and later.

The tools provided in this worksheet are FINDINGS, EQUAL SIZE CHANGES, MODIFIER ROTATION CALCULATIONS, CROPPING TOOL, DISTANCES, PROPORTIONAL SIZING AND PLACEMENT, QUADRATIC/LINEAR FUNCTION, TIME: SHOW/SLIDE/KEYFRAME, FIND HALFWAY POINT, POSITION A ROTATED LAYER, and TEXT LAYER TEXT POSITIONING.  These tools provide a way for you to do things you thought were impossible, very difficult, or labor intensive. They have the potential to save you lots of time and effort. These tools help release some of that ProShow power you probably didn’t even know was there. The results of the tools are compatible with both ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer except for the MODIFIER ROTATION CALCULATIONS, QUADRATIC/LINEAR FUNCTION, and TEXT LAYER TEXT POSITIONING tools. That’s because Gold does not support modifiers (and the former two are modifier-related) or text layers.

FINDINGS. The FINDINGS tool allows you to exploit the relationships between the ProShow features of Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center as well as a layer’s features of width and height (PROSHOW SETTINGS, CALCULATED SETTINGS, and LAYER: WIDTH AND HEIGHT). It lets you find a layer’s actual position after being rotated on a side, corner (LOCATIONS). The rotation has to be in increments of 90 degrees from ±0 to ±360. You can also find the screen location of a rotated layer’s side or corner. You can also align a layer’s side, corner, or center to any specific screen location upon demand (ALIGN HERE). Pick a screen position. Then, choose what part of the layer (corner, side, or center) that will align to that position. The worksheet gives the settings required to align to that screen position.

EQUAL SIZE CHANGES. Creating layers to use for your own borders, outlines, or frames is easy now with the EQUAL SIZE CHANGES tool. A layer’s size change is given and the resulting zoom settings and the percent of change from the original zoom settings is given for both axes. The size change is specified as a change in the X-axis or Y-axis or by an axis independent amount. For the axis specific change, two methods are provided: By a Percent Change or End value. The Percent Change method is useful for specifying a modifier value of zoom. For the axis non-specific change, the amount of size change along a side is provided. For any approach, the resulting size change is specified as a percent change from the original zoom value and an ending zoom value for each axis.

The Effective Aspect for the Starting (or reference) Layer and the End (or “Outline”) layer are given. This section of the Equal Size Changes tool provides information useful to ProShow Gold users who want to provided an outline and/or frame to a layer. The aspect values are simply reference values. The width and height for each (Start and End Layer) is also provided. Also provided is the amount of the dimension on any side that will extend beyond another layer (when the “outline” layer is positioned in ProShow below the layer that is being “given” and outline). This is useful for editing a graphic in a bitmap editor to provide change only to the area that will extend beyond another layer’s edges. Deleting the inner portion of the layer can create a graphical frame for the image layer in ProShow. Finally, the amount of zoom for the graphic to provide the correct outline/frame to another layer is provided.

The MODIFIER ROTATION CALCULATION tool gives you rotation amounts in Degrees, Phase Change, and Modifier Value. You can enter the appropriate type (Degrees, Phase Change, and/or Modifier value) and the results for the remaining types are also provided.

CROPPING TOOL. Cropping is a very useful feature when you want “standardized” layer aspects. The CROPPING TOOL is a smart tool.You can crop a given layer dimension to a desired aspect. It also provides for cropping a region within a layer to the desired aspect. No more guessing.  Each aspect (the target or the layer) is invertible. That is, if the dimension/aspect values are for a wide layer, simply inverting the settings results in a tall layer; no need to re-enter values (and potential entry errors).

DISTANCES. This tool allows you to rotate a layer and then move that layer a specific distance along that rotated angle or along a line perpendicular to that angle. That may not seem like a big deal but, when you need it, an awful lot of trial and error (and therefore time) is removed. This is particularly important when you need to move a layer an exact amount of distance exactly along the rotated angle (or perpendicular to it). It’s important when you need it! It is possible too, to find the exact actual location of a rotated layer. ProShow will not tell you directly … so, while you can see the layer’s position on the screen, getting its exact coordinates is less than simple.

PROPORTIONAL SIZING AND PLACEMENT. This tool is useful for providing a 4th layer that is sized proportionately to another. Say, for instance that you had two tall layers of A and B. A third layer is C. Layers A and B are sized differently. Layer C has a given size difference from Layer A. This tool calculates the size and position of a Layer D such that the relationship between it and Layer C corresponds to the relationship between Layers A and B. This way, two sets of layers can have the same visual relationship (size and position) to each other. The User Input is into the Layer Input settings for Layers 1, 2, and 3.

QUADRATIC/LINEAR FUNCTION. This is a modifier function that is NOT documented by any Photodex literature. The quadratic function defines a parabolic curve. What this tool does is to allow you to plot that curve and perhaps define where on that curve you want the ProShow to work from. Without the first value of the function, the equation that defines the Quadratic function becomes the Linear function. The same idea applies to it. After you provide the numbers for the function, the curve is plotted for you. A visual representation definitely helps you figure out what is going on! Once you’ve got it all worked out, you can then enter the results into ProShow.

TIME: SHOW/SLIDE/KEYFRAME. ProShow deals with time in minutes and seconds by default. But, it can, with a setting change in Preferences, change that to show time in seconds. This tool provides a difference in time from the start of a show, slide, or keyframe (only for Producer) to a given point within the show. This difference in time is given minutes and seconds as well as the total of seconds. The primary purpose of this tool is to provide some information that’s usable with modifier functions which start at the beginning of the show, slide, or keyframe.

FIND HALF-WAY POINT. This tool provides the distance half-way between two points on the screen. The user provides the pan values for the X-Axis and Y-Axis of each point. A use for this might be to find a rotation point around with to rotate the two layers.

POSITION A ROTATED LAYER. This tool provides the final position of a layer that’s been rotated using the TILT function. For instance, if the rotate center for the layer is set to the layer’s left side, the layer is set to the left of screen center, and the layer is horizontal tilted 180 degrees. Using the LOCATIONS tool found within FINDING, the layer’s new location is determined. This is position is entered into this tool. Next, a final desired position is entered. This tool reports how far the layer has moved and also what pan setting to enter to position the layer where you want it. Note that when a layer has been rotated 180-degrees, re-positioning the tilted layer is not a straight-forward exercise unless you know exactly what the layer’s width or height is and how much distance was traveled by the layer during the tilt (or rotation). Instead of going through the mental contortions that are normally required, you use the various tools to help you determine the information you need to know to re-position a tilted layer.

Check out the Introduction to the Tools or go to my site’s webpage.

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FPVP Tools for ProShow

The tools have a number of minor revisions, bug fixes, and feature additions.

  • The previous release only provided for finding a layer’s side, corner, or center when rotated on Rotate. This release expands upon that. The ability to find the actual position of a layer that was rotated on a rotate center was added.
  • The rotation may now use Vertical tilt, Horizontal tilt, or Rotate.
  • The EQUAL SIZE CHANGES tool was completely revamped.
  • A 4th language option was added (“YOURS”). Now, you can translate the given text to whatever you want to change it to, if you so desire. The other language options are English, French, and Russian.
  • The method of selecting a language was made easier to use.
  • Changes to the worksheet were also made to better accommodate language changes (so the columns don’t get really wide).
  • A link to the tutorial is provided directly within the worksheet now too.

This set of tools provides unprecedented access to some of the power ProShow possesses but which is not apparent except to the more Expert users. These tools provide access to features even most ProShow experts do not have. ProShow is not likely to provide access to the features this set of tools provides any time soon. For instance, 1) ProShow does not give you any information as to how tall or wide a layer is (rotated or not). 2) If you want to crop your later to a specific aspect, you must do the math yourself before entering numbers to get the crop. 3) Rotate Center (a feature that ProShow has provided since the release of v4 over 4 years ago) is implemented in a limited fashion. The power of the rotate center is effectively limited to a layer’s corner or side.

If you want easy access to some of that power, these FPVP tools are the answer. They let you do things that would otherwise require modifiers. As noted previously, these tools can let you do things you thought impossible, very difficult, or labor intensive. They can save you a considerable amount of time and effort. In truth, these tools make the difficult extremely easier. I’ve been using variations of these tools for several years now. Now, that power is available to you as well.



I have been busy lately … compiling information and rewriting topics I have previously created. I have rearranged, revised, and updated the blog entries. Generally, the information posted should be easier to read and topics to find. Blogs have some significant limitations to making information really easy to find and read  … but I have tried to minimize those limitations wherever I could.

One thing I discovered was that this blog contained more information than I thought was there. Another was how much information needed some updating. Some of it was current as of Proshow Release 4.52 and here we are using version 6. Much has changed since then.

The introduction to Proshow, ProShow Discussion, has its own chapter now as does the ProShow Equations (this establishes the relationship between the functions of Pan, Zoom, and Rotate Center, how layer width and height are determined, and the relationship of the show and layer aspects).

Useful for nearly any user expertise level, most of the information presented is for users familiar with ProShow, particularly the advanced and expert user. Basically, this is information that is not in the ProShow manual … it’s beyond the manual. Peruse, study, and Enjoy.




ProShow has a unique ability to link layers. You will notice this feature after applying a style that duplicates layers as part of its effect. It is a feature that templates and styles use. You can see this in action when one of the duplicate image layers is replaced with a different image (via select or by a drag-and-drop). When that happens, you will notice that the new image replaces all of the associated duplicate layers.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT the layer Linking typically associated with modifiers (where a subordinated layer’s feature settings reflect any changes made on a master layer).

If you wanted to use a different image for one of those duplicate images, however, you are out of luck. That is because there is no direct way to break the link between those layers. If you duplicated one of those layers, the linkage to the other similar layers remains. But, all is not lost. For those times when you must remove the link between one or more of those linked layers and rebuilding the style’s effect is not an option, what can you do?

The only other option that you have is to directly edit the show’s PSH file. Each of these files is ASCII (text) format. So edit it with a text editor. If a word processor is used, make sure to save the edited file in ASCII format. Always WORK ON A DUPLICATE PSH file. That way, recovering from a mistake is easy. Otherwise, the mistake(s) may result in a PSH file that ProShow cannot read.


  • Make no line changes nor add or delete lines until you know exactly what you are doing.
  • ProShow starts its counting from 0, not 1.
  • A slide is referred to as a “cell.” Each “cell” is followed by a bracketed number. So, cell[18] refers to slide 19.
  • Each layer is referred to as “images” (which are either photos, graphics, solid layers, or gradients layers). Like cells, images are identified by a bracketed number.


Layers are linked to another layer by the following code:


Where “templateImageId” is the ProShow function that identifies a link; “####” is a unique ID number (which may have a positive or negative value).

All “images[xx]” that have the same templateImageId number are “linked.” If more than one set of linked layers exists, each set will have a different template image id number.

An example of a linked set of layers is as follows



In this example, layers 1 and 10 on slide 19 are linked. Replace one of the linked image layers with a different image and the other gets replaced as well. While it is NOT advisable, note that it IS possible to link layers across multiple slides. That way, all such linked layers in a show may be changed at once.

Knowing how a layer is linked to one or more layers means that you now also know how to unlink them.


ProShow Rotations

INTRO. Understanding the Photodex rotation system is very useful. It means you can choose a rotation direction without a lot of trial and error. Earlier versions of ProShow have always included the Rotate function. It has always represented rotation around the Z-Axis, the one axis we could never use. Since ProShow is a two dimension (2D) program, Photodex had invent a way to simulate a three-dimension (3D) environment. Their answer to that challenge was Tilt, rotation simulation about the X (Tilt-Vertical) and Y (Tilt-Horizontal) axes.

3D Simulation. Tilt simulates a 3D environment by the clever manipulation of a layers’ two sets of outside edges (i.e., top and bottom sides and/or the  left and right sides). If the distance is increased between one side’s two opposing corners and decreased between the opposite sides two opposing corners, movement into and out of the screen is simulated (along the Z-axis). This size contrast of opposing layer sides tricks the brain into seeing a third dimension. That’s because the wider side “appears” closer than the narrower side.

ROTATION DIRECTION.  When it comes to determining the rotation direction about an axis, which direction is associated with positive or negative values (as represented in the associated rotation box for Tilt-Horizontal, Tilt-Vertical, or Rotate)?  The answer is fairly simple but requires a little explanation. To start with, a rotation around an axis is

  • Positive, if rotation is clockwise (to the right),
  • Negative, if rotation is counterclockwise (to the left; also known as anti-clockwise)

An easy way to remember it is to use the Left Hand rule. If you curl the fingers of your left hand and point the thumb pointing toward your face, you will note that the fingers curl in a clockwise direction.


All axes derive from a central point called the “origin.” All axes meet there. Let us assume that the thumb points along the axis in which you are interested. A positive axis direction for the

  • X axis is LEFT,
  • Y axis is UP, and
  • Z axis is OUT of the screen (directly toward you)

So, for positive rotation values, if you point your left thumb

  • UP, the curl of the fingers indicate that the layer will rotate to the left (Tilt-Horizontal)
  • LEFT, the curl of the fingers indicate that the layer will rotate down (Tilt-Vertical)
  • OUT (toward your face), the curl of the fingers indicate that the layer will rotate to the right (Rotate).

The following graphic might help:

ProShow Rotation Reference

TECHNICAL NOTE: Normally, a positive axis is to the right for X, up for Y, and OUT for Z. The representation of these axes might be a little different depending on your application. However, the relative orientation between each axis will remain the same. Photodex experienced a little faux pax that wasn’t discovered until it was too late to change. That’s why the X axis is giving clockwise (positive) rotations on a negative value axis. No big deal as long as things are consistent. But, still good to know.

Here’s another helpful hint when dealing with rotations. If you want to know a layer’s correct orientation for a given set of rotations, consider each rotation type in the following order:

  1. Tilt-Horizontal
  2. Tilt-Vertical
  3. Rotate

Or the following order:

  1. Rotate
  2. Tilt-Vertical
  3. Tilt-Horizontal

Never start out with Tilt-Vertical … it will throw you off every time!

That’s it!

Dale Fenimore
© 2012 Fenimore’s PhotoVideo Productions LLC