The Main Event: The Prompter View

Here is where it all happens -- the Prompter Screen. The wedge on the left is the reference point. Text will normally appear with its first line aligned with the reference, whether vertically flipped or not. In the non-flipped mode, text can be returned to the start by clicking on the thin status bar at the very top of the screen or by choosing "Beginning" in the Q popover. (Note that the former may not work when using an external screen.) An option is available to set the reference point near the top of the screen (bottom if flipped) to get better eye registration if the device is physically set below a camera. You can (optionally) drag the reference point to a desired positon. There is also an optional guide filter which highlights the text region above and below the indicator. The height of the highlight guide can be set as desired.

The "Begin" button will start the text scrolling at the rate last used (remembered in the preferences file). The speed is shown at the top of the speed-panel in the side-bar. Speed (range 0.0-10.0) can be incremented/decremented by one full unit by tapping the +/- bars above or below the indicator, respectively. Speed can be fine-grained adjusted using the swipe panel between the +/- buttons. The text progress can also be paused/resumed by tapping the indicator itself, which will change color. The indicator is white or black (depending on the preferences color inversion selection) when the prompter is not running, changes to green when running, or orange when paused.

You can also change speed (and other controls) using the iPhone/iPod/iPad remote app (iQPrompter-Remote, free in the app store). If you have an AirTurn BlueTooth foot-pedal unit, and have paired the unit with your iPad, you can set Global preferences to control speed from the pedals. One press will increment/decrement the speed by 0.1 units. Repeatedly pressing the same pedal in less than one sec. intervals will progressively double the speed increment, allowing you to make major speed changes quickly, or pressing at a slower rate to fine tune the speed. You can also change speed and other controls using a wireless keyboard.

When the end of the text reaches the indicator, the prompter will automatically stop and the actual time elapsed will be recorded and can be viewed in the presentations screen. When running, the green "Begin" button changes to red and says "End". Tapping the red "End" button will also stop the presentation and record the elapsed time. If planned duration has been set in the Editor, remaining time will be displayed to the right of the time-line bar, planned time and actual elapsed time to the left.

The "Ed" (Edit) button will allow the text to be created or edited. It changes to a "Pr" to allow you to return to the Prompter mode. For a presentation which was newly created in the Presentations screen, the Prompter screen will open in the edit mode.

The progress indicator has two modes of operation. If planned time is set at zero, it will simply show the relative text progress from beginning to end. If planned duration is set, the progress bar is scaled to show real time, plus a potential 20% overage, shown in orange color. The tick mark corresponds to the end of the planned time. In addition, real text progress is also indicated relative to the end of the time bar by showing in green or red how far the presentation is leading or lagging the elapsed time respectively. If you have a time-critical presentation, green is good (i.e., time for Q&A), red is bad (i.e., behind schedule). A prominent text field shows exactly how far you are ahead/behind, and is color coded accordingly. You can use these indicators to advance or retard the prompters progress by adjusting the speed to keep the presentation on schedule. Speed can optionally be locked to finish the presentation precisely within the specified Planned Duration.

The (optional) Panic Alarm works in conjunction with the remaining time and the relative amount of the negative (i.e., behind time) progress deviation from planned. When approaching the end of the planned time, the entire time-line panel background will progress from normal, to flashing yellow, to solid yellow, to flashing orange, to solid orange, to flashing red, to progressively faster flashing red, and to solid red, as it becomes increasingly difficult to finish within the planned time duration.

If autostart mode and time are set, scrolling will automatically begin at the set time, preceeded by a five second attention-getting countdown sequence.

If AutoRecord is set in the Record popover, tapping "Begin" will also start recording. Recording will automatically terminate if "End" is pressed or if the prompter scroll reaches the end of the presentation. (See "Recording" writeup.)

When used with an external screen, the text and indicator sidebar will fill the external screen. The same text will still display on the iPad screen. The external screen text is fully synchronized with text on the iPad screen and will follow all scrolling actions, manual or automatic. The external screen has independent Preference settings for horizontal and vertical screen flips in order to match any hardware installation.

Note that due to a system-level bug with the original iPad, if the external screen becomes disconnected, the iQPrompter program must quit and be relaunched to restablish connection to the external screen. That has been fixed in iPad2.