How to easily manage updates on multiple presentations

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Hey everyone 

I am going to share the system we use to easily manage updates on presentations.

First of all i would like to explain how we work.

We have (for now) 20 displays each being in a different city. Each schedule consists of four info screens and four commercial video blocks. I used a master presentation in which i inserted presentation/video/presentation/video etc..

Although the info screens shows same news in each location, on each info screen we display the name of the city. I solved that by inserting HTML code for geolocation.

However since each info screen shows the name of the retail store, and we have 20 stores, 4 presentations each, i came up with 80 different presentations. 

So whenever i have a new article that needs to be shown i would have to go through 20 different presentations and repeat same process of inserting that info as .jpg (made in photoshop) 20 times.

Since i am not adding that new info, but replacing the old one with new one i came up with an easy solution. Just use the same name of that .jpg file and it will automatically update on all 20 presentations. so go to storage, first delete the old one, than upload a new one and make sure it has exactly the same name as the old one (caps and everything) and it will automatically refresh. 

Hope this will be helpful to someone who uses similar system of digital signage services.

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Fifthscreen Doo

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Posted 4 years ago

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Thanks for the tip.  I'm sure it will come in handy for others.
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Sanjay Kaler

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Other way to handle this is include such content in another presentation and then embed that presentation into the main presentation that will play on displays.

When you need to update some content, simply open this sub-presentation and make changes and they will automatically refresh on all the displays as the main presentation is calling the same sub-presentation.

Hope this expands the scope of pushing new content.

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Blake Freeman, Official Rep

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Hi Sanjay!

Thanks for the great recommendation! 
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We have 30 displays scattered across 4 campuses. Some of these presentations at each campus are the same, except for the campus location and the local weather listed on the presentation.

I handled this by creating overlapping text placeholders whose content was dependent on which campus the signage display was located.

(The below 'how-to' is long, but only because I've put it into greater detail. This didn't make sense to me at first either ... )

A  Campus Title placeholder example:
I have a single unique presentation that I want to run on 4 different campuses, but I want the correct campus name to display at the top of this single presentation, depending on which campus it is being shown.

At first I created 4 presentations, with the only difference being the placeholder that contained the campus name. But as you've realized, this is wasteful and harder to manage.

So what I did was this:
1. Start with the single presentation.
2. Create the Campus Title text placeholder where I want it in the presentation's layout.
3. Now duplicate this placeholder 3 more times, but leave each of these 4 placeholders with the same width, height, top and left positioning., so that they 'hide' each other in the 'stack'.
4. If you haven't  yet, be sure to name your placeholders something easily identifiable like, in this example,  North Campus,  West Campus, South Campus, Riverside Campus.
5. Now right-click on this campus title placeholder and choose properties.
6. Under the placeholder dropdown, choose one of the Campus Title text placeholders; in my example, I've chosen the Riverside Campus Title text placeholder.
7. Now click on the "Edit" link to the right of "Distribution."
8. You don't want to send the Riverside Campus Title text placeholder to all your displays, just the displays at the Riverside campus.  So in the Distribution list of all your displays, deselect all the displays that are not at the Riverside Campus, and select only the displays at that particular campus.
(In my example, there are 4 signage displays there at the Riverside campus, so I have only 4 Riverside Campus displays checked in this presentation's distributon list. All the other displays in the particular Campus Title text placeholder are unchecked.
9. Repeat this with the other 3 Campus Title text placeholders until you've completed matching each Campus Title text placeholder with the signage displays at each of those particular campuses. (You may have only a few displays checked within each of the 4 Campus Title text placeholders.)
10. Once you've finished, now you're ready to put this single presentation into all 4 different schedules, one for each campus.
11. Using my example, I put this presentation into the Riverside Campus schedule.
12. While in the Riverside Campus schedule's properties, click the "Edit" link to the right of "Distribution" and make sure all the displays you've chosen in the Riverside Campus text placeholder (in step 8) are also chosen in the Riverside Campus schedule's distribution.
For example, I checked the boxes for the 4 displays at the Riverside Campus: RVS Main, RVS Entry, RVS 2nd floor, RVS 3rd floor.
(Repeat this same task for the other 3 campuses' schedules and their 'matched' campus signage displays.)
13. Once this is done, each presentation playing in the Riverside Campus's schedule will reference the same unique presentation, yet it will only display the particular Campus Title placeholder text you sent to those particular Riverside signage displays.

If you're familiar with web design, it's kinda like using stacked DIV layers, or using cascading rules to filter content.

I also used this method to create one presentation with four 'stacked' slideshow widgets so that I can send out a unique slideshow to each campus using that same presentation.

Using this 'stacked placeholders' method, I've managed to whittle down our unique lists of presentations from 30 to about 6. It's a bit more complicated to set up originally, but SO much easier to manage.

Robert Cruse

P.S. Thanks to Mr. Blake Freeman. He was rep who initially told me about using these stacked placeholders.

Sorry about the length of the post.