What is Scripter?
Scripter is an add-in product to Microsoft Word that allows you to outline, storyboard, craft notes and print PowerPoint® files.
Scripter provides 3 major
time saving functions.
Create or edit scripted PowerPoint® slide content and slide notes from Microsoft Word. This can provide up to a 50% savings in your development and editing time.
Write slide notes for up to 3 target audiences and save them all in one PowerPoint® slide file.
For distribution to the various targeted audiences of your presentation, create printed documents, in 18 unique layout options, from the finished PowerPoint® slide file.
The Scripter Ribbon in Word on a PC
Starting a New Scripting Template
Click the “Start Scripting” button on the ribbon to open the Script PPT dialog.
From the Script PPT dialog select if you are starting:
• new from Word
• new from PowerPoint
• or opening an existing scripting template document that you want to continue editing.
The choice is based on what you already have started.
If you already have an existing PowerPoint file that you want to now use Scripter to add Speaker, Participant, or Producer notes into, then choose the “Start New from PPT File” option.
If you are beginning from scratch, meaning the PowerPoint file does not already exist, then choose the “Start New from Word” option. In this case you will also designate the slide aspect ratio that you are creating: Standard or Widescreen.
And of course if you are in the middle of already creating a Scripter document and you want to continue editing it, then the 3rd option is the one to choose.
The Scripting Template Layout
The simplest way to begin explaining the layout of the scripting template is to start with an example based on working with existing PowerPoint file. We used the “Start New from PPT File” option, which added pictures of PPT slides into the template and we have begun adding notes.
The Scripter template is a
3-row, 2-column table.
- The first row is a simple header row that repeats at the top of each new page.
- The second row is slide content, in this case a PNG formatted picture of the slide.
- The third row is the slide’s notes content, which we have already begun to fill out.
Each content row of the table is labeled in Column 1. The Slide content row is marked with “Slide #” designating that this is what the slide contains. The Notes content row is marked with a corresponding “Note #” control.
All control information contained in Column 1 is colored in red, indicating that you do not manually alter the content of these row control cells. Any required alterations of this control content is performed with “toggle” buttons contained on Scripter’s ribbon.
An example would be the “Time” control in Column 1 of the Notes row, which we will discuss more about later… to adjust the time you insert your cursor selection point somewhere in Row 2 and click the “Time on Slide” button located in Scripter’s ribbon. The first click removes the time control, if one exists, and a second click adds the control back with your adjusted time.
Scripting Slide Notes
Where to add notes
Notes are placed into Cell 2 of the Notes row.
These are notes for what you want the presenter to say, or the producer to do, or the participant to read in their handout.
Use the “Text Formatting” controls that are contained on Scripter’s ribbon to format your notes. Hovering your cursor over any of the buttons will give you a tip for what the button does.
If you copy text from other sources, we encourage you to paste it into the Notes cell using the Paste Special button, which will strip all formatting and the text will assume the formatting of the text line where you are inserting it into.
The “Restart Numbering” control resets a numbered list to begin at “1” and in table cells this is important because Microsoft Word does not otherwise provide that option when working within a table.
Optional Audience Markers
Notice in our example that the Notes area contains blue colored text. These are optional special marker brackets that designate the audience for the notes.
Scripter provides you with 3 audience types:
The first two labels are self-explanatory, but “Producer” might not be. When using slides in a Virtual Classroom environment, there is often a person who assists the Presenter in managing the session. This person is often referred to as the Producer, and we have included them in the audience types so you can script unique instructions for them as well as the other audience types.
To insert these audience type “brackets” around text that you have added to the Notes cell, just select the paragraph(s) of text and click the appropriate button from the “Notes Target Audience” group on Scripter’s ribbon.
The “Validate” button in that group of controls checks your script and makes sure there are no overlapping bracketed instructions because each bracketed cluster of text must stand on its own… it cannot overlap another bracketed cluster of text.
Optional Instructional Cues
Also included as part of Scripter for slide notes are “Instructional Cues". These are stem sentence prompts, particularly important to Presenter and Producer audiences, that visually call-out something you want them to Say, Do, Ask, Note, Transition, Breakout, Poll or distribute such as Files.
Special Control Toggle Buttons
this toggle control is used in the Slide Row of the template and it tells the “Create PPT” function to set the PPT slide layout to a Title Slide. To use this control, place your cursor insertion somewhere in the Slide Row and then click the “Title Slide” button. As mentioned previously, this is a “toggle” control. NOTE: If a red “Title Slide” control already exists in Cell 1, one click of the button removes it and when no title control exists in the cell, one click adds it.
this toggle control is used in the Slide Row of the template and it tells the “Create PPT” or “Update PPT” functions that this particular slide will start a new “Outline Level 1” topic, which ultimately gets listed in the Table of Contents of any handouts or speaker notes documents you create with the “Create Documents” function of Scripter and other products of ours like george! for PowerPoint and LeaderGuide Pro. To use this control, place your cursor selection point somewhere in the Slide Row and click the button. The control label inserted is “New Topic” and during the “Create Documents” function, you will insert/update the actual topic label text used in the TOC.
this toggle control is used in the Slide Row of the template and it tells the “Create PPT” or “Update PPT” functions that this particular slide will start a new “Outline Level 2” subtopic. It functions just like the “Title Slide” and “Add Topic” toggle buttons.
Time on Slide
you use this control from the Notes rows of the template and it inserts or removes a time control indicator. The control lists the planned time, in minutes, that you want the presenter to spend displaying and discussing the points you have scripted.
Scripting a New PPT File from Scratch
We started these Instructions with a scenario of scripting notes for an existing PowerPoint file, and when you do that you start with a scripting templates that looks like what we have shown above. Everything we have described so far about scripting Notes and inserting Special Controls applies also to the process of scripting a new PowerPoint file from scratch. The difference is what the initial scripting template looks like. Here is an example.
Under this scenario of scripting from scratch, you place content for the slide into the Slide Row of the template and you only script slide text content. Do not add images or graphics because they will not be transferred to the PowerPoint slide when you use the “Create PPT” function. The text in the slide content block is meant to be the text you want to appear on the slide, or reminders of images and graphics that will be added to the slide once this template data is exported to PowerPoint.
A benefit to you of scripting your slides this way is you stay focused on the content and you will not to get distracted with slide design and formatting issues.
to designate a slide title
Use the Text Formatting control of “Title Text”. Use the other formatting controls to designate regular text, bullets and numbers. Keep it simple and do not make the formatting complicated… you will finish the formatting in PowerPoint after the PPT file is created.
When you are ready to add a new slide content block, place your cursor insertion point in the Notes Row and then click the “Add Slide” button.
To add a new slide and notes in between existing slides insert the same way, by inserting your cursor in the Notes Row above where you want the new slide and note blocks inserted and clicking the “Add Slide” button. When you do this the automatic numbering of the slide and its corresponding notes block may be out of sequence. To correct the sequence numbering of the slides and notes, click the “Refresh Slide #” button.
Important note 1
Related to the “Add Slide” function and going back to our first scenario of scripting Notes for an existing PowerPoint® file…
if in the process of scripting the notes you realize that a new slide needs to be added, you can go ahead and add the new slide and its notes block into the scripting template, but you also must insert a placeholder for this new slide into the PowerPoint file you are going to update.
At the present time, the Scripter software only updates a slide’s notes and controls on a “one-for-one” basis. Thus, if you have 100 slides in the current PowerPoint slide deck and your revised Notes script template contains 110 slides, you have to open the PowerPoint file and insert blank placeholder slides in the appropriate locations so that they all get updated properly when you click the “Update PPT” button. Said another way, the “Update PPT” function of Scripter does not currently add new slides, it only sequentially updates Slide Notes and Controls such as inserting a Time Control or Topic and Subtopic Tags.
Important Note 2
As you add slides and note blocks to your Scripter template, keep the rows together.
Do not insert manual page breaks and try to always have a new slide start on a new page in the template. This is a work document and not a document you are going to publish. The Scripter software needs this to be one contiguous table.
From your finished script template, if you are creating from scratch a new PowerPoint file, you click the “Create PPT” button on Scripter's ribbon. The content of slides marked with a “Title Slide” Scripter control are placed into a PowerPoint Title Slide layout. The content of all other slides in the Scripter template are placed into a PowerPoint “Title and Content” layout.
If from your finished script template you are updating an existing PowerPoint file’s Slide Notes and inserting scripted controls of Slide Time, New Topic, and Subtopic, click the “Update PPT” button. A one-for-one replacement of those items will occur. As stated earlier, if your Update Script document has more or less slide and note blocks then the PowerPoint file being updated, you need to add placeholder slides or remove slides in the PowerPoint file prior to running the update function.
The third choice available as a Final Action in Scripter is the ability for it to create finished Word documents from your finished PowerPoint file.
You do not have to have a Scripter Template document open to use this function. All you need to have is a finished PowerPoint file that you want to turn into a document for a target audience as a presentation script to follow or as a handout for the audience.
After clicking the “Create Documents” button you are prompted to designate the PowerPoint file you want to use and then this dialog is displayed.
The dialog contains a great deal of built in help so we will not repeat it all here but just provide you a quick overview. We also encourage you to take a small PowerPoint slide file and experiment with creating various document files using the different options contained here. It is most likely the best way for you to learn what all of these controls actually do.
Starting at the top of the dialog there are controls for what you want on the cover page of the final document and also you can choose the document’s orientation, as well as the quality and format of the slide images placed into the document.
You will want to scroll down the list of 18 different design options you have for the slide images, notes and free writing space on each page. Just click the design option number to view a thumbnail (big thumb!) of the page design. At a minimum you need to set a “Default” design, which means all pages in the document will look like the design option you choose. However, on a slide-by-slide basis you can set a different page design for specific slides. So let’s say for example you want the all slides printed 2 per page with notes and writing space also on the page… that is design option #8 and you set this as your default design. However, for Slide 11, 13, and 18 you want them shown 1 per page with notes and writing space, which is design option #1… you would set those specifically using the “Selective Slide Layout” choice on this dialog.
Notice the special controls for designating the various Audience types, which will only pull the notes from the slide that you have designated for that specific audience. You can also choose to show or hide the Time Control that you may have included and you can show or hide some small icons we use on the page to “dress it up” a bit.
On the dialog is also a control group for updating the Topic and Subtopic tags you optionally added to the slides. This will form the basis of the final document’s Table of Contents and general organization.
All of your document choices for this slide deck are displayed in the “Print Instructions” list. Most of these get updated automatically when you change one of the various options on the dialog. The exception to this are the Selective Slide design choices you make. If you want to change one of the Selective Slide choices, you first select it from the list and then click the remove button. At that point you can go and make a different Selective Slide design choice for that slide, or simply let it use the default setting you have chosen.
Finally when you are ready, click the “Continue” button… Scripter will then begin creating your new Word document from this PowerPoint® file. Scripter also records all of your print instructions for this slide file and the next time you use it to create a new handout document, Scripter will pre-fill this dialog with those last recorded settings.