EasyWorship 6 updates the powerful yet simple-to-use worship presentation software that has come a long way since it’s early days. We took a look at the new version (6.5.5) and found that EasyWorship 6 competes with other great worship presentation tools like MediaShout, ProPresenter, and other worship software on the market. It’s the best version of EasyWorship and one of the best worship programs we’ve seen. Should you use it instead of PowerPoint? How does the program work?
Why Use Worship Software Instead of PowerPoint?
Some churches use PowerPoint to handle their worship presentations. Why would these people ever pay $500 for a product like EasyWorship 6? PowerPoint is a tool. The popular Mac alternative Keynote works just like PowerPoint. However, they’re both generic tools intended to appeal to any kind of presenter. Churches present the same kind of information each work, like lyrics for hymns and worship songs or Bible passages.
PowerPoint requires the user to enter or copy and paste the bible passages into a slide each time the presenter wants to show a verse or passage. Worship Presentation software like EasyWorship 6 makes importing the bible text easy. It includes a database of translations and the text of each of these translations. Type the reference or point and click a few buttons and the program creates a pre-formatted slide with each verse in a beautiful way.
The person building a church presentation can add lyrics as easily as they can bible verses. Most worship presentation software comes with a database of public domain hymns. Import the text of lyrics from third-party services like Song Select.
In addition to creating simple song or bible verse slides, the user can make collections of pictures, videos and do live image magnification with a feed from a video camera. Add lower-third titles, text or images over these live video feeds as well. You can’t do that easily in PowerPoint.
EasyWorship 6: Simple Yet Powerful
When you open EasyWorship 6 you’ll see the window that lets the user build a new worship presentation. From top to bottom you get the application menu with the toolbar below it. The middle section of the screen shows the list of slides in the worship presentation with previews. The lower section shows the tabs for adding content to the presentation.
EasyWorship 6 Toolbar
On the toolbar you find the buttons for creating new presentations, opening old ones, saving the current presentation and a “Web” button. This opens a web browser in the middle section. More on that below.
On the right end of the toolbar you’ll see the button to “Go Live” which fires the next cue in the presentation schedule. A schedule is the list of cues in your worship service. Click Go Live to show the next item in the schedule.
During a worship service sometimes there are emergencies with one attendee like a car with headlights left on or a problem with their child in the nursery. There’s an Alerts button that lets the presentation control personnel alert attendees with these kinds of problems.
Other toolbar buttons include a Logo, Black Screen and Clear button. The Logo button shows the EasyWorship logo unless the user adds their own. Black puts up a black screen. Clear leaves the background but removes the content in the foreground like song lyrics or Bible verses. Finally, the Live button turns on or off the display. If it turns it off the computer will show the Windows desktop background. If it’s turning it back on, it shows the current cue in the schedule.
EasyWorship 6 Presentation Schedule and Previews
In the center section below the toolbar, you get three window panes. The schedule along the left lists all the items in your worship presentation schedule. The center shows a preview of the currently selected item. The right shows a preview of what the people will see on the external screens or monitors.
A button at the top of schedule list lets you show large, medium or small icons or a summary view (see arrows in screenshot above). The gear icon next to that button serves as a menu for the schedule. It lets you control the items in your schedule like adding, moving or editing them.
Click on a cue in the schedule and the central section below the toolbar shows the content of that cue (see the screenshot above). If you have a song it shows all the verses and choruses. When showing a Bible verse it shows the verse text. You get a preview of graphics or videos here too.
You can change the size of the previews just like you could the cues in the schedule section. Show them as large, medium, or small icons or summary list view. Double click these preview icons or summary list items and they will fire showing on the public display. I miss the ability to edit these items right from the preview screen like you can in MediaShout 6.
Add Content to EasyWorship 6 Schedule from Bottom
At the bottom of the screen we find the area that lets us add content to our presentation. Select a tab to find content to add. The tabs include…
- Songs – find and add song lyrics
- Scripture – find and add Scripture verses as well as control installed Bible translations
- Media – find and add things like images, videos and even live video feeds as well as organize collections of media around usage, themes or holidays
- Presentations – create or import presentations and make lower-third content to show over a live video feed
- Themes – work with your song or Bible verse themes, which are like PowerPoint templates
The last one shows all of your pre-defined themes and lets the user edit or create new themes. Themes control things like the color and size of text in songs or Bible verses. It also handles things like background images. Think of these like templates in PowerPoint or Keynote.
Adding Songs in EasyWorship 6
Songs let you add hymns or choruses. You can create collections or songs like Christmas songs or songs about topics like Jesus, Grace or Invitation hymns. To add songs from a service like SongSelect click on the Web button in the top toolbar.
In the built-in web browser the user sees a page offering to let you add content. Click on SongSelect to add song lyrics from the service. You’ll need a subscription to use it.
Adding Songs, Bible verses, Media or Presentations is easy in EasyWorship 6. Find the item you want to add to your worship service schedule. Then just drag it into the list above.
Add Scripture Verses in EasyWorship 6
Add scripture by typing a reference and selecting the translation. The user can use the included translations or add more using the ‘More Available’ link. Like songs, you can create collections of scriptures. I know of a church that always reads a bible verse about giving during their offering time. They could create a collection of 10 or 15 verses to rotate during the year.
I love that when adding a verse, it shows the other verses in that chapter so you can see it in context. Sometimes I add other verses as a result. To add the verse to the schedule select it and then select the Themes tab. Choose your template and double click it to add the verse with that theme. Or you can just drag the verse from the Scripture tab.
Adding Media in EasyWorship 6
Add media from the Media tab. It offers Video, Images, live video Feeds from a camera, a video from a DVD, and Audio. Like Songs and Scripture you can create collections of media. When you select a kind of media it shows the available media in the middle of the lower section. Select one file and you get a preview on the right. See the image above.
Creating or Adding Presentations in EasyWorship 6
The Presentation tab lets you create presentations. It has a built-in presentation editor or you can import files from PowerPoint.
I like that you can immediately fire an item selected in the lower third of the EasyWorship window. Select the item and then hit the play button at the far right end of the lower third’s toolbar.
There’s a lot here and it may seem complicated at first. However, when you understand the way the company laid out the EasyWorship 6 user-interface, it becomes an easy-to-use program with a lot of power right there where you want it.
I wish I could edit a single slide in the preview shown in the center when I select it in the schedule along the left. Also, a few things take some discovery. It’s not obvious how to edit the themes for your songs or Bible verses. Once you learn how it works, it’s easy to do.
Some worship presentation tools can get more complicated to create or build the worship presentation, but not EasyWorship. The name fits. I went from opening the program for the first time to figuring out how to make my worship presentation pretty quickly.
Owners of previous versions should upgrade. It’s well worth the $199 upgrade price. If you’re staring from scratch and want to use worship software for the first time, definitely download the trial version and give EasyWorship 6 a try. I think you’ll like it, but compare it to other programs like MediaShout, which we recently reviewed. Also look at SongShow Plus. Logos Bible Software users may want to look at Proclaim, but I doubt you’ll want to use it over EasyWorship, which is far simpler to create a new presentation schedule.