Easislides is a free public domain software that was developed for churches to use during Sunday sermons and worship services, but it's compatible with PowerPoint and therefore, can be used for any type of presentations. The download is free at easislides.com and you can also download 3 English versions of the Bible to import into the software. The program comes with hundreds of worship songs, many of them are traditional. It also comes with several background images or you can import your own as well.
Easislides takes PowerPoint a step farther in presentation mode. It allows you to import your PP slides and then you can instantly change backgrounds, add movie slides and motion backgrounds too. You can select scriptures, songs, presentations, etc. and have them sent to the "holding area" below, until you are ready to click on that slide presentation and present your show LIVE. Easislides allows you to open several "shows" and slides, without having to open each presentation and close it to open a new one. After setting up your slides, you click the "LIVE" button and it instantly projects to your screen. It works on dual monitors too - all you do is set it up to default to your 2nd monitor. It saves so much time.
The other great thing about this free software, is that you can do live video feeds too! Right now, I am not using that feature, but we will be within the next 6 months or so. The software also has Windows Media Player as a default player for movies and videos.
As anyone who uses PowerPoint for any type of presentation knows, it can be quite stressful once you go into presenting your show on the screen and how hard the slides are to read in the viewer. This is NOT the case with Easislides! Your screen is split into 4 sections - the top sections show your text or slides on the left and right sides and the bottom sections show you the slide coming up next and the one that's currently in view. The right 2 sections are the ones that are in LIVE mode - the left sides are your working area.
Since the software is free, technical support can be slow, but the forum is very helpful. Also, our computer at church is running a 64x operating system and at first the software would not work. But after updating the .net framework files, it was fine. Windows Vista may encounter these issues, but the forum also addresses this too. Newer operating systems should work just fine with this program. Updates do come out periodically and you can send a donation, if you choose, but it's not required. The program also has Cantonese and Mandarin languages, as that's where it was designed. English is the 3rd language (for the free Bible software you download separately). The software has been available since 2003.
As I previously mentioned, the software was developed for churches, because being on limited budgets, we normally all use or start out using PowerPoint. Now with Easislides, I have one program open, I have the whole Bible in there and all of our worship slides, plus the hundreds of songs already in there. I was at the point of typing the whole Bible into Powerpoint and was dreading that, until I was told of this software. Of course this program can be used for your company too. You just import your PP slides, get it set up and it's ready to go! You don't have to install the Bibles, if you choose not too.
The other thing I love about this program is that our Pastor normally comes in a few minutes before service starts and he will give me a few scriptures to put on the screen during his sermon. The down side to this is that I normally had to rush to grab scriptures from another Bible software that took me forever to find on the Internet, copy the text, paste it into PP, convert the size of the text, color and backgrounds and save the files. This was so hard to do with sometimes only 5-7 minutes before our worship service started. Now, with Easislides, he gives me the scriptures, I select them from the King James Version in the software and drop each scripture down into the holding box. When he's ready for the projection, I click the verse, click LIVE and it's up on the screen. The Bible software also comes in Revised and Amercian Standard Version. Plus, if my Pastor decides to read a scripture he didn't give to me, I can quickly go to it and send it LIVE and everyone can read it up on the screen.
So many of my friends at other churches have started using this software and are just as happy with it. I have to thank my friend, Pastor Wes, for mentioning it. I hope this helps someone else out there who may be looking for a good software program to use at their church or company.
Update On Nov 20, 2009: This software isn't just for churches. Downloading and installing the Bibles is optional too. This software allows you to import any kind of PowerPoint slideshow and movie files. I am including another screenshot so you can see a sample of songs that are included in this software. There are also Christmas songs, like the one shown here. "Silent Night". So insert any of your songs or slides into this easy to use slideshow software or start streaming LIVE via your video feed.