Now that you have OpenLP set up the way you want, it is time to put it to use.

Everything you need to display will be in the left panel called the Library, under their respective categories. Using the Library you can add new media, songs, images, Bibles or create a custom slide as discussed earlier in the Library section.


On the right side of your screen at the top is the Service Manager. Everything you want to display should be in the Service Manager and preferably in the order you want to display it.


New, Open and Saving the Service

Three icons at the top of the Service Manager will do the following:

BUTTONS_NEW Create a new service

This first icon will create a New Service.

BUTTONS_OPEN Load an existing service

This second icon will open an already created service file. Use this icon to to find the location of your file or you can open a saved service by dragging and dropping it into the service manager. The service will be opened and the existing service replaced. You will first be prompted to save your previous service if changes were made.

BUTTONS_SAVE Save this service

This icon will Save the service you created, added to or rearranged. The order of service, songs, images, Bible verses, service notes, and custom slides are all saved in the file.

Changing the Service Level Theme

If you click on the Theme dropdown, you have the option to set the Service level theme. This option is covered in greater detail under Themes.

Note: This feature is only available if you have the Theme level set to Service or Song Level in Themes.

Editing Songs in the Service

You can create your service file on a different computer than the projection computer. If a song is not in the projection computer database when you open the saved file OpenLP will automatically import the song into the song database with this option checked here Songs “Import missing songs from Service file”.

You always have the ability to edit the song in the service manager by right clicking on the song and choosing Edit Item from the context menu. Follow the directions here Creating or Editing a Song Slide to make changes to your song.

Note: Editing a song in Service will be applied to the Service song database. Editing a song in the Library will be applied to the song in your Library. This can be changed so that changes made in the Service song database update the Library song database and changes made in the Library song database update the Service song database in Song related settings.

Working with Service Items

To add your media you can drag and drop your selection from the Library to the Service Manager or, after clicking the media or verse you want to use, click the ADD_PLUS. This will add your selected item to the Service manager at the bottom.

Note: You always have the option to send any media live direct from the Library. Please see the Library section for more details.

Sorting Service Items

Once there are some items in the Service Manager you can click on your item and drag and drop it in the order you want or, click the item and use the icons shown below to move it up or down.

SERVICE_TOP Move item to the top of the service.

SERVICE_UP Move item up one position in the service.

SERVICE_DOWN Move item down one position in the service.

SERVICE_BOTTOM Move item to the end of the service.

Expanding and collapsing Service items

To view your Bible or song verses one by one, use the icons below. This is a convenient way to move around through the verses if they are skipped or repeated. Double-click on the verse you want to display live.

SERVICE_EXPAND Expand all the service items.

SERVICE_COLLAPSE Collapse all the service items.

As an alternative to expanding or collapsing all items in the list you can use the buttons to the right of a list item to expand or collapse a single list item.

EXPAND_SINGLE Expand a single service item.

COLLAPSE_SINGLE Collapse a single service item.

Common operations on Service items

BUTTONS_LIVE Send the selected item to Live.

CUSTOM_DELETE Remove the service item.

Displaying an Item

When you have all of your items needed for the service in your Service Manager there are a few ways to get them to display on the screen. You can double-click the item, click it once with the mouse and push the Enter key, right click the item and left click Go Live or click it once with the mouse and click on the Sent to Live button BUTTONS_LIVE at the bottom of the Service Manager.

Any of these methods will display your item on the screen. When your item is displayed, it will be selected in the Slide controller just to the left of the Service Manager and Live preview will be visible in the bottom part of the Slide controller.


To Preview an item in the left Preview pane, right click the item and left click Show Preview.

Changing a Service Item Theme

When you get your Service items set up and you notice you don’t have the correct theme for it, you can right click the item and choose your preffered theme using Change Item Theme menu list.

Moving Through the Service Items

When you display a song or Bible verse with multiple verses you will need to move through them. Depending on which panel is in focus you can use your keyboard in various ways.

Using Enter key in Service manager will Send to live selected item/slide and the subsequent Up Arrow or Down Arrow keys will change slides/items in the Live pane. At the same time Left Arrow/Right Arrow will jump to previous/next Service item.

When the focus is in Service manager you can use the Right Arrow/Left Arrow key to expand/collapse Service items. Up Arrow or Down Arrow will not force slide change in Live.

Alternative options to changing slides

In Live pane you can also use following buttons to change slides:

SLIDE_NEXT Move to next.

SLIDE_PREVIOUS Move to previous.

Page Up and Page Down keys will do the same thing.

Note: You can also use Down Arrow to go through each slide in the Service item and once it reaches the last slide it switches to the next Service item. See configuration options in Service Item Wrapping.

Changing slides using keyboard shortcuts

There is shortcut support for the Live Controller in OpenLP. This allows you to navigate through, and jump between, your slides in the Live Controller using only your keyboard. This works for any type of slides, e.g. songs, Bible verses and images.

How does it work?

If you want to jump to verse 3 using the keyboard you press v and within a time frame of 350ms you press 3. Keep in mind to be quick and you will be successful.

The available keyboard shortcuts are:

  • Verse: v

  • Chorus: c

  • Bridge: b

  • Pre-Chorus: p

  • Intro: i

  • Ending: e

  • Other: o

  • and the numbers from 0-9

Adding a Group of Images

At some point you may have a group of images to display together. It may be pictures from a youth group adventure, bulletin announcements, or some other reason. You can either create the group in the Library and then click the BUTTONS_ADD icon above the images, or you can manually select a group of images. Do this by holding the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click each image you want to add as a group. As you click the images they will remain highlighted. When you are done with your selections you can either click the BUTTONS_ADD icon above the images or, click on one of the highlighted images, hold the mouse button and drag them over to the Service Manager side and place them where you need them.


Sorting a Group of Images

If you do not like the order the images are in, right click Images.


Left click Reorder Item.


From this box you will be able to rearrange the order of your images by clicking on one and using the Up and Down arrows to move it to where you want it. If there is an image you do not want in your order, click on it and then click the Delete button. When you are done arranging your images click Save.

If you need to add another image from the Library to your group of images, left click the image you want to add and hold the mouse button and drag it over your group of Images and release the mouse button. You will be given two options, Add New Item and Add to Selected Item.


If you click Add New Item your image will be separate from your group of images as another item at the bottom of the Service. If you click Add to Selected Item your image will be added to your group of images.

Renaming a List Item

You can rename an item in the list to make it easier to understand. This is done by right clicking on item in your service manager and left clicking Rename.

Adding a Service Note

You have the ability to leave yourself or the next projector person a service note. This is done by right clicking on an item in your service manager and left clicking Notes.


You can type your note in the box and click Save. If you change your mind you can click Cancel. Your note will appear as a yellow note on your item.


To view your note move your mouse cursor over the item in your service and you will see a popup with the information you typed in your note.


If you need to change your Note or delete it, open it again, delete your text and click Save

Creating a New Custom Slide

You have the ability to create a custom slide in the service manager by right clicking on the Song, Bible Verse or Custom Slide then choosing Create new Custom Slide from the context menu. Follow the directions here Library to create your new custom slide.

Using the Service Timer

The Service Timer is available for any media item with multiple slides. This includes Bible verses, Songs, or a group of images. The Service Timer is accessed in the Live Controller Bar between the Live panes.


The time delay increment is in seconds. Use the up or down arrow on the right of the timer to change the number of seconds or type in the number of seconds you want to use. This number determines how many seconds will lapse before your media item will automatically change to the next slide.

Immediately to the left of the second counter is a down arrow. Clicking on this arrow will give you two options for the use of the timer.

Play Slides in Loop:

Selecting this option will continuously loop your slides from beginning to end, and back to the beginning again. The slide loop will continue until you click the timer start and stop button again or move to the next service item.

Play Slides to End:

Selecting this option will display your slides through once and stop at the end.

SERVICE_TIMER Timer start and stop:

Click this button to start or stop the timer function. You can also use the keyboard shortcut L to start and stop the continuous loop.

Using the Media Timer

Note: The media timer is only available when you are using System as your default player. Please check your media configuration here: Settings ‣ Configure OpenLP ‣ Media. Configure your player using System with these instructions. Media.

The media timer is used when you have a media file in your service manager and you would like it to start and/or stop at a specified time.

After adding your media file to the Service you can mouseover your file and the popup will show you the play time “Length” in hours, minutes and seconds.


Right click on your media file and left click SERVICE_TIMER Start Time.

Item Start and Finish Time

The start and stop time default to the beginning and end of the video.


Change the hours, minutes and seconds to the times you want your video to begin and end. When you are finished click Ok to save your changes or Cancel to leave the times as they were originally. When you display your media live it will start and stop with the times you configured.


After your changes have been saved you can check your start and stop times by putting your mouse cursor over the media file.


Using the “Blank to” Control

On the Live Controller Bar in between the Live windows are three options to Blank your screen. Depending on how narrow your slidecontroller is, the three options will be presented as a dropdown menu in the toolbar.


Or as three separate buttons in the toolbar.

SLIDE_BLANK Blank Screen:

Choosing this option will blank your projector to black as if it were shut off. The shortcut for this option is . (fullstop/period on your keyboard).

SLIDE_THEME Blank to Theme:

Choosing this option will show your blank theme only, without lyrics or verses. If you are blanking a song with an assigned theme it will blank to that theme. If no theme is assigned or you are blanking a presentation or image, it will blank to the global theme. The shortcut for this option is T.


Choosing this option will show your desktop wallpaper or a program that you have open on the extended monitor or projector. You can seamlessly switch between one program and OpenLP by Blank to Desktop. The shortcut for this option is D.

You can change or add to the keyboard shortcuts here Settings ‣ Configure Shortcuts.

Linked Audio Control

AUDIO_PAUSE You can stop or start the audio playing on your Linked Audio by using this button. This button becomes available when you have linked an audio file to a song and it is in use.


To the right of the AUDIO_PAUSE button a count down timer for the audio file is displayed to indicate the play time remaining for the linked audio file. If you have multiple linked audio files, the play time remaining will only be for the current playing linked audio file.


By selecting the drop down menu between the AUDIO_PAUSE button and the count down timer you can jump to the next linked audio file for the song using Next Track or select the Tracks menu selection and jump to any linked audio file in the song.


Linked audio files or groups of linked audio files can repeat when the last file finishes playing. To set linked audio files to repeat, enable the Repeat track list in Configuring OpenLP on the General page.

Linked audio files can be set to start playing as soon as the first slide of the song is displayed. To enable the linked audio files to start playing when the first slide is displayed, disable the Start background audio paused option in Configuring OpenLP on the General page.

Saving the Service

Now that you created your service, tested it and are ready for your worship service, you will want to save your service file. OpenLP will remind you to do this when you close the program or you can click the save button New, Open and Saving the Service at the top of your service file. Choose the location you want to save your file and click Ok.