(This was originally posted at http://africanjungle.iblog.co.za/2010/09/07/zionworx-open-source-freeware-for-churches/ on 7 September, 2010)
I recently heard of an Open Source program named ZionWorx. On Sunday, I sat next to someone in church, watched her use it and learnt how to use it.
A projector was recently installed in our church to project hymns. ZionWorx is a multimedia and slideshow program like Microsoft PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress. However, it has been specifically designed for churches. There is a database which is used to load hymns. For each mass, the hymns sung at that mass are selected and put into a slideshow. When the time for a hymn to be sung arrives, the hymn is loaded. The words are then projected for everyone to read and follow.
The controls are quite simple. The user can select the song from the preloaded mass list. There is also a search function for the user to search the full database if the song wasn’t inserted into the mass list. Once the song is selected, the slideshow projection is started by pressing F12. To go to the next slide, press [Enter]. To stop the slideshow, press F11.
I found the program very easy to learn. The most important thing was to pay attention and advance to the next slide when necessary.