Interactive Presentations


This tutorial video outlines the basic steps for creating an interactive presentation. 

You can use BrightAuthor to create interactive presentations. Interactive presentations respond to interactive events, such as input from buttons or other GPIO devices, or from devices connected to a BrightSign communication port. The supported communication methods vary by BrightSign model:

  • USB devices (such as touch screens, mice, keyboards, barcode scanners, IR remote controls): XT1143, 4K1042, 4K1142, XD1033, XD1032, XD1132, XD1030, XD1230, HD1023, HD1022, HD1020, LS423, LS322, LS422

  • Networked devices: All 4K, XD, and LS models, as well as the HD223, HD1023, HD222, HD1022, HD220, HD1020, and AU320

  • Serial devices: XT1143, 4K1042, 4K1142, XD1033, XD1032, XD1132, XD1030, XD1230, HD1023, HD1022, LS423, HD1020, and AU320. Note that some models do not fully support RS-232 signaling.

  • GPIO devices: All models except the LS423

  • Infrared (IR) devices: All XT, 4K, and XD models

Creating an Interactive Presentation

Follow these steps to create an interactive playlist in a presentation:

  1. Open or create a presentation project. If you haven’t created a presentation before, see the Full-Screen Presentations section for details.

  2. Under Media Library, click the

    button and select a folder that contains the files you want to include in your presentation.

  3. Select a zone you want to make interactive.

  4. Make the zone interactive: In the upper-right portion of the screen beside Playlist type, click Interactive.

  5. Drag the desired content into the playlist area. This can include media from the files tab and states from the other tab.


Multi-zone presentations can include both non-interactive and interactive zones.

Choosing a Home Screen

The Home Screen is the first media file in an interactive playlist. It is where the interactive presentation begins (within a particular zone). Home Screens usually include one of the following:

  • An attract video that loops until the user provides input

  • A list of options from which the user can choose the next action (e.g. an Interactive Menu)

By default, the first item you drag into an interactive playlist will become the Home Screen. It is identified by the Home icon. You can change the Home Screen at any time by double-clicking the desired file in the playlist and checking the Set as initial state box.

Defining Interactive Events

Interactive events link files in the playlist and determine what must occur before one file transitions to another. In the user interface, files are referred to as “states,” where the current file is the “current state,” and the file transitioned to is the “next state.” We refer to creating and linking interactive events between states will be referred to as “defining events”.

The easiest way to define events is to use the Events Toolbar, which is located at the top of the playlist area.

  1. In the Event Toolbar, click the interactive event icon that corresponds to the type of event you want to define. For example, to define what happens when a user presses button 1 on a GPIO button board, click .

  2. Click (and hold) the file name below the thumbnail image of the current state.

  3. Drag the hand pointer to the thumbnail image of the media file you want to play next (i.e. the next state). 

You can also define events using the events tab:

  1. Select the events tab under Media Library.

  2. Drag the event icon onto the thumbnail of a state. This will be the state that the event transitions away from.

  3. An Event window will automatically open. Here, you can specify the state that the event will transition to. See the Editing Interactive Events section for more details.

Interactive events can start with any item and correspond to any other item in the playlist. For example, you can set the first interaction to display an image when the user presses button 1 from the Home screen. By defining a new event with the same event icon, you can set a second interaction to display another media file when the user presses button 1 again.


Make sure your defined events work in a loop. In the playlist shown below, a user can transition from the Home Screen to the other images by pressing button 1 or button 2. After a set period of time (indicated by the timeout events), the presentation will return to the Home Screen.

Defining Multiple Events

You can define more than one event at a time. This is useful if you want multiple states to transition to a single state using the same event type.

  1. Right-click and drag the cursor within the playlist area to select multiple states. Alternatively, you can pres and hold Ctrl to select multiple states.

  2. With the states selected, define the interactive event from one media file, and it will then be created for all selected files.

Customizing the Interactive Playlist

In the upper-right portion of the screen, you can use the Zoom control to adjust your view of the playlist area. When you switch between multiple interactive zones, BrightAuthor will remember the zoom setting last used for each zone.

If you don’t see the event you want in the playlist toolbar, click the arrow to the left of the Zoom control. Here, you can add or remove event icon buttons from your toolbar.