Friday, September 28, 2012

How to play Family Feud using Powerpoint without using the mouse

Name something you can't get
enough of during action movies.
This blog entry will explain how to run a Family Feud game using Powerpoint and keyboard shortcuts (i.e. no mouse clicking.)

This setup has been tested on Powerpoint 2007 and Powerpoint 2010, both using Windows. It may be possible to use a Mac, but I haven't tried this and don't own an iProduct. (If you want to buy me an iProduct I will happily try to come up with a solution for you.)

If you want to skip the background narrative and just grab the files you need, scroll down to "What You Need" below.


Introduction

The non-profit organization I work for put on a family-friendly conference this past Summer and I was put in charge of "Family Fun Night". Since I'd always wanted to be a game show host, I figured this would be a great opportunity to try out a game of Family Feud.

So, months ahead of time I came up with questions, used a Google Survey to collect answers from the other employees, and secretly plotted to surprise our executive officers by having them play against each other during Family Fun Night.

Then I hit a snag. I'd figured that there must be some kind of cheap or free Family Feud software out there, but for the life of me I couldn't find anything useful!  I spent hours and hours Googling but turned up only expensive and/or junky solutions.

The closest thing I found to what I wanted can be seen in this video. It had a fairly decent Family Feud board, it had several good sound effects, it was FREE, and all I needed to do was fire up Powerpoint to get it going.  However, there was a problem.

The Problem

The problem was that the presentation had one critical flaw: you had to use the mouse to flip the answer boxes or choose strikes. Lame!! I mean no offense at all to the creator of that presentation; I just mean that it's lame to get so far but have to ruin the most fun and suspenseful moments in the game by mousing over the result before triggering it.

It turned out that there wasn't a lot the creator could have done - Powerpoint lacks the ability to use shortcut keys to trigger events.

I was just about to throw in the towel and write the Family Feud software from scratch when I stumbled upon a comment in some random online forum that led me to the solution.

The Solution

It turns out that while Powerpoint can't trigger events using shortcut keys, there IS a "tab order" that cycles through all triggers one at a time, based on their ordering in the Animation Pane. In order words, if I hit Tab-Enter, it will select the first trigger. If I hit Tab-Tab-Enter, it will select the second trigger. And so on.

That was close to what I wanted, but my modified Family Feud board had 11 possible triggers. If I'd inadvertently miscounted while tabbing, I'd reveal the wrong answer, which would be even more lame than mousing over an answer before triggering it.

That's when I discovered a wonderful little Windows utility called AutoHotKey. AutoHotKey allows you to do things like press one key in order to trigger an entire sequence of keys. In other words, if I press Ctrl-1, I could send a Tab-Enter. If I press Ctrl-2, I could send Tab-Tab-Enter. By combining AutoHotKey functionality with the Powerpoint tab order, I could do exactly what I wanted!

What this presentation does and doesn't do

Before I get to the good stuff, let me be clear about what this Family Feud Powerpoint does and doesn't do.

It does:

  • allow you to enter in pre-researched survey answers, one question per presentation.
  • allow you to mostly-dynamically play Fast Money (aka the final round).
  • have most of the useful sound effects for the game built-in.

It doesn't:

  • keep track of team names or keep score within the game itself. When I used this for real, I put the team names and current score on a white board. Note that the original Family Feud game I found did have this functionality, but it seemed too clunky for my purposes.
  • have a "buzzer" for a playoff round.  You can get high-tech solutions for pay, or low-tech for cheap.  For example, when I ran the game I had the contestants draw papers out of a hat, each with an animal sound written on it.  The contestant had to make that sound to buzz in, and the kids were able to be the judges of who rang in first.  It was a hit!
  • work on a Mac, though if there's some kind of AutoHotKey-for-Mac out there, that should be enough to get it to work.
  • come with any guarantees that this will work for you. I highly recommend you test it several times to make sure you understand how it works.

What you need

You'll want to download the files you need in this zip file. (Click the link, then press Ctrl-S to download.) Here's what's included:
  • Powerpoint files: Regular Round Template, Regular Round Sample, Final Round
  • Fonts for the Powerpoint files: EggCrate, Swiss911 UCm BT, Zrnic
  • AutoHotKey scripts: Regular Round, Final Round
  • [Update 12/11/2012]: Now includes extra sound files for use with the Final Round
You'll also want to download/print the judge instructions, which are not included with the ZIP file.

If you'd like to use a Family Feud theme song, here's a long one and short one.

How to set it up

Get everything ready:

  1. First, install the fonts. Double-click them and click "Install".
  2. Think of good questions and gather all the survey results. Ask about twice as many questions as you think you'll need, since some answer sets end up being duds. Then you'll need to sort the answers into natural groupings. For example, if you ask a question about pets, you'll probably want to group "collies" into the same category as "dog". Those groupings (and total responses) will be what you fill in the Powerpoint slides.  You'll also want an "answer key" that the judges can use.
  3. Download and install AutoHotKey and make sure you have the .ahk files from the zip file available.
  4. Depending on how sophisticated you want to be, you may want to recruit two "judges" who will help you run the game.  That way you can simply "host" and let them run the presentation.  See the judge instructions for details.  If you'll just be playing this for a small group, classroom, etc., you should be able to play regular rounds by yourself.  (You'll need help to do the Final Round properly.)
  5. Make a copy of the Regular Round Template for each question.

Get your survey answers filled in 

These instructions are sing Powerpoint 2010; other versions may be slightly different.
  1. Open a "Regular Round" question file in Powerpoint.
  2. Write the question in the notes pane as a "sanity check" for the judges who will run the presentation.
  3. Show the Selection Pane (Home > Arrange (drop-down) > Selection Pane...)
  4. Deselect the "eye" icon next to XXX, XX and X in the Selection Pane.
  5. Fill in the answers and point values. If you have more than four responses, deselect the "eye" icon next to each "blank#".
  6. When done, re-select the "eye" icon next to XXX, XX and X.  (Be sure not to miss this step or the shortcut keys won't work as expected!)
  7. Save the file.

Final round:

Because of the nature of how the final round works, you can't pre-fill in answers.  Your judges will need to do the legwork.

Be sure to enable macros when loading the file each time!  Don't worry, I didn't do anything malicious =P  In fact, you'll want to look at the code and possibly change the "win" threshold.  On the TV show, the contestants needed 200 points to win.  If you surveyed less people or just want to make it easier to win, you'll want to lower that value.  To do that:
  1. Click Developer menu > Visual Basic
  2. On line 4, change "winThreshold" to be whatever value you want. 
  3. Click the "Save" icon and close that window.

How to play it

I won't go into the details here of how the game works or what to say at what times; I'll assumes you know how to play Family Feud.  If you need a refresher, check out the Family Feud Wikipedia page.

The basic idea is that you'll play the host and your two judges will run the slideshow on your cues.  See the judge instructions for what they'll need to know and do.  You'll also want to write a script for yourself to follow.  Just watch the show a few times and make notes of what to say when.  Make sure it matches what the judges will have!

Legal stuff, etc.

I hereby give permission for you to use these files in any way you like: use, copy, distribute, etc., just don't charge for it. Please leave a comment below to let me know how it worked out. Videos and fun memories of your Family Feud game would be especially appreciated. Also, if you make any improvements to these files or methods, please share those in the comments as well.

87 comments:

  1. Great Template. Thanks for posting. I can't get the HotKeys to work, any suggestions or instructions. Thanks

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  2. Hello Jennifer. First, have you downloaded and installed AutoHotKey? See the section, "How to set it up", step 3, above.

    Then follow the judge instructions (which will involve loading the correct AutoHotKey file). You can find the instructions under the section, "What you need", above.

    Does that help?

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    1. Thanks so much. I thought the hotkeys used Control or Alt. I got it to work and juset in time for my event.

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  3. THIS IS GREAT...THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH....it works like a charm and my holiday party will exceed everyone's expectations....so long "taboo" or "charades"...o

    I do have one question. You posted the theme music....which was great....any help on an easy source to download for the wrong answer buzzer? I've searched a bit but every site wants to install all this "junk" on my PC prior to downloading the sound clip.

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    1. Hi Crystal. I could probably figure out where I got those sound files from, but did you know that the sounds are built into the Powerpoint presentation? In other words, as soon as you press the key for a "strike", it displays a strike while also playing the strike sound.

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    2. I figured out where I went wrong...I've got it now...10x more excited than I was yesterday...thank you!!!

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    3. So, my big game night is now 11 days away....and I've mastered the regular rounds! As for the Bonus Round...All the hot keys work...but the points aren't adding up correctly...any I idea where I went wrong or what I'm not doing correctly? (I'm careful not to hit the same score twice...I've also re-downloaded the Final Ppt Template in case I erroneously altered something.

      Also, is anything suppose to happen when the score meets the min threshold? THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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    4. Hi Crystal. Would you mind sending me your bonus round file? I can take a look tonight. hallmant at gmail

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    5. For reference: Crystal's problem was that she was trying to play multiple bonus rounds. However, the way the bonus round totals work is by counting the number of times you've pressed Ctrl-Win-# - not necessary how many numbers are displayed.

      To reset the number of times you've pressed Ctrl-Win-#, you need to close the Bonus Round file (and you may want to close Powerpoint completely to be extra safe... just in case you had another file open in the background or something.) Then re-load the bonus round and it should work fine. Make sure you've loaded the BONUS ROUND AutoHotKey file at that point also.

      ---
      For programmers: there's no way to read in the values of only displayed boxes - at least not that I could find - so instead I use a static integer to determine how many numbers to sum. Each Ctrl-Win-# press adds up boxes 1 through #. To reset the static integer you must re-open the PPT file.

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  5. Hi Tom-
    I have a quick question for you. I am sort of not good with technology (nor do I have the time right now to figure this out), so I'm not sure about the autohotkey at the moment. Is there anyway you can send me the original powerpoint that required you to click on the answers?? I can't download the original file from the user because it is a .rar file. It would be so greatly appreciated!! If so I can send you may email address.

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    1. Hello Emily. If you have the rar file you're almost there! rar files are basically zip files, so you can probably open it using the same program. If you don't have one, try 7zip for Windows (www.7-zip.org). It's free and very easy to use.

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  6. Wow. That is very very helpful! One question, can I change the hotkey? Say, ctrl+1 instead of pressing WIN? Some of my students don't know how to HOLD it. So instead, they press it and it ruins the game... Any suggestions? :D Thanks!

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    1. Sure thing. You can edit the AutoHotKey files ("Family Feud Hotkeys.ahk" and "Family Feud Hotkeys - FINAL ROUND.ahk") to make the keys whatever you'd like.

      See the AutoHotKey website for details, but basically changing the pound sign to a caret (# -> ^), you'd make the key Ctrl-1 instead of Win-1.

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  7. Another thing, while editing and testing this, the hotkeys suddenly scrambled. Like when i press WIN+z it opens the answer panel no. 1.

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    1. Hmmm... it could be that an extra Tab character was sent or something. I'm afraid I haven't seen this behavior before, so I couldn't quite tell you how to fix it.

      Also, make sure you loaded the correct AutoHotKey file - and only once - and try it again.

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  8. I have a question. For the final round, when I hit Win-Z to start the clock, I get the buzzer sound. When I hit Win-C, the time comes up, but the only way I can get it to start is by clicking with a mouse. Any ideas how to fix this?

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  9. Hi Karissa. Are you able to reproduce this error? (That is, if you reboot your computer, reload everything and try it again, it still happens?)

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    1. I was able to fix that problem, but now I have a new question. In the final round I have everything working with the hotkeys, but the bell/buzzer does not sound when I show the points. Is this something I have to do manually or is there a way to have it in the powerpoint like the answer reveal sound?

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    2. Hi Karissa. Those sounds are included in the zip file above (if you downloaded it after 12/11/2012; I'd forgotten to include them before that.) All you need to do is have those sound files in the same location as your powerpoint slides. Then it should work. Let me know if you have trouble!

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  10. Tom, you're swell. I grabbed the files and will definitely test before I utilize this. But really appreciate you taking the time to post the instructions, files, etc. for other people to use. You've even been responsive with questions, responding the same day each time.

    You're aces in my book! -- James

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    1. Hey, thanks James! I'm really glad others find this useful!

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  11. Hi Tom,

    I got this going and very excited. Using it for a presentation to an audience that should know what we do... we'll see.

    Instructions are great, couple things that I missed first go:

    -- Setting up the slide: When done, re-select the "eye" icon next to XXX, XX and X. This is important for the shortcut keys or it does different behavior. That may be @EMpinoy problem.

    -- If you want to tinker with the code, you have to turn on the developer tab - instructions here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ee814734(v=office.14).aspx


    Tom, high five! Let me know if you are ever in Vancouver or at an eLearning conference. I'm on twitter @chadleaman.




    - Turn those

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    1. Thanks for the tips, Chad! I just updated the instructions to emphasize the importance of re-selecting the "eye" icons.

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  12. Tom,

    I am having trouble getting my answers to flip over. What Hot Keys do I use? I have entered my answers and points, and then I remembered to re-check the "EYE" icon beside the X, XX, XXX, but I am unable to get answers to flip over when in presentation view. The Tab-Enter sequence initiates the strikes.

    Please help! My presentation is Thursday morning. Feel free to email me directly at drs1215@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Dana! I'd sent you an email but didn't hear back. Hope your presentation goes well today!

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    2. Hi Tom!!
      First of all thank you so much for this info! The issue I am having, and I know this may sound lame, but I can't get the shortcut keys to work WIN-1, etc. Perhaps I am not pushing the right keys, but is it possible to change them? PLEASE HELP my presentation is Friday! citrus832001@yahoo.com

      Thank You!

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  13. Hi Tom,

    Do you recommend creating another intro/cover slide in my 1st Regular Round template with the family feud image and the extended ff song or creating a seperate ppt file with a single slide that introduces the game?

    So far, I'm not sure how to incorporate the extended music and the sounds so that they play when they should but I'm on it.

    Thanks for your help.

    Rose

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    1. Hello Rose,

      Great question! In my original usage I'd made a custom desktop background with the logo. That way whenever I was switching between slideshows, it looked like I was intentionally advertising =) Also, I had a sound board available so I had a friend the main theme (and other funny sound effects) using a second laptop. If that's not an option for you, it could probably work just fine to have the sound files on your desktop. Just click them to play whenever you'd like - but you'll want to test to make sure your media player doesn't pop up on the second screen.

      Does that make sense? Hope it helps somewhat!

      Tom

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  14. Hi Tom,

    I got the sound working but my strikes are all mixed up. How can I reset them the way they are presented in the judge instructions?

    Rose

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    1. Hi Rose,

      Could you say more about what you mean by "all mixed up"? Here are a couple thoughts:
      1) Review the steps above in the section, "Get your survey answers filled in", particularly step 6. That one seems to trip people up sometimes.
      2) If it's not too much hassle, you could always start with a fresh template and re-enter in your answers (again, being careful to follow the steps in that section above.) Once you've got the hang of it, creating new rounds shouldn't take very long.

      Let me know if you're still having trouble.

      Tom

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  15. Thanks for your responses Tom.
    To clarify the mix up, in my presentation for the 1st and 2nd round (does it make sense that round 1 and 2 are one ppt file as opposed to 2 seperate ppt files?),
    WIN-Z gives me XXX
    WIN-X gives me XX
    When I press WIN-C I get nothing.

    In my final round, when I click WIN-CTRL-1 to reveal the point...I don't hear a bell sound but rather my computer buzz sound. Is it supposed to be like that?

    Thanks for your help. (P.S.: I might have to start a new template, as you suggested....)

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    1. Hi Rose,

      Ah, there it is! Yes, the powerpoint may/will not correctly work if you put multiple rounds in one presentation. It is specifically designed for one round per presentation.

      If you separate them into two and still have trouble, let me know.

      Tom

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    1. Hi Mark,

      Sorry you're having trouble. In most cases, incorrect strikes indicate that something isn't set up properly in the slide:

      1) Review the steps above in the section, "Get your survey answers filled in", particularly step 6. That one seems to trip people up sometimes.

      2) If it's not too much hassle, you could always start with a fresh template and re-enter in your answers (again, being careful to follow the steps in that section above.) Once you've got the hang of it, creating new rounds shouldn't take very long.

      Beyond that, I'm not sure what the problem would be.

      Tom

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  19. I love your PPT. I have the 2010 windows. I downloaded the file and can not get the answeres to show. I clicked on "family feud hote keys" but they could not open the file and it asks me wht do I want to do and it gives me a choice to choose from. Can you let me know which to choose?

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    1. Hi. I realized I had not downloaded the zip file you recommended but also had not downloaded the hotkey file as also noted. I am super excited for this. Thank yoy

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  20. This is so awesome and we can't wait to use it for our Post Prom Party. Thank you for putting it together and sharing it. :)

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Tracia! Have fun!

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  21. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for this - it's great! One problem. For me, WIN-X and WIN-C are bringing up the XX, and I can't figure out how to get the XXX. Help?!

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    1. Hello Faith,

      I'm glad you like it! Sorry you're having trouble with the strikes. In most cases, incorrect strikes indicate that something isn't set up properly in the slide:

      1) Review the steps above in the section, "Get your survey answers filled in", particularly step 6. That one seems to trip people up sometimes.

      2) If it's not too much hassle, you could always start with a fresh template and re-enter in your answers (again, being careful to follow the steps in that section above.) Once you've got the hang of it, creating new rounds shouldn't take very long.

      Beyond that, I'm not sure what the problem would be. If you're still having trouble after trying those suggestions, perhaps I could take a look at your PPT file. Let me know how it turns out.

      Tom

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    2. Thank you. I tried re-installing the hot keys, and that worked.

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  22. Hey Tom! Thanks for all the work you've put in.

    I'm have some questions and have a few issues...

    1) Question: Am I only able to input peoples' responses in the Slides 1 of 1 screen before the slideshow? (That's one feature I liked about the old ppt file, you could enter stuff on the fly so people wouldn't have to look at the Powerpoint program itself...)

    2) Issue: When I use the autohotkeys I'm getting a negative buzzer sound when I reveal the person's score using #^1 through #^0 instead of a positive ding.

    3) Issue: I noticed that in your hotkey script that both #x and #m do the exact same things? So there was no hotkey for "Recalculate Total" as well?

    4) Issue: I noticed that #c it ends the powerpoint slideslow if you don't have a timer clock set beforehand....

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    1. Hi Abel. Sorry for the slow response.

      1) I'm not totally sure I follow. Are you saying that you're running it with only one screen? It's designed to have the presentation run on a second monitor/projector so that people only ever see the presentation without needing to see the editor. Or am I misunderstanding you? But yes, it's designed to enter all "regular round" responses in ahead of time.

      2) When you get the buzzer sound, is it still revealing the answer correctly? Or does a strike appear? If it's the former, I'm not sure what the problem is! There may be some kind of corruption in your file. Could you verify that a fresh download of the ZIP still has the trouble?

      3) Good find. #m is unnecessary. It was just left over from an earlier test. And yes, the "Recalculate Total" tabstop was a failed attempt to have Powerpoint programmatically recalculate the total (which as far as I can tell, is impossible.)

      4) Yup... that makes sense. It is possible to avoid that possible error, I suppose, by adding another tab stop (that doesn't do anything) after that one. I'll take a look at that next time I'm poking around with the template.

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  23. They weren't slow responses, Tom! I appreciate your responding back!

    1) Now I understand...2 monitors. I wish I had 2 available to me to use as specified, heh.

    2) It was the former, I get the buzzer but it reveals the answer correctly. I tried redownloading the file and testing it, it still did the same (this test was done with blank entries in the text and point number boxes). So then I tried tested it with the black boxes filled in with random answers and point values, the first person's score worked correctly (#^1) but all the rest did the buzzer noise again. Very strange...

    3) I understand.

    4) Again, I understand.

    And thanks! I wish Powerpoint had hotkeys so we could avoid this, or that AutoHotKeys would work with the original ppt file of this game. :)

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    1. You've definitely stumped me with item #2! That's very odd indeed. It sounds like you're comfortable poking around in PowerPoint... perhaps you can trace (or replace!) the problem?

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  24. I have a new question for you Tom...

    I like how in your ppt you added the Answer Cover over each spot. How would I go about adding that in the original ppt file. I did a copy and paste and that worked fine but it won't go "over" the coded box. It seems to only work on text boxes like those you used. But for some reason in the original the coded boxes keep going to the front. I can hear your Answer Cover sliding over and it makes the correct sound but you can't see it. Any clue how to bring it to the front? (I tried the ppt "bring it to front/forward but it didn't work right)

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    1. What do you mean by "original ppt file"? Do you mean the one referenced in the video I linked to? If so, honestly, I don't remember all of how I did what I did! I couldn't speak to how the original file may or may not work. Sorry!

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  25. Yeah, I understand powerpoint reasonably well...wish my Visual Basic knowledge was better. :)

    Item #2 is still stumping me, I've tried other ideas of mine but no luck. I'll keep trying and post my findings if I succeed.

    And yep, by original ppt file I was referencing the one from the video. I thought maybe it had to do with the macros but I checked the coding and there didn't seem to be any issues. I did some research online and I may input a command to send the macro code box to the back in the visual basic edit.

    (Oh, and I might just turn off the television projection I'll have the laptop hooked up to when I input answers for the kids - a relatively quick option to not having 2 monitors)

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  26. I think I'm on to something regarding Item #2. It seems that somehow it is pulling the sound from ff-zero.wav so when I deleted the file it gave a "windows something is missing" kind of sound but not more buzzer. Very odd. Any chance you have the ff-blip.wav file (it wasn't with the zip directory)? I could try adding that to my folder or even renaming it as ff-zero.wav and see if it plays that instead

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    1. Hi Abel. I got all the original sounds here:
      http://www.qwizx.com/gssfx/usa/ff.htm

      That should get you what you need!

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    2. Cool, thanks. And changing the blip sound to ff-zero.wav did fix the problem it seemed. :)

      Hope I can figure out the coding to make the scores add up in the regular game.

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  27. I was curious if you ever created the coding for your TODO? Originally you wrote:

    ' Sum all points thus far
    ' TODO: Better way would be to read all points "visible", but that's hard =(
    For i = 1 To refreshCalledCount
    total = total + GetPointsFrom(i)
    Next i

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    1. Unfortunately, no. As far as I can tell, it's impossible in Powerpoint. I spent multiple hours on it but didn't make any progress =/

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    2. Rats...heh. I was thinking it could be a if then statement but would skip if the statement was false (i.e. not showing yet) checking all possible answer boxes but if true and the score > 0 then it would sum it up. All sounds "easy" in theory. If this was in Java I think I might have been able to figure it out years ago when I took it. :(

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  28. I have VERY little experience using Powerpoint. In a little over 3 weeks, my division director needs a fully functioning "Family Feud" type game in PP. Is this something that can be done by someone with VERY little experience in Powerpoint?

    I've even paid to download a template, but it's still too advanced for me. I'm starting to freak out a little. Help??

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    1. Hi Misty,

      This template does not require digging deeply into the inner workings of Powerpoint, but it does assume some degree of familiarity with using the program itself.

      My recommendation is to find a friend who is familiar with Powerpoint, offer to bake him or her a cake for their trouble, and have them set this up for you.

      Thankfully, these templates are free so you have nothing to lose!

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  29. Thanks so much for all of the effort that you put into creating this template. Is there anyway that I can play the fast money round with using the mouse and click feature instead of hot keys?
    Thanks

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    1. Try using the PPT files linked to under the Introduction (it's at the video link). That should work for you.

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  30. Thank You for taking the time to respond. I appreciate you!

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  31. Thanks for sharing this Tom! It's great! Is there a way to lengthen the time for each player in the final round?

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    1. Hi KTD. The answer to your question is, "Yes, but it's not straightforward." It would require someone with "advanced" powerpoint skills. That's because the timer is not actually counting down; rather, it's individual images that disappear one at a time, revealing the image below it (which appears to be one number less.)

      So to accomplish what you'd like, you'd need to create additional "seconds" images. Then you'd have to make sure those images are triggered as part of the countdown action.

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  32. Gotcha. Thanks. I'll be the first to admit that I don't qualify as having 'advanced powerpoint skills' so I'll improvise. It's still totally awesome :-)

    Thanks again

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  34. I have a question about the Final Round. How do you type in the answers and the points without the audience seeing it? Don't you have to stop the slideshow to do that and doesn't that stop the clock?

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    1. Hi Tracia! If you're using two non-mirrored screens (one laptop and one projector, for example), it should work fine. See the Judge Instructions link above. That explains what needs to be done to make it all work.

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    2. Sorry, but I'm still confused. Whatever is on my laptop will show on the projector, won't it? How do I stop the audience from seeing me adding the answers and points? I don't see anything in the Judge instructions about how to do this. Sorry to ask so many questions. I really appreciate you sharing this information because I know our students will really enjoy it.
      Thanks,
      Tracia

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    3. Hi Tracia! I realized I made an assumption in what I shared above =) Most laptops can output either as "mirrored"(meaning the projector displays exactly what's on your laptop) OR "extended desktop", which means the projector shows up as a second monitor. That latter one is what you want. By doing that, a judge can enter the answers provided in the bonus round into the Powerpoint *program* on the laptop while the audience will only see the Powerpoint *presentation*, which will be "covered up."

      In other words, if you can figure out how to do the "extended desktop" mode on your laptop, the rest should "just work" when you test it out.

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    4. I was able to figure out the extended desktop mode on my laptop but I still can't get it so the audience can still see the powerpoint presentation (the countdown) on the projector while I am editing the program on my laptop. If it's not possible, that's fine - we will figure out something to do while I type in the answers. Thanks again for sharing this program!

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    5. Ahhh I see. Yes, if you try to enter answers before the clock is done, that will pause the slideshow. I recommend that the judge *write down* the answers while they're being given. Then, once the timer is done, enter the answers in the slideshow.

      See the judge instructions for more detail.

      Does that help?

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    6. Yes, it does. Thanks again for all you help!

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  35. This is amazing! Just wondering if anyone has tried this on a Mac or figured out any hot key substitutions for the Mac. I don't have access to a PC until tomorrow night (only a Mac) and I'm trying to get this started today. Any response would be helpful!

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  36. Hi Jonathan!! I recently tried to work this program on a Mac last weekend only to find the hotkeys are not for a Mac. I know specifically in the "What this presentation do and does not do", the author stated that it does not work on a Mac. Hope that helps!

    I have a problem Tom. If you have more than 4 answers, how do you reveal them. I had no problem typing them in, but when I go to start the game, answers 5-8 don't get uncovered. You can hear the sound play and see something move behind the box, but nothing besides that. Other than that, the game is wonderful!!

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    1. TBL_Smith - Look under "Get your survey answers filled in" above, step #5. That's probably what you missed. Glad you're enjoying it!

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  37. Tom -
    This is an absolutely wonderful program! I work as the nurse educator in a nursing home, and will be using it later this week to give out prizes during National Nursing Home Week. A few issues, however-
    First, I can't get a total during the final round. I've run it a few times and followed your instructions exactly, but still get "0". Is there a hotkey that must be pressed (I did notice there was mention of "recalculate total" in the script, but none of those keys make it happen). Second, I can't get the bell to sound when the numbers are revealed in the final round. Any ideas?

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    1. Hi Dan. Strange! I'm not sure what the problem is there. A few things to help narrow it down:
      * Try downloading a fresh copy of the final round and see if that one behaves differently.
      * Try using a different computer to see if there's something about your Powerpoint setup causing the problem.
      * Did you see any messages about running macros, etc? You should say yes if you see those in the Final Round file. It's possible that those macros are disabled by default in your Powerpoint program...?

      Reply back to let me know what you discover!

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  38. Can I just pay you to do mine? I mean seriously? I tried to figure it out but I am not the computer savy type. I need this for a family reunion for 7/12. Please advise if you can help me. Thank you! KJ

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    1. Hi KJ. That's a tempting offer, but I'm afraid I won't be able to help to that extent. Perhaps you have another techie friend who might be able to help out, though! There are a lot of college students home for the Summer who will work for food =)

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  39. Is there a chance that this will work on PowerPoint 2003?

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    1. There's a chance! I haven't had a chance to test it on that version.

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  41. Can I download the program and still use it on another computer, or does the other computer need the downloads too?

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    1. I'm not sure I understand. If a computer has PowerPoint and you have access to these files, it should work. Or am I misunderstanding your question?

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  42. Tom,
    Great work. This is exactly what I was looking for as an attention gainer in my class. Piecing together your easy to understand instructions and a little finesse allowed me to create a one slider with 16 answers for the particular topic I was looking at. Everything displays perfectly. Thanks again.

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