How to load a hymn into your PowerPoint song library

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This article explains how to make a PowerPoint file for one hymn, and explains the guidelines that should be followed when you are making a library of hymn-display files.

Guidelines for making hymn-library files

A successful "library file" for a hymn or song is a set of files in which every file:
  • Is in an agreed format - both the type of file (PowerPoint, EasyWorship, etc) and the layout (position of headers, authors, copyright information).
  • Is kept in a central place, so it can be used again and again.
  • Shows the hymn in a way that is easy to sing
  • Includes all the parts of the hymn (verses, choruses, interludes, bridges etc)
  • Has been checked and double-checked for spelling mistakes etc - so you can use it confidently without having to proof-read every time
  • Includes all the citations and other references information that is required by your copyright licences
  • Meets your church's standards for font, size, layout etc.

How to make PowerPoint slides for a hymn

Open a hymn-template file - ideally one that has been customized for your building and situation.

Save the file into your library with an appropriate name
  • Don't overwrite your modified version of the template file
  • If the title starts with "The", you might like to file it under the second word, just like they do in paper libraries.   (Eg    "The Light of the World" is filed as "Light of the World - the"
3  If the hymn starts with a chorus or refrain, drag slide 2 to before slide 1

4  In the Verse 1 slide, enter the
  • title, 
  • author
  • copyright holder
  • words of verse 1
  • copyright information if it's required.
5  If there's no chorus, or the verse and chorus will both fit on one slide then delete the chorus.  Otherwise, enter similar information for the chorus

6  If there are more verses, then:
a)  Use the Insert Duplicate Slides command to make a copy of the current slides

Doing this after you've put in the title, author etc saves re-typing them and makes the slides look consistent.

b)  Add the other verse and chorus words - including any features like bridges, spoken interludes, blank slides for instrumental sections, etc.

> This is a "library" copy, so make sure you add all the verses, even ones that aren't used very often.

Save the file again.   (Possibly even save every five minutes as you work).

8  Get someone else to proof-read the file: it's very difficult to see your own mistakes.


Following these steps makes a plain, unformatted "library" file of the entire hymn or song.

This can be included into the slideshow for specific services:  when it is inserted it will pick up the formatting (eg background colour, font size) of the file it is inserted into.

Most hymns apply to more than one theme or purpose:  You can add background graphics that are appropriate to the particular service - in the service file.

You can choose which verses to use in each particular service - because your library file has all of them.

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