Presentation preview


BrightAuthor versions 3.8 and later contain a Preview feature, which enables you to preview a presentation on your PC as it is being built.

To preview the presentation currently being edited, click on the Preview button displayed in the top bar of BrightAuthor at the right, next to the Upload to Network button. Click the arrow at the right side of this button to display a drop down list that allows you to select the preview size:

  • Half Size: The preview is displayed in a window at half the presentation resolution.
  • Full Size: The presentation is previewed in full screen mode. If the resolution of your PC monitor is less than that of the target signage display, the presentation will run off the screen.
  • Monitor 2: If you have a second monitor attached, the preview will be placed on that monitor.

When using full screen preview, press the Escape key to exit the preview.

You must exit the preview to continue using BrightAuthor, even if the preview is on a second monitor.

Currently, only a subset of presentation features can be previewed. Visual states that are currently not supported will be shown as black in the preview window, and unsupported audio states will be silent.

Current known issues

  • Unsupported states display as black – placeholder states will be added in these cases
  • Text animation in ticker zones is not yet supported
  • There is no support for BrightSign Network Functionality (including Data Feeds, Dynamic Playlists, and Live Media).

Note: You can get a BSN Data Feed to work in preview by adding it to your presentation as a simple RSS feed. To get the RSS URL of a BSN Data Feed, navigate to Create > Live Data in the BSN WebUI, click the Properties of the desired Data Feed, and copy the URL field.

Features Supported in Preview

Presentation Types

  • Landscape Presentations


  • Video or Images
  • Video Only
  • Images
  • Ticker
  • Clock (default settings only; customized Clock zones are not supported)


  • Video File
  • Image File
  • HTML5 (note that the preview's HTML rendering is not the same as the player's will be)
  • Live Text (excluding BSN Live Data)
  • Media RSS
  • Video List
  • Image List
  • Video Play File
  • Image Play File
  • Event Handler


  • Timeout
  • Media End
  • Rectangular Touch (using mouse)
  • UDP
  • Zone Message
  • Send: Zone Message
  • Other: Set/increment/decrement/reset user variables

Local Web Server

  • Local web server emulation in place
    • Only available when preview is active
    • iPad/iPhone app can connect: user must manually add IP address for BrightAuthor PC while preview is active
    • iPad/iPhone app can display LWS web page, set user variables, and send UDP messages

Features not supported in Preview

Presentation Types

  • Portrait Presentations


  • Audio Only
  • Enhanced Audio
  • Background


  • Live Video
  • SignChannel
  • Interactive Menu
  • Audio List
  • Super State
  • Dynamic Playlist
  • Local Playlist
  • Video Stream
  • Mjpeg Stream
  • Audio Stream
  • RF In
  • Tuner Scan


  • BP900/BP200
  • GPIO
  • Synchronize
  • Serial
  • Keyboard
  • USB Input
  • Remote Input
  • Link Zones
  • Video Time Code
  • Time Clock
  • GPS
  • Plugin Message
  • Sounddock


  • Set Panel Output
  • Set Audio
  • Connector Volume
  • Zone Volume
  • Send: UDP/Serial/IR Remote/Plugin Message
  • Link
  • GPIO On/Off
  • Video Pause/Resume/Enable Monitor Power
  • BrightControl
  • Other Pause/Reboot/Update Data Feed
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0
    Milo Kusmic

    I tried to use conditional targets in preview mode, but this does not seem to work (yet). It isn't mentioned in this article though.

  • 0
    Michael Miller

    Other - Show Zone/Hide Zone does not work in preview.  This makes it very difficult to see if the hide/show command is working without constantly publishing to check on the player.

  • -1
    George Backer

    I've lost the ability to PREVIEW on my Windows 7 machine.   The previews come up BLACK.

    The presentations contain PNG image formats with MP4 videos.

    This occurs in new presentations with only images.

    I've removed and reinstalled BrightAuthor  I've also downloaded and reinstalled the video driver.

    What steps do I take to resolve this issue?   

    Note: I am able to do a preview on other Window platforms.   Just don't know if a specific codec or other package needs to be installed for rendering the presentation.

  • 0
    Shane Weightman

    I can only see one zone. In my Zone 1 I have a slide show and on zone 2 I have some PNG's overlayed on top of the Zone 1 slideshow.


    The presentation works when I publish it but I just get a black background when I preview it... 

    Is there a way around this so I can see multiple Zones simultaneously?

  • 0
    Don Filips

    I cannot even preview!  Any ideas?


  • 0
    George Backer

    I used to be able to preview, now only get a black screen.  Updated video drivers still no joy.  I'm wondering if Microsoft Framework is tied to the releases.  My Laptop is maintained by IT but figured they affected what was going on as my home pc works to preview a presentation (short of the limitations listed by Brightsign)

  • 0
    August Dalling

    I too only get a black screen in Preview mode, is Brightsign preview known to not work with certain graphics chips or something?

    We have tried the following:

    HP Elitebook 840 G3 - Windows 7 Enterprise - Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 520 - black window on preview. (.net 4.5.2 installed)

    HP Elitebook 840 G5 - Windows 10 Enterprise - Integrated Intel® UHD Graphics 620 - Brightsign crashes when you click preview, (i have tried running the application in native windows 10 mode and windows 7 emulation, it crashes in both.) (.net 4.5.2 installed)


  • 0
    MSU efactory

    Is the Preview button mentioned here (said to be in upper right corner) only available to PC users? I am on a Mac and do not see any type of Preview button anywhere.

  • 0
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  • 0
    oilu miun

    I've removed and reinstalled BrightAuthor  I've also downloaded and reinstalled the video driver.





    Edited by oilu miun
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