Tutorial – Using Touchscreens with Pi Presents

Greg Reynolds from the Canadian Air and Space Museum in Ottawa has provided a tutorial on how to generate a profile for using a touchscreen. He provides much useful information which is not immediately obvious from the manual including the directory structure of Pi Presents. He takes you through editing screen.cfg which is the file that defines the layout of the touchscreen buttons and uses the radiobuttonshow template profile to show how to set up the control path between a touch and a video playing.

The tutorial is applicable to Version 1.3 (gapless). Version 1.2 (next) has detailed differences but the general principles are the same.

The tutorial is a pdf document which can be found here

The Raspberry Pi has a driver that supports touchscreens but there is little information about which touchscreens are supported. If you have successfully used a touchscreen with Pi Presents please tell us in a comment.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tutorial – Using Touchscreens with Pi Presents

  1. KenT says:

    I have been asked which USB touchscreens work with Pi Presents and if there have been any problems with Pi 4. Such screens are expensive with little information given about whether they work with Raspbery Pi so your experiences are very useful
    P.S I know there are problems with touch calibration if there are 2 HDMI screens and one is touch or if the screen is rotated. I have untested solutions, contact me if needed.

  2. Nik Aberle says:

    Hey Ken, so I’m trying to make a touchscreen menushow for an art installation and everything works great except I can’t get the touch screen to work. I followed Greg’s tutorial but I get an error whenever I put the name in the Track Reference for the videos. Looks like that has to stay blank for menushows? All it is is a black screen with two words on it. When you touch the top word a video plays and goes to the menu after finishing. When you touch the bottom word a video plays and goes back to the menu after finishing. I’ve tried playing with the screen.cfg file both under pipresents and pp_home. Is there anyway to get the touchscreen to work in this manner with the menushow or do I need to use a different profile?

    • KenT says:

      You would be better using a radiobuttonshow or a hyperlinkshow. If you use a menushow you cannot touch a track image to play it and must have two additional Up and down buttons.

      • Nik Aberle says:

        Hello Ken, thank you for taking the time to reply to my inquiry. That’s what I was thinking regarding the menu show. I’ll reformat for a radiobutton or hyperlinkshow. Thanks!

        • Barry Cary says:

          Hi Nik, let me know what Touchscreen Monitor you found that works for this project.


          • Nik Aberle says:

            Hi Barry, right now we are using the Element 14 Touchscreen with Adapter board. I’m helping my wife with the project as it’s her art installation. For now she’s decided to just play an artliveshow on loop as the show is this weekend, but afterwards we might tackle the touchscreen aspect again with the above suggestions. If we get it working I’ll definitely let you know!

            • Barry Cary says:

              Thanks Nik, I have developed a successful touchscreen project, I had some issues with displays, I ended up with an Asus VT207N 19.5″ monitor that worked well for me.

              I used the radio button show, it was my second project using the radio button show, but the first using a touchscreen. Setting the touch areas was a bit of a challenge, although I had about 12 “button’s” and some advanced navigation. Best of Luck!

  3. KenT says:

    Andy provided this information in an email:

    “The combination of a Pi 3 Model B, the standard installation of Raspbian Stretch and an Iiyama ProLite T1732MSC (1280×1024) works out of the box with pp_hyperlinkshow_1p2 – once I had edited the show to output the sound through ‘local’ (All of the Iiyama touch screens in the sort of sizes we need in the museum do not have HDMI input – DVI plus analogue sound.”

  4. Barry Cary says:

    Hi all, I have my RPI running Pi Presents on a view sonic TD2230 Touchscreen. It all works fine, touching the click areas can navigate you thru my presentation, The problem arises when you use multitouch gestures like you would on a iPhone. Pinch or expand etc… and then all touch ability goes away. I can still control the presentation via a mouse, but I don’t get touch control back until I either relaunch Pi Presents, or if I unplug and plug the usb cable going to the touchscreen.

    Any thoughts or Ideas would be greatly appreciated.


    • KenT says:

      Pi Presents does not support multi-touch touchscreens because it uses Tkinter which does not support it. I am not sure whether the crash is caused by PP or by Tkinter. If you contact me via this blog you can send me the debug log.

  5. Harry Klancer says:

    I am building a WWII Living Room for our museum, with visitors able to sit and select music, newscasts, speeches, regular programming, commercials (this is the US) etc. We don’t use video files, but do use hundreds of audio files and a layered selector mechanism on the touch screen.
    Bought an ASUS VT207 and expected to have to go through all sorts of contortions to make it work. Plugged it into my Pi, wrote a screen config. file and – immediate success! I’m going to buy another ASUS for future experiments.

Leave a Reply to Barry Cary Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s