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MPF-MC is being deprecated

This instruction page is for the legacy MPF-MC for MPF versions 0.57 and prior. For users of MPF 0.80 and later, please refer to the Godot Media Controller (GMC) Documentation

How to create slides

Since slides are so critical in MPF's display system, let's look at how you actually create slides. You can test slides and widgets interactively using Interactive MC (iMC).

There are several ways you can define and create slides:

  • In a slides: section of a config file.
  • Dynamically in the slide_player: section of your config.
  • Dynamically in a show config or show file.

Let's look at each of these options.

Defining slides in the slides: section of a config file

The main way to do it is in the "slides" section of a config file, like this:

    - type: text
      text: THIS IS MY SLIDE
    - type: text
    - type: text
      text: WITH MORE WORDS
      y: bottom
      anchor_y: bottom
    - type: text
      text: WARNING
    - type: text

In the example above, we have four main sub-entries in the slides section:

  • some_slide
  • some_other_slide
  • tilt_warning_1
  • tilt_warning_2

Each of the above listed subsections represents a different slide, and the names of those sections are used as the names of those slides. In other words, this config has a slide called "some_slide", another slide called "some_other_slide", etc.

You can list slides in a slides: section of either your machine-wide or a mode config. The most important thing to know about slide names is that they are GLOBAL throughout MPF. That means that MPF has a single master list of all the slide names used in the entire game. (So don't use the same slide name twice or it will get confused.)

The configuration entries under each slide name are the widgets that will be added to that slide. (Each slide can have one or more widgets. You can read about all the different types of widgets, as well as the options for widget positioning and sizing, in the widgets section of the documentation.

You'll probably end up creating hundreds of slides in your machine by the time you're done with it.


The slides defined in the slides: section are just the configurations that are used to create the slides when they're needed. In other words, no memory is used to "hold" the slides, so you can create lots and lots of them without worrying about running out of memory.

At this point, you're just creating the slides. Deciding when to show which slide will come later.

Since MPF maintains a single global list of slides, it doesn't technically matter whether you define your slides in the slides: section of your machine-wide config or your mode config. Obviously though if you define the slides a mode will use in that mode's config file, then that will help you keep everything more organized.

Dynamically defining slides in a slide_player: section of a config file

The slide_player: section of a machine-wide or mode config is where you tell MPF to show (or "play") a specific slide when some event occurs. Full documentation for the slide_player is in the /config/slide_player section of the documentation.

You can define slides in the slide_player like this:

      - type: text
        text: THIS IS MY SLIDE
##! test
#! post some_event
#! advance_time_and_run .1
#! assert_text_on_top_slide "THIS IS MY SLIDE"

In the above example, when the event some_event is posted, the slide player will respond and show the slide called my_slide_1 which will include that single text widget.

It doesn't really matter whether you pre-define a slide in the slides: section of a config versions dynamically defining it in the slide_player: section. Really it comes down to personal preference. Some people like to have all their slides in one location (all in the slides: section), whereas others prefer to have the configuration for the slides closer to where they will be used (by defining them in the slide_player: section). Most people end up mixing-and-matching, with some quick-and-dirty one-time use slides in the slide_player with other slides you might reuse in the slides: section.

Dynamically defining slides in a show config

As you'll learn in other parts of this documentation, anything that's in one of the "_player" sections of the config (like the "slide_player" above), can also be defined in a show configuration (from a show file or a show configuration section of a config file).

So here's an example of a slide created within a show for use within a specific step in that show:

#! show_player:
#!   start_show: my_show
##! show: my_show
# show_version=5
- time: 0
    - type: text
      color: red
    - type: rectangle
      width: 128
      height: 32
##! test
#! post start_show
#! advance_time_and_run .1
#! assert_text_on_top_slide "MISSION PINBALL"

Again, see the show documentation for details. Here we're just showing that it's also possible to define a slide in a show config.

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