Using a Second Monitor as Customer Display

In order to give the customer information about the current sale, in-store highlights or promotional offers, Bluestore Live POS supports the use of a second monitor.

The functionality uses the extended windows desktop / dual-monitor set-up to output a background graphic with overlaid text and sale information. Note that this feature is not supported on Apple OSx at present.

 

Extend your Desktop

Plug-in the second monitor and extend the windows desktop so that the full width of both screens can be used - you should be able to drag the mouse from screen 1 and have it then move to screen 2.

There are many online tutorials giving step by step details of how to configure dual monitors including this one from the Windows support pages:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows7/move-windows-between-multiple-monitors

Record the display resolution of both monitors as they will be needed during configuration of Bluestore Live.

 

Configure Bluestore Live POS for Dual Monitors

Start up Bluestore Live POS and navigate to the Tools - Hardware Configuration menu.

Scroll down to the Customer Display section and select the model as Display Panel 2.

Select Device Properties for the display panel - this should bring up the window below:

 

Display_Panel_2_settings.PNG

 

Height = The screen height of the main monitor in pixels

Width = The screen width of the main monitor

Y-Position = The vertical start position of the customer display window

X-Position = The horizontal start position of the customer display window

Textfont = The font name to be used for text display

Textsize = The text size to be used

Textcolour = The colour to be used for displaying text 

The above example assumes two 1024x768 monitors are being used. The graphic will be displayed on the second screen i.e. horizontal pixel position 1025 and vertical position 0.

Note that if the two monitors have different resolutions, which can be the case if a smaller screen is being used for the customer facing display, this needs to be taken into account in the settings by offsetting the X and Y start positions of the customer display window.

For example, if the main monitor has resolution 1024 x 768 and the second monitor has resolution 800 x 600, the settings would be as follows:

Height = 768, Width = 1024, Y-Position = 85, X-Position = 1025.

The reason the Y-Position is 85 is that the second screen height is only 600 pixels therefore there are 84 pixels at both the top and bottom of the screen that are not visible from an extended desktop point of view, therefore we need to move the displayed graphic down slightly to compensate.

 

Controlling the Second Monitor Display

Out of the box, a default screen will be displayed on the second monitor with the Bluefish logo and standard text for each till function.

Changes can be made to the configuration to manipulate the text and background image. In the Bluestore Live POS menu option Tools - Preferences, scroll down to the 'Customer Display' section to set the template files that are used to control the displayed image and text. The available template files are as follows:

  • Sale add item
  • Sale end
  • Sale total
  • Terminal closed
  • Terminal open
  • Window background image

 The template files are stored in the file system at the following location:

C:\Users\<your user>\AppData\Roaming\Bluefish Retail\Bluestore Live POS\terminal\templates\customerDisplay

The above location may vary slightly depending on your version of Windows. If the location is not visible in windows explorer ensure that the 'show hidden files and folders' setting is ticked.

The defaultBackground.jpg file is the background image for the customer display. Note that the size of the image is important - it should be sized to the same resolution as the customer display monitor so it fills the screen. The default image is 1024 x 768 pixels.

The other files contain the configuration of how text is output overlaying the background image. The files can be copied then edited with Notepad or any other text editor. It is possible simply to change the default files, however we recommend copying the original files to your own before editing, then setting the Bluestore customer display preference to point to your new file. Using this approach means you can always return to the original if needed.

 

Changing the Output Text

The format of the configuration files may look a bit daunting at first but they are very flexible in terms of allowing manipulation of the text that appears on the screen. We're happy to help if you need something specific to be output and you can't quite get the file syntax right.

Each line in the file represents a text line output over the top of the background image. The following example is taken from the default terminalClosed.vm file which is used when the terminal is closed:

@[display{length=20|align=c|text="Sorry this terminal"}]
@[display{length=20|align=c|text="is currently closed"}]

This outputs two separate lines, the syntax is:

  • @[display{...}] A line of text is to be output
  • length=20 The total maximum line length is 20 characters
  • align=c The text is to be aligned in the centre of the text box. Parameters l and r can also be used.
  • text="Sorry this terminal" This is the text to be displayed on the line.

 

As well as fixed text we can also output sale items using variables passed from the POS application e.g.the following variables will output the item quantity, product name, item cost and currency symbol:

  • $orderItem.product.quantity
  • $orderItem.product.name
  • $orderItem.product.cost
  • $currency

For more sophisticated control of the output, we can use scripting such as #if, #else and creation of local variables. An example of this can be seen in the saleTotal file.

 

 

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