Trying this out for church live-streaming software and having some issues


New Member
We are giving this a try for our church live-streaming software and running into some issues we cannot figure out. The main issue is when pasting text into a text box, we can't get the text to wrap at all. I figured this is a pretty basic function of any software. Why is it so difficult to wrap the text? We are on a Mac so as I understand it, we only have the freetype2 option which has much less capabilities than the GDI+. But I am assumming there has to be a way to do this that doesn't take a ton of work or time. We tried adding in manual line breaks and it is very clunky and time consuming.

The other issue is that the text size seems to be all over the place. I understand it depends a lot on if you select stretch to height or width or both. But it seems so hard to maintain a consistent look between multiple slides of text.

Are there good guides out there for using this as church live-streaming software?



Active Member
This is free open-source software (FOSS), whose primary use case is not House of Worship.
However, that is my use case, and many others do use OBS for HoW livestreaming ('cuz its free)

Paul Richards of PTZ optics/streamgeeks has a full OBS guidebook (pay for hard-copy, free PDF), and a good portion of their market is HoW, so such use case is definitely covered.

I am NOT a Mac user, so can't comment on the specific Text content constraint you are dealing with. Hopefully someone else will chime in, in that regards.

However, I can say after 3 years of HoW livestreaming, I have VERY limited use case for Text box as an OBS Source. And the whole font size / consistent 'look' not being a concern in my use case [for us, when Service Bulletin (PPT windowed Slide Show) is turned off and we are full-screen camera mode (Scene) and I want to the Name/Title of the hymn/song displayed and the music isn't in the service bulletin (only 3 times during service when congregation is NOT singing along). As you may guess by this, I put the vast majority of our content in PPT (a minor edit/copy-over from the printed bulletin handed out before service... ie person who creates weekly Service Bulletin copies same content into PPT slide deck. We make minor formatting corrections before livestream starts)

There are plugins, including a bible specific one that may or may not meet your needs.
Personally, I made extensive use of Advanced Scene Switcher plugin during lock-down (due to large mixing of pre-recorded vs live video). I am still a fan of AdvSS, but I use it mainly for automation the start and end of livestream sequences [ start sequence being - thumbnail slide, countdown timer/slide, walk-up video, autostart record at specific time, etc, and ending with a 3 Scene sequence fade to black, Go in Peace... end stream/recording]

OBS, being FOSS means the software is powerful and flexible, but a lot of self-service. For me it works. I would expect OBS to take more in terms of volunteer training vs some other software, so depends on budget, and expected livestream operators, and desired sophistication of livestream presentation/content


Slight frame-challenge here:

I also use OBS (on Ubuntu Linux, but I don't think any of this is OS-specific) to broadcast a church service, but it's not the only thing that contributes to the final video. It's the final compositor, but some of the elements come pre-done from elsewhere.

Song lyrics and Scripture passages, for example, are done on the audience projection PC (Windows), and passed via NDI to OBS (Linux). NDI supports transparency, which makes it easy to do lower-thirds: just have the NDI source full-screen on top of the camera, and make sure that the projection app sends transparency where we want the camera to show.

That's for FaithLife Proclaim. Others might work that way as well. I believe OpenLP can do it too, but in a different way. (NDI licensing is not completely free, which is probably why it's still a plugin for OBS and not native by now) I think OpenLP involves a browser source if I remember correctly (it does a lot with browsers), which you may have to luma- or chroma-key in OBS to get the transparency. The need to key it limits your colors a bit, but if you only need black and white, then the standard green background works well as a key.

Anyway, my text boxes in OBS are not dynamic. They're for things like "Service starts at 10:15am" under the announcement loop, which is a hardware-capture of the main audience projection signal, or "Music not Licensed for Broadcast" when I have to mute the kids' special song, things like that. (our kids' people are getting better about copyright now) Not much more.

Because I have the hardware-capture of the main audience screen, I also use that to copy it to the broadcast during the service. Things like spoken-announcement slides, sermon illustrations, etc. The NDI feed (or browser if you're using OpenLP) stays blank for those, so that I as the broadcast producer can choose when to not show the camera, instead of the projectionist who's (rightly) not even looking at the broadcast.


At the bottom of the text properties there is a checkbox to "Use Custom Text Extents". Check that, enter a width and height, and check the box to "Wrap".