What's the big deal about slide shows? And why PowerPoint? You can easily do this with photo browsing software. This feature is also built into Windows XP/Vista. If you send your vacation photographs to friends or relatives, you can't expect them to download, resize and edit the whole set before viewing them. Then again, they may not have installed a photo browsing software. That's why we suggest a self running slide show. Of course, a simpler option would be to upload edited photos to a photo sharing web site.
We will show you how to make a self running photo slide show in PowerPoint, in a few steps. You can then e-mail the slide show file to your friends and relatives.
First things first, there are a couple of points to keep in mind. Organize your photos. It's likely that you've clicked hundreds of photographs with your digital camera. Browse through the album and select the ones to be shared. Copy these to a new folder.
At a later stage pick up an image from this folder, and insert it into a slide.
Secondly, resize the photos to a size that's suitable for a slide. Each photo should have a size of around 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. If you don't resize photos their dimensions will exceed that of the PowerPoint slide area. This will also increase the size of the presentation file (and make for a slow upload or download). Of course, you can resize photos later, on the slide itself. But that does not reduce the size of the image. TIP: When resizing on the inserted image, hold down the [S H I FT] key and drag the handle in the bottom-right corner.
Thirdly, the final presentation file that you e-mail friends and relatives will be
in the .PPS (PowerPoint Show) format. The question people ask is: Will I require PowerPoint to view this file? Yes, you will require PowerPoint or at least a PowerPoint viewer. This viewer is a free download available at. It would be a kind gesture to download the viewer and e-mail it along with the slide show file, just in case. We have used PowerPoint 2003 for this workshop, but you can achieve similar results even with an older version.
STEP 1 - 4: CREATE THE SLIDES
o Start PowerPoint and open a new presentation. If a new presentation is not displayed then click 'File I New.'
Add a title and subtitle on the first slide by just clicking on the relevant prompts on the slide. This will be the title or opening slide (Step 1).
o Add the next slide by clicking 'Insert I New slide.' You can also insert a slide with [Ctrl] + [Shift] + 'M'. Click in the text area of the new slide to position the cursor there. Then click 'Insert I Picture I From File.' Navigate to the folder where your photos are stored and click on the required picture to select it (Step 2).
o If the photo was not resized earlier, then you need to do so now (Step 3). Double-click on the inserted photo and click the 'Size' tab. With the 'Lock aspect ratio' option ticked, click in the 'Height' box and type '4.5.' Click once in the 'Width' box and it will automatically be set to maintain the aspect ratio. Click 'Preview' to apply the new dimensions. Finally, click 'OK.'
o Drag the photo back into the text area (if required). Click on any of the handles and drag to manually scale the photo
so that it fills the text area. Handles are round markers at intervals around the photo (Step 4). Add a title to the slide to complete it. Repeat these steps if you need to add a few more slides with photos.
STEP 5 - 6: EDIT PHOTOS ON THE SLIDES
We assume that you've added a couple of slides, inserted photos and resized these. You can also edit photos on the slide.
In Steps 5 - 6 we show how to adjust brightness and contrast. You can also experiment with other editing features such as Crop.
TIP: Click the 'Preview' button to see the effect of the adjustments. Click 'OK' only after you are done with the editing. ANOTHER TIP: When editing photos on the slide, use the 'Compress' option (there is a button for this). Compress might reduce the quality of the photos, but it will minimize the size of the PowerPoint slide show file. You'll find this useful if you intend to e-mail the slide show.
o Double-click on a photo. Drag the dialog box to the right so that you can see a bit of the photo on slide (Step 5).
o In the dialog box, click the 'Picture' tab. Drag the slider for' Brightness' and click the 'Preview' button to immediately see the effect on the picture. In the same manner, adjust the Contrast parameter. Experiment with other editing options and then click 'OK' (Step 6).
STEP 7 - 8: APPLY A SLIDE DESIGN
Now that you've created all the slides and inserted photos, it's time to give the slides a nice design. There are many options and we advise you to pick a simple one that will make your photos stand out.
o Click on any slide. Select 'Format I Slide design.' The Slide Design task pane with sampJes appears on the right (Step 7).
o Scroll through list of designs and click on the one you want to apply. Observe its effect on your slide in the main window. STEP 9 - 10: ADD TRANSITION EFFECTS
It's time to define the kind of effect you want, as the slide show advances from one slide to the next. This is called a Transition effect. There are many transition effects with names like Blinds, Checkered, Dissolve, Fade etc. We advise something
simple such as a dissolve or fade effect. It's important to set the speed of the transition to 'Slow' or 'Medium'.
o From the 'Slide Show' menu click the 'Slide Transition' option. If you are using PowerPoint XP or later, the transition task pane will appear on the right (Step 9).
o In the task pane, click on a transition name and watch the effect in the main window. Go through all the effects and select a suitable one. Set the Speed as 'Slow.' Set a suitable time interval to automatically advance to the next slide. Then click the button 'Apply to All Slides'. STEP 11 - 12: PREVIEWING AND SAVING
After you've added transitions, you can preview your presentation by pressing the [F5J key. Press the [Esc] key to return to editing mode (Step 11).
The last thing to do (Step 12) is to save the presentation as a self-running slide show. To do this, first save the presentation, and then give it a name. Then click 'File I Save' as'. Under the 'Save as type' select 'PowerPoint Show'. A .PPS file will be created. You can now send this as an e-mail attachment to your relatives and friends. Also refer to our workshop on converting PPT to Flash presentations, later in this section