Thursday, June 11, 2015

PowerPoint Photo Album Shortcut

An office was putting on a spur of the moment open house and wanted the computer screens to show photos from the previous year.  By spur of the moment, I mean 15 minutes from now.  A problem?  Not with PowerPoint’s built in Photo Album shortcut.

To prep, get all your photos in one folder – I don’t think there is a limit.  The office I mentioned had over one hundred.  Also, pick some music if you have any mp3 files handy.  That’s all you need.  Oh, and a PC.  This shortcut is not available on Macintosh.

Open PowerPoint and save your document as Year in Review Photos or other appropriate name.

On the Insert tab>Images section>click on the Photo Album dropdown arrow.  Then select New Photo Album. 

 
The Photo Album window will appear. 
Click on the File>Disk button, and go to your photos.  Select all of them in the folder using one of these methods:

·         Dragging through them all
·         Ctrl click each one
·         Click on the first one.  Hold down Shift and click on the last one.  This will select the entire range.
·         Ctrl A to select all.

Now click Insert and PowerPoint will place the photos in the Pictures in Album section.  You may click on the photo you want to change and use the buttons to change the order, the orientation, the brightness or contrast.

Your photos are set, so In the Album Layout section, select how many photos per page.  If you want one photo per page and for the photo to fill up the page, select Fit to slide.  Frame shape is another option, although I usually use the default Rectangle.  In the Theme box, click browse and pick any theme.  You can change this easily later, so just pick the first one that catches your eye.

Now click Create and PowerPoint does all the tedious work for you.  You may need to add some text to the first slide.  Also, if you don’t like the Design, go to the Design tab and pick one you do like.

Every slide show needs a transition from slide to slide, so pick one.  I usually use “Fade” because it is professional and doesn’t draw attention to itself.  Depending on your slides, you may want to take this opportunity to use one of the obnoxious, er, I mean Dynamic Content transitions like Orbit.  To get to the unusual transitions, click the down arrow in the Transition to This Slide section.
We will not be sitting at the computer for this show, so we want the slides to advance automatically.  From the Transitions tab>Timing section, enter 5 seconds in the After box.  (Leave the On Mouse Click button checked in case you want to advance the slides before the automatic timing.)

The secret weapon in the Transitions tab is the Apply to All button.  Apply to All  - ALWAYS DO THIS LAST AND ALWAYS DO IT AFTER MAKING ANY CHANGES!  This applies your transition and timing to every slide.  Remember, you want people to look at your slides not your PowerPoint tranisitions.  Uniformity is good in this case.
  

Is it a little bland without background music?  One more simple step will fix that. 

Go to the first slide.  From the Insert tab>Media section, click on the arrow below Audio.  Select Audio on my PC.  Pick a song that sets the appropriate mood. Remember, earlier you saved your music in the same folder as your presentation.  Click insert and a speaker icon will appear on your slide and it should be selected (if not, select it). 

The Audio Tools tab will appear with the Playback tab.  In the Audio Styles section select Play in Background.  This will automatically change the settings to:
·        Start automatically with the current slide
·         Play Across Slides
·         Loop until Stopped
·        Hide the icon during the slide show


Review your Slide Show again by clicking Slide Show tab>Start Slide Show section>From Beginning.  You can always end the show with a right click.
 
Once you have done this a few times, you should be able to create a one hundred photo show in about five minutes.

Oh, and the office I mentioned, visitors loved the show and thought we spent hours on it.