Skip to main content

How to make a great photo slideshow

How to make a great photo slideshow
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A photo slideshow is one of the best ways to show off your pictures, whether it's your latest snaps from a holiday abroad, memories of your little ones growing up, or even your big day of wedding celebrations. It might seem daunting trying to create a photo gallery on your home computer, but have no fear because you can easily create a wonderful photo gallery with Microsoft PowerPoint.

Of course if you want to make something even fancier and add effects to your images, or edit them then you should check out the best photo slideshow software. And if you don't want to deal with the hassle of creating it yourself, or you'd prefer a physical photo album then you can turn to the best photo books.

Getting started

PowerPoint comes with an inbuilt slideshow creator called photo album, which saves a lot of time and effort in putting a slideshow together. With this feature, you don't need to keep inserting pictures into individual slides. This can be a lot of work, especially if you have lots of pictures you want to include in the album.

Below is a simple step-by-step guide you can follow to create your own slideshow. But, before you start, you want to move all of the photos you plan to use into one folder. This will shave off a lot of time and make your work much easier.

1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint

Open Microsoft PowerPoint and create a new presentation. Click the Insert button and choose Photo Album. The dropdown menu that appears has two options: "New Photo Album" and "Edit Photo Album." Unless you want to edit an existing slideshow, click  "New Photo Album."

2. A dialogue box will pop up

Click the "File/Disk" button. This should open Windows Explorer, allowing you to navigate to the folder you will be choosing your pictures from.

3. Insert your pictures

Hopefully, you already have a folder containing all the needed pictures. If not, simply create a folder on your computer and copy all your photos into it. Navigate to this folder and start selecting specific pictures. You can hold down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and click to select pictures that are not contiguous (i.e., separated). Hold down the "Shift" key to quickly select pictures in a continuous line. If you need all the pictures in a folder, simply press "Ctrl+A."

Once you have all the pictures ready, click "Insert" to go back to the dialogue box. A list form shows all the selected photos. A small box on the right shows you a preview of the picture you have selected.

4. Removing unwanted images (Optional)

Use the arrows shown to cycle a selected picture either up and down. Click "Remove" to get rid of a selected picture.

Near the bottom of the dialogue box, there are a few options you can choose to modify your photo slideshow. Picture Layout allows you to choose what number of pictures show in a single slide and what shape the picture frame will be. You can also leave these options in their default mode.

Click "Create" if you are satisfied with the pictures you've selected. This generates a presentation. You can then click on the slideshow tab to preview your photo slideshow.

All that remains now is to save the presentation and share it. You can also save and send it via email within PowerPoint. However, before you send it, see if you can make a few more improvements to your slideshow. Specifically, the theme. Click on the design tab and pick out a theme that pleases you and goes well with your photos.