PowerPoint 2010 offers a number of compelling new features. One of those new features is the ability to publish a presentation as a movie file. This offers a handy way to share presentations of any kind with just about anyone, without requiring the person viewing the presentation to have PowerPoint or the PowerPoint Viewer installed. But it also offers a neat way to create a quick slide show of photographs that you can share with friends.
While you can use any kind of picture-editing program to prepare your pictures – removing red-eye, adjusting brightness levels, and so on – I’m going to focus on just what you can do within PowerPoint. And it’s a surprising amount.
Here’s how to do it.
- Start PowerPoint and create a new, blank presentation.
- On the Design tab, you can choose any theme or color scheme you want. This can make the movie look prettier if you want to include multiple photos per slide or if you want to make your pictures smaller than the actual size of the slide. If you just want your pictures displayed, don’t worry about this step.
- Create your title slide.
- Create a new blank slide. The first time you do this, you’ll want to click the arrow under the New Slide button and then click Blank Slide. This creates a slide without placeholders for text and other objects. After doing this the first time, you can then just click the New Slide button and PowerPoint will remember that you want to create blank slides.
- On the Insert tab, click Picture. Locate the picture you want to insert and then click Insert. Alternatively, you can use Windows Explorer to open the folder that contains the pictures you want to use and just drag them into place in PowerPoint.
- Size the picture however you want it. If you want the whole screen to be the picture without any added text, borders, or other elements, just make the picture the same size as the slide.
- Use the controls on the Format tab to make adjustments to the picture. Note that this tab only appears when you have selected a picture. PowerPoint 2010 includes all kinds of new controls for working with pictures, including letting you adjust color levels, perform basic corrections, apply artistic effects, apply borders and shadows, crop the picture, and even remove background colors (Note: I’ll be writing an article about the picture controls in the near future and will be sure to link to it here).
- Repeat steps 4-7 for each picture you want to include in the slide show.
- By default, PowerPoint does not add a transition animation between slides. On the Transition tab, hold your pointer over the available transitions to preview what they will look like. When you find one you like, click it to apply that transition to that slide. If you want to use the same transition for every picture in the slide show, click Apply To All.
- Preview your slide show to make everything looks right by pressing the F5 key. Use your mouse button or arrow keys to move through the presentation.
- When you’re satisfied with the presentation, it’s time to make the movie. On the File tab, click Share and then click Create a Video. You have a couple of options here:
- Set the quality of the video. By default, the quality is set to Computer & HD Displays – the highest quality. It creates a movie at a 960×720 resolution and is intended for viewing on a computer or burning to a DVD and viewing on a TV. You can also set the quality to Internet & DVD (medium quality, resolution 640×480, great for sharing on the Internet) or Portable Devices (low quality, 320×240 resolution).
- Specify whether to use timings and narration you have already set up in the presentation. You can specify an automatic timing for changing slides and even include music or narration using the controls in PowerPoint. If you haven’t set these up (or don’t want to use the ones you have set up), turn this option off and use the Create a Video window to specify the number of seconds to spend on each slide.
- Click Create Video.
- Give the video a name and save it. Depending on the length of the slide show and the speed of your computer, creating the video can take a little while.
And that’s it. At this point, you have created a perfectly functional video slide show in the .WMV format used by Windows Media Player and supported by numerous other video players. You can even upload them in this format to YouTube, Facebook, or a number of other sites.
If you need to convert your video to another format, there are a number of free video converters available out there. Just search by the formats you want to convert to and from.
And here’s a quick photo slide show (nothing fancy) that I created using PowerPoint 2010 using some pics we took on a family vacation to Helen, Georgia several years ago. It took about 10 minutes.