Sun has just come back from a trip to San Francisco with heaps of digital camera
picturesand predictably he wants to show them to his friends Shine and
Storm who work with him at Comitu, Inc. He knows the easiest way to do that
would be through PowerPoint's excellent Photo Album featureand he's convinced
me to take us all through an interactive tutorial on using this cool feature.
Are you ready
Before we start, I'll encourage you to download three free PowerPoint templates
I have designed especially for use with Photo Album (these were designed specifically
for PowerPoint 2002 upwardsalthough you can still use them in previous
versions). You'll find them at this URL (look at the bottom of that page): http://www.powerpointed.com/free
You'll also need some picturesany pictures should do. If you cannot find
any pictures, you'll find links to several free picture sites at: http://www.indezine.com/products/clipmedia/freeimages.html
Place about 16 to 20 pictures in a folder. Unzip the Photo Album templates
into the same folder. Let's get started
- Open PowerPoint 2002 or higher.
- Choose Insert/Picture/New Photo Album
- The resultant Photo Album dialog box (see screenshot) provides many
options. We'll walk through most of them in this demonstration.
- Click the File/Disk
button on the top left to open the Insert
New Pictures dialog box. Navigate to the folder where you have stored
your pictures. Select them all using either Shift or Ctrl clicking
and click the Insert button.
- Back in Photo Album, you can reorder the sequence of your pictures using
the up and down arrow keys below the listing of the pictures. Each picture
is previewed when selected, so you can actually even remove pictures you don't
- While a picture is previewed, you have options to rotate the pictures in
90 degree increments. In addition, you can also alter the contrast and brightness
values of a picture. All these options are located directly below the picture
- Next, you can choose a picture layout. Generally speaking, you have layouts
for one, two and four pictures per slide. Let's choose the 4 pictures
- The frame shape option allows you to provide specific corner styles to
each picture. Choices include rectangle, rounded rectangle, beveled, oval,
corner tabs and square tabs. Let's choose the beveled option.
- Finally, you are provided with an option to choose your own design template.
Click the Browse button. This opens the Choose Design Template
box that allows you to navigate to the folder where we have stored the downloaded
templates. Choose any of the three templates.
- Finally, press the Create button. You're done!
There are more features in the Photo Album dialog box that we did not explore
above. Let's discuss them now:
- The Captions below ALL pictures options allows you to provide a separate
caption under each picture.
- The ALL pictures black and white option converts all your pictures
to grayscale color mode.
- You can also opt to include a separate text box on each slide using the
New Text Box option.
All these options can be added even after your Photo Album is createdjust
choose Format/Photo Album when your Photo Album presentation is open
You just ended up with a basic Photo Album. You might want to refine the output
by adding your own transitions and custom animations. You might even want to
add a continuous music score to your entire presentation. (That's something
we'll look at in the next issue of TechTrax)
There's more to the Photo Album thing yet - if you started with high resolution
images, you'll find your Photo Album presentation saves to a huge size. Something
that is impractical if you want to email it to others. To get around this problem,
follow these steps:
- Right-click any picture (actually an AutoShape with a picture fill) and
- Choose the Picture tab in the resultant tabbed dialog box and click
the Compress button.
- Change the resolution to Web/Screen and choose to apply to all pictures
in the document (presentation). Click OK and then Apply to the
next dialog box. Click OK again.
- Resave the presentation.
At the end of this interactive demonstration, Sun was visibly impressedso
were Shine and Storm when they viewed the Photo Album. So, when are you creating
your next Photo Album? Very soon, I presume?