The Best Way to Make a Computer Picture Slideshow

By Linda Donahue

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Once you've returned from your family vacation, it's nice to be able to have a few friends over and show them pictures of your adventure. In this age of digital photography, the easiest way to show off your pictures has changed from showing off the photo album to putting a slide show on your computer. It's the modern version of the days when people took slide pictures and used a slide projector. Slide shows are as easy to put together as a few clicks on the mouse.

Creating a Slide Show

The best way to do most things will always depend somewhat on a person's personal preferences. But for most, the best way is the easiest way. Your computer is already set up to make slide shows and using that feature is the simplest and best way to put together a slide show quickly. In order to take the best advantage of this, all you need to do beforehand is to organize your digital pictures.

A simple and easy way to keep up with all your photos is to borrow the notion of a photo album but update it with technology. Keep your pictures organized in file folders. Keep a folder for each vacation or even family member. You can create as many folders as you like, separating out the pictures by events, places or people (or pets). This way, when you want to see those pictures in a slide show, they are already organized or grouped together. While you can set aside a part of your computer's hard drive for these folder "albums," you can make your "photo album" portable by keeping your pictures on a USB flash drive instead. Moreover, when it comes time to update and replace your computer, you won't have to transfer all your photos. And you can still organize your images into separate folders on your flash drive.

Now that you have your images grouped, or at least have a folder with all the photos you want to see in the slide show, all you have to do on your computer is open up "My documents." Most likely you have this as an icon on your screen. In the address bar, locate the drive where you have your photos. Then in the large window, locate and open the folder where you have your photos. Now you are loaded and ready to go. On the left side there should be some boxed information. In one labeled "Picture Tasks" is an option "View as a Slide Show". Simply click on "View as a Slide Show" and the slide show will begin.

The slide show will automatically advance to the next picture. However, at any time you can press the space bar. This will bring up a small task bar on your screen with control buttons for play, pause, next picture, last picture and stop the slide show. Simply use your mouse to click on the buttons for the desired action.

There are software packages available for creating slide shows. These packages will give you additional features, such as providing transitional effects between photos or adding captions. Features typically include adding in music to your show. These packages are designed to help you design a professional looking display.