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Need advice to make a quality slide show of my trip

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 16, 2007 6:33 AM PDT

My wife and I took our "trip of a lifetime" to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji--and brought home hundreds of digital photos. We want to make a top-quality slide show of these, featuring music, captions, dissolves, and fades. Can this be done by PowerPoint or should we buy special software? I have an OEM of Nero but haven't learned how to use it. Would this be useable for our purposes? Please guide us into what is needed for making DVDs of these treasured photos.

--Submitted by Chuck C. of Tallahassee, Florida

Answer voted most helpful by our members:

Hello Chuck C ?

First, to make DVD?s of your photos, you will need photo slideshow software. This software may have come packaged with your camera. You will also need Video editing software; if your OEM Nero has Nero Vision with it, it will work for the video editing software requirement.

There is an excellent set of instructions and a tutorial on Microsoft's site that will walk you through the process. The link to that site is: The instructions, naturally, focus on PowerPoint and Microsoft products, but it gives instruction as to what is needed to make it possible to transition your slide show in PowerPoint to a video presentation. It also provides information on two free Microsoft products that can be used to create your DVD ? Photo Story 3 and Movie Maker (both for Windows XP). The links to these products are in the article. I would suggest that if your end goal is a DVD that you check these instructions out first. You can then build your slide show in such a way that it can be turned into a DVD with fewer frustrations on your part!

You don't indicate whether you have Nero Vision or the light version of Nero PhotoShow Express so I will just cover what I have found using these products. Nero Vision would make a good vehicle to convert your slide show to a video DVD presentation. Once you have your story board laid out, you can drag you photos to the ?film reel? and apply transitions, sounds, etc. As to the photo editing software, I think you would be better off working with either your camera software or Photo Story 3 as I have found PhotoShow Express to be very limited on what can be done with it. PhotoShow Express seems to be designed more for quick, down-and-dirty presentations rather than sophisticated presentations.

I would recommend first building a slide show in PowerPoint, as you can build a stunning presentation in this product, share that with your friends and family through e-mail and the internet, and also use it as the foundation for your video DVD. With PowerPoint, you can put together a slide show that is quite professional in appearance, using transitions, sound, and effects for either individual slides or groups of slides. PowerPoint makes it very easy for you to lay out your pictures and manipulate them as needed in order to create the mood and follow the theme you have established.

Using either the ?Outline? or the ?Slides? view, you can visually lay out your slides and move them by simply ?click-hold-drag?. In ?Outline? view, you add your text, headlines, and other textual features while viewing the results in the viewing pane. In ?Slides? view, you see a ?large? view of the current slide, while seeing thumbnail views of your slides to the left of the viewing pane. This gives you a clear feel for your visual transitions and what your actual slide looks like with text and other effects. Finally, you can view up to 20-25 slides in the ?Slide Sorter? view. What I like about this view is this: you can see the progression of your slides, and easily move them around if you find you need to make a change. It is also in this view that you can set, view and change transitions, animation schemes, and timings. This view is like a story board view, so it would be an easy transition for you to create your slide show for viewing in PowerPoint, and then use it to break your show up into the individual elements needed to convert to video DVD.

Depending on the version of PowerPoint that you have, you can apply a wide variety of transitions between each slide or groups of slides, you can record your own narrations for each slide, and you can control the timing so you can keep the sound and slide coordinated. To clarify this, early versions of PowerPoint allowed you to do all of the above; they just do not provide the variety of features that PowerPoint 2003 has. Also, by building a slide show in PowerPoint and adding your timing, sound effects, music and narration you will have your sound recordings, etc timed and noted for when you are ready to convert into video DVD.

PowerPoint 2003 added a strong line-up of what is termed "Animation", which is a fancy way of saying "slide transition". This feature offers themes ranging from subtle transition schemes such as "Faded wipe" to what is termed "Exciting", such as "Boomerang and exit". The "Faded wipe" brings your picture in, and any headings or text you have on the slide then fade in from the left until all text is displayed. In contrast, the "Boomerang and exit" has the slide popping into place on the slide, and then the text flies in from the right, boomerangs across the screen right to left to right again, finally "parking" on the slide exactly where you placed it. Quite exciting, actually to see this! The advantage to this is you can apply individual schemes that fit the "mood" of your picture.

You are not limited, however, to using Animation Schemes that someone else thought up. You can select individual slides and apply animations from the Slide Transition feature. PowerPoint offers the traditional "Dissolve" - one of my favorites, where your picture appears to digitize then come together as a whole - to "Wheel Clockwise, 8 Spokes". Let your creativity know no bounds!

You can insert sound files for a slide or group of slides, and you also have the option of creating a custom CD using music pieces that again enhance the mood and theme of your slide show. You can then set the timings to match the music, and play the CD at the same time the slide show is running. And all of this is controlled through features in PowerPoint.

To aid in making your sound as manageable and professional as possible, you can download a free add-in to PowerPoint, PFCExpress, to use in your sound management. The link to this file is Naturally, you can purchase their more robust products, but I would suggest you work with PowerPoint, keeping in mind that there are add-ins designed to help with problems you may run into.

I hope this information helps you.

And finally, thanks for the question! It got me so enthused that I am ready to work on my own project (which I have been putting off for some time now!).

Good luck and have fun with your project.


--Submitted by Linda (CNET member Spinach)

If you have additional advice or recommendations for Chuck, please click the "Reply" link and offer it up.
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Non-PC Answer: Get iLife
by Gibson45 / March 16, 2007 10:10 AM PDT

This sounds like a loaded question to this Mac user:
All Apple Mac's come with iLife.
iLife is a very user friendly suite of programs: iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD (and Garage Band ) that allows you to do exactly what you requested...

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Power-point is the better choice
by Clevermetal / March 17, 2007 5:40 AM PDT

Power-point will do the job that they need just fine. iLife cost money while they already have a program that will do the job perfectly! Why waste money?

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ProShow Gold is the ultimate choice and Costs less than PPT
by sixit / March 23, 2007 1:39 PM PDT

Clevermetal wrote:
"Power-point will do the job that they need just fine. iLife cost money while they already have a program that will do the job perfectly! Why waste money?"

First, PowerPoint costs money too; it isn't free. Chuck didn't say he owned it; more than likely it is just the only program he's heard about that does slideshows on a computer or someone he knows told him about it. Second, why buy a pickup truck when you've got a horse and wagon? You can go to and find freeware that does better work than PowerPoint.

The best software I've personally tried is Photodex ProShow Gold and its new big brother Producer and its little brother ProShow. ProShow Gold costs $69, Producer costs $249, and ProShow Standard a paltry $29. (Okay, add another 95 cents each title).

ProShow Gold 3.0 allows for multiple file formats, multiple soundtracks, slide-based sounds, backgrounds, multiple LAYERS for each slide which means you can have more than one picture on a single slide, and evem allows you to include movies as well. One of my favorite items is the ability to syncronize the show or a group of slides to the soundtrack(s). And a new favorite is "pan and scan" where the pictures move, zoom, or float across the frame.

The output options allow you to create video CDs and DVDs, complete with menus and the ability to have multiple shows on the same disk. Other output options allow you to post it to the web as a Windows Media Video, as a Quicktime movie, as MPG and MPG2 video, and as a Flash movie; it will even make the webpage for you if you want to put it on your own website. Lastly, you can create an executable Windows program that will work on anyone's Windows-based computer, though you should limit this option to people that have updated and fairly new computers (3 yrs or newer).

One of the additional benefits from Photodex is they include a free account to which you can post your slideshows so they can be shared either publicly or only with authorized visitors. Another additional benefit is the inclusion of free training, which is extensive and exceptional.

All this for $70. The Standard version has fewer features, so Gold is definitely worth the extra $40. Producer is awesome, with even more features. Since I've used ProShow Gold for more than two years I am eligible for their loyalty program whereas I can upgrade to Producer for just $99.

Photodex and ProShow Gold:


Robert Reese~
SIXIT Consulting

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by mack_dg / March 23, 2007 2:51 PM PDT iLife does it so effortlessly!

I'm so glad I have a mac!

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And I'm so glad I have a PS2, or a Wii, or a BMW ... what?
by pchew1954 / March 24, 2007 8:21 PM PDT
In reply to: ...and...

Have you been on some other planet?
Kindly go back to the original question, and TRY TO R E A D it this time without dreaming about a mac... the poor guy's NOT interested in what you're glad to own... cause that's kindof boasting that you have one... need I boast about some other remotely related entertainment device too?

Have you got a Z4 - cos I have one... but then what's that got to do with the original question? (perhaps mine's got a mac and ipod also built into the elbow rest compartmnent, but "is that what the originator was enquirying about" - well it's kindof near enough.. so here goes....

I'm so glad I have a Beemer Z4 .... mmmmmmmm !

Dont YOU just sound stupid ?

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Just where R U coming from? Where did the MAC appear
by pchew1954 / March 24, 2007 8:05 PM PDT

Wakey wakey - did the original enquirer say he owns a mac?
Kindly show me what planet you're on?

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The original poster did not say
by saywhatnow / April 21, 2007 5:28 AM PDT

whether he had a Windows machine either.

I have lots of bits of software, some of it Windows, some Linux and some in some from of machine code.

Your assumption that the poster does not have a Mac is just that, an assumption.

Betcha don't have a beamer either

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Entailed, not assumed.
by sixit / April 21, 2007 7:06 AM PDT

The poster didn't need to say what type of machine he had, nor is it an assumption. The fact that Nero OEM is only offered for Windows entails that he has a Windows-based PC. If the poster asked about iLife then the entailment is he has a Mac.

Further strengthening the deduction that he's on Windows is that he is using or has access to PowerPoint. Yes, PowerPoint is available on Macs but runs poorly on other OS's unless you're really good at Crossover Office. And let's face it: if the poster was as advanced as we to where he had Mac, Linux, Assembly, and Windows software, he wouldn't have asked this question in the first place. (Nor would he be messing with PowerPoint).

Now let's all move along... nothing further to see here...

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Nero is the Best
by D B Boone / March 16, 2007 10:12 AM PDT

Nero is the perfect program for archiving and storing photos, and all other types of filed.
Just sit back for a half hour, and it will come to you!!
Once you get it, its a great progam..

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Nero for photo show
by analog genius / March 16, 2007 10:13 AM PDT

Nero 7 Ultra wil do a great job, you just ahve to examine the documentation on the second disc. Nero will let you make a slide show or movie of you photos, whether JPGs, BMPs, whatever. Just takes some time to read the instructions. I think that Nero 7 Ultra is great but because it can do so much, it is not simple, it wants to default to a virtual drive, do other stuff that you need to contrl. You can make any sort of presentation, NTSC, PAL, digital video, MPEG2, MPEG4, with sound and markups but it does take some time to learn.
Analog Genius

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Buy a Mac.
by gmhsmith / March 16, 2007 10:30 AM PDT

Those commercials with the two amicable pals PC and Mac are no joke. Macs come loaded with the software that you need to do just what you describe. End of story.

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Did any of you MAC punters read the original QUESTION?
by pchew1954 / March 24, 2007 8:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Buy a Mac.

To all MAC punters - I am copying and pasting (on a PC!) the ORIGINAL question... and to the person who can identify IF the original requester has said anything about a MAC please I will pay you handsomely - otherwise - TRY and be attentive... the poor guy isnt interested in the constant plug about Mac is better or PC is better - just read the original question A G A I N - here it is with compliments - EVERYONE
Need advice to make a quality slide show of my trip
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) - 23/03/07 12:15


My wife and I took our "trip of a lifetime" to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji--and brought home hundreds of digital photos. We want to make a top-quality slide show of these, featuring music, captions, dissolves, and fades. Can this be done by PowerPoint or should we buy special software? I have an OEM of Nero but haven't learned how to use it. Would this be useable for our purposes? Please guide us into what is needed for making DVDs of these treasured photos.

--Submitted by Chuck C. of Tallahassee, Florida

If you have an answer for Chuck, please click the "Reply" link and offer your advice.

Seeing as the ORIGINATOR has mentioned only two items
Powerpoint & OEM Nero - how many of you millions out there think this man owna a MAC - IF you seriously believe he does... it wouldnt go amiss to be courteous to

" ASK HIM FIRST" - thereafter you can push and shovel MACs or Linux for all we care !

Rather than force feed the poor guy that
..................... zzzzzzzzzzzz "the MACS " R brill............................. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wakey wakey.... the art of reading seems to be amiss with you MAC supporters....

I have some really thick glasses I kept from my past away great grand uncle - wanna borrow them MACkies?

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Movies from Photos
by JimBrittTN / March 16, 2007 10:39 AM PDT

Download the free 'Movie Maker' software from Microsoft; it allows you to create a movie with you photos with background music and narration.

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Try PhotoStory
by rempson / March 16, 2007 10:43 AM PDT

Check out Microsoft Photo Story 3 - it's FREE and does a marvelous job with everything you listed. You can puchase a plug-in for $20 to burn your project to DVD. It's marvelous!

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Please calibrate your logic.
by MultiMuse / March 26, 2007 7:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Try PhotoStory

Contrary to what you write, the free MS software does NOT do "everything you listed", because it does NOT burn the project to DVD. As you revealed, one must BUY a different 3rd party software tool to do the required DVD project, and that is NOT a "free" solution. Why waste time and money on 2 tools to do a project that can easily be accomplished in countless other single ware tools? "Does not compute!"

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Try the Mac
by tasman254 / March 16, 2007 10:50 AM PDT

Without getting into the vast Mac vs. PC tribal wars, this is one occasion where you might consider using the simplest solution. Whichever application you choose to make your high-quality slide show, you are going to have to invest some time learning how to use the program, and of course some money to buy it. If you want semi-professional results in the shortest time, think about buying a second-hand Mac which comes with iPhoto and iMovie as part of the operating system. The Mac really is built for this kind of work, and the learning curve is relatively easy. If you are a keen photographer, you'll probably find yourself using the Mac for all your image-manipulation work. Almost every professional advertising/design studio does.

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Slide show of your Australia, New Zealand, Fuji photos
by flannigan / March 16, 2007 10:55 AM PDT

We made a slide show of our "Family Photos", 1383 photos. The best of the 3 ways we made it; (copy to a DVD) turned out to be the best way. Anyone can use the DVD to run on any computer as a "slideshow". They can also connect to any TV that has a S-Video connection and play it on their TV. If you have people who do not have a computer, you should make a "slideshow" with a program like "Sonic" so that anyone can run on any DVD player. We used that software because it permitted us to use the amount of photos we had. Some simple slideshow programs have limitiations such as 300 photos.
Mike F.

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Slide Show Software
by Gary Allen / March 16, 2007 11:03 AM PDT

I've noticed plenty of software out there for making slide shows with your pictures. I've done it with Corel Painter, and Corel Presentations. However, a much less expensive and very easy to use suite of programs, is Roxio. Version 9 offers slide show creation that is easy to use, and has plenty of transitions.

Roxio is also great for editing your photos, resampling, and will also make it easy to include voice naritive and music to your slide show.

Though I got Nero with one of my DVD drives, I've never used it. But, I've used Roxio for creating CD's for mood music, car trips, and so on.

The DVD authoring software in Roxio is also pretty good, and has plenty of extras.

No, it's not FREE, but for what you get, Roxio is quite a buy, and worth every cent!!

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Roxio Easy Media Creator 9
by me4 / March 24, 2007 8:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Slide Show Software

Roxio Easy Media Creator (EMC) 9 (the Ultimate Edition) is great! I can do everything with it, including make movies, burn DVDs, CDs, VCDs, audio CDs, jukebox CDs, music DVDs, edit sound, create ringtones, edit song info, backup the system, easy archive, copy discs, burn images to discs, save disc images, make DVDs and burn or save image to hard drive, compile DVDs and movies, convert various types of movies and audio, make a data disc, use the "Creator Classic" feature, watch DVDs, integrate with CinePlayer, manage your media with Media Manager, edit pics, create slideshows, print pictures, e-mail photos, create a Blu-ray disc, use MyDVD or MyDVD Express, capture video from devices, plug and directly burn, make DivX DVDs, edit videos, auto-edit videos, video conference, do stuff with disc and cover labels, view and edit disc info, and erase and finalize discs!!! Can you do THAT with iLife?!!!?. It is so great. I used this for a last-minute project DVD, and it was so easy and great I did it all in one night!

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Make a super slide show.
by mustangcp2 / March 16, 2007 11:11 AM PDT

Before spending money on a program to make a slide show, download free, Microsoft's Photo Story 3. It's does just what you asked for plus gives the pictures movement by zooming in/out as you choose. I did a show of a cruise to Alaska and everyone was most impressed.
Old Don

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Use Photoshop Elements and Nero
by larrymcg / March 16, 2007 11:13 AM PDT

I just did what you want to do and used Photoshop Elements 5.0 to organize the photos and then make great looking slide shows. The PSE5 product includes, or points to, several tutorials that help you get going. There are many more on the internet. The slideshow can be saved as a slideshow within PSE5 and it can also be output as an mpeg video. I imported the mpeg videos into my OEM version of Nero and made a DVD-Video. I had Nero burn the output to my hard disk as a disk image and then used Nero again to burn from the disk image to the DVD burner.
PSE5 has lots of photo editing and organizing facilities that make it worthwhile even if you don't plan on making DVD videos.

PS: You can use Nero to make the slideshows but my OEM version has primitive facilities compared to the cool stuff in PSE5.

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Slideshow Program-get the best one...PTE
by goddi1 / March 16, 2007 11:16 AM PDT

You can not go wrong in trying out PTE (Pictures to Exe). For $34, you can do everything you mentioned and much more. It is easy to learn, and you get a quality slideshow. Another advantage is that they have a Forum to ask questions and you get great help from other users. And, you can convert the slideshow to DVD. Background music, transitions, can you go wrong? You can't go wrong with PTE. They are about to come out with a new version that will just blow your socks off with what it will do!
Picture to Exe site:
And you can download samples that uses have made from here:
Beechbrook Cottage site:

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It's simple.
by dsneid / March 16, 2007 11:16 AM PDT

1. Buy or borrow a Mac.
2. Load the stuff into iPhoto.
3. Select your music, captions, photos, etc.
4. Have fun -- it's simple.
5. Generate a photo book for the coffee table if you're so inclined -- it's also simple.

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Best Software for Slide Show
by ralphbowman / March 23, 2007 10:21 AM PDT
In reply to: It's simple.

You must trying a download of MOMENTO which used to be marketed by Canopus..but when purchased by GREEN VALLEY was dropped and now resides in another WEBSITE............excellent...great presets...
easy to use... the deeper you get the better it gets.

Ralph Bowman

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Photo Story
by denebuff / March 23, 2007 11:51 AM PDT
In reply to: It's simple.

If You want to do a great job at no cost, download Photo Story.
It's free and and does a great job.

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Its simpler than THAT !
by pchew1954 / March 28, 2007 4:24 AM PDT
In reply to: It's simple.

"dsneid" PAY ATTENTION ? smart 'alec'

1. DONT borrow - and most certainly DONT BUY a MAC !
2. Dont use anything you ALREADY have
3. In fact just dont use any logiC at all.

Here's what anyone INSANE enough to listen to you "SHOULD" do :-

4. Give the entire collection of several "HUNDREDs" of images to a local Reprographics or digital arts studio

5. Sod the favours or dosh it's gonna cost you

6. Go for broke, and just tell the designer across the counter ...

".. I want you to MAKE me the best slide show you can manage for me... use any music you care to... just dont skimp on the effort, time or costs... and produce the best deluxe version of a show any money can buy...."

7. Hey - you know what - what does it matter if Chuck isnt interested in costs,
buying Mac or borrowing with his soul,
a fovour taken, a favour owed ,
how about taking my soul brother... I'll give anything to get the MAC in the frame... cause dsneid doesnt need to know if there are really common sense people around

who have a need to USE their own IT tools.........

Oh - I forgot... Chuck actually already has a very decent PC workstation (and not to mention the fact that he works in an IT environment.. but of course that doesnt matter in the slightest! ... no, no, no ! )

... but then hey what does it matter... Chuck's tools dont match up to a MAC at all (isnt that kind of insensitive "dsneid" ?.....
do you have any common sense at all?

You should be ashamed of yourselves - Mack lovers... kindly write to this Mac afficionado and er... tell him to

... "tame it" - ok?

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Windows Home Premium versus Windows vista ultimate
by albertomariano / March 16, 2007 11:16 AM PDT

Who is the best? or the diferences?

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Making a Digital SlideShow - The easy way
by putergoddess / March 16, 2007 11:26 AM PDT

I also have travelled to that area of the globe and must say - it's breath-takingly beautiful.
I tried using PowerPoint to create a slideshow with add-ons to the pictures, as well as captions, varied transitions between pictures and all the bells and whistles I wanted. I just couldn't get it as smooth and "glitzy" as I wanted. Also, I couldn't get my music to play like I wanted it to.
I found a very reasonable program by Broderbund, called Photoshow.
In less than 1/2 a day, I had all I wanted in a great slideshow that is now my screensaver. The program allows you to creat and share ( by uploading to a secure site, solely for pick-up by your friends and family) beautiful creations with your digital pictures. They don't need the program to see the slideshows.
For under $40, I had everything I wanted in an easy to use program.
Go to Broderbund's site to buy it, if you can't find it in your local store.
I won't ever use anything else.

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Making Photos Fun
by rayholt / March 16, 2007 11:27 AM PDT
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Slide Production
by ronedcol / March 16, 2007 11:40 AM PDT

You need Roxio's "Video Wave"

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