The PowerPoint Photo Album feature solves one issue i.e. how to convert a group or folder of images quickly into PowerPoint slides and has been available as an add-in since version 2000, and integrated since version 2002.
To create a Photo Album in PowerPoint 2007:
- From the tabs at the top (Microsoft’s ‘ribbon’) select Insert, and choose Photo Album, ‘New Photo Album’.
- In the dialogue box that appears, select the insert picture from ‘File/Disk’ button, and then navigate to your folder of images.
- Hold down the Ctrl key to select individual images, or use the Ctrl +A keyboard shortcut to select everything in the folder. Choose ‘Open’.
- The images will display as filenames with a small preview when you click on each one.
- Various options include: select and use the up and down arrow keys to order the images; add a text box (empty) and put it in order e.g. if you want a slide with one image and one text box; rotate the images using the controls under the preview window; or change all the images to black and white.
- Choose page layout: either fit to the size of the whole slide ‘fit to slide’; or optionally include captions for 1, 2, or 4 images; or optionally a title for 1 or 2 images. The layout is applied to all images in the order in which they appear.
- Additional, but less useful features include applying picture frames to images, and choosing a colour/style theme for the whole album.
- Select the ‘Create’ button to finish.
The pros are that this works quickly with a defined group of images that have been prepared and carefully selected.
The cons are that if you then want to move the images around and re-size them or add additional features with PowerPoint 2003 you then face some frustrating issues e.g. when cropping an image you have to select ‘Format Picture’, then the ‘Picture’ tab, then each adjustment is only applied when you select ‘Okay’ and come out of the dialogue box.
However with PowerPoint 2007 you can either make fine adjustments in the ‘Size and Position’ dialogue, watching the adjustments happen as you are in the dialogue box, or you can select the ‘Format’ tab from the ‘ribbon’ and select the ‘Crop’ tool, dragging the crop handles as you would in any other image editor such as Adobe Photoshop.