Try Your Hand at PhotonShow
Of course, there are lots of options out there besides the one built into Windows XP. You might want to explore some of these options if you are interested in more flexible, elaborate slide shows than the ones offered by Windows XP, or if you’re simply not a Windows XP user.
One great way to make a slide show is with a $49 program called PhotonShow. (There’s a free trial if you want to try it out, although it doesn’t have the full set of features you’ll find in the paid version.)
slide show can be played on the desktop, copied to CD, uploaded to the Web, or even shared via your Pocket PC-based handheld device. PhotonShow includes a broad array of themes that you can use to dress up your images. These themes range from cute family motifs (like baby frames and romantic backgrounds) to holiday designs and interactive puzzles. You can embed your images in an on-screen jigsaw puzzle, for instance, which makes playing back your slide show a lot of fun. Here’s how you would create a slide show in PhotonShow:
- When the program begins, click the first icon–the one marked Create a PhotonShow.
- Since we’ll eventually want to copy this to CD, let’s choose Desktop PC on the next screen instead of making a Pocket PC version.
- Next, name the slide show. Call it anything you like: Christmas Slides or Our Thanksgiving Adventure, for instance. Click Next.
- Now it’s time to pick a theme. Pick Through the Looking Glass, perhaps (this theme is also available in the trial version, and is categorized as a General Purpose Theme in the full version). Note, though, that in the full version, the interactive themes are in the Games category. Click Next.
- We’re finally ready to add pictures. Use the folder tree to locate your pictures. Then simply drag the pictures you want to include down to the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen. You can drag and drop the images in the filmstrip to rearrange them. When you’re happy with the results, click Next.
- Want captions? This next screen is where you can add short text blurbs to each image. Or, if you prefer, you can let the pictures speak for themselves. Click Next.
- The full version of PhotonShow comes with some simple editing tools. On the Touch Up page (which appears automatically after you go through the captions screen), you can remove red eye, crop images, adjust color, and more. Click an image in the filmstrip and tweak the photo using any of the commands on the right side of the screen. Click Next when you’re done.
- You’re almost done! You can pick a digital music file (either MP3 or WAV) from your hard drive to serve as the soundtrack, add extra goodies like your name as the slide show author and even list optional credits that will scroll at the end of the slide show–here’s where you can list names of people that appear in the pictures, for instance. Then click Next.
- After you preview your slide show, you can click the Share button to upload the slide show to the Web or burn it to a CD on the Share your PhotonShow page.