Posted by: lcowie | December 23, 2008

How to: Slideshow

How to: Create a photo slideshow in Windows Movie Maker

How journalism and creativity collide

By Lesley Cowie

You just took 100 pictures at family reunion, holiday party or special presentation. Now you want to show your friends and family all the amazing pictures that you took. You decide to make a slideshow but realize that you do not have the appropriate software. This How-to article will show you how to make an easy and attractive slideshow that can be easily embedded into a web site or blog. This How-to is not meant for Macintosh users, as Apple computers generally do not come equipped with this software.

Edit the images —

Make sure that the people in your photos do not have a red eye. You can edit this, as well as lighting and other elements, in an editing application like Photoshop.

slidePlace images into one folder —

Once you have opened your slideshow software, the program will ask you to select your photos. This process will be much easier if the photos are all in one folder.

Open Windows Movie Maker —

Although this program calls for movie-making, it also allows its users to insert photos and sound. In the left panel, there is a link for inserting these two elements. It is best to insert the folder of images before inserting sound. After selecting “Import pictures,” find the appropriate folder for your photos. In order to select a large quantity of photos, hold down the shift key and click on all the photos in the folder. Then click “Import.”


Drag images into film —

Once you have uploaded the folder of images, you may select the order of the photos in your slideshow. Select an image from the group and drag it into the film strip at the bottom of the screen.

Arrange the speed —

storyboardWhile the photos are on the film strip, you can click on the image and drag sideways to arrange the length of the photo in the slideshow. The best length of photos is between two and four seconds.

Insert sound —

Many popular songs have copyright protection and therefore cannot be used in a slideshow without permission. To avoid applying for a license, go to a web site that specializes in royalty-free music. One such web site is You can download the music from this web site to your computer and then insert it into your slideshow.

Save the slideshow —

In the left panel, there is a link to save your slideshow. This will finalize the slideshow and save the project as a .wmv. You will have to enter a file name and a location for your slideshow.


Upload to YouTube —

Create an account on YouTube and upload your slideshow. This will allow you to embed the slideshow into a web site or blog. Once the slideshow has been uploaded, YouTube will provide you with a code to embed.

Although Windows Movie Maker creates photo slideshows, it is not the best application for this task. Being a journalist means learning how to communicate information in a creative way. Even when top-of-the-line software is not available, journalists should be able to find a way to communicate information to the public.


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