How To Create A PowerPoint Photo Album

PowerPoint is a great tool for developing products catalogs that you can use for sales and other types of presentations. This often involves adding lots of photos and images to your presentation. While you can do this manually, it’s much faster and easier to harness the power of PowerPoint to do most of the work for you.

I’ll show you how to use the Photo Album feature in PowerPoint to prepare and place all your images in your new slide show.

You can use this technique whenever you need to add a series of images to a slide show. First create a new empty PowerPoint presentation, and before you start work, choose Insert > Picture > New Photo Album.

When the Photo Album dialog appears, select the images you want in your slide show by clicking the File/Disc button and browse to locate the images. It’s best to use images in a format such as JPEG so they won’t take up a lot of unnecessary space.

Using Photo Album in PowerPoint
The PowerPoint photo album tool lets you assemble photos to add to a new slideshow.

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You can select multiple images at a time by choosing the first image, and then hold down the Ctrl key while you click on the other images you want to use. Alternatively, select an entire sequence of images by clicking on the first and then press the Shift key and click on the last image.

Click Insert to place the images into the photo album dialog. Now you can rearrange the images in the order you want by selecting an image and clicking the up or down arrow button in the dialog to reposition it in the list. If there are images in another folder you want to use, click File/Disk and select and add them. If there is an image that you don’t want in the presentation, click it and click Remove.

Edit Images

It’s best to have edited your photos before you bring them into PowerPoint because there are only rudimentary editing options available in this dialog. You can rotate an image and adjust its brightness and contrast using the buttons under the preview image.

Using Photo Album in PowerPoint
Make sure that the basic design is in place before making small changes to the presentation.

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You can also convert all images in the presentation to black and white by selecting the All pictures black and white checkbox, however you cannot do this to just one or two images. All significant edits need to be done in your favorite graphics editor before you start.

Choose a Slide Layout

By default the album layout is Fit to Slide. Each image will be sized to fit the slide that it is placed on, and you will have one image per slide. To change this option, select an alternative layout from the dropdown list. Options include multiple pictures per slide with or without a title. You will see a mini preview of the layout in the sample to the right of the dialog indicating your layout choice.

Once you have chosen an alternative layout, you can select the frame shape such as rounded rectangle, oval or a frame with corner tabs. You can also select a design template for the presentation. You can choose a design template now or do it later on in the editing process.

Using Photo Album in PowerPoint
You can alter the image captions to display something other than the image name.

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Adding Text Boxes and Captions

There are a couple of ways that you can add text to your slideshow at this point. One is to select the Captions below all pictures option. This creates a small caption area that you can use to describe each image.

The second alternative is to add a textbox to a slide. PowerPoint treats a textbox like a photo, so when you add them in your image list, each text box will move the next image further down the slide list. When you click to add a new textbox, it appears immediately below the current photo in the image list and the arrangement of the images on all the slides that follow changes accordingly.

Using Photo Album in PowerPoint
You can alter the image captions to display something other than the image name.

(Click for larger image.)

Create the Show

When you have finished configuring the options in this dialog, click the Create button and the images will be added to the slide presentation. Check that the slides have been created as desired and, if you see problems, choose Format > Photo Album to display the Format Photo Album dialog. Here you can make changes to the layout and, when you are done, click Update.

It’s important to get the basic layout correct before you start making other changes to the slides, such as moving images around and resizing them. Otherwise these changes will be lost if you use the Format Photo Album dialog to update the slide show later on.

Edit the Show

If you chose to add captions to your images, the caption text displays the image name. You can change this by selecting the text and typing over it with your own text. You can also delete the caption text if you don’t want a caption for a particular image.

To format text in a caption, right-click the caption, choose Font and select the font, font size and color you want. You can immediately apply the same font to each of the other captions by clicking on each caption in turn and pressing the F4 key to repeat the format.

On any slide that has a textbox, click in the textbox and type the text you want to appear on that slide. By default PowerPoint positions the text in the middle of a textbox. You can change this by right-clicking the textbox and from the Textbox tab set the Text Anchor Point to Top or another option of your choice.

The slideshow you have just created works just like any other PowerPoint slide show. You can add slides, rearrange them, reformat them, apply a different design template to them and add animations and transitions as you would any regular slide show. You can also resize and move the images that the Photo Album tool has added to a slide.

Any time you need to work with lots of images in a PowerPoint presentation consider using the Photo Album tool to get a start on inserting and arranging the images on your slides.

Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her Web site,

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