Macworld Masterclass: Creating slideshows in iPhoto

For most people, iPhoto is the one iLife application they use above all others, and every couple of years Apple updates it, streamlining existing features and adding new ones. This time around it’s turned its attention to the slideshow creation tool, adding preset animations that produce professional-looking slideshows without you having to do anything. In fact, so useful are slideshows, that a dedicated button is always present at the bottom of the interface. Clicking on it creates a slideshow based on a currently selected album or event. This is certainly useful, but what if you want to design one to share with friends and family who can’t be with you right now? Here we’ll show you how to create, customise and export a slideshow in minutes.

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For most people, iPhoto is the one iLife application they use above all others, and every couple of years Apple updates it, streamlining existing features and adding new ones. This time around it’s turned its attention to the slideshow creation tool, adding preset animations that produce professional-looking slideshows without you having to do anything. In fact, so useful are slideshows, that a dedicated button is always present at the bottom of the interface. Clicking on it creates a slideshow based on a currently selected album or event. This is certainly useful, but what if you want to design one to share with friends and family who can’t be with you right now? Here we’ll show you how to create, customise and export a slideshow in minutes.

  • Step 01 1. Instant slideshow
  • Step 02 2. A new Slidebar menu
  • Step 03 3. Slideshow creation
  • Step 04 4. Adding, reordering and deleting
  • Step 05 5. Choosing a theme
  • Step 06 6. The Start slide
  • Step 07 7. More titles
  • Step 08 8. Adding music
  • Step 09 9. Multiple songs
  • Step 10 10. The duration
  • Step 11 11. Other options
  • Step 12 12. Photo effects
  • Step 13 13. Previewing
  • Step 14 14. Sharing
  • More stories
Next Prev

1. Instant slideshow

Select an album, event or just some images you’d like to use, then click on the Slideshow button, located at the bottom of the interface. You get to choose a theme and a song, but not much else – you can’t even reorder the images, and there’s no way to save or share the result with others.

Next »

Next Prev Step 01

Select an album, event or just some images you’d like to use, then click on the Slideshow button, located at the bottom of the interface. You get to choose a theme and a song, but not much else – you can’t even reorder the images, and there’s no way to save or share the result with others.

 

Step 2 of 14: 2. A new Slidebar menu

Select some photos, but this time go to File > New > Slideshow. A new section will appear in your sidebar if this is the first time that you’ve done this. This is where all your slideshows will be stored. You can rename your slideshow at any time by clicking on its current title.

 

Step 3 of 14: 3. Slideshow creation

The main part of your interface is taken up with the currently selected photo. At the top of the interface is a row of thumbnails representing all the shots you chose to add to your slideshow. Click on one of these to see the corresponding photo in the larger preview section.

 

Step 4 of 14: 4. Adding, reordering and deleting

To add more photos, select them from an event or album, and drag them onto your slideshow’s title in the Sidebar. Once there, you can re-order your images by selecting their thumbnails and dragging them from left to right. To remove one from the list, select it and hit the Delete key.

 

Step 5 of 14: 5. Choosing a theme

The Classic theme is selected by default. To use a different one, click on the Themes button in the Toolbar – you’ll be presented with a choice of 12. Choose one that appeals to you, but don’t worry if you change your mind, you can select a different theme at any time.

 

Step 6 of 14: 6. The Start slide

By default, the text slide at the start bears the name of the slideshow. You can, however, change it to whatever you like – as long as it fits in the space provided. To do this, select the slide in the thumbnail section, then click on the title in the larger preview area to edit the text.

 

Step 7 of 14: 7. More titles

That slide is anchored at the start, but you can add other titles anywhere else in the slideshow. To do this, start by clicking on the Text Slide button. You can then drag the image to its desired location in the thumbnail section and rename it as you did in the previous step.

 

Step 8 of 14: 8. Adding music

The theme’s own music track is selected by default. If you’re not enamoured with that choice, you can select your own. To do this, click on the Music button, on the lower right of the interface. A small semi-transparent window will appear. You can then select a song from either GarageBand or iTunes.

 

Step 9 of 14: 9. Multiple songs

If you plan to create a long slideshow, you could choose to include more than one song. To do this, make sure that you tick Custom Playlist for Slideshow. Next, drag all the tracks you’d like to use into the field beneath that tick box. When ready, click on Choose.

 

Step 10 of 14: 10. The duration

It’s time to work on your settings. Click on the last remaining button on the lower-right of the interface. Your first option is to select how long each slide should be played for. You can set a minimum time for all your slides or tick Fit slideshow to music to avoid your music looping back to the start.

 

Step 11 of 14: 11. Other options

You’ll notice that there’s an option to remove the opening title slide if you’ve decided you don’t need it. You can also choose to have your slideshow on a continuous loop, although this preference only applies if you’re going to play your slideshow from your Mac: an exported movie won’t loop by itself.

 

Step 12 of 14: 12. Photo effects

Click on the Settings window’s This Slide tab to see what unique options are open to you for the selected photo. What you have is a choice of three special effects. Only one can be applied at a time and when it’s selected, a large On label is added to that thumbnail. To remove it, click on it again.

 

Step 13 of 14: 13. Previewing

To see how your slideshow is looking, click on the Preview button. This will play it back within the confines of the iPhoto interface. If you want to see it full screen, press Play instead. To stop playback in Preview mode, click anywhere on the main part of iPhoto while in full screen, and hit Escape.

 

Step 14 of 14: 14. Sharing

When you’re ready to show off your creation, click on the Export button. You’ll be given simple choices along with an idea of which device would be able to play it back successfully. Tick on any or all of these options. By default, they’ll all be sent to iTunes, so you can easily sync it to an iOS device.

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