While I’ve seen many wonderful video presentations both at meetings and private events, I have not learned the software needed to produce them. And since I’m always on a tight schedule (why is that???), I usually don’t even import the pictures into Photoshop to correct them (with apologies to Mimi Witcher). I use the Picture Manager program that comes with Microsoft Office (both 2003 and 2007). When you are working with pictures that will be shown on a screen, they don’t have to be as carefully corrected as they would have to be if they were going to be printed.
So here’s Jane’s QWIK method for making a slide show:
The first step, of course, is to find the pictures you want to use! For this, you have to whine and beg until your husband agrees to 1) get the dusty boxes of pictures down from the closet shelf, and 2) keep them under his nose long enough to get him to go through the boxes with you!
The next step is getting them scanned. This takes time, but doesn’t require expensive equipment. Most inexpensive printers (just like the one sitting next to your computer) will scan pictures into your computer. First you have to save them “as is,” then later go back and get them (from your My Pictures file) and correct them in a photo management program like Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Picture Manager. First I crop them. I’m beginning to believe that every picture needs to be cropped! Then, I use the “auto correct” button which equalizes the light levels, remove red eye if necessary, and resize them so they don’t take up so much file space. I also rename them using “save as” because they usually get only numbers when they are scanned into your computer.
Once your pictures are cropped and corrected to your satisfaction, you need to “throw” them onto slides. I select a design template in PowerPoint and select “Insert” and “picture” and put one, two or three pictures on each slide (in the desired sequence). Of course this can always be changed later. The fat lady hasn’t even begun to sing at this point.
Once you’ve gotten to this phase, you are ready to “design” your slide show. Finally, the FUN part!
Besides just putting pictures on your slides, you can also add graphics (fun or serious), and text boxes for writing phrases or titles. Just choose “insert” and select either “clip art” or “text box.”
Or you can do a picture collage.
Then go back to your Paint or Publisher document and highlight the picture, right click and select the “save image” or “save picture as” command to save it in .jpg (graphic) format. Then you can take it through Picture Manager to crop and correct it just as you did the others. Finally, insert it on the slide just like any other picture.
While you are viewing the Google map, you can also select “satellite” on the menu to view an ariel photo and zoom in to your neighborhood, and repeat the process above to save it.
Jane Booras is Editor of the Campus Times Newsletter for Computer School for Seniors (http://www.cs4seniors.com/)