MacMost Now 203: Ten Ways To Do Slideshows On Your Mac

Take a look at 10 different ways you can turn a set of images into a quick slideshow on your Mac.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today let's look at ten different ways to do slideshows on your Mac. Now if you want to create a slideshow for a group of photos, there are a lot of different ways to do it. It depends really on what you want. Do you just want to quickly present those groups of photos right now, this minute on your Mac? Or do you want to create something more permanent that you can present over and over again? Let's look at all the different methods I found. If you know any more simply add them to the comments at this post at So method number one is to change your view to coverflow view right up here. That gives you the coverflow at the top, you can expand it, shrink it to fit your needs and you can go ahead and flip through all of the photos in your folder. Advantages are you also get to see the information about each file down below. Another method is to simply use the column view like this. Click on it, make sure you have preview turned on and you can actually flip through using the arrow keys each of the individual photos to get a kind of slide show in your right most column. Of course, you can also switch to icon view and then go ahead and select the view options, command J or simply the last menu item on your view and change the icon size to the largest size and then you get the kind of a slideshow right on here inside the finder window. Perhaps the very best way to do a slideshow is to select the files that you want to view and hit the space bar. This goes ahead and brings up the little quick view window. The quick view window can be expanded or shrunk to anything you want and has slideshow controls at the bottom, next and it even will do a play and go from slide to slide automatically. Then you even have an index sheet view inside of that where you can select one and you have the ability to go to full screen or send all of these photos directly to iPhoto. If you have the photos in iPhoto, there's a lot of different ways to do slideshow type presentations. One is to simply view them inside of the library in many different ways. For instance, you can go ahead and expand the size of the preview to the maximum size then just scroll through them. Or you can do the ultimate slideshow by pressing the slideshow button down at the bottom left. This will give you a much different settings like the transition between each one, order, all that sort of thing even which direction to move. You can also you iMovie to create slideshows. Just open up a new iMovie project, go ahead and select the pictures that you want to import in, and drag them into the project. It will import those stills in there and then you can even set how they fade in and out and do different things, and add transitions between each one. Then you just build the movie or simply go ahead and hit the play button on the bottom left to play them back. An interesting way to do it is using your screensaver. You can go ahead into system preferences, desktop and screensaver slash screensaver and you can click on choose folder you then go ahead and choose the folder with all of your photos in it. Once you do you get a bunch of different options like display style and you can choose whether or not they are in random order, speed, all sorts of thing depending upon which style you choose. Then you can go ahead and choose how to start the screensaver and you can have it start very quickly and even set hot corners for it to start right away. So you can basically start up a slideshow of your favorite photos any time you want. You can also go to the desktop side of the same system preference panel and you can go ahead and choose some photos that have to be in an iPhoto album or in a very specific folder. You choose the iPhoto album you can go ahead and select it to stretch to fill the screen. Then you can also select it to change pictures every five seconds or every minute. So you don't have too much control here but the interesting thing is that this slideshow just happened in the background on your desktop so you clear away everything else and the slideshow is going. And the last one I want to tell you about is to simply use Keynote if you have iWork. Now Keynote actually has a ton of different ways to do slideshows in it. One of my favorites is to use a smart build with some type of cube spin or flip or something else. And you just dump all of your photos that you want to do a slideshow onto the smart build and there you go, you've got an instant slideshow. You can record audio for the slideshow if you want and then you can export as a movie, DVD, anything you want or just play it right from Keynote. So it is a really cool way to create slideshows that you have a lot of control over. So there you go, ten different ways to create slideshows from a group of photos on your Mac. There are some that are easy, some that are hard to do but they all have different purposes and they should fill about any slideshow need. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 18 Responses to “MacMost Now 203: Ten Ways To Do Slideshows On Your Mac”

    2/13/09 @ 9:09 am

    Aperture has a ton of slideshow features. You can choose how many photos you want on the screen and the duration. Works for either photos within an album or folder (or any selection).

    2/16/09 @ 11:43 am

    Another easy way to do a slideshow is using Preview. Open all of the images you want in the show at the same time in Preview. The bottom choice under the View dropdown menu is Slideshow. It lets you add an image to iPhoto from the menu at the bottom of the slideshow.

    Micha David
    2/16/09 @ 2:26 pm

    Front row is another great tool for watching photos slide show.
    You can even relax and use the remote control.

    neelesh Kale
    5/26/09 @ 5:21 am

    how to create slide show if i am adding pictures to the folder as i shoot?

      5/26/09 @ 6:41 am

      Not sure what you are asking. You can use any one of the suggested slideshow methods.

      7/6/09 @ 12:34 pm

      I believe neelesh is talking about the same thing I am looking for.

      That is how to create a slide show that will present all the pictures in a specific folder, but also continue to ‘self-update’ so that if I add new photos to that folder while the slideshow is running it will include those new photos in the show loop as well.

      I am specifically looking to do this for my wedding where we will set up a photobooth using a Nikon connected to my mac. That way a slideshow can be projected with live updates reflecting recently taken photos from the booth. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

        7/6/09 @ 12:54 pm

        I’ve seen this done at conferences, but I’m not sure what software they use. I’d imagine it could be done any number of ways. If you had an eye-fi card, you could even have the pictures go from the camera directly to the slideshow wirelessly as you shoot.
        Perhaps the solution is to simply use a screen saver that pulls images from a folder.

    1/31/12 @ 11:56 am

    Your videos are fantastic. I am going to try some of the methods you mentioned as I am unable to use “Slide Show” in iPhoto 9. Used to work, not now.

    1/31/12 @ 12:55 pm

    Gary, I don’t have the little arrow that brings up the drop down window that shows preferences for slide shows. I only have the + i the 2 arrows. Anything I can do?

      1/31/12 @ 1:26 pm

      Can you be more specific? Which of the 10 methods in the video are you trying to use? Also, which version of whatever it is you are trying to use do you have (OS X, iPhoto, etc).

    Jason Larsen
    2/20/12 @ 2:45 pm

    For slideshows I find another good option to be dedicated slideshow software such as Photo to Movie or Fotomagico.

    John Joseph
    7/31/12 @ 7:27 am

    Loop slide show on AppleTV. I’ve created a slide show with music in iPhoto. I have a 1st generation AppleTV and I was hoping to play the slide show as a loop via the AppleTV. While the show plays in a loop on the computer, it doesn’t on AppleTV. Any thoughts? Do I need to recreate this in Keynote? Will a Keynote show play as a loop on AppleTV?

      7/31/12 @ 7:53 am

      That’s got me stumped. Keynote won’t help as you’d need to export as a video to play it on Apple TV, so you end up in the same place.
      You could always create a video that has the slideshow 10 times in a row. That gets you closer.
      A search turned up this:

    8/9/12 @ 1:21 pm

    I can create the slideshow with 3 music files on iphoto, but when I try to export it into quick time player so others can view it, it only repeats the first song. How can I add the other 2 songs for the slideshow? Also, how do I add the captions, as well?

      8/9/12 @ 1:48 pm

      Never tried to add multiple songs. I’m pretty sure iPhoto will only let you use one. For that and captions, maybe try iMovie or Keynote (best).

    8/9/12 @ 3:52 pm

    What is the difference between iMovie and iDVD? I am making a slideshow for my sister’s wedding and want to make copies for family etc. She doesn’t want any music she just wants it to be playing (in a loop) in the background. Any suggestions?


      8/9/12 @ 4:04 pm

      iMovie is the app you can now buy in the Mac App Store that lets you edit video. iDVD is the old app (no longer for sale) that lets you take a finished video and build a DVD from it that can play in DVD players.
      Are you looking to build a DVD? If you have an old copy of iDVD, then you can use that to do what you want. Otherwise, you can get some DVD software in the Mac App Store that can do it.

        8/10/12 @ 6:40 pm

        I have both programs on my macbook, I wasnt really sure which one to use. I am not looking to make a movie, more of a slide show. iDVD seems more user friendly so far… thanks for the reply!

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