Glen Millar PowerPoint WorkBench PowerPoint MVP
since 2003
  logic for PowerPoint designers and presenters  
  home about blog causes tutorials links contact us  

Welcome to these tutorials, many of which were unique concepts when first published!


build: techniques to build and visualise faster

3d bezier curves ] custom toolbars ] clever snap to grid ] Excel in PowerPoint ] fast ppt in outline view ] Friday for FAQ's ] object selection and visibility ] offline clip art (new) ] [ photo albums ] powerpoint layouts ] round tripping ] Save image portion as image in 2003 or 2007 ] smart tags ] word art from text ] xcelsius Interactive Charts ]


Photo Albums

Logic: insert a lot of images into PowerPoint in a hurry, while still allowing you to customize them later

Photo albums are a feature available in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003. They can be, to use an Australian expression, a "bit dodgy". That is, they are fraught with danger. Hopefully this will help demystify them and help you get value without falling into the traps. I prefer Shyam Pillai's Image Importer, but people do use the Photo Album feature. If you run a Mac, Photo album is not available natively, but Jim Gordon does have an addin available for PowerPoint 2004.

Photo albums allow you to get a large number of images into PowerPoint in a hurry. Yes, you can do that simply by multiply selecting them via the Insert Image Dialogue box. But Photo Album allows them to be sorted, moved around, and even a bit of basic (very basic) fixing.

insert photo album menu

To access, go to Insert| Picture| New Photo album...

photo album options

You can load Album content from your hard drive (1), a scanner or camera (2) or add a text box to a slide. I'm not sure why you would want to do that, but you can! Well, there is one advantage. If you add a text box here, it will be placed evenly on the slide!

pictures added

When you images are loaded, you can then do further image functions. Like rotating (5) , which is handy when your photo comes in sideways from a camera, changing contrast (6) or brightness (7). Finally, you can change the layout of how images are placed on slides (8).


Easy. Now to the tricky stuff. There are some hidden bits that are helpful as well as some hidden bits that are a trap.

Good stuff:

  1. You can move more than one picture at a time in the dialogue box. Where the images are listed by name under "Pictures in Album", you can click the first one at the top, and while holding the <Shift> key, select one further down the list. Then use the arrow keys on the box to move up or down the list. But you can't change contrast or other image features. You also cannot move non adjacent pictures around the list.

  2. THIS is brilliant! You can later reorder or reformat a Picture Album even after it is created. If you go to the Format menu, an item is listed "Format Picture album". This brings back the dialogue box to reposition pictures or change things. Very nice.

format photo album options menu

change layouts

  1. The Photo album feature inserts images into the back of autoshapes. So, you can change the line color or other things you can normally do with autoshapes. You can also change the actual shape of the object via the Drawing toolbar of Draw| Change Autoshape and so on.

changing an auto shape

Bad stuff:

  1. As pictures are inserted into autoshapes, they cannot be cropped and some other image options are not available.

  2. You may also suffer file size bloat if your images are over-scanned before they are inserted into autoshapes.

General Caveats:

  1. If you decide not to use PowerPoint's Photo Album and just copy and paste images into PowerPoint, beware of linking your images in. Links break, and PowerPoint is no exception.


There are alternatives on the market.

  1. Shyam Pillai's Image Import Wizard is worth its weight in gold! Uncomplicated and very effective. I've used it and it is, like I said, worth its weight in gold!

  2. Pixerter is not bad either.





Copyright (c) 1999 - 2011 Glen Millar

mvp logo