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Time to put together some slide shows and share them with friends and family

We have taken a bunch of pictures, learned a bit about our camera’s [more to come!] and have taken those images and put them on our computers, and maybe even edited them some. So we have a gaggle of pictures on our computer. Now what?

It’s time to put together some slide shows and share them with friends and family. I remember as a child the times my grandfather would get out the slide projector with all those little square cardboard slides and we would place them into the carousel. Half the time they were upside down or sideways. We would tack up a sheet and spend a Saturday night watching ourselves grow up, pictures from a family vacation, or all sorts of things.

Welcome to the modern version of that. Your computer probably came with a program that will let you take your pictures and create a slide show with music, captions, narration, slide transitions and more. These can be put on Facebook, and YouTube with a single click, emailed, or saved to a DVD for your television. There are many options available.

If you are using a PC, you probably have a program already installed. However if you have a newer computer that came with Windows 10 operating system, you probably do not have this software. Fear not. It can still be downloaded from Microsoft, for free. It is a package called Windows Essentials.

From Wikipedia: Windows Essentials (formerly Windows Live Essentials and Windows Live Installer) is a discontinued suite of Microsoft freeware applications that includes e-mail, instant messaging, photo sharing, blogging, and parental control software. Essentials programs are designed to integrate well with each other, with Microsoft Windows, and with other Microsoft web-based services such as OneDrive and

Download is available at It’s a big file, 130 Mb, and may take a bit to download. When you run it make sure you select the option to choose what you want to install. I would not install anything but Photo Gallery and Movie Maker. The others are optional but not recommended ny me.

After the installation [if needed] look for a program called “Photo Gallery”. When you open it up it will automatically look for pictures in your pictures folders and videos in your video folder. Pick a folder. The program will show all the pictures broken down by month. Select some images and then select the Slide Show button. There are a number of choices in slideshow creation, and one of my favorites is “Pan and Zoom”. Give it a try, if you don’t like the results, delete it and try something else. This can be a lot of fun.

If you decide to make a movie, it will open up Windows Movie Maker with all your images loaded into it. With Movie Maker you have a lot more options for creativity.

Building a slideshow using these tools, providing your own narration to the story, adding some background music and providing interesting transitions between the images, is our modern way of the family slideshow. We may not all be in the same room, but we can share our memories over and over, without dragging out all the equipment, finding and loading the carousels, and then dropping and scattering the cardboard slides all over the floor.

To take it a step further, you may want to consider getting all those old slides converted to digital and putting them together like this. It’s a great way to preserve those memories and put a bit of you into it. Your family will love them.

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