A reader wrote:
“Love your web site! I found it during a Google search for help and I hope you can solve my problem. How can I insert a large number of photos into an EXISTING PowerPoint 2003 presentation? I started a new Photo album and now I want to add about 50 more photos but NOT one at a time! Is there a way I can insert multiple photos an easier way? I tried clicking the new photo album tag but that just started another presentation which I did not want. I am sure there is a way if only I can find it – please say you have the answer! I also have PowerPoint 2010 if I can insert the images using that version but I find 2003 easier. Keep up the good work, Ellen, we need helpful experts like you.”
With a request like that, I have to answer!
Creating a photo album
The Photo Album feature lets you insert multiple images at once. It’s true that it always creates a new presentation and I don’t know why that is. But it’s SO easy to move those new slides to your original presentation.
Let’s start with the steps to create a photo album:
- Choose Insert, Photo Album, New Photo Album. (In PowerPoint 2003, choose Insert, Picture, New Photo Album.) You see the Photo Album dialog box.
- Click the File/Disk button to choose the images that you want to insert. Navigate to the folder that contains the images. To insert many at once, click the first image file and scroll to the last image. Press the Shift key and click the last image. This selects all of the images between the first and last that you clicked. To select multiple specific images but not all of them, click the first image and then press the Ctrl key as you click another image; continue until you have selected all of the images you want.
- Click the Insert button. Note: At this point, you can repeat the previous step and add images from a different folder.
- In the Album Layout section, choose a layout from the Picture Layout drop-down list. Fit to slide will do its best to cover the entire slide, but without distorting the image.. You can also put 2 or 4 images on a slide and you can add space for a title.
- If you choose any layout except Fit to Slide, you have an option for a frame shape. such as a rounded rectangle. Choose the option you want from the Frame Shape drop-down list.
- Click Create. PowerPoint creates a new presentation file with your images formatted as you specified. For some reason the slide background is black, at least in PowerPoint 2013, where I’m testing these steps. To change the background color, select all of the slides in the left-hand pane. (Use the same Shift key method I explained above.) Then right-click one of the selected slides and choose Format Background. Choose the color you want from the Color drop-down list.
If you want to save this new presentation, do so now. However, if you just want to copy the slides to an existing presentation, you don’t need to save the photo album.
Copying the slides to an existing presentation
But suppose that you want (as the reader does) to add these slides to an existing presentation? Here are the steps:
- In the left-hand pane, select the slides. The first slide is a simple slide that says “Photo Album.” You probably don’t want that slide, so just select the rest of the slides.
- Copy to the Clipboard. You can press Ctrl + C or right-click a slide and choose Copy.
- Open or display the existing presentation.
- In the left-hand pane, click where you want the new slides to go.
- Paste from the Clipboard. You can press Ctrl + V or right-click and choose Paste.
- Notice the Paste Options icon at the bottom of the pasted slides. (See the red arrow to the right.) You can click its down arrow to display options. These look somewhat different in different versions of PowerPoint, but they allow you to use the destination theme / formatting (the default, so that all of the slides look like they belong in the same presentation), use source formatting, or paste an image of the slide. If you want to change the default option, choose it from the list.
You may have to do some manual formatting on each slide, but this method will certainly save you time compared to inserting images slide by slide by slide!
Do you sometimes need to import a number of images into an existing presentation? Have you used the Photo Album feature? Leave a comment and share your experience and techniques!