Office XP Tips: Put a Photo Album on the WebOur final issue is packed with time-saving tips and tricks.
All good things must come to an end. Like highly marbled beef and cars that fit comfortably into parking spaces, the Office XP Tips Newsletter will soon be a thing of the past. This is the last issue you'll receive. It's been a blast serving you and meeting many of you via e-mail. I hope you've enjoyed the newsletter. Best wishes to you in all your computing endeavors--and all the other ones, too.
Chin Up, Slugger
Though this is a sad day for the Office XP Tips Newsletter, we've still got much to be thankful for: Music is free on the Internet, grocery stores stock fifty varieties of canned cheese, and some enterprising fellow has invented a scooter whose riders will no doubt make skateboarding punks seem like helpful boy scouts. But if these wonderful developments haven't impacted your life in a major way, digital photography probably has. Nowadays you can take a digital photo of baby's first tooth and whisk it a continent away to Grandma's adoring gaze in just a couple of seconds. But if you send Grandma too many photos electronically, she might just change her e-mail address without telling you. Office XP's PowerPoint 2002 can help you avoid that.
The best way to share digital photos is to publish an album on the Web. That way you can e-mail Grandma (or the whole famn damily, for that matter) the link--instead of the photos themselves--and she can view them at her leisure. Most Internet service providers give you some server space and the tools to upload Web pages easily.
Ach, but who wants to create a Web photo album each time you take a few snapshots? That's where PowerPoint 2002 comes in. PowerPoint has a cool command that lets you create a photo album in no time flat. What's more, it includes tools that let you jazz up your photos with frames, layout effects, and captions. Best of all, you can quickly save the whole shebang in HTML format for publishing on the Web. And if you have your pictures handy, the whole process takes just a minute or two.
The command that makes all this magic happen is Insert, Picture, New Photo Album. PowerPoint displays the Photo Album dialog box, where you can click to add photos. If the image files are already on your hard drive, click the File/Disk button. Locate your pictures in the Insert New Pictures dialog box (Ctrl-click to select more than one) and click Insert.
To insert pictures directly from your camera or scanner, click the Scanner/Camera button instead. In the "Insert Picture from Scanner or Camera" dialog box, choose your device from the Device drop-down list and select Custom Insert. The next dialog box will look slightly different, depending upon your device. For example, when I inserted pictures directly from my camera, I chose "Get Pictures from Camera." In the Get Camera Pictures dialog box, I clicked the picture name in the left pane and clicked "Add to List" to move the picture to the right pane. Next I clicked OK, then Close to return to the Photo Album dialog box.
Back in the Photo Album dialog box, you'll see your pictures' file names displayed in the "Pictures in album" list. Click any file name to see the image in the Preview window.
Fancy Up Your Photos
At this point, if you're happy with the pictures the way they are, you could click the Create button to tell PowerPoint to create the slide show. But not you. No, you are the tinkering kind. You've learned to balance your type-A need to publish photos immediately with your creative, perfectionist side. PowerPoint will indulge you in this need, allowing you to create frames, captions, text slides, layout changes, and photo enhancements. Here's a quick rundown.
The New Text Box button in the Photo Album dialog box lets you add a text slide to your photo album at any point. Click that button to insert the slide, then edit it later, just as you would any other PowerPoint text slide. Beneath the "Pictures in album" and Preview panes, you'll find a row of buttons. To move any picture in the album, click it, then click the up or down arrow. To remove a picture (or a text slide), select its name in the list and click the Remove button. The next three sets of buttons let you rotate, adjust the contrast of a photo, or adjust the brightness of a photo. To experiment with these settings, just click any photo's name in the "Pictures in album" list and click the appropriate button. You can watch the effects in the Preview window.
At the bottom of the Photo Album dialog box, in the Album Layout section, you'll find a couple of great tools: "Picture layout" and "Frame shape." Both of these commands display a mockup of your layout in the space to the right. The "Picture layout" drop-down list lets you choose how many pictures will appear on each Web page: one, two, or four pictures per page. You can also determine whether a photo will include a title. Titles will make it easier for Grandma to browse, so it's best to include them. In the "Frame shape" list, you can choose from seven frame options.
If you want to get really fancy with your layout, you can choose a PowerPoint design template using the Design Template's Browse button. However, this option is probably overkill and would likely detract from Baby's First Tooth. There are other fancy touches as well. In the middle of the Photo Album dialog box, you'll see two more options: "Captions below ALL pictures" and "ALL pictures black and white." If you chose a layout other than "Fit to slide," you can include captions beneath all your photos. The black-and-white option works only in PowerPoint; on the Web, color photos will appear in color. (However, it's a neat option if you don't plan to publish your photos on the Web.)
Once you're happy with your photo album, click the Create button and PowerPoint creates the album and closes the Photo Album dialog box. At this point you can edit your album as you would any other PowerPoint presentation. To change text (such as captions and titles), just click the text and edit as usual. You can click a picture and drag to reposition it or click one of the corner "circles" and drag to resize the picture. You'll find that PowerPoint includes a title slide at the beginning of your album. Click the slide's text to change the message. To preview your photo album, choose File, Web Page Preview. If you're not happy with it, select Format, Photo Album to return to the Photo Album dialog box and make changes.
All that's left is to save your album in HTML format and post it online. Don't worry--there's no coding necessary. Choose File, Save as Web Page. When the Save As dialog box opens, click the Change Title button. Give the album a logical title, such as "Baby Eats First Can of Cheese," and click OK. Next, type a file name (no spaces) in the File Name text box, being sure to use the HTM or HTML extension--"CheesyBaby.htm," for example. Finally, click Save. PowerPoint creates an HTML photo album, along with a folder of all the graphics you'll need for your album. You must upload both the HTML file and the accompanying folder to your Web site for your photo album to work.
If you get hooked on digital photography and want to learn more, sign up for this newsletter's sophisticated and intelligent cousin, PC World's Digital Focus. In that weekly newsletter, digital-photography expert Dave Johnson presents tips and advice for improving your photos. It's great for beginners and experts alike.