TMPGEnc Instant Show Presenter Turns Photos Into Slideshows

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Software abounds for creating slideshows and videos of your photographs. One of the easier programs to use bears the ungainly name of TMPGEnc Instant Show Presenter ($50, feature-limited demo). To make a quick slideshow of your pictures, select a template. (While the full version of TMPGEnc Instant Show Presenter has eight templates, the free demo offers only one.) Then, select the photos you want to include. If you wish, everything else can be handled automatically. Just click on Create a sideshow with these settings, and you can be ready to output and share your video slideshow.

Or, you can work within the template interface. There, you can adjust the order in which the pictures will be displayed (shuffle, by file name, by creation date, by modification date, or the list order), change the music from what is supplied with the template to one of your own choosing, or add captions (including a title and ending caption, with or without credits, and/or auto captioning of the slides). The templates themselves are rather average-looking, with little sense of design style or excitement.

Once the slideshow is created (or if you wish to work from scratch, without using a template), it is an easy matter to change the order of your slides, change the transition effects, add or change a title and ending slide, add sound effects, and so forth. Most edits are simple drag and drop, including from the supplied library of transitions, music and sound effects. The limited visual effects allow you to have zoom and/or pan in a slide, change from monochrome (b&w, sepia or other color tones) to/from full color, or to crop the picture. We found ourselves frustrated with the text functionality of Instant Show Presenter. For instance, it has no ability to adjust the alignment of the text, or to have different size fonts on the same slide. For those who want a more professional program, with lots of options and control, but which requires a much deeper learning curve, consider downloading ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer. You can output your slideshow to MPEG2 or WMV, and Instant Show Presenter has a direct upload to YouTube option.

TMPGEnc Instant Show Presenter provides one of the fastest, easiest workflows from photos to shareable slideshow we've seen. What it sacrifices in customizability, it makes up in ease of use.

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