Speed up or slow down your slideshows

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Fjjaf asked me how “to set the seconds a photo will show in Picasa until moving to the next photo.” My answer covers more than Picasa.

Back in February, I discussed ways to spruce up your automated slideshows with fancy transitions. But when you think about it, those transitions aren’t nearly as important as the photos shown between them—or the length of time you show each photo.

Here’s how to set a slideshow’s speed in Picasa and a couple other programs. Whatever program you use, I suggest leaving each photo up for three to five seconds.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

Picasa 3

In Google’s photo organizer, you start a slideshow by selecting View > Slideshow or pressing Ctrl-4. Once the show starts, move the mouse to bring up the control bar at the bottom of the screen.

You’ll find the Display Time setting at the right end of the control bar. Use the - and + icons to change it.

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By the way, bringing up the control bar pauses the sideshow, so press the Play button to start it again.

Windows Photo Gallery 2012

Microsoft hasn’t updated its photo organizer—part of the Microsoft Essentials collection of free programs—in a couple of years. So perhaps we can forgive the program’s lack of slideshow speed control.

If you want each slide to present itself for about five seconds, Photo Gallery will satisfy you. If not, use the slideshow tool that comes with Windows instead.

Windows’ built-in slideshow tool

Windows’ file manager, called File Explorer in Windows 8 and Windows Explorer in earlier versions, has its own slideshow tool. It has limited, but sufficient speed control.

To start the slideshow in Windows 7’s Explorer, click the Slide show button on the toolbar. In Windows 8’s File Explorer, go to the Picture Tools Manage tab and click Slide show.

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Once the slideshow is running, right-click anywhere on screen. The resulting menu will offer Slow, Medium, and Fast options. In my casual tests, these displayed each picture for three, five, and eleven seconds.

Windows 8’s tile-based photo app

Forget it: It’s not worth your time. Use File Explorer instead.

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