Learn how to send a photo slide show by email

How to send a slide show by email

  • Create a PDF slideshow from your photos to send to family and friends
  • No technical knowledge is needed to view the slide show
  • Give a professional look to your happy snaps

Which? Archive

This article, How to send a slide show by email, was last updated on 25 July 2008 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.

Why create a slideshow to send?

A slideshow is a slick way to share pics with family and friends. Rather than receiving an email with a number of individual attachments which can be cumbersome to open and view, a slideshow is ideal for sharing groups of photos with any number of people anywhere in the world.

Photos display in the order that you arrange them and the slideshow plays automatically when the email is opened so it's the perfect way to send pictures to computer novices. 

How do you send a slideshow?

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 has a rather neat feature to create a slide show including a wide range of transitions, then compressing (making the file size smaller) the result as a PDF document so you can email it to your family and friends. 

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is a popular file format that can be opened and viewed using Adobe Reader software. This is usually bundled with new PCs or it can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website.

Step-by-step guide

1Step 1: Choose images to include

step one

From the 'Organiser' Ctrl + click the images you want to include in the slide show. 

Then click the Create tab from the 'Palette Bin' on the right-hand side and click the Slideshow button at the bottom of the dialog box. 

Alternatively, you can open the images from the 'Editor', click Create and then click Slideshow.

2Step 2: Choose the transitions and duration

step two

Clicking the slideshow button reveals the 'Slideshow Preferences' dialog box complete with a thumbnail of the first slide and a raft of options. 

Each option is pretty self-explanatory but you can, for example, choose the duration that each slide remains visible, the type of transition between the slides as well as the duration of the transition. 

That said, unless you want to experiment, the default settings are as good a place to start as any. When you’re happy with selections, click the OK button located near the bottom right of the dialog box.

3Step 3: Tweak the order, add or delete slides

step three

This reveals the 'Slideshow Editor' dialog box and presents you with an overview of the slide show, including thumbnails of the images in order along with the transition selected and the static duration for each slide. You can, if you wish, change the order of the slides by clicking and dragging to suit. 

If there’s a slide you would rather not show simply delete it by right-clicking the thumbnail and then select Delete Slide from the menu that appears. 

You can add images easily too. Simply click the Add Media button from close to the top of the dialog box, then select Photos and Videos from 'Folder' and then navigate to your folder of images.

4Step 4: Customise the look

step four

To the right of the active image you will see both an 'Extras' and beneath it a 'Properties' palette. 

It’s here that you can customise the look of your active slide by either adding text, choose graphics from the selection on offer or add your own narration, if need be. 

You can also change the background colour of your slide, alter the static duration again as well as enable a 'Pan and Zoom' effect.

5Step 5: Tweak the transition type

step five

If you feel like you should have changed the type of transition when you had the chance, you’re in luck, Elements offers the option a second time. The default setting is a two-second 'Fade' but you can select from over 20 types and there’s even a random option if you fancy. 

Click on the small black arrow to the right of the transition’s icon and select a new type from the pop-up menu. 

You can also apply the same transition to all the slides at once, if you wish. It’s probably best not to pick something too wacky though.

6Step 6: Save as PDF

step six

Once you’ve made your selections click the Output button close to the top left of the dialog box. Doing so reveals the 'Slideshow Output' dialog box. 

This is where you can save your file as a PDF, as well as select the slide’s image size (including your own preferred size, if different from the custom option) from the pop-up menu. 

As the slide show is to be emailed, we would suggest selecting the Small option of 800 x 600 pixels. Select Loop to continuously replay the slide show, Manual Advance to move from one slide to the next by clicking through each one using the mouse, and, finally, select View Slideshow after Saving if you would like to see the show after creating it. 

Select OK and save the PDF file to where you would like to keep it on your computer.

7Step 7: Send your PDF slide show

Step seven

Open your email program, or right click the PDF and select Send to > Mail Recipient.

Now choose who you intend to receive your slide show. 

The slide show will be sent. 

When your recipient opens the attachment, the PDF automatically opens Adobe Reader (most new PCs are bundled with the program) in full-screen mode and the slide show begins.