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Product Review: PicturesToExe v4.30 Slide Show Program

by Heather Forcier | October 1, 2004

Photo gridScreenshots used with permission from www.WnSoft.com

Almost one year ago I prepared a review of the PicturesToExe (PTE) slide show program version 4.14. Since that time I have received feedback from photographers who read the review, purchased the program, and enjoyed using it to prepare slide shows of their own.

Just a few months ago the PicturesToExe version 4.30 became available, which will work under Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP. The new features are so photographer-friendly that I felt compelled to prepare a follow-up that highlights some of the most notable improvements, which to me are the lightbox-style panes with custom-sized thumbnails for image selection and slide show editing.

PicturesToExe main screen

The PicturesToExe 4.30 main screen in “horizontal view” mode.

Preparing a Slide Show

For specifics on preparing your slide show, please see the December 2003 review. This covers how to prepare and select your images, setting the duration of the image display during your slide show, options for transition effects, setting background music, adding captions, and considerations for distributing your slide show.

New “Horizontal View”

While the updated program offers a “Classic View” with the feel of its previous version, the Horizontal View is what I feel is the new PicturesToExe gem. Now the PTE main screen allows you to view the directory of your images (upper left corner) and displays thumbnails with a slider that allows you to customize the thumbnail size.

The bottom pane shows the slide list; or those images selected to be presented in the slide show. Hitting the “Function 4” key (F4) presents a full screen of slide show images as thumbnails. By pressing the Control key and clicking on whichever images you’d like, groups can be selected and moved in bulk. A slider on this screen also allows you control over the thumbnail sizes.

Slide list

The PicturesToExe 4.30 full screen view of the slide list – reach this by hitting F4 from the main view.

Slide Show Editing

Customizing a slide show is quick and easy in the full screen view of the slide list. Within the window, images can be moved individually or selected at random and moved in bulk, may be removed from the slide show altogether by right clicking and selecting “remove,” and the slide can be customized also through right clicking.

Previews

While creating new slide shows I tend to preview them a lot. With a simple right click on an image in either the bottom pane from the main view, or a right click in the full screen view, I can start the slide show from any image I wish.

Project Versus Slide Show

It is important to remember that a PTE project must be saved for future access and modifications. The images selected for the slide show are not saved as a part of the project and to take my slide show project with me while traveling, my images must be on a CD or saved to the laptop.

Selecting “Create” generates a self-executable “.exe” file and no additional software is needed to run the show on another computer. Once created, the executable file cannot be modified, however, if the PTE project were saved, a new executable file could be created at any time. Presentations can be made on desktop computers, laptops, and through digital projectors. Screen savers can also be created, and there are now options to create a presentation that can be played on a television screen from a DVD.

Conclusion

This program continues to be the only one I use for slide shows, as it’s easy to use and allows me to do everything I want to. I purchased the business license for $30 which allows me to use it on one computer and to create and distribute presentations for commercial or private use. Ease of use and the reasonable cost make this a program easy to recommend!

About the Author

Heather Forcier photographs nature subjects throughout North America. Her work has been published for various commercial uses and is sold in prints at several permanent displays. To see more of Heather's work, please visit her website at www.heatherforcier.com.

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