The internet has certainly come in leaps and bounds. Gone are the days of endless reams of texts which you had to scroll all the way down to read while squinting to make sure you catch every single word on the screen. Now, there are fewer words to digest — and more photos and videos to admire.
At the same time, the way people use social media has changed drastically. Take Facebook, for example. You would write perhaps a lengthy post, and everyone would comment or like it. Now, there are much more pieces of content to take up one’s attention and much less time to spend on each one as a result. All of which boils down to shorter posts.
Sometimes, pictures fill in the gaps, sometimes, they are the story. Whether you’re making a story or just crafting your personal account, pictures — usually lots of them — are non-negotiable. However, add too many photos, and your audience might quickly get bored and move on. Add those pictures together in a photo slideshow spiced up with a beautiful music track, and you’re going to get everyone’s attention. No exceptions.
Enter photo slideshows. A slideshow is a series of pictures that show up on the screen according to a prearranged sequence in constant time intervals. Slideshows are a way to jazz up your social media life. Want to show everyone how much fun you had on that vacation to the beach? String up a slideshow and let them experience swimming, running, jumping, sunbathing, and snacking along with you. Slideshows are the ultimate storyline enhancers.
The best thing is that you don’t even have to splurge on some expensive apps to create a slideshow. There are tons of free slides-making tools available on PC and Mac. And no, you no longer have to settle for the basic functionality of the old Windows Photo Viewer’s slideshow function. Who else longs for the days when you had to press space to cycle to the next photo in the sequence? Nobody? Alright then.
Onwards to newer and better things — the best slideshow makers around to spice up your photos with. Every single one of the tools on this list has a unique selling point, and you can’t go wrong with your choice. While some require you to download a desktop app, with others, you can do everything online.
Enough dithering, here are the best slideshow makers you will come across anywhere.
Animoto is one of the best online slideshow makers around. You don’t need to download anything. You just sign in for either a free or pro account and start adding your photos together immediately. If you’re looking for inspiration, Animoto offers lots of free templates to build upon or you can start from scratch.
Animoto supports drag and drop, making it easy to quickly add the photos and video clips you need. When you’re done, choose from a number of available music tracks or add your own to create a beautiful effect. You can also change the colours and add descriptive fonts to create the perfect storyline.
The beauty of Animoto lies in the simplicity of the actions. You don’t need years of video editing experience to create slideshows that you can share in minutes. If you subscribe to the business or professional plan, you get access to over a million photos and videos that you can use to fill in the gaps.
You can test out the pro features of Animoto with a 14-day trial. The personal plan starts at 5 dollars a month billed annually, while the professional plan goes for 33 dollars a month on an annual subscription. If you’re a business looking for an easy way to mass-produce slideshows and video clips, the Animoto business plan is also available for 49 dollars a month billed annually.
Quick Tips to Create a Slideshow in Animoto
- Visit the Animoto website.
- Create a 14-day trial account or purchase a plan instantly.
- Choose your preferred style from the professional options (or choose a blank slate) and click “Create Video”.
- Drag and drop the images you need for the slideshow into the templates.
- Adjust elements of the slideshow like music, colours, fonts, image arrangement, and a slideshow timer.
- Click “Produce” to generate the slideshow.
- Download or share the created footage.
Click here to begin.
Kizoa offers you the best of slideshow making, movie making and photo editing in one tool. You can easily add your photos and clips to make one slideshow for Facebook or the family’s digital album. By selecting from the plethora of added effects, you can easily transform still images into a moving story of a school, work or momentous occasion in your life.
Kizoa integrates well with the major sharing platforms around. You can share your creations to email, Facebook or YouTube with a single click. It offers support for video downloads in 1080p and full 4K, meaning that you won’t have to contend with the blurry videos and missing pixels of lower quality resolutions. What’s more, there is a wide selection of templates for you to choose from or you can go solo. With Kizoa, everything is up to you.
Kizoa offers collage making functionality, which is great for e-cards. Perhaps you realize that a particular photo needs some extra editing to make it worthy of your slideshow. Not to worry, you can edit the photo right in Kizoa. The basic photo editing function lets you straighten, rotate and crop your photos to the desired dimensions. You can also apply effects like cartoons, watercolor, pop art, and frames to your photos before processing them into a slideshow.
You can test out the features of Kizoa with the free basic plan, though you’re limited to videos of 2-minute length. A lifetime license starts from $29.99, which gives you the ability to create videos of up to 10-minute length and download them in 720p or save them in the cloud up to a maximum of 10GB. If you’re a business or school after unlimited video length, storage and 4K downloads, you can get a commercial license for $299.99.
Kizoa is available on the web or as an app on iOS and Android.
Quick Tips to Create a Slideshow in Kizoa
- Choose your preferred template or begin with a clean slate.
- Upload the images that will make up the slideshow.
- Edit the layout, size and resolution and add desired elements like music animation, text and color.
- Save the slideshow.
- Download or share the slideshow.
Click here to try out Kizoa.
Once you move past the slightly droll interface, you will find Roxio Photoshow a fast and simple slideshow creator stacked with tons of features. It is designed for swift immersion into the slideshow experience — no frills or unnecessary bells and whistles needed. The process is simplified into three steps: upload your photos and videos, and Roxio will generate an automatic slideshow that you can customize to your heart’s content.
Appearances are deceiving. From a distance, Roxio Photoshow might look pretty dated, but plunge in, and you’re in for an amazing ride through the world of slideshow creation. Whether you’re making a picture slide to commemorate a birthday, vacation or graduation, Roxio lets you add tons of stickers and animations plus gives you the choice to add your own music track or select one from the platform’s database of vintage music.
Roxio Photoshow caters to the playback needs of users as well, perhaps far more so than some of the other offerings on the market. You can upload your videos to the cloud and make them available for family and friends to download to their devices with a single click. And you don’t even have to be online to create engaging slideshows. The desktop app on Windows lets you mix music, video and photos offline and save the beautiful multimedia production locally, burn it to a DVD for TV playback or export it to a mobile device.
With Roxio Photoshow, you get a free website containing all your creations, which you can share with everyone. You can also embed your videos to social media sites like Facebook or create a personal channel to view your slides on cable TV. The free version is capable of handling simple slideshows, but most of the premium content has to be unlocked for $99.99 a year.
Quick Tips to Create a Slideshow in Kizoa
- Visit the website and create a free or premium account.
- Add your pictures and videos.
- Customize the automatic template produced for your footage with music, animation, colors, and more.
- Personalize your slideshow settings: you can make your slideshow visible to everybody or make it private and viewable only by yourself.
- Save your slideshow, export it locally or share it with family and friends.
Check out Roxio Photoshow here.
Icecream Slideshow Maker
Icecream Slideshow Maker has been around for a very long time, and it remains one of the best Windows tools for turning your photos into amazing slideshows. The program is designed to get you creating as quickly and easily as possible, and this mission is augmented by a clean interface, devoid of clutter or overpromotion.
With Icecream Slideshow Maker, you can skip the tedium of uploading your images one by one. The folder feature lets you upload the required pictures at a go, making for faster slide creation. The history function, meanwhile, means you can return to your project anytime you like as your work is automatically saved if you go give yourself a breather.
Once you download and install Icecream Slideshow Maker on Windows, you’re faced with a beautiful and clean UI with space devoted solely to what you’re about to create. Once you’ve selected your files, you can do a lot of things to refine the final video into your dream slideshow. You can set the time interval for each image — or adjust it on a per-image basis — and add the desired transition effects. You can also choose your resolution, add the music you want from your local library and set any audio effect. And when you’re done, you get a choice between MP4, MOV and AVI output formats. Simply put, you’re spoilt for choice with Icecream Slideshow Maker.
If you need any more convincing that Icecream Slideshow Maker is a powerhouse tool, the Preview option lets you see how your slideshow will look before you click Create to complete it. You can also burn your creation to DVD and upload it to YouTube, Dropbox or Google Drive.
Icecream Slideshow Maker is free to use. You can purchase a lifetime license to unlock premium features for $19.95.
Click here to download Icecream Slideshow Maker.
Movavi Slideshow Maker
There is a reason Movavi Slideshow Maker often tops the list of the best tools for creating photo slideshows on Windows and macOS computers. Some tools put off professionals with their dated interface and subpar offerings, while others scare novices away with complicated processes. Movavi Slideshow Maker is just perfect for every category of montage-making enthusiasts. It has a professional and elegant look and is very intuitive and easy to use.
Movavi makes finding the right title for your movie a breeze with dozens of title styles whose text you can customize to fit the tenor of your slideshow. Music overlay lets you choose your favourite track, and you can even use multiple tracks for longer videos. The voice-over feature is a nice touch that adds narration, making the slideshow even more intimate and personal.
With Movavi, you’re never going to get the feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing. The collection of sample music, videos and images gives you an idea of what is possible, and transition effects help you smoothen the flow of the images. You can create an old-school feel with vintage filters or pan and zoom individual images to captivating effect.
If you don’t feel like going through the work of starting a slideshow from scratch, the inbuilt montage wizard will automatically create it for you in a few moments. You can export your slideshow in any of the popular video file formats. What’s more, the ability to add subtitles to the video makes Movavi Slideshow Maker the complete package for everyone.
A personal license for Movavi Slideshow Maker costs $39.95, while the business license costs $99.95.
Click here to buy Movavi Slideshow Maker.