Create a slideshow from Google Photos or Google Drive

Learn how to display a set of images from Google Photos or Drive with Chrome or iOS or Android apps.

Illustration: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

If your images are in Google Photos or a folder on Google Drive, you can view some of these images in different ways. Each method makes different control levels possible. With not every option you can, for example, control the timing of automatic scrolling or play specific music or audio files with specific images. One of the following options helps you create a slideshow of images.

SEE: G Suite: tips and tricks for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Create a slideshow from a Google Photos album in a browser

Google Photos offers a slideshow option from a web browser. If you share a Google Photos album and allow other people to add photos, this can be a great way to view photos of different people.

To view a Google Photos album as a slide show, first create an album and add photos. Then with the album active, select the vertical menu with three points and choose Slide show (Figure A). The images are automatically forwarded every five seconds. An on-screen display contains controls for pause, back and forward. If you want to display images in a different order, you can adjust the layout of the images in the album.

Figure A

With an album open in Google Photos on the web, select the vertical menu with three dots in the upper right corner and then choose Slide Show.

Make a movie with Google Photos

With the web and mobile apps of Google Photos (Android and iOS) you can make a movie with photos and / or videos. To create a movie in mobile apps, select the three-dot menu in the upper right corner and then choose Movie. To make a movie from Google Photos in a browser, select the + Create option (to the right of the photo search box), and then choose Movie. Select up to 50 photos and / or videos to include in your movie (Figure B). After selecting your images, adjust the slider next to each item to change the duration on the screen of each item, if you want.

Your movie can also contain music. You can choose the stock music offered in the app or select and add your own audio file. Of course you can also choose the No music option.

Figure B

In Google, select Photos in your browser + Create and then Film in Google Photos and then choose a maximum of 50 images or videos. The process works in the same way from the menu with three dots (top right) in the Google Photos mobile apps.

How to select and view images with Chrome OS Gallery

If you use a Chromebook or other Chrome OS devices, the Files app includes a gallery function with a slideshow option. To access, open the Files app, which has a white folder with a blue background as an icon and then Ctrl-clicks on one or more images to select a set.

When finished, right-click and choose Open with Gallery from the options. Wait a moment until the selected images appear in the Gallery. Then select the rectangle with an arrow pointing to the right (in the upper right corner) to display the images as a slide show (Figure C). Just like in the Google Photos app, the images are automatically forwarded every five seconds. You can also choose to pause or select right or left arrows to scroll through the images.

Figure C

On a Chromebook or Chrome OS device, use Ctrl-click to select images, then right-click and choose Open with Gallery, as shown on the left. In the Gallery (right), choose the slide show icon (top right corner).

Create a slideshow with Google Presentations

You can use Google Presentations for more precise checking. Although it takes a little more work to add each of your images to a separate slide, the timing options may be worth it. While Google Photos and Chrome OS Gallery both continue automatically every five seconds, Slides automatically offers walk-through options of 1 minute or 2, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes. To enable automatic forwarding, select Present in slides on the web, and then choose the gear (for settings). Choose Auto-Advance (when played) and then select a timing option (Figure D). You can also enable the Loop option to scroll through the slides until it is stopped manually.

With Google Presentations you can also insert audio into individual slides, with different controls. For more information, see the “Inserting audio in Google Presentations” section in Using Enhanced Google Presentations for Presentations.

Figure D

You can also add images in Google Presentations. After you select Present from slides in a browser, select the gear (for settings), then Auto-Advance (when played), and then choose how many seconds each image will display.

How to make a slideshow with mobile apps

Third-party apps for Android and iOS give you more control over auto-advance image pacing than Google’s own photos, gallery or slides. On iOS devices, SoloSlides ($ 1.99) allows you to select a Google Photos album for your slideshow and specify almost any time for automatic advance. On Android, pFolio ($ 3.99) includes a slideshow option for Google Photos albums, where gFolio ($ 3.99) displays images from a folder that you choose on Google Drive (Figure E).

For precise control over all aspects of images and music, you can turn to your desired video editing app, such as Adobe Premiere Rush, Apple Clips, iMovie, KineMaster or LumaFusion, among many others.

Figure E

Third-party mobile apps offer extra options. With SoloSlides on iOS (two images on the left) and pFolio on Android (two images on the right) you can not only choose different options for automatic progress timing, but also adjust various other slide show settings.

What is your experience?

What is your preferred method for creating a slideshow with images in Google Photos or Google Drive? Do you prefer photos from a Google Photos album or do you prefer a method that allows you to automatically adjust lead times? If you prefer an alternative app for slide shows, share it too – in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

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