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How to Create a Slideshow in Photos on Your Mac

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Slideshows convert your still images and video clips into an engaging and dynamic movie with sounds, effects, and transitions. If you have photos and videos that you want to turn into a slideshow, you can use the Photos app on your Mac to make one. You can even automatically generate one with a few clicks.

We’ll show you how to make slideshows on your Mac below. There are two main methods for doing so, one of them is quick and easy while the other lets you make more changes to get the slideshow exactly how you want it.

Creating Slideshows Using Photos

Your Mac has a built-in slideshow creator embedded in the Photos app. This feature allows you to turn a group of photos and videos into a slideshow with just a few clicks.

The app creates two kinds of slideshows: instant slideshows and slideshow projects. Unfortunately, any slideshows you export will still be in M4V format, which means you may struggle to watch them on non-Apple devices unless you use another app to convert them to another format.

Related: How to Play, View, and Manage Memories in Photos on Your Mac

How to Create an Instant Slideshow on Your Mac

Automatically generated, instant slideshows allow you to play a slideshow of photos and clips taken on a specific day without compiling them yourself. However, it only allows you to choose the music and theme, without options for further customization.

To play an instant slideshow:

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac, then click Library under Photos on the sidebar.
  2. Click Days or All Photos on the toolbar, then select the photos and videos you want to include in your slideshow.
  3. Go to the menu bar, select File > Play Slideshow.
  4. A popup window will appear. Select the theme and the music you want for your slideshow. A preview window will show you how the theme will look like. You can select music from the Music app or use the chosen theme’s music. You can deselect the music by clicking it again.
  5. Click Play Slideshow.
Play Instant Slideshow on Mac Photos

While watching, you can skip forward and backward in the slideshow by pressing the arrow keys, use space to pause, and hit the X key or Escape to stop playing the slideshow.

How to Create a Slideshow Project on Your Mac

If you want to have more control over the slideshow’s content, creating a slideshow project is better than an instant slideshow. Similar to the instant slideshow, you can choose your theme and music. But on top of these, you can also adjust the duration of your slideshow and add captions to images.

Moreover, unlike instant slideshows, you can export your slideshow projects as a movie file to be played and shared with your friends elsewhere. You can send and play your slideshow on any Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.

Related: The Best Mac Image Viewer Apps With Unique Features

To create a new slideshow project:

  1. Head to Photos, then select all the photos and clips you want to add to your slideshow. You can change this later.
  2. Go to the menu bar and select File > Create > Slideshow > Photos.
  3. A popup will appear. Beside the Slideshow option, select New Slideshow if you want to create a new slideshow. Type in a name for your new slideshow. Otherwise, click the dropdown menu and browse your available slideshows to add your selected photos to an existing slideshow.
  4. A new project will open. At the bottom of the window, you’ll see a strip of images and videos. Reorder them to your liking by dragging into position.
  5. On the side of the window, you’ll see three buttons: Themes, Music, and Duration. Use these to change the various options for your slideshow.
  6. Once done, hit Preview to watch the slideshow in the preview window and click Play to view it in full screen.

Create Slideshow Project in Photos on Mac

Customizing Slideshow Projects on a Mac

Here are what you can do with the various slideshow buttons:

  • Themes: Choose from seven available themes, like Magazine and Origami. The transitions, font, and text position vary per theme.
  • Music: You can opt to use the theme music or select your favorite track from your Music library. Drag the songs to modify their sequence and starting time. If you don’t see anything listed under the Music library, exit Photos, then open the Music app and make sure that you’re signed in.
  • Duration: Tick Fit to Music so that your slideshow will keep on playing until the music ends. Select Custom if you want to specify your slideshow’s duration. You can also customize your slideshow’s transitions. Just tick the Transition box and select the transitions you want, then choose the direction of the transition. Tick Scale Photos to Fit Screen to ensure that your clips and images fit the screen.

Slideshow buttons

Changing the Photos and Videos in Mac Slideshow Projects

Adding and removing content from your slideshow project is easy. Just select any content you wish to remove and press the Delete key.

To add a photo or a clip, click the Add (+) button at the bottom-right of the window, click Add Photos, select the images from your library that you want to add to your slideshow, and click the Add (+) button.

Add Photos Option on Slideshow on Mac

You can also add text to the clips and images on your slideshow. Select a photo or clip, then click the Add (+) button > Add Text. A Default Text will appear on your image. Just replace it with your chosen caption for the image.

Adding Text on Your Slideshow on Mac

Create Slideshows in a Jiffy

With Photos on Mac, you don’t have to be a pro to create a professional-looking slideshow. Sit back and cherish fond memories in an instant, or curate the best photos for special events that you can share with your friends and family.

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