Using Powerpoint to create a photo collage for YLF

EDIT: PDF document for this tutorial now available on scribd. Click here for the PDF version of the below

Due to some requests on the forum on how I put my photo collages together, here’s a tutorial. My big secret? I use Powerpoint. This is good news because most of you probably have Powerpoint!

1. Upload photos
Upload photos to your computer from your camera, iPhone or external device.

2. Edit photos
Use a photo editing software such as Photoshop, or Picasa (a free download from Google – click here to download it) to correct light levels etc. if necessary. Mine are usually a little dark so I need to bring up the light in them. Don’t worry about cropping pictures here as you’ll get a chance to do this in Powerpoint.

3. Create Powerpoint
Open a new Powerpoint file. Click anywhere on the slide and hold down Ctrl+A to select the existing content areas in the slide and hit Delete so you have a completely blank slide.

4. Insert pictures
Go to Insert >> Picture. Browse to the directory where your pics are located. Double-click on the image you wish to add to your collage. Repeat this process, adding all the pics you want to display in your YLF collage one by one.

Note: if you have lots of images, you may need to group them on 2-3 different slides. I use a different slide for each collage. You can upload heaps of images on YLF so this is fine.

5. Get creative!
Arrange your pics as you please to fit on the slide.
You might want to crop the size (to cut out unnecessary bits), resize them (to fit around each other). You can arrange them any way you like! Be creative!
a. To crop: Select the pic, then click on >>Format in the editing bar at the top of the window. At the right-hand side of the editing bar, click >>Crop. You can then crop the image by dragging the black tabs that appear on the sides of your pic.

b. To resize: Select the pic, and drage the small circles at the corners to adjust the size. If you want to get them all even and get even spaces between pics the way I do, you may need to spend a little time adjusting them this way to get them to all fit together nicely.

6. Add a frame
I usually add a black or white background to my pictures to make them stand out more and provide a solid background when I save the collage as an image.

a. To add rectangle for frame: Click on >>Home, and then from the Drawing toolbar select the Rectangle icon. Draw a large rectangle to cover the entire lot of pics, extending the shape out past the edges of the pics.

b. Colour the rectangle: From the Drawing toolbar select >>Shape Fill and select black, white, or whatever colour takes your fancy. Then select >>Shape Outline and select the same colour as you picked for the fill.

c. Move frame behind pictures: Select the rectangle, right-click and click on >>Send to Back. In Powerpoint 2003 you may need to click on >>Order then >>Send To Back. This should move the new frame behind your pictures.

d. Adjust the edges of the frame so there’s an even space around all the pics.

7. Group the pictures
Now, click anywhere on the slide. Hold down Ctrl+A to select everything on the slide (all pics, and the frame). Right-click and select >>Group. This should group the images together as one.

8. Save as a picture
Right-click on the newly grouped block and select >>Save as Picture. Type a name to save the image file as. From the Save as Type drop-down, select jpeg. I find this file type uploads more quickly to YLF.

9. Upload your new collage to YLF!
To do this you simply add pictures as you would normally do using the Photo Upload feature.

Hope this helped. Of course, do be creative and come up with your own ways too! There's heaps of effects options in Powerpoint 2007/2010. You can add your own colours, add a stripy background, make your background reflect the colours in your outfits...whatever takes your fancy.

If you need clarification of any of the points just let me know.