BATCH IMPORT images into PowerPoint
How can I batch import lots of pictures into PowerPoint?
If you have PowerPoint XP (2002) or higher you can choose Insert, Picture, From File and select multiple picture files. When you click OK, they'll all be inserted at one time onto the current slide.
But more likely you want one picture per slide. And it'd be nice if PowerPoint would insert new slides, one per image, right? Right. So read on ...
You get to the Photo Album feature in different ways, depending on the version of PowerPoint you have:
- PowerPoint 2007 or 2010: click the Insert tab then choose Photo Album.
- PowerPoint 2002 or 2003: choose Insert, Picture, New Photo Album.
- PowerPoint 2000, use the free Microsoft Photo Album add-in for PowerPoint 2000.
- PowerPoint 97 and Mac PowerPoint versions don't have the Photo Album feature.
But before using Photo Albums, read this.
If the Photo Album feature isn't available for your version of PowerPoint or Photo Albums don't meet your needs for some other reason, there are other ways of inserting lots of photos quickly.
- MVP Shyam Pillai has written an incredibly useful, full-featured Image Importer Wizard that lets you do virtually any sort of batch image import you might want. And if it doesn't, he's probably added the feature since I wrote this, so now it does.
- Pixerter, once listed here, seems to have disappeared.
Mac Office MVP Jim Gordon's Insert Picture for 2011 PowerPoint add-in is now available for purchase. This tool can import a folder's worth of pictures into PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.
Jim has similar tools for earlier Mac PowerPoint versions:
Roll your own: PC or Mac
If you're of the tinkering persuasion, you can build your own importer. This will get you started:
Batch Insert a folder full of pictures, one per slide
Roll your own: Mac (with a little help from PowerPoint)
You can use the Automator application that came with your Mac. PowerPoint 2011 includes some pre-made Automator Actions that'll help with this.
- Open Automator (it's in your Applications folder).
- When Automator opens, you'll see a "Choose a template for your workflow" dialog. Click "Application" then click "Choose".
- In the search box next to "Variables" type "Ask for Finder Items"
- Drag "Ask for Finder Items" to the right, into the workflow area.
- Put a check next to "Allow Multiple Selection" in the "Ask for Finder items" item you just added
- Go back to the "Variables" search box and type "Create PowerPoint Picture Slide Shows". Add that item to the workflow.
- Choose File | Save. Give the Automator application a name and save it to any convenient location. The desktop is a good place to start.
- Double click the application, choose the pictures you want to use and click Choose
The PhotoAlbum feature in PowerPoint 2002/2003 is free and offers a few features that the other suggestions above don't.
Hugely useful feature: if you apply animation effects to the inserted pictures then decide to use a different picture, you only have to right-click, choose Format, and choose another picture for the picture fill. The animations won't be lost. This also means that you can create one slide with complex animations and one or more images applied as rectangle fills, then dupe the slide and simply change the picture fill on the rectangles to create additional slides with the same animations.
But there are also a few drawbacks you should be aware of:
Photo Albums don't import pictures as pictures. Instead, they create rectangles or other shapes, then fill them with pictures. This can cause other problems later (picture links break, you can't crop the pictures and PowerPoint can't compress the pictures the way it can with pictures inserted from file.)
If you use PhotoAlbum in PowerPoint 200 through 2003, don't link to your images. The links will almost surely break if you move the presentation, and the link's can't be repaired.
Photo Albums in PowerPoint 2007/2010 insert pictures rather than picture-filled shapes, and even if you choose the Link option when inserting the pictures,it ignores you and embeds them (!) so none of the warnings above apply.
If you later need to compress images inserted this way, there's a macro here that'll help: