PDF Slide Shows From Photoshop Elements

I just realized that it has been some time since I have posted anything. I get involved with so many projects time flies by. Recently, I have been rediscovering PDF slide shows that can be produced from the Slide Show Editor in Photoshop Elements. I use the Slide Show Editor a lot, but generally use it as the first step for making a DVD for TV viewing.

Normally I do not output the PSE slide show to a PDF file. Reading their basic restrictions stated in the Slide Show Editor’s Output Command basically turned me off. They do not support video files, pan and zoom, and some transitions. It finally registered that there was no mention of music not being supported. I often include background music in my slide shows and generally don’t associate a PDF file with music. Well, apparently the PDF file has gained a lot of additional versatility over the years. 

I have been experimenting with various formats and picture sharing sites to display some photos from a camping trip last summer. I decided to give the PDF file slide show a try. After the completing the slide show, click on the OUTPUT button as shown in the figure below. Then select PDF in the dialog box.


The image size in the PDF file can range from 640×480 up to 1600×1200 pixels. I have tried 800x 600 and 640×480. The 800×600 size looks good on a monitor set for 1024×768 when displayed full screen. The 640×480 is somewhat soft. My particular show included about 40 images with background music and runs for four and one-half minutes. The 800×600 pixel version had a file size of 15.3 Mb, while the smaller one required 12.4 Mb. You probably want to keep the file size down to less than 10 Mb if you are planning on emailing your slide show, and that is assuming they have a high speed Internet connection and are interested in seeing your presentation.

To me the big advantage of saving and distributing slide shows in PDF format is that almost everyone has the capability to view your show, even if they are using a Mac. Also, if you post the file you can easily move it from one host to another. Right-Click here to download and view the 800×600 version of my PDF slide show. Or you can left-click on the the link to view it online. Doing it this way, the first image will display and the music will begin to play. But you will have to click your mouse button to advance the images.

All recent versions of Photoshop Elements support saving slide shows in PDF format. You may need to update your free Adobe Reader (formally Acrobat Reader) to hear the music etc. I will be using this output more and more in the future. Give it a try. I think you will like it also.

Until next time – hopefully not long.


2 thoughts on “PDF Slide Shows From Photoshop Elements

  1. the problem, however, is that if you output to pdf, any transition timings with music are lost. the most common answer on the net regarding this problem is to use another slide show program. unfortunately when you have spent days melding music tracks together and then synchronizing 120 slides, you really don’t feel like repeating the process with another program…. hoping i can burn successfully to dvd and the transitions will be maintained on that….


    • You are asolutely right, Marg. The PDF file slide show output by PSE is generally too restrictive for my needs. It does come in handy on those occasions that I want to put a simple slide show together quickly.

      I generally take my slide shows ultimately to a DVD in wide screen format. I generally start with PSE, but often will use multiple programs on the way to the final DVD, including Premiere Elements 7, MS Photo Story 3 (great for hi-resolution pan/zoom effects), and Movie Maker 6 (Vista version). I also use Vista’s DVD Maker. Whenever a want to do a bit more editing of the background music, my program of choice is Cool Edit 2000. You can see by the name how long I’ve been using this program, which is no longer available. I have and use Audacity, but don’t know it as well.

      I have found that once you venture into video editing, which prodicing a slide show is in reality, no one program fits my needs. It does make the process a bit more challengingand fun if you want to do all the things you would like.



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