Photo Story 3
By Dick Evans
PowerPoint is a popular application amongst faculty. We use it to create presentation to
supplement our lectures. They are easy to create and add a colorful visual component to
our talk. Most textbook companies provide pre-made slide decks for each textbook
including a number of illustrations from the book. Some use these as is and others use
them as a starting point to develop their own. Those using WebCT often post the
PowerPoint slide decks on a WebCT lecture or content page for students to review after
In a nutshell, Photo Story 3 is application which allows you to create a slide presentation
made entirely of pictures. You may include narration and animate the pictures. This does
not replace a PowerPoint slide deck. However, the files generated by Photo Story 3 are
remarkably small in size making them a good fit with WebCT.
Here is what Microsoft has to say about Photo Story 3
Bring your digital photos to life with Photo Story 3 for Windows. Create slideshows using
your digital photos. With a single click, you can touch-up, crop, or rotate pictures. It's
that easy! Add stunning special effects, soundtracks, and your own voice narration to
your photo stories. Then, personalize them with titles and captions. Small file sizes make
it easy to send your photo stories in an e-mail. Watch them on your TV, a computer, or a
Windows Mobile–based portable device.
Before installing Photo Story 3, make sure your machine meets the requirements to
install. These can be found on the Microsoft site. 1 Basically, if you are running Windows
XP Photo Story 3 should install and work.
You will also need speakers connected and a microphone.
Most notebook computers come with both. Many desktops in a
business environment are missing speakers including faculty
offices. However, even if you have both the speakers and the
microphone, I suggest obtaining a headset with a boom
microphone. You will find two types; one has two plugs to
plug into your sound card found somewhere in the back of
your machine. These are often difficult to get to and may not
be setup. I suggest finding one that plugs into a USB port.
Windows XP will install it automatically and you probably
have a front USB port to plug into.
I am using The Logitech Premium USB Headset model 356A 2
Obtaining the Software
Photo Story 3 is a free download from Microsoft. 3
I suggest saving it to a folder in My Documents called downloads or on your desktop.
When the download is complete, locate the file in your chosen folder and double-click to
begin the installation process.
If you see this dialog box, click Run
Accept the terms, and then click Next
Click Next to install to the default folder under Program Files
Wait a few minutes while the application installs
Photo Story 3 is now installed and ready to use
Getting Started with Photo Story 3
Gather your pictures and script for your narration and plug in your headset. You are ready
to create your first Photo Story.
Start > All Programs > Photo Story 3 for Windows
Begin a new story > Next
Click Import Pictures…
Select the pictures, and then click OK
You can move the pictures on the film strip to arrange them in the correct order. When
all pictures have been added, click Next
If you did not use the Remove black borders… button on the previous screen, this
warning box gives you the option of doing so now. Click Yes.
Add titles to each picture, if desired. They text will appear over the pictures. You can
change the look of the picture by using an Effect. This is way to create a title slide or
even add PowerPoint like text to slides.
Let’s use the Back button to add a second RIC slide.
Next to return to the Add Title window and create a title slide using the tools on the page
like Font and Effect
Click Next to continue
If you have not checked out your headset, click the picture of the microphone and the
wizard will walk you through a procedure to make sure you can both record and playback
When ready, with your script in hand, click the record button (button with the small red
circle) and begin speaking. To move from one slide to another, click on the next picture.
When done, press the stop button (the black square to the right of the record button)
When finished, click the first slide on the film strip, and then click Preview to watch the
By right-clicking each slide, you can add various effects to the pictures. Right-click the
Click Custom Motion > Transition…
Create Transitions for each slide, saving each one. When finished and previewed, click
Close, then on the main window, click Next
If desired you may add background music, then click Next
I suggest saving for playback on your computer. If you do not want to save in you’re my
Videos folder, Browse to the desired location. The default is full screen viewing. You can
save disk space and download time by clicking Settings… and reducing the video size.
Your Story is built
Click View your story to see the finished product.
You have successfully created a Photo Story, but you have not saved the project. The end
product can not be modified. You must save the project to be able to modify and recreate
the end product
Click Save Project…
Locate a or create a folder in which to save the project, then click Save
The project file is saved
Click Exit to leave Photo Story 3
The resulting file is larger than a narrated PowerPoint slide deck. Most of the time is due
to the narration. However, the file generated is a .wmv file playable in any machine
having Windows Media Player. PowerPoint is not needed.
Click to play the generated movie file
By choosing email, the file size is reduced to 740k. The audio quality is not as good and
the picture is smaller. However, this is good fit for WebCT. It gets the material to the
student in a smaller file—they see the slides and hear the narration.