Dec 102009

So you have some beautiful photos of your summer travels (after improving them with Picasa’s edit tools!) and you know how to play a slide show – even to accompany it with some music – but you need some section headings for each portion of your travels.  Like ‘Drive through Vermont’ and ‘Boston Harbor cruise’ and ‘Cathy’s Wedding.’  How do you do that with Picasa?

If you want to get fancy with artwork, gradient backgrounds, and curved text – you need something other than Picasa.  I recommend something like Powerpoint.  You create the slide in Powerpoint, then export it as a .jpg picture file and Picasa can use it like any other picture.

But, if you just want a Cover slides and some occasional titles, Picasa’s Collage and text features can fit the bill quite nicely.

I have a lot of pictures from our stays at the Thousand Trails parks around the US.  To make a cover slide for them, I’ll select several of the photos and then click on ‘Collage.’  Using the picture pile style, I’ll arrange the photos leaving plenty of space for the Title.


After creating the collage, I add text using the Text tool.  That’s a pretty nice cover slide for my slide show.


Now I want some simpler title slides for the rest of the show.  I just want a blank background, no pictures.  If you understand Picasa, you know that it *only* works with pictures.  So, we have to trick it into making a ‘picture’ with no pictures!  Once again, we start with a collage.

Select one picture in your library – any old picture – because we’re just going to get rid of it.  Then click Collage.  If you use the Picture Pile type of collage you know that you can move a picture anywhere on the slide … you can even drag it off the slide altogether!  That leaves you with a blank background.  And, you can make the background be any color you like with the Background options on the left.


When you ‘Create’ this collage – you get a blank picture that you can now add text to.  Pretty slick.  Now you can arrange your pictures and your titles all in an album for a great slide show!


This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

If you want to add narration to your slide show we highly recommend the free program from Microsoft called Photo Story 3.  Geeks on Tour has several ‘Show-Me-How’ videos on Photo Story.

If you need to learn Picasa, the best way is with the bookBeginner’s Guide to Picasa 3.5  it includes Show-Me-How videos.

  5 Responses to “Cover Slides and Collages”

  1. […] picture – you need to get even more creative.  I use the technique in a recent tip about Cover Slides and Collages to create the second frame.  The video below shows you how I do it.  If this video is a […]

  2. I am trying to do this ‘cover slide & collages’. I made up the collage but can’t work out how you put the text in there. I know about the text tool for individual photos but can’t work out the text for the collage.



  3. That is just TOO COOL! I love how you make the program work for you and I’ll be sure to use this tip in my next presentation. I’ve gotten to the point that I use Picasa instead of PowerPoint because of PowerPoint’s screen capture tool.

  4. I have read tip on setting up automatic updates. Mine is set up that way and I still can’t updates even if I tell it to check for updates. I have version 3 and I want to go to version 3.5. I am concerned about doing this because I can’t do it by clicking the button and I am lost and don’t know how to do it.

    I would like to make a copy of version 3 before I download the new version to the desk top. I don’t know what I am doing so I need a backup of the program in case I blow something up. Is this covered in your book? If I get the new version will that solve the updating problem?

    Thanks for your help.

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