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Picture and Video Assistant for Microsoft Excel
An add-in product for Microsoft Excel

FREE - Download Now
No purchase ever required.

If you have thousands of pictures and videos collected over the years, sooner or later you will get the urge to is show the pictures.  One way is to stand around a computer and do slide shows.  This works, sort of.  Often the files are not in the right sequence, or you are jumping from one folder to another.  And each video has to be opened separately.  We decided there had to be a better way!

The Picture and Video Assistant is our solution to the problem.  Use the Picture and Video Assistant and do the following:

  • Create a list of all the pictures and videos.
  • Randomly assign the files to video folders - this way you get a sample on each video!
  • Copy the files for a video folder to its folder
    • Use the option to add the date to the front of each copied file's name - this is a crucial step!!! If this is not done, then the pictures and videos will be put in the alphabetical, not chronological order!
    • Don't copy all files to all the video folders!  Do just one at a time and then do the next step

At this point, you can copy the files to a USB drive and play on your TV.  Most TVs now have slide show capability.  Or, if you have Roku unit, it accepts USB drives. And most DVD players accept USB drives.

One of the problems with the above approach is videos can not be played in a slide show. They must be played one at a time. So, we found a solution for that! We use a video creator program that combines pictures and videos into just one large HD MP4 video that can be played back on your TV.   There are two programs. Our current favorite is Movie Maker. But PicturesToExe is far more powerful.

Microsoft's free Movie Maker program does an excellent job of creating slide shows from pictures and videos.  We actually like it a bit more than than others because it is very easy to use, and much easier to pick out the transitions and change for all. Plus, did we say it is free and easy to use? 

  • One caution:  When you install, do the custom install as the install program wants to install a lot of other Microsoft programs that you may not want.

Back in 2012 when we were looking for software to combine pictures and videos, we had found only one video creator program that worked well:  PicturesToExe.  All others took 2-3X longer, crashed, were too complex, or could not combine pictures and videos in one video. One must purchase PicturesToExe.  Full disclosure: we do not receive any payment if you buy

To use either program:

  • Use Picture and Video Assistant to copy your files you want in a video to an output folder and have it put the date and time in front of the file name (see instructions above)
  • Select the files that were copied to the output folder (files must have a date in front so they appear in the right order in the video). 
  • Set your transition and motions.  To set for all images, select an image and press CTL-A. This will select all images  
  • One caution - If you change the duration of your images all at once from the default to a different time length in PicturesToEXE, this will truncate the length of all videos :((.   With Movie Maker, you can select all and change the duration and it only changes the time on the pictures.  Big plus for Movie Maker
  • Create the output you want.

The Picture and Video Assistant gives you a ton of options. You can:

  • View the pictures and videos
  • Rename files - individually or in batch mode
  • Change the date and time on your files.
  • Re-date files in case you have edited them.
  • Delete files
  • Open the containing folder to do serious editing!

Best of all, it is FREE for ever.

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