I have found the perfect melding of modern technology and old-fashioned genealogy: a PowerPoint family tree on a digital picture frame!
Do I sound super dorky now? I am what I am, so I’ll just go with my dorky self on this one. Here’s the deal. I have worked really hard to get as many family photos as you can. I have talked (sometimes awkwardly!) to great-grandmas and cousins and aunts. I have searched through books and websites. And now I have a stack of wonderful photos!
I put a bunch of these great photos into frames, but I have only so much wall space. Plus, I usually can’t remember who the guy in the top hat is, or the lady standing next to the pigs in the farm house. And if I can’t remember, then other (less genealogically addicted) people in my family definitely can’t remember!
So using PowerPoint, I created a slide show. On each slide is a picture, with the name of the person along the bottom, and snippet of the family tree to show how they fit in the family. Once the PowerPoint slide show was complete, I turned it into an .jpeg image file, which can be displayed on a digital picture frame. I then transferred the images to the digital picture frame, pushed play, and voila! My family tree is easy to see and they aren’t strangers anymore.
And you can do it, too.
What you need:
- Digital Picture Frame (any brand and size)
- Microsoft PowerPoint program on your computer
- Digital photos (including scanned images)
- Sample family tree slideshow (optional)
What to do:
The easy way:
- Download the sample slideshow I created by clicking here and saving it to your computer.
- I used a variety of little tree images in the sample. If you like them all, then just keep all the slides in place to edit. If you want all the slides to have the same tree in the same spot, delete all the slides you don’t like by right-clicking on a slide and selecting “delete slide.” Then right-click on the slide you do like, select “duplicate slide,” and repeat for as many pictures as you want in your slideshow.
- To add your own picture to a slide, delete the sample picture. Click “Insert” near the top left of the screen. Click on the word “Picture” and then select the picture you want to put on the slide. Click and hold one of the white circles in the corner of your picture and drag it to the size you want the picture to be (ONLY use a corner circle, not a side circle, or else your picture will get distorted). Click on the picture and drag it into the position you want.
- To edit the names on the slide, click on any text. Delete the text and retype your own names.
- If the arrows in the tree on the side no longer sit in the right place, just click and hold the arrow and drag it to where you want it to be.
- To change the style or color of the arrows, right click on them and select “Format Shape.”
- Arrange your slides
- Once you have all the slides you want in your digital picture frame, you can put them in any order you like. On the left hand side of the screen, click and hold a slide you want to move, then drag it to the spot you want.
Prepare your slideshow for the digital picture frame
- To make your slides show up on the frame, you will need to change them into images. First, save your slideshow to your computer by clicking File and Save. Choose where you want to save it on your computer, give the file a name, and click Save. Keeping a version of your slideshow as a powerpoint file (.ppt) will let you edit it in the future and add slides if you like.
- Now save a second version of it for your frame. Click File and Save As. Underneath the file name, click on the “Save as type,” (see the image below). You will get a drop down list of options. Select JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg). Click Save.
- By saving this way, you will get a series of images named Image1.jpg, Image2.jpg, Image3.jpg, and so on. These are the files you will need to put on your digital picture frame.
- Using the method given in the instructions for your digital picture frame, put all the images onto your frame. Click play (or whatever your frame tells you to do). Voila!