6 ways to show off your best photos on Mac

If you want to show your photos, as a Mac user, you have several options. And luckily you don't have to pay a cent for most of them. Whether you're organizing something for the local photo club, throwing a party, or visiting family - the following options will make your photos shine.

Quick Look

This free method provides a bare-bones slideshow, with no control over display length, transitions, captions, or music (although you could always use iTunes to run music in the background).

Select in the finder the files you want to view - Command-A to select all photos in an open folder of course, and Command-Shift to select consecutive files and Command-click for non-consecutive files. You can also drag within a Finder window to select multiple photos (start dragging on the left or right side of the file names).

Then press the spacebar to enlarge the first photo and then go to full screen mode by clicking the double arrow icon at the top right of the new window (circled). In the dark toolbar that appears, click on the playbutton or use the arrow keys to scroll through the show.


Like QuickView, you can't customize a Preview slideshow, but it gets the job done quickly (and for free). Open preview and choose File > Open. In the dialog box that appears, select multiple photos, or a folder of photos, and click Open (you can also transfer a folder or files to the preview drag icon in you dock or Applications folder). Once the images open in a single document, choose View > Slideshow or press Shift-Command-F; the slideshow will then play automatically.


iPhoto's slideshows offer great control over themes (visual animation style), presentation duration, music, transitions, captions, and more. To get started, select some photos in iPhoto, or better yet, select an album because then you can choose the order of the photos. Click for a direct slideshow on the slideshow button in the iPhoto toolbar, and in the panel that appears, choose a theme, music, and so on. click on play to start the show, and move the mouse to make a toolbar appear on the screen. In the faces view, you can start an instant slideshow by pressing Control click clicking on a Faces album and Play Slideshow from the shortcuts menu.

However, you can also create a saved slideshow by selecting an album or multiple photos and File > New Slideshow to choose. Saved slideshows appear as clickable icons in your source list, so you can edit them endlessly now or later. You can even set different transitions and speeds for each slide. Saved slideshows can be synced to iOS devices by exporting them in iPhoto as a QuickTime movie, linking your iOS device to your Mac, and then Include Videos to enable in the photos tab of iTunes before you start syncing (see the Apple TV section below for more).

Screen Saver

Choose in the apple menu on your Mac System Preferences and click it Desktop & Screen Saver icon. In the window that pops up, click on the Screen Saver tab, then one of the fourteen themes in the list on the left. When you do that, a source menu under the theme preview; choose Photo Library (it will take a few minutes for everything to be in this menu) and then a new panel will appear on the left with your iPhoto stuff. Click on an album to see which photos it contains, and click Choose. Back in the Desktop & Screen Saver window will play a mini version of your new screensaver on the right.

Mac to Apple TV

If you have an Apple TV, you can use it to show off your photos in an impressive way on your TV. If you have an iCloud account, sign in to it on your Apple TV, and choose iCloud Photos or Photo Stream in the main menu. If you don't have iCloud, open iTunes on your Mac and choose File> Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing (for iTunes 10.7 and earlier, choose Advanced > Turn On Home Sharing). Enter your Apple ID and password, and choose File > Home Sharing > Choose Photos to Share with Apple TV.

The iTunes window changes to display a list of your albums, Events, and Faces albums. Make sure the box is at Share Photos from is checked, then use the buttons to share your photos - from iPhoto or images stored in a folder on your hard drive. Switch Include videos to include exported iPhoto slideshows as well, and click Apply. Choose on Apple TV Settings > Computers > Turn On Home Sharing. Enter your Apple ID, and choose from the iTunes libraries listed (which can be from multiple Macs) what you want to see; as long as the Mac containing the shared library is turned on and iTunes is running you should be fine.

iPhone or iPad to Apple TV

With an iOS device and an Apple TV on the same wireless network, you can project the screen of your iOS device onto your TV. First, take your iOS device and swipe up from the bottom of your screen. Tap the AirPlay icon (circled) and choose the Apple TV you want to project onto from the list. Switch mirroring and press Done. Now the screen of your iOS device will appear on your TV.

To play a slideshow, open the photos app and press an album. On an iPad you have to press the slideshow button that appears at the top right. On an iPhone, you need to tap a photo in the album and then tap the Share icon that appears at the bottom left. Then press the slideshow button that appears at the bottom (circled) and choose a display device from the next screen. click on Start Slideshow to see all the photos in the album.

Of course, you can also use iMovie ($13.99), Keynote ($17.99; though the handy SmartBuild feature is gone in version 6), or other third-party tools. If you have more advanced image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop (use it Automate > PDF Presentation command), Photoshop Elements (use the organizer), Bridge (use it View > Slideshow command), and Lightroom (use the pro-level slideshow module), you can also create beautiful slideshows. And once your slideshow has been exported to QuickTime or PDF format, you can use iTunes file sharing to put a full-resolution version on your iOS device.

Recent Posts

$config[zx-auto] not found$config[zx-overlay] not found