How to Create a Slideshow with Music and Effects
[Windows & Mac]

To create a slideshow, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download and install the program.
  2. Select a working mode.
  3. Create an amazing slideshow automatically or manually.
  4. Save the result.

By clicking the download button, you're downloading a trial version of the program.*

Edited by Ben Jacklin
16 103

Knowing how to create a slideshow is an important skill for both personal and professional reasons. On the personal side, knowing how to make a photo slideshow can help you show off photos to family and friends. In the professional world, knowing how to create a slideshow can be useful for people in many different lines of work, from teachers to marketing experts. This guide will show you how to make a slideshow with music and effects using a trusted slideshow maker app.

How to make a slideshow with Movavi Slideshow Maker

Movavi Slideshow Maker is a handy program that enables you to turn your photo albums into stunning movies. It’s a powerful and easy-to-use tool for making and editing your own slideshows in no time. Download the program and follow the simple steps below to learn how to make a picture slideshow with Movavi Slideshow Maker.

Step 1. Install the application

Open the executable file and install Movavi Slideshow Maker, following the on-screen instructions.

Step 2. Choose your working mode

There are two ways to work with Movavi Slideshow Maker. Choose Slideshow Wizard and the program will guide you through making a photo movie in a few easy steps. Choose Create a movie in manual mode to take control of the creative process with lots of adjustable settings and options. Make your selection and proceed to the next step.

Step 3. Make your slideshow

Easy mode

Step 3.1. Upload photos

In the Files tab, click the Add Files button and choose the images to include in your slideshow. Once you’ve added the images, you can change the order in which they appear by dragging them around; you can also remove slides by clicking the appropriate icon on each image.

Step 3.2. Choose a theme (optional)

To save time when creating your slideshow, you can choose a ready-made theme (for example, Family, Love Story, etc.). Each theme includes custom transitions, captions and music track – you don’t need to select them manually. You can preview each theme just by clicking on it. To continue on with your chosen theme, click Next аnd move to Step 3.3. To make your own choice of music, caption, and transition style, choose No Theme, click Next, and go to the next step.

Step 3.3 Add music

Open the Music tab. Click Add Files to upload the music of your choice. You can also use one of the built-in audio files.

Step 3.4. Preview your slideshow

Open the Preview tab. Here, in the corresponding drop-down tabs, you can add opening and end titles, adjust your video to the duration of the music, and remove unwanted black sidebars from your video. Play your slideshow in the preview window by clicking the appropriate icon.

When you're ready to save your photo movie, go to the Export tab, click Save the video and go to step 4 below.

Manual mode

Step 3.1. Import files

Click Add Files and select the pictures you want to use in your slideshow. You can add not only photos, but also any video fragments that you find useful. All the clips you add will be automatically transferred to the timeline. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop your files into the working area.

Step 3.2. Add transitions

Continue creating your slideshow by adding stylish transitions between the frames to create a flow for your movie – there are dozens to choose from. Go to the Transitions tab shown in the screen image, find the styles you like, and drag-and-drop them onto the working area between the slides. You can also click on the little icon shown in the screen image to automatically add transitions to all the clips at once.

Step 3.3. Add music and titles

Once you’ve added and adjusted your transitions, it’s time to upload some music. Return to the Import tab, click Add Files, and choose the desired music file. It will be transferred to the Audio Track on the timeline automatically.

Finally, add captions and credits to your movie. Click the Titles tab on the left to open the title collection, then drag and drop the one you want onto the timeline.

To edit a title, double-click it on the timeline or in the Preview area. Then double-click the text box in the Preview area and enter the text you want to include in your photo slideshow. To change title settings, double-click the title on the timeline and then specify text parameters like font, size, and color in the preview window. To save the changes, click Apply.

То save your movie, click Export and go to the step 4 below.

Step 4. Save your slideshow as a video

In the export window, select the appropriate option from the tabs at the top of the window. Choose Save Video File or, for example, Save for Devices, depending on how you plan to use the video. If you want to upload your video to YouTube, click the Upload to YouTube tab. You can also prepare your slideshow for online sharing by saving it as WebM, MP4 or OGV, since these formats are compatible with HTML5. Once you’ve specified the save parameters, click Start.

List of slideshow effects in Movavi Slideshow Maker

Movavi Slideshow Maker is one of the best slideshow creator software solutions that let you make great slideshows using pictures and videos with ease for any occasion, and it has a long list of effects and editing tools for users to enjoy.

1. Filters

Movavi Slideshow Maker features more than 150 different filters to use on your pictures, adjusting the colors, tones, and style to create a totally unique presentation for you and the people you share it with. With this free slideshow video maker for Windows and Mac, you can apply all kinds of filters, from motion blur filters to old movie vignette-style filters, glass mosaic filters, glowing edges, and dozens more. The huge range of filters available in this video slideshow maker gives you countless options to customize each pic in your presentation, making it easy to experiment with your photography and create one-of-a-kind shows.

1. Filters

Movavi Slideshow Maker features more than 150 different filters to use on your pictures, adjusting the colors, tones, and style to create a totally unique presentation for you and the people you share it with. With this free slideshow video maker for Windows and Mac, you can apply all kinds of filters, from motion blur filters to old movie vignette-style filters, glass mosaic filters, glowing edges, and dozens more. The huge range of filters available in this video slideshow maker gives you countless options to customize each pic in your presentation, making it easy to experiment with your photography and create one-of-a-kind shows.

2. Transitions

You'll also find more than 100 different transitions when you download this slideshow maker to your Windows 10 PC, laptop, Mac, or another compatible device. Movavi Slideshow Maker has more transitions than many other programs, giving users lots of options in terms of how the show progresses from one image or clip to the next. Transition options include fade to black, blur in, crossfade, page burn, parallax, and plenty more. This wide range of filters allows the user to apply different effects in between each slide, creating an image or movie presentation that feels fresh and fun throughout, from the first slide through to the last.

3. Titles

Whether you're creating a professional presentation to share with your colleagues or a fun wedding slideshow to share your own wedding photo album and memories with friends and family, having some titles at the start can help to make the whole thing appear more structured and beautiful too. Movavi Slideshow Maker comes with more than 40 different title templates that are fully customizable to suit your needs. There are professional, business-like titles, funny movie-style titles, love, and romance-themed text styles, and many more to choose from. These titles can provide the perfect start to your slideshow, but you can also freely use them throughout the show to add text or comments when necessary, or at the end to close it out.

4. Stickers

Movavi Slideshow Maker also comes with a massive collection of stickers that you can put over your images and clips. There are dozens of different stickers to play around with, from simple arrows and pointers to highlight certain items or areas in your photos or videos to cute and colorful icons like suns, suitcases, wedding cakes, and other fun shapes and ideas. Adding stickers is really quick and easy, and some of them are even animated too, adding some animation flair to your slideshow. No download is required for these stickers, as a full set comes complete as part of the program, but you can download more sets and symbols from the Movavi Effects Store if desired.

5. Color adjustments

Even with a lot of care and attention, it can be difficult to always capture pictures and videos as perfectly as you originally hoped. Sometimes, the colors might be a little off or the brightness levels might have been a bit too low on that day to really capture the full effect. Fortunately, Movavi Slideshow Maker can assist you with this through color adjustment effects. You can use a series of automatic tools like the auto contrast tool or auto saturation tool to automatically alter the colors to suit your liking the easiest way, or you can use a slider system to have total control over brightness, contrast, and so on.

6. Overlay

The overlay effect is another popular and useful feature of Movavi Slideshow Maker. It basically lets you add an overlay on top of your slides. This opens the doors to some really exciting creative opportunities when putting your pictures and videos together. You can effectively use this tool to create a kind of collage of your images, being able to combine them side by side or over each other, and there are various options available, such as picture-in-picture, logo, trio, and side by side, so you can have one image in one section of the screen and another image or clip in the other or in the background. You can also use advanced settings to simply and quickly define the number of seconds per picture and so on.

7. Pan and zoom

The pan and zoom effect is hugely popular and commonly used online in social media videos and slideshows for websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. And you can use it to your heart's content with the Movavi slideshow generator. With this no watermark app, you can pan and zoom in on your HD photos and clips, giving you an opportunity to stylistically and creatively zoom into a single image and slowly move from side to side or top to bottom. What's more, the app gives you full control over the direction of the pan movement.

8. Animation

If you really want to take your slideshows to the next level, adding some custom animations is a really good method to choose. With Movavi Slideshow Maker, you can choose between easy and advanced animations, depending on your skill and experience level. With the easy mode, the animation is pre-designed for you, and all you need to do is pick one of the templates and insert the image you'd like to animate. With the advanced mode, you can create your own animations according to your needs and preferences. Whatever you choose, this is the best way to add keyframe animations throughout your slideshows.

9. Highlight and conceal

When making a slideshow, as well as adding music and songs and applying other digital effects, you might also want to hide certain parts of your images or highlight certain other areas to draw attention to them. The highlight and conceal effect allows you to do this. You can use this tool to highlight certain areas of the image, such as making a clear rectangle or circle around those areas and blurring the rest of the area, as well as concealing sections by blurring them or applying dark shapes over to hide them. This is great for possibly concealing less appealing areas of a photo you took on your Android or iOS device or for protecting people's privacy.

10. Chroma key

The chroma key effect is one of the most advanced features in Movavi Slideshow Maker. It essentially functions like a green screen effect, allowing you to use a simple color picker tool, choose a color in your image, and make that color transparent. From there, you can customize the background in different ways or alter your images creatively to change their look and vibe. There are lots of different ways you can play around with this digital tool to create amazing and impressive effects for your slideshows.

11. Slow motion

Another great effect you can use with Movavi Slideshow Maker is slow-motion. This lets you slow down the speed at which your videos play. It's a great way to draw focus to certain moments or add some stylish flair to some of your clips. It can be used for both humorous and exciting purposes, and there are lots of ways to play around with slo-mo for your DVD slideshow to make it more interesting. Plus, with Movavi Slideshow Maker, you can adjust the speed of your videos with perfect precision from 1% up to 100% speed.

Best background music for slideshows: list of websites with free slideshow music

Something else you might want to do with your slideshow is to add some cool music. A slideshow with a song can be much more entertaining for your audience to watch, and it's really easy to add any song you like with the help of Movavi Slideshow Maker. In fact, this slideshow maker even comes with a full music and song library to get you started.

There are several ready-made themes to choose from, including travel, family, love story, and birthday, each with its own soundtrack. You can also choose between custom soundtracks in various styles, suitable for all sorts of slideshows, from birthday and Christmas shows to travel photo displays.

There's also a huge collection of different sounds and sound effects you can add to your slides with this slideshow creator. You can add a "Happy Birthday" song for an 18th birthday slideshow, for example, or add some laughter effects when a funny photo appears. From applause to gunshots and musical instruments, the range of sounds is vast and varied, giving you all kinds of opportunities to get creative with the audio of your slideshow, as well as the visual side of it.

If you need even more sounds, songs, and music tracks for your slideshow, you can make use of various sites that offer free song downloads specifically for slideshows and presentations. Here's a brief list of some of the best sites to download music for slideshows.

Audio Archive is one of the biggest online libraries of audio and MP3 files, hosting more than two million free audio files, including songs of various genres, live musical recordings, poetry recitals, and more.

NoiseTrade is another super site that offers countless free song downloads that you can add to your slideshows in Movavi Slideshow Maker. This site, like PureVolume, mostly specializes in independent music, and it has a simple user interface and lots of different musical genres.

Jamendo is another great site to use when you're looking for free music for slideshows and presentations. It has hundreds of thousands of audio files ready for download to your devices, with many being covered by the Creative Commons license, which means that they can be used for free for your personal creative or commercial projects.

Musopen is a great place to go if you're looking for classical music. It hosts downloadable versions of beautiful classical pieces from the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and Vivaldi, ready for download and perfect for use on romantic, travel, or professional style slideshows.


Adding some music and effects to your slideshow is a really great way to jazz it up, making it look, feel, and sound more exciting and become more engaging for your audience too. We hope that this guide has helped you figure out some of the best and fast ways to make the most of slideshow sounds and effects to take your next slideshow to the next level.

Movavi Slideshow Maker

An easy-to-use, yet efficient slideshow making program

* The trial version of Movavi Slideshow Maker has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output slideshows, and an ability to save only half the audio length.

Movavi Slideshow Maker

Frequently asked questions

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