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Easy Tips to Create Slideshows in Lightroom


Lightroom has a built-in feature that allows you to create slideshows with selections of your photos. You can include music and add text overlays to slideshows in Lightroom. This can make sharing your work more appealing and interesting.

Slideshows you make with Lightroom can be exported as videos and uploaded to Youtube. You can then embed them on your website and use them on social media.

Step #1: Select photos for your slideshow

There are many ways to select the photos for slideshows in Lightroom, but using the Library Module in the program is the easiest I know of.

Select the photos you want to use when you are in Grid View by holding down the Ctrl (Cmd) key and clicking each image. You can then add the selected photos to a New Collection or Quick Collection.

I prefer to add them to a Quick Collection because it’s so easy. When you have your photos selected, just tap the ‘B’ key and they get added to your Quick Collection. Once you have completed your selection, you can make a New Collection from the photos in your Quick Collection.

Using Lightroom To Create Slideshows

Select all the photos in your Quick Collection and press Ctrl (Cmd) + N to start a New Collection. Name the collection of photos for your slideshow. It will be added to the Collections panel on the left of your screen.

Step #2: Arrange the order of your slideshow photos

Arrange your photos in the order you want them to appear in your Lightroom slideshow.

This is a key step in creating slideshows in Lightroom that will hold people’s attention. If the order of your photos is random they will appear disjointed. Having a good flow to the sequence of images will help you retain your audience’s attention longer.

Create a slideshow with good flow and feeling. Look at composition, color, and meaning in your photos. Aim to place similar photos together. Or place them in a natural series if they are following a chronological timeline. Considering your story and the way the slideshow will play is very important.

In Grid View, drag and drop each photo to the place you want it to appear in the Lightroom slideshow.

Using Lightroom To Create Slideshows arrange

Step #3: Make your Lightroom slideshow

Once you’ve arranged all your images in the sequence you want them, click on Slideshow in the top menu. This opens the Slideshow Module view in Lightroom. This module has different left and right panels than you are used to using in the Library Module. If you can’t see them, press the F7 and F8 keys to bring them into view.

Click on Create Saved Slideshow at the top right of the central panel. Name your slideshow and click on Create. Once you have made your slideshow in Lightroom, all the changes you make will be saved automatically.

Using Lightroom To Create Slideshows create

Step #4: Pick a template for your Lightroom slideshow

Choose a template for your Lightroom slideshow from the Template Browser in the left-hand side panel. With the preset templates, it is easy to make changes later if you want.

Run your slideshow to see how it looks. Are you happy with the layout and sequencing you have chosen?

Easy Tips to Create Slideshows in Lightroom

Step #5: Customize the design of your Lightroom slideshow

In the right-hand side panel, you will find a series of windows. Here you can make changes to:


In the Options panel, you can select the way you want your photos to display on each slide.

You can have the photo fill the entire frame or part of it. You can add a border and drop shadow that you can customize. If you Zoom to Fill Frame a shadow cannot be seen in the slideshow even if you create one.


Here you can add space around your slides. You can choose how there is space above and below and to either side of your slides. By default, they are all the same, but you can uncheck the Link All box to customize.

Here you have options for the aspect ratio you would like. These are Screen, 16:9 and 4:3


In the Overlays window, you can add an identity plate, watermarking and rating stars. These options can be helpful when you are sharing your slideshow with wedding or portrait clients.

Using Lightroom To Create Slideshows overlays

Click on the text box to edit the text for the identity plate. Type in your new text and adjust the size and style to suit your taste.

You can add custom overlay text to each slide. To do this, click the ABC which you can find below the main window. Type in your text and then drag it to the position you want. You can grab the text box handles to resize.

Using Lightroom To Create Slideshows text


You can choose various options to create a background for your slideshows in Lightroom.

Using the the Color Wash option adds a gradient look to the background. Choose colors that will work best with the photographs in your slideshow. Leave the Color Wash option unchecked to make a solid color background.

You can choose to add a photo or other graphic as a background. Be careful if you use this option not to include a background image that conflicts with your photos in the slideshow.



This is where you can add intro and outro text. You may want to include an introduction title or company logo. At the end, you may wish to display your website or email details.


Select a music track to set the mood for your Lightroom slideshow. Choose an mp3 music file from your hard drive or find one online. There are lots of options to buy or find free music online you can legally use.


This is where you get to control transitions and how long each slide will stay on screen. There are manual and automatic options. You can also have it sync to the music track you have chosen.

Adjust the options until you find a good flow for your photos when they are shown in the slideshow. Syncing to your music will work better with some tracks than with others. You may prefer to have each slide and transition the same length.


When you think you have got it right, press Play. Lightroom will prepare your slideshow and play it. You might want to go back and tweak the photos or design, which you can still do.

Easy Tips to Create Slideshows in Lightroom

Once you have watched your slideshow in Lightroom play through a few times, it’s time to export it. You can export it as a PDF or a video. A PDF can be used in a slide presentation, and video can be uploaded to Youtube or shared on social media.

Click on the export option you prefer and name your slideshow. Depending on the number of photos you have in your slideshow in Lightroom, exporting may take a while.

It’s that simple!

Do you use this feature in Lightroom or have any other tips for creating a lightroom slideshow? Share with us in the comments.

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Kevin Landwer-Johan
Kevin Landwer-Johan

Kevin Landwer-Johan is a photographer, photography teacher, and author with over 30 years of experience that he loves to share with others.

Check out his e-books and his website.