Webmaster Sheila Haycox

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PicturesToExe (PTE) - How to Get Started
by Sheila Haycox ARPS, MPAGB/AV, EFIAP

  1. The Exe is as in Executable, which means you can save your project as an Exe file and it will play on other computers, without the need for it to have the PicturesToExe (PTE) programme.  You can also save the project for a MAC.
     

  2. Pictures to Exe can be purchased from Wnsoft.com.
     

  3. Before starting PTE you will need to have set up a project folder containing your cropped and resized JPEGs .   I usually save images as landscape format around 2200 pixels on the long side. Plus add your sound tracks into this Folder.  A soundtrack can be music only or music and speech. 
     

  4. I would always advise using Raw images in the first instance as they will produce better images after processing.  It is vital that you process your images; do not think that you can slip in a slightly poor image into an AV, this will not work.
     

  5. I would also suggest that you try and avoid verticals (portraits) in your AV unless you can find a suitable transition or way to make the show blend together well.
     

  6. Open the programme (currently PTE 9):
     

  7. Go to: File>New - enter name for your project
     

  8. File>Save as - ensure that the project is saved in one of your Show’s Project folders.  N.B. There is an automatic prompt to save changes but click File>Save before you close PTE as good practice. 
     

  9. Click on Project Options (at the bottom of the screen):

Main Tab

Aspect Ratio:  4:3   3:2   16:9   16:10   Choose which aspect ratio you would like.

Timing:   I suggest you enter 6 seconds – this will give you a basic time to use which can be adjusted later;

Background Solid Colour Black

Audio

Click ‘Add Track and locate your MP3 soundtrack in your Show’s Project Subfolder, click open – the file will appear in track 1

The music can be added at a later time.

Control

Action after last slide – Close show

Keyboard:  Check Permit control of showing using keyboard

Mouse: This will vary depending on whether you wish to run the show completely or whether you wish to control the show.  Based on not controlling the show the Mouse default section can be left as it stands, i.e. no checks, Left Mouse:  No action, Right mouse: Next slide, Mouse cursor: Auto hide.

Navigation: Default shows Navigation Bar but I prefer this to be un- checked  

Screen

Fullscreen

Unsharp mask   None.

Transitions

The default setting is dissolve which is a good transition to start with and is setting as 2 seconds, I tend to change this to 3 seconds as a basic starting point.

Defaults

 Nothing to be done in this option.   100% of the slide to show main images is default

Advanced

Nothing needs to be done in this option. Just make sure the Synchronize soundtrack and slides is checked.
 

Project Options now finished.  When you’ve completed all the tabs, click ok on the Project Options dialogue box.

 

Making the show:

  1. Locate your cropped jpegs, which you will have saved in the Show’s sub folder. Make sure you have the File Tree ticked which is in Settings.    This will show you all your folders for ease in finding your images.  This can be unchecked once found giving you more room on your screen.  Click on the folder and the images will appear in the adjacent pane.
     

  2. In the menu click on Slide and Insert Blank Slide this gives a black slide to start the show
     

  3. Drag the images in the slide film strip along the bottom of the screen. Slides can be either double clicked to enter, dragged or select all and drag. 
     

  4. Lightbox of all images.  You can see a full screen version of the images you have put into the film line by clicking on the small arrow next to Slides at the bottom right of the screen.   In this view you can delete or move the images into some sort of order.
     

  5. Each slide can be put in as many times as you like.
     

  6. Do not make the mistake of having too many slides in an AV, sometimes you have to delete a slide, even if it is a good one, because it does not really match the rest of the AV.  A short AV – no more than 5 minutes – would be preferable than a long one that could be boring after a while. You can delete an image from the Time Line without altering the timings, this is most important, do not delete from the Slides and this will alter all your timings.
     

  7. You will notice that each slide shows a figure at the top and bottom.  The figure at the top is the time this slide is displayed (in seconds) and the figure at the bottom is the length of the transition in seconds.
     

  8. Click ‘Timeline’ - you will see the time line and if you have inserted your sound track this will appear below the slides.  This view shows more details of transition lengths and timings.
     

  9. Now you can adjust your slides by moving them on the time line to match the soundtrack by holding down the left mouse on the numbered box.  The grey line shows the length of transition time for the slide and can also be adjusted by hovering with the mouse over the end of the line and moving it one way or the other by holding down the left mouse. 
     

  10. You can preview the show from any point by right clicking on a slide  and clicking ‘Start Preview from the current slide’
     

  11. In the preview window on the top right you can pause the show, make any adjustments, and then press play again.  This means you don‘t have to keep playing the whole show;
     

  12. Each slide can be customised by right clicking on the slide you want to change the transition effect or time and choose ‘Slide Options.  By choosing the ‘Transition’ tab and ticking ‘Use own transition effect’ and then dotting a different effect or just changing the length of time you want for the transition.  The thickness of smoothing line shows when you click on any of the standard transitions and I very often use 100% to create a smoother transition.
     

  13. If you want to alter an image or the soundtrack during production you can do this as PTE updates as long as you use the same file name and location.  If you should wish to change your mind on certain images, i.e. adding or deleting, this is best done on the Timeline by right clicking on slide and going to Change Image File.  This will then not alter your sound track or mess up your settings.  Do not remove or insert slides whilst in the Slide mode, this will alter your settings in the Timeline.
     

  14. Editing Music & Images You can click on an image or sound file and Ctrl W will open the software programme or going into Slide and click on Edit File.  This can be set in Settings > Preferences  on the system tab.
     

  15. The Drop Down button on the 3 bar symbol is very useful for altering your timed points and putting the last slide to the end of the music.
     

  16. Text can be added in the Object and Animations.  Click on this button, then click on the grey area around the image.  Click on the Text Button (A) and a box will open.  In the Properties Tab on the right you can type and alter the word text.  A Dropped Shadow can be added by clicking on the Common Tab and click on Customise.
     

  17. Creating an executable file: On top right hand corner press Publish and click on Executable File for PC……’ and making sure that the *.exe file is located in you AV Show file click okay.  Once saved in your project file you can then burn this file onto a CD, or copy to a memory stick.
     

  18. The latest version of PTE is always available on its Web site http://www.wnsoft.com.  You can also visit PTE's Forum: http://www.wnsoft.com/forum for further help and FAQs. 
     

  19. Enjoy your show!
     

Objects and Animations is a way of creating more subtle effects, perhaps a gentle zoom but this would require another separate session.
 

Sound – again this would be another session, especially if you need to combine music and your voice to one track.  It is advisable to try and match your slides to the beat of the music and if a voice over to get this in the right place.