Slide Show controller

The Slide Show controller panel lets you adjust options during a slide show presentation. Although you can set the same global options that you set in the SlideShow Options dialog box, the Slide Show controller also enables you to set individual playback options for each displayed file so that you can further customize your slide show. You can change any option while the slide show is playing.

This panel is also useful for running presentations on a second screen or projector. If you use multiple monitors, you can position your catalog inside the monitor you want to use for the slide show. You can start the presentation on that monitor and keep the controller on the other monitor.

If you are not using two monitors, displaying the slide show controller on top of the slide show impairs viewing.

To show or hide the controller, press RETURN.

Slide Show controller



Adjust volume


Show/Hide files


Exit Slide Show


Playback options


Slide Show options


Filtering options


Playback controls




Adjust time between transitions



Setting Slide Show options from the controller

Using the menus in the controller, you can set global options for your slide show. These options are the same as the ones that you can set in the Slide ShowOptions dialog box. For information about these options, see Slide Show overview.

To access the options

  • Do one of the following:

    • On the Set Options menu Cc507789.009cc375-8b8a-4008-b6c8-f56a9147b02f(en-us,Expression.10).png, locate the option category that you want to set and then select an option.

    • On the Set Transitions menu Cc507789.cf37db75-1e10-41d5-afda-626ac3f67a62(en-us,Expression.10).png, the Set Scaling menu, Cc507789.a2166890-2f81-4331-9034-00e1b8cde725(en-us,Expression.10).png, or the Set Grid menu, Cc507789.95db3bb4-2bc6-44ae-a49a-35dd4f00e12a(en-us,Expression.10).png, select an option to apply to the whole slide show.

To lock the scrollbar

  • Click the Scroll Lock icon in the controller. This prevents the display of files from scrolling as the slide show plays.

To adjust the volume of playback

  • Click the arrows to the left of the speaker icon in the controller

Setting and viewing options for individual files in the Slide Show

Within the controller, you can set playback options for each file. You can also assign labels and ratings, set the text that appears in the slide show, and set which category of files will play in the slide show. You can set options or view information as the slide show plays, or you can pause the slide show.

Slide Show controller options



Use these menus to set global options


Use this menu to set the timing options for this file


Use these menus to set options for this individual file



To set playback options for individual files

  1. In the list of files, click the file that you want to adjust.

  2. Click the box aligned with the option menu corresponding to the option that you want to adjust. For example, if you want to adjust the size of the image, click the box that is aligned underneath the Set Scaling menu and that corresponds with the file that you want to adjust.

  3. Set the option. The next time the Slide Show reaches this file, it will use the option that you specified.


When you set a transition for an individual file, you are setting how the previous file transitions into the selected file.

To set the timing for individual files

  1. In the list of files, click the file that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Timing menu Cc507789.9ebe624f-e3b2-40c3-b5e4-ad760eab01ab(en-us,Expression.10).png, click one of the following options:

    • Default (use global timer)   Uses the between-files display time that you set in the timing selector at the top of the controller.

    • Display for set duration   Assigns a special duration for the file to display. After you click this option, you can use the arrows that appear to the right of the file name to designate a display time, in seconds.

    • Hold slide show until sound finishes   Pauses the slide show at this file until an audio file, such as an audio annotation, finishes playing.

To show a subset of files

  • At the bottom of the Slide Show dialog box, click the button corresponding to the type of files that you want to show, and then do any one of the following:

    • On the Show Rated menu Cc507789.b4a53b20-30bc-4459-896e-371c198cf630(en-us,Expression.10).png, click a rating to show only files that have that rating.

    • On the Show Labeled menu Cc507789.73bd3859-2c8c-4efd-89b1-58ec715ea70b(en-us,Expression.10).png, click a label color to show only files that have that label.

    • On the Show Sets menu Cc507789.af60986e-9ae8-49d9-9116-47d037c68bd6(en-us,Expression.10).png, click the name of the catalog set that you want to display.

    • To show all files, click the Show All button Cc507789.6a5ea5a0-f81d-4073-8b0d-646b84fb1826(en-us,Expression.10).png.

To designate the text that appears in the slide show

  1. Click the Text tab.

  2. Do any one of the following:

    • Select any one of the Display options to display the text related to that option. Click the arrows to cycle through all the available information.

    • To set the color of the text, click the Color swatch and select a color.

    • To right-align, center, or left-align the text, click the corresponding Align button.

    • On the Font menu, click one of the font options. Drag the slider to set a font size.

To set a label or rating

  • Do one of the following:

    • To set a label, click the Files tab, click the banner to the left of the file name, and click a label color.

    • To set a rating and a label, click the Info tab and, next to the thumbnail of the file, click the color swatch you want to assign a label, and then click the plus-sign marks (+) next to the swatch to set a rating.

To view file information

  1. Click the Info tab.

  2. Click the arrows at the bottom of the dialog box to cycle through the file information.

Keyboard shortcuts

Microsoft Expression Media offers a complete set of shortcuts for keyboard and mouse navigation of slide shows. For a list of these shortcuts, see Slide Show shortcuts.

Making slide shows faster

In most cases, three factors affect the speed of slide shows: grids, image orientation, and computer speed.

  • Grids   Unless you are using a computer that has a powerful processor, slide shows with more than one video channel put a considerable strain on your computer and reduce playback quality. You may want to experiment with Half and Quarter video channel grids before trying more complex grids.

  • Image orientation   On computers that have slower processors, a slide show of 20-megabyte (MB) image files runs much more slowly than a slide show with 1-MB image files. What slows down Expression Media is not necessarily the file size, but the actual dimensions of the media. When it works with larger dimensions, Expression Media has to dynamically reduce the image to fit the screen. If the image is the same shape as the screen (4:3 proportions) the delay is not too noticeable. But for portrait images (vertical), the delay can be a few seconds.

  • Slower computers   If you have display or audio issues with your slide show, your computer's processor or video card may not be powerful enough to handle your slide show.

If you have trouble displaying a slide show, you may want to try to create temporary copies of your images that are optimized for fast on-screen display. You can do this by using Convert Image Files on the Make menu. The following parameters can help:

  • Dimensions   Match your screen dimensions (for example, 1024x768). That way, Expression Media will not have to resize the image.

  • Setting   Match your monitor's color depth, such as Thousands or Millions. This reduces processor usage.

  • Resolution   Use 72 dpi, the same as your screen resolution.

  • File format   Select an uncompressed format, such as bitmap (.bmp) or .pict, instead of .jpg. This way, the image file does not have to be decompressed when the slide show is running.

If you create a new catalog with the converted images, your slide show will be significantly faster.

Adding a soundtrack to a slide show

To add a background soundtrack, make an audio file the first file in your catalog.

To add a background soundtrack to your slide shows

  1. Create a catalog of images and movies, and then organize them in the order you want them to appear in the slide show.

  2. Place an audio file (MP3, AIFF, and so on) as the very first file in the catalog.

  3. Make sure that the audio file is selected and then start your slide show. The music will continue to play throughout the slide show. When you exit the slide show by pressing the ESC key, the music will automatically fade out.

  4. If at any point you want the slide show to switch to a different song, just put an audio file at that point. Expression Media will automatically fade from the old song to the new one.

If you have selected Play sound from all movies (Slide Show Options on the Make menu), Expression Media will also play any soundtracks in your movies, reducing the volume of the background soundtrack for the duration of the movie.