Digital cameras are great, but how best to use all those images? There's been an explosion in the affordable photo-printer market or you can always get your snaps printed online, and an increasingly popular alternative is to display pictures on handheld devices such as MP3 players. So far, so dull.

But with the help of PictureShow 4.0 from Ulead you can present your holiday snaps on the good old tellybox. And you can do so with such panache that you even may be able to convince your colleagues they are worth a look (although this met with only limited success in the PC Advisor office…)

PictureShow creates slideshows from photos and video clips. Once you've set output options, the process works in three simple stages. First is Organize. Point the software at your images, make tweaks and arrange your pictures. ExpressFix, PictureShow's integral photo editor, is no Photoshop killer, but it covers the basics.

Next you Theme your project, selecting from headings such as Vacations, Special Events and Fantasyland - this being American, 'Holidays' refers to something called ‘Thanksgiving'. There are useable defaults so you can throw together a good-looking slideshow in minutes, but every aspect is customisable.

When you're happy with your masterpiece, go to Burn. This does exactly what it says on the tin. You can save to a disc, your hard disk or both. You can also include the original image files, so you could send granny a slideshow to watch on TV, along with individual pictures for her to print out.

Ulead CD & DVD PictureShow 4.0: Specs

  • 1.3GHz Pentium 4 processor
  • Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
  • 256MB RAM
  • 200MB hard disk space
  • CD or DVD writer
  • 1.3GHz Pentium 4 processor
  • Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
  • 256MB RAM
  • 200MB hard disk space
  • CD or DVD writer

OUR VERDICT

This is intuitive, affordable software - and the results look fantastic. Frankly, if you can't make an entertaining slideshow using PictureShow it might be time to review your picture-taking policy.

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