Saturday, May 21, 2011

Putting a slideshow from Picasa into your blog

This article is about how to put a Picasa slideshow into your blog, using Picasa's slideshow tool.   

It also looks at the security issues that may be involved in doing this, and suggests some ways around these.

Picasa, Albums and Slideshows

Previously I've explained what Picasa is and how it is used by Blogger as the default place to store uploaded pictures.

You can also use Picasa in more complicated ways.  You can put a set of pictures in a separate "album" (Picasa's word for a user-defined group of photos), and it will give you the HTML code to use to show these photos in your blog (or any other website).

There are two ways of doing this:
  • Link to the album:  clicking on the link takes your visitor away from your website and into Picasa-web-albums, where they can use the PWA tools to look through the pictures
  • Link to a slideshow:   this scrolls through the photos that are in the album at the time, right inside your website.  Here's an example of a slideshow:

This article is a step-by-step guide to the second option, is showing a Picasa-web-album in your Blogger as a slideshow.    A similar approach will work for other websites, thought the details will vary slightly.

How to insert your slideshow

Go to Picasa Web Albums (, and log in with the Google account that owns (or you want to own) the album.    Note:   you may need to use this trick to stay inside Picasa-web rather than being automatically re-directed to Google+ Photos.
  1. Check that you have already uploaded the album you want from your PC to Picasa-web-albums.
    (and if you haven't, go back to Picasa and upload it now)
  2. Choose an album by clicking on it.
    The album view opens, showing you a thumbnail of all the photos in it on the left of the screen. On the right of the screen, there is a sidebar of useful tools.
  3. Under the Edit drop-down (the one in the album, not the edit menu in the browser), check that Visibility is set to either "Anyone with the Link" or "Public on the web"
  4. Click on "Link to this Album"  (currently it's in a small font, 3/4 of the way down the right-hand sidebar - this may change if Picasa changes its interface)
  5. Click on "Embed Slideshow"  (currently this shows up underneath "Link ... " - and only AFTER you've clicked link...)
    This opens a new dialog box, over the top of your current browser window.

  6. Fill in the details you want
    (slideshow size, whether or not to show captions and to autoplay the slides, etc)
  7. Copy the HTML from the box at the bottom of the left hand-side (the one labelled "Copy and paste ..."
  8. Go to Blogger and log in with a Google account that has rights to edit the the blog - note that this doesn't need to be the same account that owns the Picasa album.
  9. You can put the code that you copied into your blog in the same way you would adding any other 3rd party HTML to it.

What you see in the Post Editor

If you put the slideshow into a blog-post, the the way that the post-editor currently works with code means that the slideshow is not visible while you are editing the post.   This means it's easy to accidentally over-write or delete the code.

One way around this is to put some "marker text" before and after it.

For example, I've put in <hr /> and <blockquote> </blockqoute> statements before and after the code just underneath this paragraph.   While I'm in the editor, all I can see is a pair of parallel lines, with nothing between them.   But (because you're visiting the blog after it's published) you can see a slideshow in between.

This makes the code look like:

<hr />
<embed flashvars=";hl=en_US&amp;feat=flashalbum&amp;RGB=0x000000&amp;" height="192" pluginspage="" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="288"></embed>
<br />
<hr />

What your visitors see - and can access

The steps above puts a slideshow of the photos in the album at the current time into your blog post.

You can use the examples above to get an idea of how these slideshows work:  they have next, play / pause, and previous buttons, and you can toggle captions on/off.   The top example has auto-play ON, while the second one has it OFF.

On important thing to note:   when your visitors click on the slideshow itself (anywhere but on previous / play / next buttons), they are taken to the place in Picasa-web-albums where the album is.

From here, they can get to ANY other albums owned by the same Google account that are either Public or Visible to Anyone With the Link.

This may or may not be a problem for you - but it's something that you should be aware of.  It certainly was a problem for me initially, and I had to go and get a slideshow in a Google account with no personal pictures to make the examples in this post.   

If you are not willing to live with this level of security, then I suspect (am yet to confirm) that using the RSS feed provided by Picasa with Blogger's own slideshow gadget may be a better approach.   This will only work in places where you can put a gadget - although it may be possible to use a 3rd party service that converts a feed into Javascript to make code that can be put inside a post.    Or totally different solution is to put your pictures into a PowerPoint slideshow and display it in your blog.

Related Articles

Picasa & Blogger - Part 1, What is Picasa?

Picasa & Blogger - Part 2, Options for linking Picasa into your Blog

Showing a PowerPoint presentation as a slideshow in your blog

Putting 3rd party HTML into your blog

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  1. This helped me to start to understand because it addressed what I want to do and that is add some thumbnails just below the main photo on some of my posts, hoping that they will enlarge when clicked on as the main photo is. I'm copying these tips to study before I try to get that going. Thank you.

  2. Hi
    I have read the instructrions given in your article & there is one line that is different from any other instructions I have read. The one that says ... "check that "ignore new lines" is chosen". I don;t have that line at the bottom of post options.
    My actgual problem is that the slideshow is correctly inserted into my post - but when it finishes playing there is a white arrowhead in the middle of the last picture (like the replay option on a video?) when this is pressed it takes my readers to my Picasa web albums withih blogger. I don;t want this to happen. What do I have to do please to stop this.

  3. Hi Misty's Mum

    The part about "ignore new lines" was out-dated (Google had changed the words to use [br /] tags) - I've fixed it now.

    I've been looking for a way to get slideshows to not show the PWA stuff at the end, but haven't been able to find it yet, sorry.

  4. Is there any way to make a slide show that will be public on your blog but with non-public photos on picasa? I only ask because I am a pro photographer and I don't want them to have access to the photos just the ability to preview them

    1. Not directly. An option might be to make low-resolution or watermarked copies of the photos, and put those copies into an album whose security is "anyone with the link". Then build your slideshow off that album, and make sure that the good copies of the photos are in another public album. (That said, it's not something I've tried.)

  5. Very helpful post. Thanks a ton :)

  6. Thank you so much! I knew there had to be a way to get the photos to be in a slide show on my blog but I could not figure out how.

  7. Thanks for the article,
    I'm so frustrated with my Google Site. The link back to my personal photo gallery is an insane feature to put on a business site. What were Google thinking of here?!
    Flickr won't function without weird (deliberate?) glitches - oh, and Flashplayer won't work on iPhones/iPads!!
    Weeks of work spread over a year- still no nearer a functional slideshow.
    Any ideas that might help?

    1. Make a separate Google account for your business photos. Only put business-appropriate photos into it, and use it as the source of the photos in your blog. That way, even if someone does click through to your album, they don't see your kids, parties, holidays etc.

  8. Mary thank you very much for this post, i have been searching for a way to put a slide show in my blog and this has helped a great deal but i would like to ask if there is a way i can do a slideshow with links to post so when a picture is clicked it takes the reader to the post instead of to picasa album and also if there is a way i can expand the slide to fill the top instead of it sitting in a corner. my blog is
    Would be glad if you can help. Thank you.

  9. Really good article. One issue. People viewing from a mobile cannot see the slideshow on the blog. Only people from a PC can. Is this correct? If so, is there a way around it? Thanks

    1. I suspect that this depends on the particular mobile device, and what software it can run. But it is something to keep in mind if your blog has a lot of mobile visitors.

  10. I used to use the slideshow tool on blogger until I discovered that the flash player wasn't working on Mac mobile products, such as iPads and iPhones. So I stopped it and still searching for the best slideshow solution. Now trying the slideshow tool within YouTube, but it plays also automatically like a video and I haven't tested it on the Apple mobile devices. My blog

  11. I have a bunch of GIFs I'm using, but when I did the slideshow html thing it displayed them as images. I'm only doing this so the blog is faster, theres like 30 gifs. They play fine anywhere else on my blog, but the slideshow displays them as solid images.

  12. How can you center the slideshow in a blogger post?

  13. I followed your directions, step by step. But the final product is just the HTML code, no actual slide show is showing up on the blog.

    1. I would guess that you have put the code into the post-editor in Compose mode instead of HTML mode. Try again ,with the latter. If that doesn't work then post details of your problem into a question in the Blogger Product Forum, and someone there will help.