applied tips : november 2008

microsoft powerpoint : create a screensaver

Make a Windows Screen Saver out of your PowerPoint Slides

Tired of watching the Windows flag move about your screen, or want to create a more professional appearance at work while improving safety or employee education? This might be the tip for you!

Create the Slideshow

Your first step is to create the slideshow in PowerPoint. As always, make sure each slide is readable and doesn't contain too much information.

This process doesn't work with sound, video, or animation of any kind, so eliminate them from your slides. While you're at it, eliminate any slides that aren't really necessary for the screen saver such as a title slide, conclusion, agenda, etc.

Save Slides as Image Files

Now we'll take each slide and convert it to a Bitmap file that the Windows XP screen saver can display.

In PowerPoint 2003, pull down the File menu and choose "Save As".  In PowerPoint 2007, pull down the Office Menu and choose Save As.

When prompted where to save our file:

  1. Change the Save As Type to read "Device Independent Bitmap". This will create a BMP file for each slide in our presentation. Note that these files are too big to email, but the quality will be very high.
  2. Select the folder or network drive you would like to save the files to.  PowerPoint will create a new subfolder there to contain all of your slides.
  3. Give it a name such as "Company Policy Slideshow".
  4. Save and close PowerPoint.

You might confirm now that the files were created in the location you specified.  You should see a number of Bitmap files with names like Slide1, Slide2, etc.

Activate the Windows Screen Saver

Now we just need to set up the screen saver which is a snap.

In Windows XP, right-click your Desktop and choose "Properties", then select the Screen Saver tab. In the Screen Saver pull-down menu, choose "My Pictures Slideshow" and click Browse to point to the folder you created.  Review the other preferences and click OK twice when you're finished.

In Windows Vista, right-click your Desktop and choose "Personalize", then click the Screen Saver link. In the Screen Saver pull-down menu, choose "Photos" and click Browse to point to the folder you created.  Review the other preferences and click OK twice when you're finished.

That's it!

Networking the Slideshow (optional)

If you save the slides to a location on the network, you can then configure each of the desktops in your network to point to that folder. From your computer, you'll be able to add and remove slides as often as you want, creating a really neat way to spread the word across the desktops in your organization.

Always remember to work with your system administrator before changing settings on a computer. Administrators: You can configure this through GPO and an ADM File.


So what can you do with this? Here's a few of my ideas:

If you use this tip, I'd love to hear what you do with it!


If you cannot change your Screen Saver properties, then you might need to talk to your system administrator about permissions first.

If you tried to browse to a network drive and couldn't see it, have your system administrator help you navigate the Network path or create a Mapped Drive for you.

schedule a class on powerpoint

Request an on-site PowerPoint class from Applied Office. Sessions are inexpensive and your employees will be creating amazing slideshows in no time!  Learn more here

upcoming class on powerpoint

A class on Microsoft PowerPoint is scheduled at University of the Pacific, and you can attend!  Review the Upcoming Classes for more information.