How to Start a Slideshow on Your Mac with Preview

Slideshows can help to showcase your ideas, images, and processes. At any given moment you can splash your favorite photos across the screen of your Mac. Typically, a slideshow is run inside the photo or presentation application.

However, Mac has a built-in instant image slideshow feature that allows you to start a slideshow on your Mac using Preview to view all of your images at once. This tutorial will show you a quick and easy way to start a slideshow on using Preview on your Mac.

Start A Slideshow With Preview

Starting a slideshow in Mac using Preview is easy. As long as you have the photos lined up on your computer to import, launching them in Preview only requires a few steps. Some of the steps involved with managing your photos in Preview depend on the type of Mac you are using.

Older versions of Mac (i.e., Snow Leopard) offered more limited slideshow features which are accessed through Quick Look using Command + Option + Y. If you are using the newer mac OS (Lion, Mountain), follow these steps to start a slideshow on your Mac:

1. Open Finder from your dock.

Preview

2. Drag the images you want to import and drop them in Preview. If your photos are all located in one folder, you can press Command + A and select everything in the photo for the show. Preview will open in a new window.

select the files you want to use in the slideshow using Finder

3. Or, select the files you want to use in the slideshow using Finder.

4. Press the spacebar to launch the application.

Select Open with Preview

5. Select Open with Preview from the top of the window.

6. The window should open with a list of your photos on the left side pane.

7. Press the green full screen button in the top left corner of the window.

8. Once your slideshow is displaying on the desktop, use the spacebar to play or pause the slideshow.

9. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the files from right to left in Preview.

10. You can gesture with two fingers to the left to move forward, and a two-finger gesture to go backward.

11. To view thumbnails of all of the photos in the slideshow, click on Index Sheet.

12. To import an additional photo into the slideshow, click on Add to iPhoto.

13. You can zoom in to an image by holding down the Control key and using a two-finger swiping gesture going forward and back. (The Zoom feature must be enabled to use in the slideshow.)

14. To exit the slideshow, press Escape.

15. You can also select images from the desktop and use the Option + Spacebar shortcut keys to launch the images into full screen slideshow mode. Use the arrow keys to move right to left through the files and use the spacebar to play and to pause the show.

16. Your slideshow should play from a single window. If your images are opening in separate windows, go to Preview > Preferences. Select the Images tab. Check the Open groups of files in the same window option next to When opening files.

Note: Use the spacebar to launch QuickLook and the arrow keys to navigate if you are using Leopard. You may be able to get a bit of animation if Finder is using cover-flow layout. In Tiger, the context menu in Finder has a Slideshow option.

Contact Apple Support

If you weren’t able to start a slideshow using Preview on your Mac after following the steps in this tutorial, you can contact Apple Support or the Genius Bar for more help.