ProShow Gold 4 Advanced Slide Styles Part 3. Create and Save Your Own Customized Slide Styles

by Alan Haynes / PhotoCitizen on May 29, 2009

One of the most powerful parts of the new Slide Styles feature in ProShow Gold 4 is that it gives you the ability to save your own styles. Now, you can save your work and use it in a future production without the need to recreate all of the motion, backgrounds, captions, and other effects that you may have originally spent an hour or more creating.

You use Slide Styles like a macro in your word-processing program when you need to style your text the same way in many documents. Using a Slide Style requires little more than adding new images to the pre-built style. Of course, you also have the option of tweaking the style to customize your new show. Then you can either save the tweaked style as a new style, replace the old style, or discard the changes.

This is part 3 of a continuing series on ProShow Gold 4. Watch the previous videos in this series: Part 1: Create a Customized Slide Show and Part 2: Built-In Slide Styles.

Watch the YouTube video and then follow along with the written instructions. This video is in high-definition, so make sure you have YouTube’s HD button selected and view it in full screen mode.

Add the First Image and Apply a Slide Style

01-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-drag-to-timeline11)      Add a horizontal (landscape) image to the timeline (the video uses an image of a flamingo) by dragging it from the file list or by right-clicking on the thumbnail and selecting Add to Show.

2)      Double-click the image in the time line and go to the Slide tab and then the sub-tab Slide Styles.

3)      From the list of Slide Styles, choose Images of Love. If you don’t see this style listed, make sure that the category dropdown menu says either <All Categories> or <Titles and Captions>. Left-click on the style once to select it and it will be highlighted in light blue.

4)      Click the Apply button in the panel above the Slide Styles list. This is important. If you close the Slide Options window without first clicking this Apply button, the style will not be applied.

5)      When ProShow asks if you are sure, click OK.

Add the Other Images

02-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-add-layersIn the Slide Options window, there is a section called Layers. This style, Images of Love, uses four images. Each image is a layer. It’s this idea of layers which allows the images to float over and under each other. Right now, only one layer has an image on it: the flamingo. The other layers are blank.

6)      Fill in Layer 2 by left-clicking on either the box containing the name (currently, Portrait Image 2) or on the empty box where the thumbnail would appear. Once selected, the layer is highlighted in blue.

7)      Click the Select File button to the left of the layers panel. This will open a Windows folder. Navigate to the folder containing the images you’d like to use.

8)      Double-click the desired image to add it to the layer. Use only horizontal/landscape images for this lesson. This will close the folder window.

9)      Add images to the remaining two layers.

10)   Note: Due to a bug in ProShow Gold, the image on layer one will retain the name, Portrait Image 1, while the other three layers will show the actual filename of the image on the layer. This step can safely be skipped if the filename layer name doesn’t matter to you.  If you’d like the name shown in layer 1 to match the filename of the image on this layer, do this:

a.       Right-click to select Layer 1.

b.      From the pop-up menu, select Reset Layer. This will cause the name to change, but it will also cause your style to stop working correctly as it also resets all the effects and motion that have been added by the style.

c.       To remedy this, simply UNDO the reset by pressing CTRL-Z on your keyboard or by going to ProShow’s Edit menu and choosing Undo. The style will now work correctly and the filename will still show on the layer.

Change the Caption

03-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-fix-caption11)   In the Slide Options window, click the Captions tab at the top.

12)   This style has four captions, each containing a single letter (L, O, V, or E). We only need one caption, so delete all but one of the captions:

a.       Left-click on one of the captions to highlight it in blue.

b.      Click the Minus Sight ( –) button to the left of the captions to delete it.

c.       Repeat this until only one caption remains.

13)   Now, in the large caption area (next to the sideways word, Captions) you’ll see a single letter: an “L” if you deleted the O, V, and E captions. Delete the “L” and replace it with “Z      O      O      !”  Add six or so spaces between each letter so it resembles the way the word, “L OVE” appeared originally.

14)   The caption in the Preview pane up above will have moved off to the left of the screen. Click on it and drag it back into the frame and center it there.

Adjust the Images

04-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-precision-view115)   Click on the Effects tab.

16)   Open Precision View by clicking on the button that looks like a magnifying glass with a plus-sign in the center.

17)   Make window full screen by clicking the Windows maximize button in the upper right next to the red X.

18)   The area shown in the large preview including the white background and the light gray safe area around the background is exactly what the viewer will see on-screen. We want to see the area outside the viewable area, so click on the Zoom control at the top of the screen and set it to 50% or so by typing it in or by dragging the Zoom slider. NOTE: There is a second Zoom control just above the layers list. This controls the size of the images and is not the one to use here.

19)   Now, we see that the four images in our show all begin this sequence off-screen. Rotate them:

a.       Click an image or a layer (to the left of the screen) to select an image.

b.      There is a Rotate control just above the layers list. (If you don’t see it, make sure the Motion Effects tab at the top of the layers sidebar is selected, not the Captions tab. If you don’t even see the sidebar, click the Show button between the Play and Close buttons near the top.) Set the Rotate control to some odd angle such as -216 degrees.

c.       Do the same for the other three images, but use different angles, some positive and some negative.

d.      If the corners of any of the images now protrude onto the area representing the viewable screen (the white and light-gray rectangle), click on the image and drag it off the screen.

20)   We still need to adjust the ending position of the slides. They are too large and overlap each other:

a.       Click the Ending Position button at the top of the screen.

b.      Adjust the Zoom control (not the one above the layers list) from 50% back to 100% by clicking on the Reset button. That’s the one that looks like an arrow chasing its tail next to the Zoom control.

c.       Click on an image to select it and adjust the Zoom control for the layer (this time we do use the zoom control above the layers list).

d.      In this style, all the images are set to 35% zoom as it is designed to use vertical or portrait images. Change it to 20% or some other number that gives the images some space.

e.      Adjust the remaining three layers to the exact same zoom percentage.

Preview Your Work

05-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-preview21)   There are several ways to preview what we’ve done so far.

a.       With the Precision View window still open, click the Play button.

b.      Or, close the Precision View window by clicking the Close button, and then close the Slide Options window by clicking OK. Now, click the play button beneath the Preview panel (or press your keyboard’s space bar).

c.       Or, with the Precision View and Slide Options windows closed, drag the small slider below the Preview window (to the right of the Play, Stop, and Rewind buttons) towards the right of the screen. In the video world, this is called scrubbing. As you scrub, you can stop at any point to check your work.

d.      You’ll notice that if you scrub towards the end of the slide, it fades to black. So, you can’t see the ending position of the layers. This is caused by the default transition in the timeline that was automatically added when you dragged in the first image. Delete the transition by clicking on the duration shown beneath the transition icon (probably “2.0” if using ProShow Gold’s default transition duration) and changing its duration to zero. It will still change to black at the very end, but you can back up a fraction to see the final position of the images. Back up a bit more to also see the position of the caption. (In this style, the caption is also set to fade out).

Change the Background

06-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-change-background22)   Close the Precision Preview window.

23)   In the Slide Options Window, go to the Slide tab and the sub-tab Background.

24)   Look at the Background Type panel in the upper left of the Slide | Background tab. It is set to Override show background and a Solid Color which is white. Override show background means that this slide will have a different background than the rest of the show. If you had more than one slide and they used the default show background, they would have a solid black background. If you turn off the override by removing the checkmark, you’ll see the show background. Turn it back on to see the slide background.

25)   Since we want to use an image as a background, click on Image instead of Solid Color.

26)   Now, click the Browse button and choose Add from Media Source.

27)   If you have both ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer installed on your computer, you’ll see a box pop up asking you to select which MediaSource collection you’d like to use. Select ProShow Gold. If you only have ProShow Gold, you won’t see this window.

28)   Open the Backgrounds folder and then choose Abstract_08.jpg. You can choose a different background or even one of your own images if you prefer.

Final Adjustments

07-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-caption-color29)   Go back to the Captions tab and change the color of the caption so that it’s easier to see against the new background:

a.       Left-click on the Set button next to the color swatch in the Caption Format panel.

b.      You can choose a color from the color picker or click on the eye-dropper tool to choose a color from anywhere on the screen. A very dark gray will work against our background.

c.       Once you’ve chosen a color, you must click the Set Color button above the color palette so that the new color will be applied.

30)   Go to the Layers tab to add a black outline border to each image:

a.       Select one of the layers and add a checkmark next to Outline to the left of the Layers section.

b.      Choose a color for the outline the same way we did for the caption.

c.       To easily add this same outline to the other three images,

i.       Select the layer with the new outline (it’s probably still selected).

ii.      Right-click on the Outline color swatch or on the Set button.

iii.      Choose Copy Color to all layers on this slide. Give ProShow a second or so to work and, now, all the layers will have the same outline.

Save Your Customized Slide Style

07-proshow-gold-4-tutorial-save-slide-style31)   In the Slide Options window, click on the Slide tab and then the sub-tab, Slide Styles.

32)   Click the Create button in the upper left panel.

33)   The Create Slide Style window pops up. All of these fields can be left as is, but I suggest you fill in the blanks:

a.       Give your style a descriptive name (the default Slide Stlye 1 doesn’t cut it.)

b.      You can save your style in one of ProShow Gold’s predefined categories or make your own category. Simply type in your new category name (something like My Styles) over the category that appears in the Category dropdown menu.

c.       A good Description will help you remember what this style does when you go to use it again a few months from now.

d.      Enter your name as Publisher and enter your website name.

e.      Add a checkmark next to Aspect Ratio, This style can be used with any aspect ratio. This way, when you’re later  viewing the list of slide styles, it will appear in the list for a standard 4×3 aspect ratio show as well as a widescreen 16×9 show.

f.        The thumbnail cannot be changed. ProShow Gold generates this thumbnail automatically by selecting a frame from the exact middle of the sequence you’ve created. Even if it’s not very descriptive of the style you’ve created, you’ll have to live with it.

g.       Click the OK button and your style is now saved.

Apply Your New Customized Slide Style To Another Slide

34)   To practice using your new style, drag another image into the timeline to create a second slide.

35)   Double click the new slide and apply your new style.

36)   Add three more images

37)   Preview the new slide and you’ll see everything works the same as the first slide. Only the images are different.

38)   Congratulations! You’re done with this lesson.

Recommended Books

ProShow Gold book The Official Photodex Guide to ProShow 4 by James Karney
ProShow Gold book Secrets of Proshow Experts: The Official Guide to Creating Your Best Slide Shows with ProShow Gold and Producer by Paul Schmidt

Support PhotoCitizen. Purchase books or other items by clicking on links on this page and you’ll be helping to keep the bills paid here at PhotoCitizen. Thanks.

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1 Tricia June 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Thanks for the info, Alan. Is there any way to make a slide style span multiple slides so that the matching of layers to the positions in previous and next slides can be preserved?

2 Alan Haynes June 14, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Unfortunately, Slide Styles apply to only one slide at a time. You could make multiple slide styles designed to be used in a certain sequence. Then, when you re-used those styles, you’d have to make sure you used them in the correct sequence. You’d still have to add the new image layers to each slide though.

Another option would be to use ProShow Producer instead of ProShow Gold. Producer allows one slide to have multiple movements via keyframes. With keyframes, you can accomplish the same motions you would if you were able to apply one style to multiple slides.

3 Reeynole Buchanan September 16, 2009 at 10:25 am

Wow!! Your tutorials are fantastic Thanks 🙂 I’m a professinal a Photography and a Graphic Illustrator. I have and use Pro Show Gold I’m always interested in learning new ideal in creating beautiful slide shows.

Keep up the good work!! 🙂


4 Alan Haynes September 16, 2009 at 10:45 am


Glad you found the tutorials useful. I do plan to create another one, but it’s not easy to find the time.


5 Bill Laux October 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Alan…Have looked at your tutorials. I am really interested in ProShow Gold. I downloaded the trial and didn’t get far into it and then found your videos. My question is what format are the videos output? Can you putput them in wmv or avi format? If I posted a video made with ProShow Gold on a website would someone have to have a special viewer to see it? Thanks for any info.

6 Alan Haynes October 17, 2009 at 11:13 am


For uploading to your own website, you’d want to ouptut a Flash (FLV) file. ProShow Gold supports this format and just about everyone has a Flash player plugin included in their web browser. Updates to the Flash player are available free from

ProShow Gold allows you to output your creation in a number of formats including burning to a DVD or hi-def Blu-Ray DVD and video files such as WMV and MPEG. You can even output directly to YouTube. I think you’ll find all the output options you need.

The book, The Official Photodex Guide to ProShow 4 has two chapters devoted to ouptut. One is specifically about output for the web. Check it out here.


7 Jerry Kostal December 26, 2009 at 2:14 pm


Quick question, ok first, great tutorial. Now my quesiton, why is it that all my slides seem to end right after the motion and you don’t have a chance to enjoy them. Is there a way to stop them for a couple of seconds at the end?


Papillion, NE.

8 Diane January 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm


I have learned more in your 3 tutorials than I have using my ProShow Gold over the past 4 years. These are wonderful. Thanks a ton!!!

9 Alan Haynes February 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

Hi Jerry,

It’s pretty easy to stop the motion and view your slide for a few seconds with no motion. The trick is to make a second slide. You can copy the first one and paste it as a second slide.

Then, on the second slide, remove all the motion from the Effects tab. Make sure the layers are lined up to the exact location (zoom, pan, rotation) as the ending position on the first slide. Otherwise, they will appear to jump when you play the show. Also, use a Cut transition between the two slides with a duration of zero. To the viewer it will appear as if they are viewing just the one slide that stops at the end and holds its position for a while.

If you look at Proshow’s built-in slide styles, you’ll see that some of them use the word “still” in the title. These are designed to act as the second slide in a sequence and do just what you’re asking. So, you could (for example) use the style called “Display of Three Expanding” followed by “Display of Three Still.”


10 Debby June 22, 2010 at 8:41 am

I have spent weeks trying to find some help with Proshow’s slide show options and then I came across your video. You are fantastic. You showed me more in just a few minutes then I was able to learn in months. Thank you so very much.

11 Alan Haynes / PhotoCitizen June 22, 2010 at 10:05 am


Glad to help. Much of ProShow Gold’s power is hidden and not well documented. I continue to find new slideshow techniques by saying to myself, “I wonder what happens if I click this button?” Experimentation is key, but make sure you’ve backed up your slideshow first.


12 Bob Lippa July 19, 2010 at 10:20 am

Hi Alan:
Thanks for the info. I’ve recently upgraded to Pro show 4.1. from 3.2.
I like the text effect to pan up but find it will only work with one line; multiple lines get clustered together. There seems to be no way to layer the various lines of text to have them pan up in unison like the credits of a movie. Am I missing something or is what I want to do not possible? Your help is surely appreciated.

13 Alan Haynes / PhotoCitizen July 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm


I’m assuming you want the text to pan up from the very bottom of the screen all the way off the top of the screen. If that’s not what you’re looking for, let me know.

1) In the CAPTIONS window, type the first line of text.

2) Type the second line and all the other lines you need. Make sure you press the ENTER key on your keyboard after each line to start a new paragraph for each line. These are all entered as one caption layer, not as separate captions.

3) In the TEXT EFFECTS box to the left of the caption text, choose Full Pan Up. (It’s only available in the NORMAL menu, not in the FLY IN or FLY OUT menus.)

4) Now go back to your caption text and add blank lines between each paragraph by hitting the Enter key several times. Make sure you put the same amount of space between each line of text if you want a nice, smooth scroll.

The more lines you insert, the longer the scroll. You can even set it up so only one line appears on screen at a time and the next line appears at the bottom only after the first one has scrolled off the top.

5) You’ll need to make the duration of the slide longer so the lines scroll by at a legible pace.

6) Finally, drag the first line of the caption text off the bottom of the screen (or enter numbers in the CAPTION PLACEMENT box to position it.)

7) You can add a FLY IN effect such as fade-in if you’d rather have the slide begin with the text already on-screen. A FLY OUT effect won’t be necessary since the text scrolls all the way off the top.

That should do it. Let me know how it works. And don’t forget to post a link to your new video creation if you put it online.


14 gemma July 24, 2011 at 5:18 am

hello alan,

i find your tutorial very useful. i have just one question: how do you make multiple captions in one slide appearing and disappearing at different times? for example, i want to have the first caption appear at the start of the slide and the second caption appear in the middle of the slide. if we change slides, does that mean that we also have to erase the caption that goes with it? can we hold on to a caption while we change slides?


15 Alan Haynes / PhotoCitizen July 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Hello Gemma,

In ProShow Gold 4, the only way to have multiple captions is to us multiple copies of the slide. Add whatever motion and effects you want to the first slide along with the caption.

Then, in the second copy, match the beginning position to the end position from the previous copy for a seamless look, continue the motion as necessary and add the second caption.

ProShow Producer 4 makes this much easier. Each slide and caption can contain multiple motions and captions by using “keyframes.”

– Alan

16 Bill November 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Thank you for the excellent tutorial.


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