I'm often faced with the tedious task of generating a PowerPoint from a collection of pictures. Each picture is to be placed with in its own slide, centered and enlarged so that it fills the screen. Is there way to do this with OpenOffice, Python or some other tool in the repository?
You can give this extension for Openoffice.org Impress a try, it is very easy to install and use, just follow these instructions. It takes a whole folder of pictures and automatically creates a slide show out of them, Works nicely for me. The pictures on each slide are centred as you wish but most photos vary in their aspect ratios so tall photos are fit by height and wide ones fit by width.
You can then save as Powerpoint, here is a little tip; before saving your slide as Powerpoint, break the links to the photos in OpenOffice.org Impress by clicking the edit menu item then click links, select all the links and then press the break link button, save the slideshow and then save as Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP (.ppt) this will have the photos embedded in the Powerpoint slide, even though the file size will be large depending on the amount and size of your photos the slide show will be more portable.
While this does not automatically create the Powerpoint slide show, it could be a time saver as it does automatically create the OpenOffice.org Impress slide show which is easy to save as Powerpoint.
You can do this easily with latex/beamer. Something along these lines:
and then include bla.tex in your main Beamer template file, which you can simply copy each time you need this.