Insert Video in PowerPoint

How do you put video files into PowerPoint? Can you show video in a PowerPoint presentation? The answer is yes! In fact, it’s very easy.

Video files come in several formats. The formats that work well in PowerPoint are:

  • AVI
  • WMV
  • MPG (or MPEG)

Before you start, you must put the video file in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. The reason for this is that if you ever move your presentation to another computer, you video probably won’t play. Not following this advice is probably the #1 reason videos don’t play in PowerPoint.

Then, choose Insert> Movies and Sounds> Movie from File. (In PowerPoint 2007, go to Insert tab> Media Clips Group> Movie.) From the dialog box, find and double-click the video file. (Note that “video” and “movie” mean the same thing.)

You see a message asking you if you want the video to play automatically or when clicked. Choose whichever you want. You can change the option later. The first frame of the video appears on your slide.

— Change how the video plays in PowerPoint —
You have some control over how the video plays in PowerPoint. Right-click the video on the slide, and choose Edit Movie Object to open the Movie Options dialog box. (In PowerPoint 2007, select the video, and click the Movie Tools Options tab. Most of the options are on the tab, but powerpoint all. For more options, click the dialog box launcher arrow at the right side of the group’s title bar to open the Movie Options dialog box.)

Here’s what you can do:

  • Loop the video: Check the Loop Until Stopped check box.
  • Rewind the video: Check the Rewind Movie When Done (After) Playing checkbox. You would do this if you might need to play it more than once during a presentation
  • Hide the video when it isn’t playing: Check the Hide While Not Playing check box.
  • Zoom the video to full screen: Check the Zoom to Full Screen/Play Full Screen check box. (This was a new feature in PowerPoint 2003.) This will probably result in low resolution.

If you want to change whether the video plays automatically or only when clicked, choose Slide Show> Custom Animation (in PowerPoint 2007, Animations tab> Custom Animation) to open the Custom Animation task pane:

  • If you chose to play the video automatically, you’ll see two items; the first has a Start setting of After Previous and the second has a trigger (the video itself) and a Start setting of On Click. To change to playing when clicked, delete the item that has a Start setting of After previous.
  • If you chose to play the video when clicked, you’ll just see the trigger and the On Click setting in the Start box. To change to playing automatically, click the item’s down arrow in the Custom Animations task pane, and choose Timing. Under the Triggers button, click the Animate as Part of Click Sequence option. In the same dialog box, set the Start to With Previous. Click OK. (Note that there still may be a slight delay after you display the slide before the video starts to play.)

You can size the video so that it’s appropriate for the resolution of your screen or projector. This is useful if you switch to a computer or projector with a different resolution than the original computer where you created the presentation. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the video.
  2. Right-click the video and choose Format Picture to open the Format Picture dialog box. (In PowerPoint 2007, right-click and choose Size and Position to open the Size and Position dialog box.)
  3. Click the Size tab.
  4. Check the Best Scale for Slide Show check box.

— Troubleshooting video in PowerPoint —
Sometimes, videos in PowerPoint don’t play. There can be a number of reasons for this:

  • Videos are linked, not embedded. If you move your presentation, or send it to someone, you must include the video file. The Package for CD feature can do this for you. Choose File> Package for CD and use the Copy to Folder button. (In PowerPoint 2007, choose Office button> Publish> Package for CD.)
  • When created, videos are compressed using compression/decompression algorithms. These are called codecs for short. If your computer doesn’t have the codec that was used when the video was created, PowerPoint won’t play the video.
  • PowerPoint for the Mac plays MOV (Quicktime) files; but PowerPoint for the PC doesn’t. So, if the presentation was created on the Mac, your video might not play because it’s a MOV file.

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