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Get The Picture! Insert Video Into Your PowerPoint Show!


PowerPoint is a multimedia tool. Almost 100% of the time, it's merely used to present text and images. The program has the power to support audio and video--in small amounts. Used wisely, a video clip can add impact to your PowerPoint presentation.

Case in point: Presentation Tree created a show for a client that featured a 20-second TV commercial. We inserted the video file into a slide. The client was able to seamlessly present a key piece of their marketing. It wowed and entertained their audience!

On your computer, video files are converted into a digital format, such as AVI, QuickTime, and MPEG, and file extensions such as .avi, .mov, .qt, .mpg, and .mpeg.  

If you are working with a video file in a different format than these, then you may need to convert it into one of the above formats. A great free tool for converting video files is Super (Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer). You can download it here. (Bonus Tip: if you do use this tool, select "mpg VCD compliant" for the output to convert to a format that PowerPoint will be able to run.

Earlier, we said that we inserted a video file "into" a PowerPoint slide. That's not quite right. Here's how it really works.

The video file is not embedded into the slide. Rather, it's linked to it. Thus, you need to have the video file in the same folder as your PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint creates a link to that video file. If you move the file outside that folder, the program can't find the video.

It's easy to rebuild the link. You'll find quick, simple steps below.

Another important note: video files can be pretty big. This can affect how smoothly they run. You'll need a souped-up computer (one with at least 500MHz processor and plenty of RAM) to efffectively run video files. Short clips run the smoothest on most systems.


1. Open your PPT presentation.

2. In "Slide View," open the file you'd like to link to the video.

3. In the upper menu, select INSERT>MOVIE>FROM FILE

4. Find and select the video file.

5. A resizable black square will appear in your slide. This is where your video file will link. The larger you make the square, the fuzzier the video image will be.

6. View the slide in full screen mode. If the link is successful, the video should immediately run. It stays as a lifeless black box in all other viewing modes.

Just remember: the video file must stay in the same folder as your PPT presentation file, on your hard drive.

Your PPT shows don't have to be lifeless text and images. You can bring movement, sound, and visual impact to a presentation with a video file.

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