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Add Your Folder Within The Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to add your own folder other than the pre-designated folders within the Photos, Audio, and Movies tabs of the Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X






The Media Browser is PowerPoint 2011 is a central repository of media content that you can use in your presentations. It has six tabs that we have covered extensively: Photos, Audio, Movies, Clip Art, Symbols, and Shapes. These six tabs are primarily of two types:

  1. Tabs that catalog content in your Mac OS X special collections, such as your iTunes collection for the Audio tab, the iMovie collection for the Movies tab, and your iPhoto library for the Photos tab.
  2. Tabs that catalog Microsoft Office assets, such as installed clip art for the Clip Art tab, quick access to symbols in the Symbols tab, and access to shapes that are part of Microsoft Office within the Shapes tab.

Although the first category of tabs may appear restricted to the Mac OS X special collections, they can be tweaked to show content from any other folder on your computer. In fact you can add more folders to the Folder / Browser Pane (highlighted in red in Figure 1). In this example, we will explore adding another folder to the Photos tab -- but you can do the same for the Audio and Movies tabs too.

Folder/Browser pane displaying iPhoto content
Figure 1: Folder/Browser pane displaying iPhoto content

  1. With the Photos tab active within the Media Browser, make sure that it shows the Folder / Browser in the top pane rather than a drop-down list. To learn more about the Photos tab, and how to change the top pane to the Folder / Browser view, explore our Media Browser (Photos tab) tutorial.
  2. In the Mac OS X Finder, navigate to the folder which you want to add (see Figure 2). For this tutorial we selected a folder containing some pictures downloaded from Microsoft Office site (highlighted in red in Figure 2).

    Navigate to the folder which has to be added
    Figure 2: Navigate to the folder which has to be added
  3. Now, we need to drag a shortcut (alias) for that folder to within the Folder / Browser Pane of the Media Browser -- but that is easier said than done. The minute you select the Finder window, Media Browser will disappear! You have to start using PowerPoint again to make Media Browser visible -- and then the Finder is no longer active! But there's a way to get around this limitation!

    Make sure that the Finder window is not minimized -- drag it to the left side of your desktop, and resize it so that it is small enough to be unobtrusive but large enough to be visible. The folder that you want to add to Media Browser should be visible, as shown in Figure 2 above.
  4. Activate Media Browser within PowerPoint -- and place it towards the right side of the desktop (we already placed the Finder window on the left side in the previous step).
  5. Then minimize PowerPoint and you'll find that the Media Browser is still visible. Now that both the Media Browser and the Finder are visible, you are ready to proceed to the next step very carefully!
  6. Now just click on the folder in the Finder window -- do not release your mouse at all, keep the primary mouse button pressed. Then, without letting go off the primary mouse button, drag and drop the folder to the Folder / Browser section of the Photos tab until you see a green circle with a plus sign which denotes that the folder is being added to the Photos tab (see Figure 3). At this point, let go off the primary mouse button.

    Folder being dragged
    Figure 3: Folder being dragged
  7. The folder which was selected earlier is now added within the Folder / Browser Pane of Photos tab (highlighted in red in Figure 4).

    New folder added within the Finder / Browser pane
    Figure 4: New folder added within the Finder / Browser pane
  8. Select the added folder to view the pictures within the Preview Pane of the Photos tab, as shown in Figure 5.

    Pictures displayed within the Preview Pane
    Figure 5: Pictures displayed within the Preview Pane
  9. Right-click on the added folder to get a contextual menu (see Figure 6).

    Options within the contextual menu after right clicking the added folder
    Figure 6: Options within the contextual menu after right clicking the added folder

    The two options within this Contextual menu are:

    Revel in Finder: Select this option to launch this folder within Finder.

    Remove Folder: This option deletes the selected folder from Folder / Browser Pane of the Photos tab -- of course you can add this or any other folder using the procedure explained on this page.
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