PowerPoint makes it very simple to insert media clips like sounds and movies -- and this simplicity comes at a price. You might encounter an unknown codec or a lost link. Or you might just run into many other problems that PowerPoint faces with media files.
PFCPro 2007 is a PowerPoint-helper application (typically these applications are called PowerPoint add-ins) that will help you with media problems, and make sure that the media files you insert into your PowerPoint slides play all the time.
PFCPro 2007 is the new PowerPoint 2007 and Windows Vista compatible version of PFCPro -- the older version continues to work with earlier PowerPoint versions.Back
About PFCPro 2007
PFCPro 2007 is from AT&W Technologies, a company based in Denver, USA. You can learn more about their products and download a trial version of the addin here (link no longer exists).
PFCPro has four different way of inserting video/movie clips into a PowerPoint presentation:
- Media from File
- Media from DVD
- Video/TV In
- Media from URL
All the four options come with basic editing capabilities, which provides the user with more control over the file. For example, you don't need a video editor to do simple tasks like resizing, clipping, or re-encoding media.
In addition, PFCPro also allows you to insert sound files, although the editing options here are more limited.
PFCPro 2007 does not move or overwrite your original media files -- it creates a new file and places it within the same folder as your saved presentation to preserve linking. Presentations can be sent through email with all required files and links through PFCPro 2007.
My contact at AT&W Technologies for this review was Austin Myers - thank you, Austin.Back
Download and Installation
Download the installer, run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with a Advance Media Tools button under Insert tab of the ribbon as shown in Figure 1
Figure 1: PFCPro 2007
All features of PFCPro 2007 are fully integrated into the Office 2007 Ribbon tabs and task panes.Back
Using PFCPro 2007
Although PFCPro 2007 offers more than one way of inserting a media file, we'll explore the most common option: Media From File for this small walkthrough.
- Open an existing presentation, or create a new one in PowerPoint 2007, and save the presentation.
- Select the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click on the Advance Media Tools button which provides a full menu of PFCPro 2007 functions and features as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: PFCPro 2007 features
- From this menu, choose Media from File
- This activates the PFCPro 2007 Media from File task pane on the right side of PowerPoint 2007 interface without any video file selected (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: PFCPro 2007 Media from File task pane
- Click the Open File button -- this brings up a dialog box from where you can select the media file you wish to insert. PFCPro will automatically run a test of the video clip by playing it in the self contained media player within the task pane, as shown in Figure 4 below.
Figure 4: PFCPro 2007's Media from File options
- As you can see in Figure 4 above, the media player includes playback controls. Below the controls are six tabs that let you tweak the media clip. These tabs are explained below:
- Timing: Here you can determine when your media file will play in the presentation. You can also opt to loop the media file until the ESC key is pressed. Click the Apply Change button after selecting your options (all tabs include both Apply Change and Reset Change buttons).
- Size: In this tab, you can choose a preset size like half the slide area, one-eighth the slide area, etc. You can also enter a custom size.
- Cropping: This tab allows you to crop a media clip's image area. You may remove part of the clip which is not required. To crop the clip, click Begin Cropping.This opens a full screen display with the video centered in the screen and surrounded with four red lines as shown in Figure 5. Click the appropriate direction buttons along each side to reposition the red cropping lines to new coordinates. Once you have chosen the crop area, click the Enter/Return key to return to the task pane. Again, click Apply Changes to perform the cropping.
- Quality: In this tab, you can set the quality level for the media when you insert it.
- Metadata: This tab provides information of the media file like title, author, copyright, description, etc. which is normally not visible to the end user.
- Duration: In this tab, you can trim your media clip by setting Mark In and Mark Out points.
- When all the changes are done, click on the Finish\Insert button.
The other options are explained below:
- Media From DVD allows to insert a clip from any DVD and play it directly in your presentation.
- Media From URL works on both the internet and an intranet. It sources streaming media located on a server and plays it within your presentations.
- Video/TV In allows you to use connected PC devices such webcams, capture cards, TV input, and even USB devices as a video source.
Pricing and Support
PFCPro 2007 costs $129.95 and users that have already registered PFCPro in an earlier version can upgrade for free.
Support is through email, phone and a online FAQ.Back
PFCPro 2007 is a media champ -- it helps you step-by-step, making sure all the while that the media clips you insert in your PowerPoint slides play most of the time on most computers. It is certainly the most complete solution of its kind available anywhere.Back