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Video Shape in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to add shapes for video clips in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher

When you insert a video clip within a PowerPoint slide, you'll find it placed as a traditional rectangular shape. And while that's exactly what most users expect, it does seem safe and conventional. However, PowerPoint 2013 does allow you to have your video playing in different shapes such as a circle or oval, or a wave, a triangle, or any of the shapes that PowerPoint includes. Just the fact that a video can be placed within a shape is no reason to forego the conventional rectangle. Do remember that most other shapes may crop out important parts of your video clips.

In the following tutorial, we will explain how you can constrain your video to play within a specific shape:

  1. Open your presentation, and navigate to the required slide where you have already inserted a video clip. Just select or double-click the video clip to bring up the two Video Tools tabs in the Ribbon. These two tabs are Format and Playback. Click the Format tab to activate it, as shown in Figure 1 (highlighted in red).

    Video Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 1: Video Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  2. When you insert a video on your slide, it may display a black rectangle on the slide (see Figure 1, above). If your video clip does not show a black rectangle, then directly proceed to Step 3.

    If you see the black rectangle in place of the video clip, then you will have to add a Poster Frame to your video clip, as shown in Figure 2 below.

    What’s a Poster Frame?

    A Poster Frame is a still picture from your video clip. You can manually choose a Poster Frame, especially if you see just a black rectangle on your slide, at the time of inserting the video clip. When you are choose different Video Effects, it is good to see a live preview of the actual video clip being applied with those Video Effects, rather than seeing a black rectangle. Anyhow, applying a Poster Frame is entirely optional, and has no relation to your being able to follow the rest of this tutorial.

    Video clip with a poster frame added
    Figure 2: Video clip with a poster frame added
  3. Within the Video Tools Format tab, click the Video Shape button (highlighted in blue within Figure 1, shown earlier on this page) to access the Video Shape drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 3.

    Video Shape drop-down gallery
    Figure 3: Video Shape drop-down gallery

    Note: The Video Shape drop-down gallery is similar to Shapes gallery in PowerPoint 2013.
  4. Now, select any shape from the Video Shape drop-down gallery that suits your requirements. For this tutorial, we have chosen the Isosceles Triangle, as shown in Figure 3 above.
  5. This constrains the selected video within the Isosceles Triangle shape. Play your video at least once to ensure that no important parts get cropped out. Figure 4 shows previously inserted video playing within the Isosceles Triangle.

    Video within the Isosceles Triangle shape
    Figure 4: Video within the Isosceles Triangle shape

    Once the shape of the video is changed, you can use the Video Effects, Video Border, and the Video Styles to enhance its look.

    Rectange or Rounded Rectangle?

    Try using shapes that are similar to a conventional rectangle such as a Rounded Rectangle or any of the Snipped rectangles (see Figure 5 below). This way you can prevent large areas of the video from being cropped out when a shape is added. Even then, make sure you preview your video clip to make sure that no important areas are cropped off.

    Shapes similar to a rectangle work good as Video Shapes
    Figure 5: Shapes similar to a rectangle work good as Video Shapes
  6. Make sure you save your presentation.

See Also:

Video Shape in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Movie Shape in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Video Shape in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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