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Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how you can insert a video clip on a slide in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. You can add several video file types, and you can also format the appearance of these video clips on your PowerPoint slides.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X



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Do you want to insert video clips within your PowerPoint slides? Videos can be useful to express your message, and PowerPoint lets you easily insert video clips. There are some prerequisites though that you must have in place before you use video clips in PowerPoint and also, you must be sure that you are using video clips for the right reasons.

Why Add Video Clips in PowerPoint Slides?

The Wrong Reasons

Before you proceed, spare a thought for the many wrong reasons why people add video clips to their slides:

  1. Video clips are often added to grab the audience's attention. The presenter or the message of your presentation should be memorable first, and only then, will a memorable video clip help.
  2. Some presenters think that a video clip will add some oomph! However, that’s just not the reason to add video clips.
  3. Other presenters believe that since many presentations contain video, they need to do the same. This herd-mentality won’t help. You must have a compelling reason to add video clips in your PowerPoint presentations.

The Correct Reasons

Fortunately, there are several good reasons for adding video clips to your slides:

  1. You need to show how a machine process works, and a recorded video clip is far more simpler to insert than animating the entire sequence.
  2. An important person cannot attend an event and sends his or her message as a recorded video clip. You insert this on the first slide.
  3. You want to show recorded video coverage to strengthen your point-of-view.
  4. Finally, the video clip should add value to the presentation and be beneficial to your audience.

Before You Begin with Video Files

Some points that you should consider while inserting a video clip in PowerPoint 2016 are:

  1. Your presentation should be saved at least once before inserting the video.
  2. Your video clip should be in a PowerPoint friendly file format.
  3. Preferably, copy any movie/video file you want to insert to the same folder which includes the presentation.

The last option ensures that your video links always work. This is less of a problem with PowerPoint 2016 for Mac since this version embeds any inserted videos as part of the presentation itself. We will explain this option later within this tutorial page.

Follow these steps to insert a video clip into your slide in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac:

  1. Launch PowerPoint. You will see the Presentation Gallery which allows you to set various attributes for your new presentation, such as a preset Theme or template. In this gallery, choose the Blank Presentation option and click the Create button to open a blank presentation with a new slide. Preferably, save your presentation. Then, change the layout of this slide to Title and Content by selecting the Layout | Title and Content option within the Home tab of the Ribbon. Doing so results in the slide layout you see in Figure 1, below.
  2. Notice that this layout has a Content placeholder that lets you add bulleted text or any of the 6 other content types in the slide. These 6 content types are indicated by the 6 buttons you see in the Content placeholder as shown in Figure 1. Click on the Insert Movie from File button within the Content placeholder, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.
  3. Insert Movie from File button within the Content placeholder
    Figure 1: Insert Movie from File button within the Content placeholder
  4. If you want to add a video on a slide that includes no Content placeholder, such as a slide with the Blank layout, first select the Home tab of the Ribbon. Then, click the Video button within the Insert group, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, below. From the drop-down gallery that appears, select the Movie from File option as shown in Figure 2.
  5. Movie from File option selected within the Video drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Movie from File option selected within the Video drop-down gallery
  6. Insert Video from the Movie Browser

  7. You can also insert video into your slide through Movie Browser, the other menu option as shown previously in Figure 2, on this page.
  8. Either way, you will summon Choose a Video dialog box. Navigate to the folder where your video clip to be inserted is located, and you will see a listing or thumbnails of movie clips, as shown in Figure 3, below. Click on the movie clip you need to insert.
  9. Choose a Movie
    Figure 3: Choose a Movie
  10. Thumbnails, Lists, or Columns?

  11. Can't see movie thumbnails, as shown in Figure 3, above? Do you see a list or columns instead? It's simple to change between these views in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. Locate the View button, shown highlighted in green within Figure 3, above, and opt to view the items as icons by selecting the icon with four small squares, highlighted in red within Figure 4, below. Doing so will change the folder view to thumbnails.
  12. View as thumbnails icon
    Figure 4: View as thumbnails icon
  13. Let us now explore whether you want to choose the Insert button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3, above, or even select the Link to File check-box, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3.
  14. Insert

  15. When you just click the Insert button without selecting the Link to File check-box, the video is embedded within the presentation. This is the default option, and will save the inserted video as a part of the presentation file. Do note that this option will increase the file size of the presentation, although PowerPoint 2016 for Mac does some automatic compression.
  16. Link to File

  17. If you want to link to the video clip in your folder, select the Link to File check-box as shown in Figure 5, below, before clicking the Insert button. Doing so reduces the size of your presentation since PowerPoint only saves the path and name of your video clip, rather than saving the entire video. Also, if the linked video is edited outside PowerPoint, the change will get reflected within the presentation automatically as long as the file name and location are not changed after editing the video. Conversely, if the original video is deleted or renamed, you will see a message saying “Media is not found”.
  18. Link to File option
    Figure 5: Link to File option
  19. Copy Clip to Folder Before Linking

  20. If you are selecting the Link to File option, you must first copy the linked video to the same folder that contains your saved presentation. Then, insert the video within your slide. Doing so will ensure that you can copy the entire folder containing the PowerPoint presentation file, your linked video file and any other files to another computer, and the links will continue to work.
  21. Whichever option you choose, PowerPoint will place the video in the center of your slide, as shown in Figure 6, below.
  22. Video placed on slide
    Figure 6: Video placed on slide
  23. Click on the video to play, or use the Play button on the Player Controls bar, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6, above. You can also set the video to play automatically after the slide shows. To do so, select the video so that the Playback tab of the Ribbon appears. Click the Playback tab to activate it. Locate the Start button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7, below, and click upon this button.
  24. Start button within the Playback tab
    Figure 7: Start button within the Playback tab
  25. Contextual Tabs

  26. The Playback tab is a contextual tab. Contextual tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time. They only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
  27. Doing so opens a drop-down list as shown in Figure 8, below. Select the Automatically option as shown in Figure 8.
  28. Automatically start mode selected
    Figure 8: Automatically start mode selected
  29. Test if your video clip plays as expected. Make sure you save your presentation often.

See Also:

Video in PowerPoint - Basics: Insert Video Clips (Glossary Page)

Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 365 for Windows
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 365 for Mac
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2019 for Windows
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2019 for Mac
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows
Insert Video Clips in PowerPoint for the Web

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