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PowerPoint and Video - Part III

Learn about PowerPoint and Video.


Date Created:

...Continued from Page 2

Insert Video Objects (Video with Play Controller)
Links and Link Problems
Video Playlists
Full Screen Videos
The DVD Factor
Between the Mac and Windows
Video Editing with Windows Movie Maker
Copyright Implications
Running Smooth Videos

Insert Video Objects (Video with Play Controller)

PowerPoint also allows you to insert video objects within a slide - the advantage in inserting such video objects is that you'll get a video controller along with the video itself while PowerPoint is in slide show mode. Thus you can stop, pause and play the video right within PowerPoint.

  1. Navigate to the slide where you want your video inserted in a new or existing presentation.

  2. Choose Insert | Object.

  3. In the Insert Object dialog box, make sure that the 'Create new' radio button is selected and choose the Media Clip option (you could also choose the Video Clip option).

  4. PowerPoint's menus will metamorphose to Media Player's menu options - choose Insert Clip provides several options including Video for Windows (for AVI videos) and DirectShow (for MPG, WMV and ASF movies) - the other options are to insert sound objects.

  5. Choose Edit | Options and place a check next to the Auto Rewind option. You can also choose whether you want a control bar should be visible while the video plays. By default, this option is selected. Click OK.

  6. Click anywhere outside the video object - you can reposition and resize your video.

Normally, video objects play when clicked - if you want the video to play immediately with the slide:

  1. Select the video and choose Slide Show | Custom Animation. This will activate the Custom Animation taskpane.

  2. With the video object still selected, choose Add Effect | Object Actions | Play.

  3. Change the default Start value from On Click to After Previous.

Note: Movies inserted this way will not play on PowerPoint:mac versions.


Links and Link Problems

Whenever you insert a movie (or a movie as an object) within PowerPoint, it is invariably linked to the presentation. In fact PowerPoint cannot embed any movies within the presentation - that's probably sound reasoning in the first place because embedded movies would balloon up PowerPoint file sizes like nothing else!

Now for the bad part - PowerPoint is not too good at remembering link locations. As far as the presentation and the video files are on the same system, you will not face any problems. However, if you decide to move or copy the presentation to another system you'll discover that PowerPoint cannot locate the video files - it won't even offer to find the links for you. The solution is quite simple - assemble all your video files in the same folder as your presentation even before you insert them into PowerPoint. And yes, only insert the videos into a presentation that has been saved at least once.


Video Playlists

You can create a playlist of your videos in Windows Media Player and get PowerPoint to play the entire sequence of videos - an invaluable idea if you want to play a series of videos within a presentation seamlessly and you don't have the time to get the videos rendered together in a video editing package.

  1. In Windows Media Player, create a playlist consisting of the sequence of videos that you want to play. In fact, you can also create a sequence that contains both videos and sound. Save the playlist to a Windows Media Playlist file (*.WPL)

  2. In PowerPoint, create or open an existing presentation and go to the slide where you want to begin playing the sounds and choose Insert | Movies and Sounds | Movie from File...

  3. Navigate to folder contain the playlist (*.WPL) file (you might need to change the "files of type" option to "All files (*.*)"

  4. Select desired *.WPL playlist and click OK. PowerPoint will prompt you if you want the sound to start "Automatically" - accept this option.

  5. Right-click the shape that PowerPoint places on the slide and choose the Custom Animation option. In the Custom Animation task pane click on the item and choose "Effect Options" from the drop-down menu.

  6. Specify in the "Stop playing" group how many slides you want the playlist to continue playing through. If you want all the videos to play on a single slide choose the Stop playing after current slide option.

Since a playlist can include either audio or video, the playlist object will appear and behave like a Movie object in PowerPoint for video. For sounds, it will appear as a black rectangle on the slide (where Windows Media visualizations will appear for audio).


Full Screen Videos

PowerPoint 2003 allows playing of full screen videos in a presentation:

  1. Right click the video object and choose Edit Movie Object.

  2. Check the option that reads 'Zoom to full screen'.

You'll also find options to loop the movie or rewind it after playing within this dialog box.


The DVD Factor

Playback of DVD content is an often requested feature for PowerPoint that is not natively possible. A third party product from Visible Light called Onstage DVD for PowerPoint allows you insert and play DVD content within PowerPoint:



Between the Mac and Windows

Not surprisingly, PowerPoint on the Mac has no problems playing any type of QuickTime movie since that format is native to the Mac OS. However, this can create problems if the presentation is ported from the Mac to the Windows version of PowerPoint - and this is something that happens all the time.

Luckily, PowerPoint 2004 for the Mac ships with a Compatibility Wizard that undertakes what one would term pre-flighting in the print world. Unfortunately, no such equivalent wizard is available in PowerPoint for Windows.


Video Editing with Windows Movie Maker

You might want to explore Windows Movie Maker, a video editing application that is part of Windows to do basic video edits like adding credits to video or inserting transitions between different video clips.

Windows Movie Maker can only export to the WMV format which PowerPoint has no problem accepting.


Copyright Implications

There's one factor that can never be stressed enough and that's about copyright. Never assume that you can use a video clip in a presentation if it is not yours or licensed to you. To use a video clip that is or contains copyrighted work, you need to receive explicit permission from the owner of that content in writing.


Running Smooth Videos

What do you do if your video clips don't run too well within PowerPoint? Videos do require more system resources than most other media and some steps can go a long way in helping you run smoother videos. Here's some help - do remember that you don't have to follow every idea listed here. Some ideas are from my friend, TAJ Simmons.

  1. Don't run any programs in the background that can be avoided - these include instant messengers, camera or webcam software, your PDA connectivity application, etc. Also, it's a good idea to disable your screen saver.

  2. Close all open programs except PowerPoint.

  3. Defrag your hard disk often so that it can function optimally.

  4. Upgrade your video RAM - also upgrade your system RAM if possible.

  5. Make the next 'event' in PowerPoint something very simple - you don't want PowerPoint trying to assemble a "zoom" bitmap while it's trying to play the video.

  6. Right-click the movie within the slide, choose the 'Edit Movie Object' option and check the option "Hide while not playing" in the Movie Options dialog box.

  7. If you are creating your own video files, try making them "fade from black" in the actual video file since it helps to hide the fact that PowerPoint often stutters before playing the video file.


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