Have you ever inserted a video into a PowerPoint presentation, only to discover that you are unable to distribute your presentation as a single file? Typically, inserting a video (or videos) into a PowerPoint will require that you make sure the video(s) are always placed within the same folder as the PowerPoint file, making the distribution or sharing of your PowerPoint very complicated.
This is the case for 99% of the ‘how to insert a video into PowerPoint’ tutorials that I found on the web. However, this post will show you how you can embed a video file into a PowerPoint presentation that will be self contained within a single PowerPoint file (PPT, PPTX, PPTM, PPTS, etc), and that you can share with colleagues and distribute online without needing to share the video files separately, without having to send zipped archives, and without having to instruct people on what to do with them. This post last updated: on Jun 19th, 2012. Separate instructions are now available for PowerPoint 2003, 2007 and 2010.
Note on PowerPoint 2010 vs. earlier versions: In PowerPoint 2010, it became possible to embed a video file into your presentation fairly easily.
Instructions for PowerPoint 2003 and 2007
The Method: in a nutshell, convert your video to a flash (SWF) file, then embed the file within your PowerPoint presentation. Embedded flash objects will be saved within the PowerPoint file itself, and will play as video. The original video does not need to be placed in the same directory as the PowerPoint file. Problem solved!
For PowerPoint 2003: from ‘step 3’ onwards, the LEFT side of the tables below show the process and screenshots for PowerPoint 2003 (it is essentially the same as 2007, but the interface is obviously different).
For PowerPoint 2007: from ‘step 3’ onwards, the RIGHT side of the tables below show the process and screenshots for PowerPoint 2007.
For PowerPoint 2010: the ‘convert to flash first’ method as explained here WILL WORK on 2010 as well, but there is an easier and more straightforward way to do it on 2010 (see here).
Step 1: download and install a tool that can convert your video to flash (SWF)
(This applies to PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 both). You can convert to flash using many video conversion programs. Any of the following video converters can do it, as can many many others:
- Freemake Video Converter: the best overall free video conversion in my opinion
- DVDVideoSoft’s Free Video to Flash converter: a specialized tool which I will use to illustrate the rest of this tutorial.
- This tiny tool also will do it.
Step 2: convert your video to SWF
(This applies to PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 both). Do it whichever way you want to and go to step #3. Alternately here’s a quick step-by-step on how to convert your video to flash. First, install DVDVideoSoft’s Free Video to Flash converter (make sure to uncheck the unnecessary crapware toolbar during the install process). Run the converter, then:
- Drag and drop your video onto the interface
- Select SWF
- Uncheck ‘create HTML template’;
- Select destination folder
- switch to high quality (optional) and
- click ‘convert’.
See the annotated screenshot to the right.
Note: once your SWF file is generated, check out the size on disk. If it is too high and you want it to be smaller, re-convert using a lower quality setting.
Step 3: in PowerPoint, enable the developer tab in the ribbon
|You do not need to worry about this in PowerPoint 2003|
|Launch PowerPoint. Go to the start orb; then click ‘PowerPoint Options’.|
|Then click on ‘Show Developer Tab in Ribbon’. |
You should now be able to see a new ‘Developer’ tab in the ribbon.
Step 4: create a SWF object in PowerPoint
|Select the ‘Developer’ tab then click ‘More Controls’|
|Scroll down to ‘Shockwave Flash Object’ then click ‘ok’|
|Next; draw a rectangle with the mouse (this will define the size of your video).|
Step 5: link up your flash object with your flash SWF video file
Step 6: that’s it. Save your file.
To preview your flash video, just start the PowerPoint slideshow (the keyboard shortcut CTRL+F5 by default). Save your PowerPoint file and you’re done.
If you have any thoughts or comments, please share them below.