Videos in PowerPoint

9 October 2008

Sometimes it’s nice to use a video during a presentation. If you want to use a video in PowerPoint, here are my top-tips.

  • Make sure the file name is short, and keep the file in the same directory as the .ppt file.
  • To put a video on a slide, use “Insert→Movie from file”.
  • To get videos from YouTube you can use the web-page from TechCrunch. Save the file as a .flv (you’ll convert it in the next step)
  • Use the .wmv format. If you use .avi or .mpg, you often have to choose the “full-screen mode” to playback the video (otherwise, when you play the video you just get a black box where the video should be). If you want to convert the file, Zamzar is pretty good.

It’s interesting that I’m increasingly relying on web services, rather than installing applications. Once upon at time, I would have installed an add-on to Firefox to be able to download the video. Then I would have installed a video converter. But not now. It is often quicker, and more reliable to use web services (if you are sure they are clean and not loaded with viruses/spyware/malware).

There is even a nice PDF unlocker service for those times you lose the password to a .pdf.