Add Movie Magic to Your PowerPoint Presentations

Anybody who has used – or sat through – a PowerPoint presentation knows how easy it is to get carried away with the program’s many bells and whistles. Nobody wants to look at a presentation that’s packed to the gills with extraneous whooshing sounds, animated stick figures, and garishly colored charts. However, PowerPoint offers one capability you might want to take advantage of: video.

Let’s say you’re doing a presentation for a prospective client. Along with your slides about the services you offer, you might want to include a collection of video testimonials from satisfied customers.

Here’s how you do it:
1. Make the video and save it in a commonly used video format such as AVI, MPEG, or WMV. This will ensure that the presentation will play successfully regardless of what kind of computer you’re using to access it.

2. Save the video in the same folder as your PowerPoint presentation.

3. In the PowerPoint presentation, go to the slide where you want the video to play. If you’re on PowerPoint 2003, go to the Insert menu, select Movies and Sounds, select From File, and choose the movie you want. If you’re using PowerPoint 2007, you have two options. If the slide layout includes a content placeholder, click the Insert Movie button in the placeholder. Or you can also click the Movie button in the Media Clips group on the Insert tab, pictured here:

4. Whether you’re using the 2003 or the 2007 version, you’ll be prompted to specify whether you want the video the play automatically or only when you’ve manually clicked it.
And that’s it!

One important thing to remember: unlike pictures or drawings, videos are not actually embedded in presentations. They’re linked files. The presentation has to know where to “look” when you ask it to play the video, and if you move the video after you set up the link in the presentation, PowerPoint won’t know where to find the original video. So make sure the video is stored in a logical place before you link it. The most logical place, of course, is in the same folder as the presentation itself – thus Step #2 above. Keeping all the relevant files in the same place also makes for easy copying if you need to save the presentation to CD or other media.

The fact that videos are linked, not embedded, also presents some challenges if you want to send somebody a presentation by email. The easiest thing to do is use the Package for CD feature, which can bundle up all linked files and your presentation into a single ZIP file. You can then email the ZIP file.

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When (and How) to Use Linked vs. Embedded Worksheets

Sometimes when you use a worksheet in a Microsoft PowerPoint or Word presentation, you want it to be as up-to-date as possible. Other times, it doesn’t matter if the information is current or not – you can just use a static copy of an old worksheet.

In the first instance, you’ll want to use a linked worksheet. In other words, your presentation will look for its source data in the original Excel file. In the second instance, you can use an embedded worksheet – basically, a copy that you can modify without it affecting the original. Embedded worksheets are handy when you’re sharing your presentation with others, because it means you won’t have to send the original Excel file along with the presentation.

Linked Worksheets

So let’s say you’ve got a PowerPoint presentation that includes a slide showing the most current quarter’s sales figures. That will change from quarter to quarter, of course, so you should use a linked worksheet. If you choose this option, remember that your machine will look for the source data in the original Excel file every time you open the PowerPoint presentation.

Here’s how to insert a linked Excel 2007 worksheet in PowerPoint 2007:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to the Home tab, find the Clipboard group, click the arrow under Paste, and then click Paste Special.

 

7. In the As list, select Microsoft Office Excel object.
8. Click Paste link.

To perform the same operation using Excel and PowerPoint 2003:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to Edit/Paste Special.
7. Select the Paste link toggle and select Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object.

Embedded Worksheets

If you’re using information that will not be updated, or if you don’t want changes to a worksheet to be reflected in your presentation, you can simply embed a copy of the worksheet in the presentation. (This also makes the presentation more portable, because it won’t automatically “look” for the source data in Excel every time you open it.)

Here’s how to insert an embedded Excel 2007 worksheet in PowerPoint 2007:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to the Home tab, find the Clipboard group, click the arrow under Paste, and then click Paste Special.
 

7. In the As list, select Microsoft Office Excel object.
8. Click Paste.

To perform the same operation using Excel and PowerPoint 2003:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to Edit/Paste Special.
7. Select the Paste toggle and select Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object.

If you’ve got a question about Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or other Office programs, CMIT Solutions can help. Give us a call at (800) 399-CMIT.