Monday, June 14, 2010

Why use PowerPoint 2010 to insert videos?

If you've ever inserted videos in your PowerPoint, you must have felt the pain when your friends or audience reported that video didn't play in the slide show you shared on email. Those who are well versed with PowerPoint know that video files are always linked. This means that PowerPoint always play the video file from the path it was lying when it was inserted. Smart PowerPoint users have been following the practice of keeping the PowerPoint file and videos in a common folder, zip it and share the zip file on email. This way the video inserted always refer to the path of the folder.

Lately, PowerPoint users have started using online PowerPoint sharing websites to share their presentations. Tools like authorSTREAM Desktop, which automatically ship video/audio along with PowerPoint file to their servers make sure that the online version of PowerPoint (Flash output) plays the video and audio. However, original PPT if downloaded, still fails to play the video inserted.

PowerPoint users have always longed for video embedding feature, similar to audio embedding. Finally, Microsoft has fixed the video insertion issue in PowerPoint 2010. With PowerPoint 2010, you need not to worry about the video file path or annoying "Cannot find the specified file.." errors at audience end.

Embed video files in PowerPoint 2010

In PowerPoint 2010, videos inserted from hard-disk are embedded directly into the presentation unless you deliberately choose to link. You just need to insert videos and forget about the rest. PowerPoint 2010 has also got some nifty features of optimizing and editing videos inserted.

Compatibility and Optimization of the file size

As the video files are contained in PowerPoint itself so PowerPoint size can be a major issue when it comes to sharing on the web. Also the non availability of video codec at audience end can be an issue. Optimize Media Compatibility feature of PowerPoint 2010 and Compress Media button takes care of codec and file size issues. Click optimize media compatibility on the backstage to get rid of codec issues. The compress media button available on backstage compresses the media file(s) thus reducing the total size of the PowerPoint file.

Video editing in PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint 2010 provides many ways and means to edit the video. You can recolor videos, change brightness and contrast, set the bookmarks, change the shape and design of the video inserted. You can also trim unwanted portions of a video which you don't want to show up in the slide show.

Simply insert a video, and select the “Trim Video” option on the Playback tab. Set the “Start Time” and “End Time” either from the time-line or enter the values in respective text boxes. Trimming helps you crop unwanted stuff from the video.

Trim video

So now no more zip folders, no more video file missing errors. No matter how you insert, what's the file size, what video codec you used, with PowerPoint 2010, your videos are gonna play everywhere for sure.

PowerPoint 2010 also lets you insert Flash embeds of video sharing websites like YouTube, Vimeo. Such embeds just store the reference of path and player they are hosted on and require Internet connection to play during sideshow.

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