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Microsoft PowerPoint

This guide covers the basic tools in PowerPoint and offers some information about designing good PowerPoint slides.

Working with Audio and Video Overview

While how you insert a movie or sound file is similar to inserting a picture (go to the Insert Ribbon and click on the Video or Audio icon), how PowerPoint deals with these files is different. Unlike an image file, which is embedded into your presentation, media clips are linked, and so you must retain the media clip and move it as well if you move your presentation. For this reason, we recommend that you always store the media clips in the same location as the presentation that will use them; that way, if you move the presentation, you can move the media file and keep it in the same relative location to the presentation.

Also, be sure that the computer you’re using has speakers. If you are in a large room, make sure that you can hook your computer to the in-room audio, or no one will be able to hear your video!

File Types

While it’s true that the media file is linked to the PowerPoint presentation, if you use one of the formats described below, it will still display on the PowerPoint slide – if you don’t use one of these formats, you can hyperlink to the file and play it outside of PowerPoint (in QuickTime Player, for example). Then, after you finish showing the clip, you’ll need to get back into PowerPoint to continue your presentation. For longer clips, you may want to just play it directly from the DVD.

Not all audio and video file types work in PowerPoint, and many are not cross-platform, so you need to know what computer you are using (Mac or Windows) as well as what additional software is available if you are presenting on a computer that is not your own.

Sound formats that work with PowerPoint include: .wav, .mp3., .wma, .midi, .aiff, and .au. RealAudio (.ra) files will not work directly in PowerPoint, and will need to be converted.

Video formats that work with PowerPoint include: .avi, .mpg, and .mpeg. QuickTime (.mov) and RealVideo (.ram or .rv) will not work directly in PowerPoint, and will need to be converted or hyperlinked.

Additionally, PowerPoint will support HD formats, which include .mov and .mp4 videos with H.264 video and AAC audio encoding.

Inserting Sound or Video

1. To insert a sound or video, go to the Insert Ribbon and click on the Video or Audio icon and choose Video or Audio from File….  

video and audio

2. Navigate to the correct clip, and click the OK button.


3. Once audio is inserted, an audio button will appear, allowing sound to play when it is clicked button


video format ribbon