We all know we can link to a video that is sitting somewhere on the Internet from PowerPoint. But what do we do when: 1) An Internet connection is not available (or fast enough) where we are presenting or 2) The video we want has unexpectedly been moved or deleted or 3) The video is one we created and is not on the Internet.

Not a problem! Just follow these steps:

(Instructions for PC ~ Instructions for Mac ~ Presentation Issues)


For PCs ONLY – go here for Mac instructions.

1 Create the slide from which you want to play the video. I am calling this slide “An Example of Stop-Action Video“.
2 Make sure the “Developer” tab is being displayed.
Click on the Windows “Button“, then click on PowerPoint Options.
  Check the box in front of “Show Developer Tab“. Click OK.
3 Click on the Developer Tab
4 Click on “More Tools“.
Scroll through the list and select the Windows Media Player.
This will give you a mini-player right inside PowerPoint that allows you to start, stop and replay the video.
Click OK.
5 Your cursor will now look like a cross-hair on the slide.
While holding the LEFT mouse button down, draw a rectangle of the size you want your player to be. When you release the LEFT mouse button, your slide will look like this:
  If you accidentally release the button before you have drawn the rectangle, just start again at step 4.
6 Once you h ave the player inserted, Right-Click on the player. Click on “Properties“.
7 At the top of the Properties input dialog, click on the “” button in the “Custom” row.
8 Browse to find your video file in the Windows Media Player Properties dialog.
You can also set other variables in this box. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are taking all default settings.
  Click OK.
  Click on the small “x” at top-right to close the Properties input dialog.
Your slide will now automatically play the embedded video when it is displayed.
Click here to save a short, 3-slide PowerPoint show that illustrates this task. Save the file to your computer and then double click on it to run the show.


FOR Macs

Presentation Issues

There are many issues that you can run into when presenting PowerPoint shows with embedded or linked files. These include:

  • Your presentation can’t find the file
  • Your presentation slows down significantly
  • Your video won’t play

These almost always relate to:

  • What version of Windows or Mac OS you are running
  • Where you linked files physically reside
  • Whether you are using the same machine you created the PowerPoint on to display the presentation

The permutations of factors makes it impossible to list specific solutions for any situation. However, here are some hints that MicroSoft offers:

  1. If possible, always run your presentation from the SAME machine you create it on
    This eliminates almost ALL issues
  2. If you have to use another machine, be sure you TEST the presentation before you show it
    This gives you plenty of time to troubleshoot issues before you go “live”
  3. Always LINK files that are larger than 50MB
  4. EMBED files that are 50MB or smaller
  5. If you have to present on a “stranger” machine (such as equipment in a convention hall) PACKAGE your presentation for CD in order to keep all linked files where your presentation expects to find them