To keep your slide count down, insert video into PowerPoint as a layer on a slide. One option – particularly if you’re sharing your presentation with others – is select the video, go to the Playback tab on the ribbon and click Video Options section in the middle. There is a check box to Play Full Screen, which allows you to have it small on the slide while you design but play full screen in slideshow mode.

Video Design

When you click on a video in PowerPoint, two new tabs appear on the ribbon. The Video Format tab offers options to change its style. Controls for changing brightness, contrast, or colour-wash are less than ideal, but changing the poster frame lets you alter the still image you see before it plays. You can use any image saved on your computer (ideally a still from the same file), something PowerPoint finds online, or an icon. Although it can look jarring to go from different images or icons into videos.

The Video Effects button in the middle of the ribbon gives you a whole load of style options similar to image effects. These are probably best avoided but do have some limited uses. A shadow can help videos stand out. Using a little 3D rotation can fit it onto an image of a screen at an angle and provide a more realistic perspective. Remember you’ll likely want people to view it easily, so minimise the effects applied and aim to have it at full screen.

Using Crop button in the ribbon is the easiest way to crop, but you can also crop it to any of PowerPoint’s standard shapes using the Video Shape button – however these can look a little rough, so use with care. However, a circle crop can create a lens/peephole effect to help highlight features within it. Unlike picture cropping, there’s no option to choose aspect ratio, so use a circle shape to line it up correctly.

You can’t use Edit Points to alter the frame, but you can use the Merge Shape tools under the Shape Format tab. If you’ve selected a standard shape with the video, you can subtract any shape, or combination of shapes from it. Or you can use the Intersect to draw a freeform shape and use Edit Points to get refine the edges, and then use that shape as a custom crop frame.

Intersect can also be used be to insert a video inside text. Type your text, position it over the video, select the video, shift click to select the text, then click Intersect so it’s shaped like your text. Ensure you select videos first, otherwise you’ll just keep the text and not the video’s text.

PowerPoint allows users to easily trim a video’s lengths by simply selecting it, going to the Playback tab and then the Editing tools. Selecting Trim Video lets you begin and finish it at any point. However, the end result make look abrupt, so considering Fade In and Fade Out, particularly if it will be presented in full screen.

Video Playback

Playback in PowerPoint is simple and there are a couple options, but autoplay is the easiest since you won’t have to press anything, and the video will play seamlessly during your presentation. However, trigger animations can also help playback look seamless, particularly if you design a play button to click. To create the trigger, select the Play animation in the Animation Pane, go to the Animation tab on the ribbon and choose Trigger on the right-hand side, then On Click of, and choose the object you want to trigger playback.

Your trigger button can also play an entrance animation, so your video can appear on the slide and then start playing rather than begin on screen. You can do the same with an exit animation, so your video is removed from the slide after playing or with another trigger button to close it.

Embedding a video in PowerPoint doesn’t have to include its player controls, which you can hide by going to the SlideShow tab and unchecking the Show Media Controls box. You’ll have to ensure the Action setting is maintained or you’re using a play animation – either in the click sequence or through a trigger to make it play.

You won’t be able skip through without the controls, unless you use bookmarks. To add a bookmark, select your video and use the scroll bar to select the point that you’d like the bookmark. Once selected, click the Playback tab and then Add Bookmark. You’ll now see a small circle in the scroll bar, which is the bookmark. You can add as many bookmarks as you like, and remove them using the Remove Bookmark button.

Use those bookmarks to jump to certain points either by clicking the circles in the scroll bar or using keyboard shortcuts Alt + Home to go back, and Alt + End to go to the next bookmark. Remember, the start and end of videos count as bookmarks with these shortcuts.

Bookmarks can also be a trigger for any other animation. One good use case for this is annotations on videos, so that a PowerPoint shape or text box, anywhere when the video reaches a specific point. Use the Add Animation button on the Animation tab, then click the Trigger button and choose On Bookmark. Select the appropriate bookmark and viola.  Using this technique, you can have elements come in, change, or disappear, all timed to videos.

To explore these techniques and tricks further, check out our Ultimate Guide to Video in PowerPoint or try your hand at animation with some pre-made animated templates we’ve put together for you. We’re here to help you visualise your ideas in the easiest way possible.

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