PowerPoint (Mac)/Adding Video & Sound

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Videos and audio files can be "embedded" in PowerPoint slides.

In this way you can show short movie clips or listen to sound files as an accent to your presentation or as a major feature of it.

  • Play a scene from a movie
  • Illustrate a point
  • Let the author speak for him or herself

When embedded, the files can be set to automatically start when the slide appears or at the interval you want.

Alternatively, video and sound can be hyperlinked to your slide and can be played by streaming the media from the internet. But embedded files have the advantage of not requiring a internet connection and avoid annoying load-delays for streaming, and will keep your presentation active, instead of switching to another application such as an internet browser.

You should be careful to understand, however, copyright restrictions, and how they apply to your usage. Only videos and sound files that you personally created or whose copies you own, or which are otherwise permitted for Fair Use in classrooms should be embedded in your PowerPoint. Generally, you should avoid public performance, publication or broadcast of these files. But in most cases limited classroom use should be no problem.

Basic Copyright Rules

Under Copyright laws Instructors and students are permitted a Fair Use of video and sound from commercial sources, movies, TV shows, etc. which are not otherwise free of royalties.

Current guidelines by Minnesota State for use of copyrighted materials INSIDE classrooms allows a good deal of latitude:

"The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor has established the following guidelines relating to the performance of copyrighted works in the classroom, distance education and in public settings, for educational purposes based on copyright law, including the recently enacted TEACH Act."
"Educators at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities colleges and universities may show, display or perform others' work in the classroom, including videos, motion pictures, other similar audiovisual works, music materials, dramatic works, and other copyrighted works under the following conditions:
  1. The showing or displaying of the work is done in the classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.
  2. The teacher and the students must be in the same location.
  3. The audience must be composed of members of one class only.
  4. The showing or displaying of the work must be part of systematic instruction, which does not include recreational or cultural programs.
  5. The showing or displaying of the work must be the decision of the instructor, a student, or a guest lecturer.
  6. In the case of videotape, film, or other audiovisual work, the work must have been lawfully obtained.
Provided these conditions are met, few restrictions are placed on educators' use of others' work in a face-to-face classroom setting."

For more information about Minnesota State policy regarding the use of copyrighted materials, go to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

The reproduction or creative appropriation of content, not simply the playing of content for the sake of discussion or interpretation, has different considerations.

If you use content OUTSIDE classrooms, the use of audio/video loops or samples that are not royalty-free should be limited by Fair Use Standards: that is, segments should not exceed 10% or 30 seconds of copyright-protected recording.

NOTE: rules for use of copyrighted materials are complex. If you have additional questions, contact:

Thomas Bremer
Dean, Library & Information Services
Somsen Hall 202B
email Dr. Bremer
(507) 457-5141

Embedding Videos

NOTE: To edit videos for PowerPoint, see iMovie and related help.

A dialog will prompt you to locate the file in the usual way.

The common video files that can be used in Microsoft PowerPoint for a Mac are Quicktime Movies (.mov files) as well files that ordinarily work for a PC in PowerPoint-AVI, or MPEG. In addition, because we have installed an optional codec with a utility called Flip4MacWMV, your QuickTime engine will support viewing WMV movie files which is a content created by and for PCs.

After selection you will be prompted to decide whether you want the movie to start automatically (default) or on a click. The movie will be centered and will appear on the slide as freeze frame. The movie image can be resized, using "handles" on the corners of the image to make it smaller or larger. Keep in mind that a larger size will probably be more blurry.

A special tool will become available in the ToolBox for the selected movie. In the tool you can change several features of the movie's presentation, including:

  • Timing of when it plays
  • Change volume
  • Toggle to show full screen
  • Loop it
  • Show the media controls on screen
  • The "Style" and "Effect" around the movie's image

How to Use Flash (FLV) Video in PowerPoint (Mac)

To use Flash (FLV) video--the content of most streaming video sites on the web--you need to load a special codec into the QuickTime engine which controls the video content of PowerPoint (Mac).

You can do this by installing the software Perian. Perian will permit you view FLV movies on a Mac using QuickTime and will permit you to edit those videos if you have the right editor installed on your Mac.

Perian also adds capacity to view other kinds of sound and video files on the Mac.

How to Download YouTube Videos or other FLV (Flash) Files

In the case of most YouTube content, there are no copyright restrictions to viewing.

Here are many different online services that will download YouTube and other video content to your computer. Here are just a few:




KeepVid<--probably the best bet!

You may use these services for YouTube, MetaCafe, Google Video and others. You generally need to copy and paste the URL for the video into a window. So you will need to access or choose the item first.

Files may be saved as FLV or MP4. Some services provide conversions to other formats.

Embedding Sound Files

Dialog for Selecting Sound Files for PowerPoint

To embed a sound file, use the Menu item Insert>Sound & Music>From a File....

You can also select files in the customary way... locating files in their folders in the Finder.

Using Hyperlinks to Stream Media

Hyperlink dialog powerpoint mac.png

The hyperlink will open the streaming media in the web browser which is the default for the computer.

Hyperlinks are URLs pasted into text boxes.

The command on the menu Insert>Hyperlink should be used to open a dialog box to properly input the specifications of the hyperlink.

During the slide show, the hyperlink will be active. Clicking on it will launch the browser and start the streaming media.

SPECIAL: At the end of the media, use keyboard short-cut Command-TAB to get a pop-up menu of applications to choose available open applications. Choosing PowerPoint will return you to your slide show.

Our Internal Help Pages for Audacity Include

Other Resources

For help from Microsoft: Click Here!