Last week, I asked you to help a PowerPoint user unravel a bit of a musical mystery. He worked hard on a good presentation, only to learn that the music files didn't play for others. Glenna Shaw, MS PowerPoint MVP, was the first to offer the most comprehensive solution: the user linked to the music files instead of embedding them. I agree - in this situation, it's the most likely problem.
Linked files are stored separately. In contrast, an embedded file is stored within the presentation. When using PowerPoint 2007 or earlier, embed files should be 100Kb or smaller. You can embed larger files, but performance will degrade. Link files if you plan to use the same computer to create and display the presentation. Also, when linking files, it's always best to store the linked files in the same folder as the presentation.
Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.