Five tips for working with video in PowerPoint 2010

New features in PowerPoint 2010 make it easy to add sophisticated video effects to your presentations. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Depending on the kinds of the presentations you create, you may be a big fan of media-enriched slides. You can add video objects, narration, and cool animation effects to keep your audience awake and engaged. Now in PowerPoint 2010, the video features have been ramped up to give you even more flexibility in the way you add, edit, enhance, and deliver the videos you include.

1: Embed your video in the presentation

One of the scariest things about giving a presentation is ensuring that the equipment -- both hardware and software -- functions correctly when you're standing up in front of a live audience. One problem many presenters report at one time or another is a missing video or audio file. An object is supposed to play automatically on a slide, but the presentation, for whatever reason, can't find the file and the whole effect is lost. In PowerPoint 2010, the video files you add are actually embedded within the file, so there are no media pieces to keep track of outside the program. One fewer thing to worry about, thank goodness.

2: Edit video on the slide

PowerPoint 2010 also enables you to do simple editing to the videos you add to your presentation. After you add the video, click it and click the Video Tools Playback tab. Click Trim video to display the video in the Trim Video dialog box (Figure A). Then, just drag the green marker to the place you want the video to start and the red marker to the end point for the clip. Or if you prefer, enter the start time and end time values in the appropriate boxes. Click OK to save your edits.

Figure A

3: Fade in and fade out for a dramatic effect

Ease your viewers in and out of your video clip by using the Fade In and Fade Out feature in the Video Tools Playback tab. You can enter the number of seconds you want the clip to gradually begin and end. Experiment with different values to get the effect you want. Click Play (also on the Video Tools Playback tab) to see your changes in action.

4: Play it full screen

The video will play by default in a small video viewer on your slide, but you can set the video to play full screen if that fits the presentation you're creating. You might want to zoom to full screen, for example, when you are including an interview with one of the founders of your company or spotlighting key programs your nonprofit offers. To set up the video to play full screen during your presentation, click the Play Full Screen check box in the Video Options group of the Video Tools Playback tab (Figure B).

Figure B

5: Show it with style

Another new feature in PowerPoint 2010 enables you to apply video styles to your video clip. They will remain with the clip throughout the video as it plays. This enables you to add a shadow to the clip, skew it to the right or left, or create other special effects for your videos. Whatever style you apply, it's sure to give your video a polished -- and creative -- look. Fun stuff!

Katherine Murray is the author of Microsoft Office 2010 Plain & Simple (Microsoft Press, 2010), Microsoft Word 2010 Plain & Simple (Microsoft Press, 2010), and Microsoft Word 2010 Inside Out (Microsoft Press, 2010). You can reach Katherine through her blog, BlogOffice or by emailing

By Katherine Murray

Katherine Murray is a technology writer and the author of more than 60 books on a variety of topics, ranging from small business technology to green computing to blogging to Microsoft Office 2010. Her most recent books include Microsoft Office 2010 P...