We look at the new video and editing tools in PowerPoint 2010, helping you to create presentations that will keep your business colleagues gripped. 

PowerPoint presentations have become a part of everyday life. Whether you're showing your classmates a school project or pitching a business plan to a new client, at some stage you'll no doubt find yourself clicking through a series of slides.

If you're not careful, however, you could find the phrase "death by PowerPoint" uttered during your speech. Too much detail and too many slides quickly becomes boring.

Video is a great way of jazzing up your presentation and engaging your audience. You'll need to trim your footage and make basic edits first, of course.

Microsoft has introduced a number of new functions that make it easy to embed and edit videos directly in PowerPoint 2010.

In previous versions of the software, you had to open the video in a separate application and make your changes, then import it back into PowerPoint. This fiddly, multistep approach could often leave you constantly toing and froing between the two applications.

In PowerPoint 2010, basic edits can be completed within the program. You can trim videos with a simple click-and-drag gesture, and add effects, styles and transitions with ease.

Video is embedded into the presentation as soon as you hit Save. Should you want to share that project with friends or colleagues the video will be automatically packaged with your slideshow. Because the video can be compressed, you can share the file via email or stream it over the web, without a huge loss of quality.

With PowerPoint 2010 it's also possible to embed video from YouTube or alternative online video sites. Of course, if you choose to do this, you'll need to ensure that a web connection is available when you give your presentation so you can stream it over the web.

Another neat feature is bookmarking, with PowerPoint allowing you to mark key points in a video clip without manually finding your bearings. If you prefer, it's still possible to fast-forward, rewind and pause clips.

In the following workshop, we'll show you how to embed video into a PowerPoint 2010 presentation and make basic edits, and insert bookmarks.


Open a presentation and embed videos in PowerPoint 2010

Step 1. Install Office 2010 (or download the free trial). When prompted, choose between the Upgrade and Customize installations. A custom installation lets you install only certain components; if you choose Upgrade, be sure to keep the disc containing your previous Office suite for use after the free trial expires.

PowerPoint video step 1

Step 2. Double-click the PowerPoint icon on your Desktop or select it from the Programs menu to launch the software. For the purposes of this walkthrough, choose an existing template. Under the File menu choose New and select a template from the thumbnails displayed. You can also use Ctrl, O to open an existing document.

PowerPoint video step 2

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We look at the new video and editing tools in PowerPoint 2010, helping you to create presentations that will keep your business colleagues gripped.

Step 3. You'll find a video icon under the Insert menu; click this and browse to the footage you'd like to use on your local machine. To embed video from a website, click the arrow beneath this icon and choose 'Video from website' from the drop-down menu. You then simply need to paste in the HTML code.

PowerPoint video step 3

Step 4. You can resize the video by clicking and dragging the bottom-right corner of the box it sits in. Interestingly, this box needn't be a traditional rectangle - a variety of shapes, from basic rectangles to triangles, stars and even flowcharts, are available in the Video Tools menu under Video Shape.

PowerPoint video step 4

Step 5. Also under the Video Tools menu are several Format options. Click the Format tab to specify soft or hard edges on your video, and whether or not you want a shadow - you can make alterations under the Video Border tab. Note that you can hold your mouse over the various options for a preview.

PowerPoint video step 5

Step 6. It's also possible to alter the brightness, contrast and colour of your footage from within PowerPoint. The Color menu lets you change the overall colour of your clip and, as before, you can hold your mouse over each option for a preview. The Corrections tab, meanwhile, lets you alter brightness and contrast.

PowerPoint video step 6

>> NEXT PAGE: Add bookmarks and implement edits

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We look at the new video and editing tools in PowerPoint 2010, helping you to create presentations that will keep your business colleagues gripped.

Add bookmarks and implement edits

Step 1. Editing options are available on the Video Tools menu under the Playback tab. Choose the Trim Video option, then move the sliders in the window that pops up to choose your start and end points and click Ok. Doing this ensures your video starts and finishes at the exact position you want.

PowerPoint bookmarks step 1

Step 2. Bookmarks let you jump from one point in the video to another. Pause your video at the point you want to add a bookmark, then click the Add Bookmark button in the Video Tools, Playback menu. A marker will appear. During playback, click on this and PowerPoint will jump to the place you marked.

PowerPoint bookmarks step 2

Step 3. Use layers to arrange objects behind or in front of other objects on your slide. For example, you might want to overlay text on your video as we have done in the screenshot above. Select the video and choose the Send Backwards or Send to Back command in the Video Tools, Format menu.

PowerPoint bookmarks step 3

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We look at the new video and editing tools in PowerPoint 2010, helping you to create presentations that will keep your business colleagues gripped.

Step 4. Fade transitions let you gently introduce and end the video portion of your presentation. Open the Video tools menu and select the Playback tab. Enter the duration in seconds for the effect to last in the Fade In and Fade out boxes. You can do this manually or using the up and down arrows on the keyboard.

PowerPoint bookmarks step 4

Step 5. PowerPoint optimises embedded multimedia files to avoid playback issues. However, you should check videos inserted into a presentation using an earlier version of PowerPoint. Select Optimise Compatibility from the File, Info menu and wait while any multimedia files in your presentation are optimised.

PowerPoint bookmarks step 5

Step 6. PowerPoint presentations containing video can become unwieldy. If you plan to stream the completed document over the web or email it to a colleague for sharing, it's a good idea to compress it first. From the File, Info menu, click Compress Media and choose from the three options available.

PowerPoint bookmarks step 6

Also see:
Microsoft Office 2010 review
Productivity suite reviews
Software reviews
Download Office 2010 now