Videos and PowerPoint are one of the difficult-termpermental-frustrating (take your pick) things to deal with. Here are the quick sound bites:

1. PowerPoint on a Windows PC cannot play a QuickTime (.mov) file
(with the exception of a .mov created with the Cinepak codec vs. the common Sorrenson codec)

2. Movies are not embedded in the presentation and must be sent with the presentation

3. The best method is to have the movie in the same folder as the presentation before inserting

4. PowerPoint assigns a hard link to movie files (eg. c:\\my documents/movie.wmv)

5. The link to a movie cannot be updated or edited

6 . Movie formats are created by CODECs (COmpress and DEcompress). The computer must have the exact same CODEC installed that was used to create it or the movie will not play

7 . For Windows PC’s the most assured format is .WMV, as this uses a standardized CODEC installed on all PC’s
.wmv 6.4 is no longer available
.wmv 7 is widely used
.wmv 8 was discontinued due to a security issue (which is used in MovieMaker 1.x, upgrade to version 2!)
.wmv 9 is the most recent, but may not be installed on all computers (update Windows Media Player to install)

6. The second most common format is .MPEG1, this will be slightly larger file size but should be the same quality

8 . The size of the movie window is the 100% size of the original movie. The more this box size is increased, the lower the playback quality

9 . How PowerPoint plays a movie
a. A movie DOES NOT playback in PowerPoint
b. Movies open and playback on a transparent layer ON TOP of the presentation.
c. This is why there is often a delay in the movie beginning and an onscreen flash as it begins

10 . No PowerPoint content can be on top of the movie

11. PowerPoint does not use the Windows Media Player, but an embedded media player called the Multimedia Control Interface (MCI), which has been around since Windows 3.0!
(actually PPT 2002-2003 does use Windows Media Player in some (rare) cases. But because we cannot determine when the everything is aligned just right so it does use WMP is safe to assume it does not...)

12. It is not really imperative if Windows Media Player is installed on the computer. But having the most recent version of Windows Media Player installed assures the computer has the majority of the common CODECs installed.

For additional information I highly recomend PowerPoint MVP Austin Myer's very comprehensive information on multimedia in PowerPoint:

I also recommend (re)rendering all movies to a common Codec and format. This can be done with a video editing application (eg. Premiere, Vegas Video, etc.). Or for an easy one step convert-insert process use the PFCMedia add-in to do this for you automatically (

Finally, I use Steve Rindsberg's Fix Links Pro to create a true relative path to the movie file (


Well, now you know most of what I know...
-Troy @ TLC

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