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How To Automatically Play a Video in PowerPoint

Posted by Jessie Richardson on May 13, 2019

PowerPoint has come a long way from its humble origins in 1987 as a tool for creating transparencies for overhead projectors. It’s estimated that over 90% of people using a computer to make their presentations these days are using PowerPoint.

With such a large uptake, and with boring presentations being a pretty big faux pas, it’s a good idea to learn all the tools and tricks you can to make your slideshow stand out. Some text flying in from the edge of the screen and a snowfield transition is no longer enough to impress, and fumbling about trying to make a video play is just as shabby-looking.

Below, we’ll show you how to make sure your presentation is as slick as it can be, by ensuring your videos play as soon as you click on the slide. We’ll also share a few notes, tips, and tricks, all to help your presentation wow your audience.

Automatically Play a Video from Your Computer

Add the video to your PowerPoint presentation by first clicking on the ‘Insert’ tab at the top left of the window.

  1. Next, click on the ‘Video’ button on the next bar down to the right of the window.
  2. Click on ‘Video on My PC’, then find the video you want to add to the slide.
    play a video in powerpoint
  3. Once the video has been added, click on the ‘View’ tab, and make sure you’re in ‘Normal’ view.
  4. Click on the video on your slide.
  5. ‘Video Tools’ will show up above the tab bar.
  6. Click on ‘Playback’ under ‘Video Tools’
  7. Click on the drop-down menu next to the ‘Play’ button, and click on ‘Automatically’.
    powerpoint auto playback
  8. Alternatively, once the video has been added to the slide, right click on it to get the right-click menu.
  9. Floating under the right click menu will be three buttons: ‘Style’, ‘Trim’, and ‘Start’. Click on ‘Start’.
  10. Click on ‘Automatically’ on the dropdown menu.
    powerpoint auto playback2

– If you select ‘Automatically’, the video will immediately start playing when the slide appears during your slideshow.

– If you select ‘When Clicked On’ or ‘On Click’, the video will start playing after you click on it.

– If you select ‘In Click Sequence’, the video will play sequentially along with other effects that you’ve added to the slide, like animations.

– You should set this option before you add any triggers or animations to the video, because changing this option will delete them.

– If you are running Windows RT on your PC, some older video file formats might not compress or export correctly. It’s better to use more modern formats like Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) or H.264.

Automatically Play a Video from the Internet

Gone are the days where you had to stop mid-presentation to open up a web browser to show your audience an online video. As YouTube is the most popular video sharing site, we’ll use that in our example, but the procedure will be similar for most other websites.

  1. Find the video on YouTube that you want to add to your presentation.
  2. Under the video frame, click on the “Share” button.
  3. Click on ‘Copy’ next to the URL provided at the bottom of the window that pops up.
    youtube link
  4. Open your PowerPoint presentation.
  5. Click on ‘Insert’
  6. Click on ‘Video’
  7. Click on ‘Online Video’
  8. Press Ctrl + V or right click in the text field and click on ‘Paste’ to enter the link to the video.
  9. Click on the ‘Playback’ tab at the top of the screen.
  10. Click on the dropdown menu next to ‘Play’, and select ‘Automatically’.
  11. Alternatively, you can right click on the video after you add it to the slide, then click on ‘Play’ at the bottom of the right click menu, and finally click on ‘Automatically’.

Play the Video in Full Screen

If you also want to set your video to play in full screen, the setup is fairly simple.

  1. Click on the ‘View’ tab, and then ‘Normal’ at the far left of the bar.
    automatically play a video in powerpoint
  2. Click on the video.
  3. Click on the Playback tab, located at the top of the window under ‘Video Tools’.
  4. Click on the ‘Full Screen’ checkbox.
    automatically play video in powerpoint

Keep in mind that, depending on the resolution of the video that you’ve added, this might introduce distortions or artifacts. It’s a good idea to preview the video after you change this setting so you can ensure it looks right.

Preview the Video

  1. Make sure you’re in the ‘Normal’ view mode, as detailed above.
  2. Click on your video.
  3. Click on either the ‘Playback’ tab or the ‘Format’ tab at the top of the screen.
  4. Click ‘Play’ at the top left of the screen.
  5. Alternatively, right click on the video, then click on ‘Preview’.

Present and Correct

Using these guides, you’ll be able to make your presentations run more smoothly and to engage your audience more fully. If there are any other aspects of PowerPoint that you need guidance on, let us know in the comments below.

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