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How to Compress Media in PowerPoint

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  • 0:25 Embedding Video
  • 1:41 Media Optimization
  • 3:45 Media Compression
  • 5:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

This lesson will explain the meaning of embedding video into a PowerPoint slide. Also, how to optimize and compress media files, such as video, to help avoid issues with playback of your presentation.

Embedding Video

In the lesson video, we just watched one of my favorite types of clips (please see the video from the beginning to 00:26). I enjoy extreme sports, and sometimes I will use video clips in my training meetings. You can use video to support a topic of the meeting or even just to give your audience a break in the subject and let them relax a bit. However, there can sometimes be incompatibility between the video and the computer that is running the presentation.

In this lesson, we are going to learn about both media optimization and media compression. These options will help you avoid playback issues with your video or audio that you add to your slides.

But before we start, you need to understand how videos are added to PowerPoint. This is called video embedding, and it can be done two different ways. You can embed a video by adding a link to your slide that takes you to where the video is located, or you can embed the entire video into your slide. The clip that you just watched was an example of embedding the entire video directly into the slide. This second option of embedding the entire video can potentially create issues during your presentation if the video is not compatible or if it's too big.

Media Optimization

Let's start by talking about media optimization. Video files come in many formats. For example, when you take a video with your iPhone and upload that clip to the Internet, the format is usually MP4. However, other devices or applications might produce your video to a Windows Media file. Think about it like this - you created a document in MS Word and then converted the document to a PDF. Each looks exactly the same, but they are in different file formats and require different applications to open, view and edit.

The PowerPoint media optimization feature helps you to avoid playback issues when your presentation contains video or even audio. By optimizing your media in your presentation, you make it more compatible to play on other computers at other locations, which makes it easier to share your presentation or take it on the road. In short, optimization makes the media more generic so that it doesn't need a specific application to be viewed.

Let's take a closer look at how it works. You can see in our video that we have a PowerPoint presentation open and I have embedded a video clip. The clip is in a Windows Media format. Here are the steps to optimize our video (please see the video at 02:52):

  1. First, open the File menu and click on Info.
  2. Then, in the Optimize Media Compatibility section, click on Optimize Compatibility.
  3. Next, when the optimization is finished, the status will show as complete.
  4. And then, after completion, just click on close.

Here's a note: occasionally, you will not see the option to optimize. This is because the video is already in a compatible format. Notice in our lesson video, the Optimize Compatibility button has disappeared (please see the video at 03:34). This is because the video is now optimized and can't be completed again. So if you don't see it, you don't need it!

Media Compression

Now, let's talk about media compression. Have you ever tried to email an attachment to someone, such as a photo or video, and had the email sent back because it was too large? If we want to email the presentation or even save it to an external drive, such as a small USB drive (or thumb drive), we may need to compress the media in the presentation to save space or bandwidth. Media compression lets you make the video or audio file smaller, and PowerPoint offers three different levels of quality when compressing media.

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