Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Choosing a File Format for Your Video Recordings
certain number of times. That information is contained within the GIF fi le itself. PowerPoint
simply reads that information and plays the GIF accordingly. They are more like animated
clip art than real videos, but they do add an active element to an otherwise static slide.
It is possible to convert an animated GIF to a “true” video format such as AVI. However, you can’t do it using
PowerPoint alone; you need a conversion utility. Corel Animation Shop will do this ( ),
as will many GIF-editing programs.
Choosing a File Format for Your Video Recordings
You may not have a choice in the settings used for the recording of live video or the fi le
format. If you do have a choice, AVI is among the best formats for use in PowerPoint
because of its near-universal compatibility. There may be compatibility issues with video in
some MPEG variants, such as MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, because you might need to install a sepa-
rate DVD-playing utility or a specifi c codec to handle those formats.
See the section “Troubleshooting Videos That Won’t Play” later in this chapter for more information on
MPEG variants.
On the theory that Microsoft-to-Microsoft always works, the Windows Media Video format
( .wmv ) is also a good choice. Because Windows Movie Maker creates its videos in this format
by default, it’s a good bet that they will work well in PowerPoint.
Balancing Video Impact with File Size and Performance
Clip quality is usually measured either in frames per second (fps), which is anywhere from
15 (low) to 30 (high), or in kilobits and megabits per second, which is anywhere from 38
Kbps to 2.1 Mbps. You might experiment with different settings to fi nd one with acceptable
quality for the task at hand with the minimum fi le size. For example, with Windows Movie
Maker, a wide variety of quality settings are available for creating video output.
When you are recording your own video clips with a video camera or other device, it is easy
to overshoot. Video clips take up a huge amount of disk space, and inserting large video
clips into a PowerPoint fi le can make that fi le very large. Even if you choose to link the
clips instead of embedding them, the clips still take up space on your hard disk.
Depending on the amount of space available on your computer’s hard disk, and whether you
need to transfer your PowerPoint fi le to another PC, you may want to keep the number of
seconds of recorded video to a minimum to ensure that the fi le size stays manageable. On
the other hand, if you have a powerful computer with plenty of disk space and a lot of cool
video clips to show, go for it!
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