How Do I Insert a VLC Player Into PowerPoint?

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The Properties window is the only way to select a video to play.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft and VideoLAN

PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 support inserting video files out of the box using the "Video" button on the Insert tab, but some formats -- including FLV (Flash Video) files downloaded from streaming video sites and MKV (Matroska) files -- won't work. One solution is to use VLC Media Player's ActiveX plugin to play a video directly in your slideshow. Due to compatibility issues with later versions of VLC, however, you might need to downgrade to a very old version of the program to use it in PowerPoint.


Step 1

Install VLC 1.0.5 with ActiveX.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of VideoLAN

Download version 1.0.5 of VLC Media Player (choose "vlc-1.0.5-win32.exe" on the download page) and check the option for the "ActiveX Plugin" during installation. Newer versions of the program have compatibility issues with PowerPoint that cause various error messages and prevent you from inserting a video. If you already have a newer copy of VLC installed, you can try skipping this step, but if you run into trouble, downgrade to 1.0.5.


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Step 2

Turn on Developer options.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Right-click in any blank space on the ribbon in PowerPoint and choose "Customize the Ribbon." Check "Developer" to turn on the Developer tab.

Step 3

Insert a VLC object.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Open the "Developer" tab and click the "More Controls" icon -- a wrench and hammer in PowerPoint 2010 or a wrench and screwdriver in 2013. Choose "VideoLAN VLC ActiveX Plugin v2." On some computers, the option appears as "VLC ActiveX Plugin and IE Web Plugin v2" instead.


Step 4

Position the video screen.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft and VideoLAN

Drag to place a VLC object, which serves as the window for playing a video. Use the handles to resize the object as you would resize an image.

Step 5

Choose a video to play.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft and VideoLAN

Press the "Properties" button on the Developer tab. Type in the full location of the video file in the MRL field. Set the AutoLoop option to determine whether the video loops until you click off of the slide.


Even though you won't see any change in the VLC object, your video is now ready. When you play the slideshow, your video runs in the space demarcated by the object. If you copy your presentation to another computer, copy the video file as well and update the MRL field to the file's new location.


To embed a video file in a presentation and have it open in the full VLC Media Player, rather than play in the slideshow directly, click "Object" on the Insert tab, choose "Create from File" and pick a video.


The 64-bit edition of PowerPoint won't work with 32-bit ActiveX plugins, like the one included with VLC version 1.0.5. This type of compatibility issue leads Microsoft to recommend installing the 32-bit version of Office in most cases, and the 32-bit version is the default when installing from an Office 365 subscription. Newer versions of VLC come in 64-bit editions, but due to the issues with PowerPoint compatibility in later versions, they still might not work.


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