How Do I Use MP4 Files in PowerPoint?

By David Weedmark

If you're looking for ways to enliven your next PowerPoint presentation, consider adding some video. PowerPoint 2013 supports most video formats, so it's pretty easy to embed an MP4 video into your slideshow. PowerPoint includes video editing options so you can trim the video as needed, specify if it should start immediately when the slide appears, or play the video in full-screen mode. Like any other PowerPoint object, you can also modify a video's shape and appearance.

Step 1

Open a PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide where you want to insert the MP4 video. Click the "Insert" tab, then the "Video" icon on the right side of the ribbon. From the options that appear in the drop-down menu, download a video from online or insert a video from your computer.

Step 2

Select a source to search for a video if you elected to download one from online. PowerPoint 2013 gives you access to YouTube videos, your personal OneDrive folder and, if you've connected Facebook to your Microsoft Windows account, any video from your personal Facebook account. If you want to use a video from another source, you can insert its embed code here as well.

Step 3

Move and resize the video just as you would any other PowerPoint object. Simply drag the video to move it. To resize it, drag the corner handles that appear on its border when you click on it. You can even rotate the video on an angle using the circular "Rotate" handle that appears on its top border.

Step 4

Right-click the video to see the most common editing options. These same options, plus several more, are also available when you click the "Format" and "Playback" menus under the Video Tools section at the top of the window.

Step 5

Select the "Trim" option after right-clicking the video to trim the video's length from the beginning or end. In the Trim Video window that opens, you can drag the sliders or type the start time and end times you want to use in your presentation.

Step 6

Select "Style" from the right-click menu to change the video's border or add effects like a drop-shadow to the video. If you don't like the available styles, remember that you can always select a border or effect by clicking the options under the Video Tools Format menu.

Step 7

Right-click the video, select "Start" and then click "Automatically" if you want the video to start as soon as the slide appears. PowerPoint's default setting is to begin playing the video only when you click on it.

Step 8

Click the "Playback" menu to specify if you want the video to rewind to the beginning after playing, or if you want it to play in a loop. Looping a short video can be useful if you want to ensure your audience really gets the message your video contains. To make the video play in full-screen mode when you click it, select the "Full Screen" check box.

Step 9

Use the "Fade In" or "Fade Out" options if you want to add a fade effect to the video. Enter the amount of time in seconds that you want the video to fade. A 3-second fade, for example, appears as "03.00" in the text field.

Step 10

Click the "Format" menu to adjust the video's appearance as desired. Click the "Video Shape" option in the Video Styles group, for example, to make the video take on any shape in PowerPoint's shape gallery, including an oval, heart, star or even a scrolled banner.

Step 11

Click the "Slideshow" icon at the bottom of the PowerPoint window to see your video before saving it.

Tips & Warnings

  • In addition to the MP4 file extenstion, MPEG-4 videos can also use MPEG, MPE, M1V or MPV at the end of the file name. PowerPoint 2013 also supports AVI, WMV, GIF, MOV, DV and FLC videos.
  • Always test your PowerPoint slideshow on the computer you will be using for the presentation before it's time to go on stage. For example, if you're using online video, the computer may require that you install the Shockwave Flash Player before it can play the video.