Create a Video Using PowerPoint

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Microsoft PowerPoint is a very useful presentation tool, but it can also be used to produce videos. This tutorial will show you how you can use PowerPoint to easily create MP4 video files you can share on sites such as YouTube.

NOTE: You must use a downloaded version of Microsoft Office for this tutorial. It will not work with the online version of PowerPoint.

STEP 1: Open a Blank Presentation in PowerPoint

Start by using the slides to outline or storyboard your video ideas. This can simply be text describing what you wish to include such as video clips, images, text and audio.

STEP 2: Gather your Media Files (videos, images, text, audio)

Build your video as if you were designing a PowerPoint presentation, but keep in mind these tips:

  • Limit the amount of text on each slide. Viewers will need sufficient amount of time to read these slides and the text will also need to be big enough to read.
  • Consider each slide as a scene that will be displayed for approximately 5 seconds, so for example if your video will be 2 minutes you will need 24 slides at 5 seconds each.
  • Always credit your sources! There are many creative commons websites where you can download free to use resources, but you MUST properly cite and reference these resources.

Cropping Images: After you insert an image you can adjust the size and cropping by clicking on the Crop tool on the Picture Format Tab. Click and drag the black corners (shown in green below) to adjust the bounding box of the image. To make the image the same size as the slide, drag the edges to the outer edge of the slide. Next click and drag the white circles (shown in red below) in the corners of the images to resize the image within the bounding box. Notice below on the image to the right, the grey area outside the bounding box is the area of the image that will be cropped.

Make Video Clips Play Automatically: In order to make the final video file, you must ensure the video clip plays automatically by clicking on the Video Playback Tab and ensuring the Start dropdown is set to Automatically.

Trimming Video Clips: After you insert videos onto your slide, you can adjust the duration of the video by clicking on the Trim tool on the Video Playback Tab. Click and drag the green slider on the left to trim the beginning of the video and the red slider on the right to trim the end of the video. The total duration of the clip will appear on the top right corner of the Trim Video dialogue box.

STEP 3: Add Animations and Transitions

Once your slides are designed the way you like, it’s time to animate the objects and add slide transitions to add more motion like a video.

Add Slide Transitions: You can add slide transitions such as a Fade or Wipe effect that will play in between the slides by clicking on the Transition Tab. Select the desired effect. Next decide how long you want that slide to appear. On the left hand side, check the Advance Slide After check box and enter the length of time (example: 5 seconds).

Add Object Animations: Click on individual objects such as text, shapes and images to select them. Once selected, click on the Animations Tab. Choose from a variety of options to add an effect. Click on Animation Pane button to open the right panel. Here you can adjust the effect options and timing. Always set your objects timing to With Previous to have the animation begin as soon as the slide appears. Choose whether you would like the animation to have a Delay. For example setting a delay of 1 second would mean that the animation would not begin for one second AFTER the slide appeared. This is useful if you have multiple objects you are animating on one slide. Adjust the animation Duration to speed up or slow down how long it takes to complete the animation.

STEP 4: Add Audio

You may notice that the video is lacking because it is missing audio. You can either add voice overs or you can add music.

Add Background Music: To add background music to play throughout the video, click on your very first slide to select it. Click on the insert audio button to choose a file from your computer. It will insert an audio file to that slide. With the audio icon on the slide selected, click on the Audio Playback Tab. Make sure the Start dropdown is set to Automatically and the Hide During Show and Play Across Slides check boxes are both checked. Finally, you need to go to the Animation Pane and move the audio file to the very top of the animation list. If you need to trim your audio file, you can adjust it as you did for the video clips mentioned earlier.

STEP 5: Test Your Presentation and Export as a Video File (MP4)

You should run your slideshow to see whether the presentation runs smoothly without any clicks to prompt the show ahead. You can do this whenever you wish and is recommended as you build your video.

Click on File > Export… and choose Create a Video then click on the Create Video button. A progress bar will appear at the very bottom of the PowerPoint window that will show you long it will take to export your file. NOTE: this process may take awhile, so make sure to keep PowerPoint open while it is exporting.