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Discover how to integrate and enhance video and audio to create a more engaging PowerPoint presentation. In this course, author Alicia Katz Pollock emphasizes the technical details necessary to make a multimedia presentation work: from working with appropriate file formats, to applying video styles, to reducing the file size of multimedia presentations for sharing.
Some PowerPoint videos may not play back smoothly. They may be jerky, experience delays, or the sound doesn't sync. This can be caused by a variety of factors around your own particular computer hardware and software setup. There are a number of techniques you can try if you find your media clips don't play well. The biggest culprit may be your computer itself. If your computer is more than a few years old, it wasn't designed to manage video files and animation well, since multimedia has only recently become popular. Video playback is very processor-intensive.
PowerPoint 2010 is designed to work with DirectX 9.0 compatible video cards or newer. If you have an older machine, your graphics card may not be powerful enough. It's also possible that you don't have enough RAM. RAM is the short-term memory that determines how fast your computer thinks and how many operations it can perform simultaneously. If you find your videos are consistently choppy or the audio doesn't sync, take your computer to a store for this inexpensive fix. After adding more RAM, you'll also find that the rest of the work on your computer will go much more smoothly.
If the issue is your graphics card, first make sure its software drivers are up-to-date. If you suspect your hardware is just too old, it might be time to consider getting a more powerful computer. In the meantime, here are a few techniques you can try, but please note that performing the steps below may or may not help, depending on your specific slideshow and computer. First, make sure your Hardware Acceleration is turned on. To do this, click on the File tab. Then click on Options on the bottom. Click on the Advanced button in the middle of the left column,= and in the Display section, make sure there's no checkmark in front of Disable hardware graphics acceleration. I'll click OK.
Next, run your entire presentation from start to fnish even if the playback is glitchy. Then play the whole thing again and see if there's any improvement. The first time you play the slideshow, the system will cache some of the data and the second time, PowerPoint will read from the cache instead of the hard disk. You may want to limit or remove special effects and formatting applied to your videos, such as shadows, reflections, glow effects, soft edges, bevels, or 3d rotation. These affect all use your computer's processing power to apply and maintain.
Spread out your more complex slides so they're not grouped together. Insert text slides between your memory intensive multimedia Slides. If you're running the slideshow of a CD or a DVD, try moving the files to the computer's hard drive and playing it right from the computer. This will skip the intermediate step of accessing the CD drive while your slideshow plays. Make both your PowerPoint presentation and the media files themselves smaller by compressing your media files. We'll give you instructions for how to compress your media in the chapter about saving later in this course.
Along the same lines, use the Optimize Media Compatibility Checker to guarantee the best possible playback performance. We'll also cover this feature in the chapter about saving. You may choose to export your slideshow as its own movie file if you're not going to be presenting it live. As a single self running movie file, it won't behold into the same glitches as a live PowerPoint presentation. Last, you may want to edit the original media clips themselves in the software you use to make them, instead of using PowerPoint's tool for techniques like cropping or brightness.
In addition, you can use your video editing software to save a version of the file with fewer frames per second. This will create a smaller file size more manageable by your computer. Because multimedia PowerPoint slideshows can be so memory-intensive, any one of these solutions may be just the thing you need to ensure that your presentation runs as smoothly as possible in front of a live audience.
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