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Optimizing Windows 7 settings

From: PowerPoint 2010: Audio and Video in Depth

Video: Optimizing Windows 7 settings

If you are experience in poor quality while play your videos in a PowerPoint slideshow, your operating system may be a factor. PowerPoint 2010 is optimized to run in Windows 7. If you're running Windows XP or even Vista, you may not get ideal performance. There are a few settings in Windows that you can tweak to improve your multimedia playback. I'm going to demonstrate this using Windows 7, but several of the settings may be applicable in Windows Vista or XP. The very first technique should be obvious, but if you're new to computers, it may not be.

Optimizing Windows 7 settings

If you are experience in poor quality while play your videos in a PowerPoint slideshow, your operating system may be a factor. PowerPoint 2010 is optimized to run in Windows 7. If you're running Windows XP or even Vista, you may not get ideal performance. There are a few settings in Windows that you can tweak to improve your multimedia playback. I'm going to demonstrate this using Windows 7, but several of the settings may be applicable in Windows Vista or XP. The very first technique should be obvious, but if you're new to computers, it may not be.

If you have several applications open, they're all using your computer's RAM. Close all other programs and see if your presentation runs more smoothly. Next, we'll take a look at your hardware. If you're using Vista or Windows7, you can look at the Windows Experience Index to see what areas you can improve. Click on the Start button in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. In the right-hand column, click on Control Panel and then in the Search box in the upper right corner, type in experience.

Here's a link for Check the Windows Experience Index. Click on it. The Windows Experience Index measures the capability of your computer's hardware and software configuration, providing a measurement in the form of a base score. A higher base score generally means that your computer will perform better and faster than a computer with a lower base score. If your score is low, your PowerPoint slideshow may require more resources than your computer has available. Take a look at Windows Help and Support for more information. While you're here, click on the Open Disk Cleanup link on the left hand side of your Window.

I want to take a look at my C: drive, so, I'll click OK. It's important to make sure that there's adequate free disk space on the computer where you will deliver your presentation. If your hard drive is almost is full, your media playback will degrade. Disk Cleanup will search your hard drive for files that you don't really need. If your hard drive is getting full, deleting these files can improve your computer's performance. I'll put check marks in front of all of these options, but you may want to leave some unchecked if there are files or folders that you use.

I can see near the bottom that I'll save 73 MB, but your number will certainly be different. I'll click OK. It does say, Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files? And that will be fine. I'll say Delete. To see how much room you have after running Disk Cleanup, go back to your Start button and then click on Computer on the right. Look at your C: drive. I always recommend having at least 2 or 3 gigabytes of open space on your hard drive. If you have less than that, consider moving some of your saved files to an external hard drive.

I'll close this window. Now, back on our Control Panel, click on Advanced tools. At the bottom, you'll see Open Disk Defragmenter. Click on that. Disk fragmentation means that when your computer saves or installs software, it uses up hard drive space wherever it finds it, instead of keeping each file intact. For the moment, just watch me and try these steps later. Each step can take a long time. Now my disk isn't fragmented, but if yours is, you'll see a map of your computer's hard drive.

Each color will be a type of file and on unoptimized disk, you'll see that the colors are scattered everywhere. I would then click on Defragment disk and my computer would rearrange the files into an organized system. But don't do this right now. Defragmenting a disk can take several hours. I'll click Close. Next, we'll make sure that your video card drivers are up to date. Go back up to the Search Control Panel Box in the upper right hand corner of the window and search for driver. The top match will be Update device drivers. Click on it.

Locate your Video Graphics Card under display adaptors. I'll click on the triangle. Here's my video card. Right-click on it and choose Update Driver Software. I'll ask you to search online for updated drivers. It will look online and let you know if you have an update. My computer already has the most recent driver installed. If yours doesn't, you could update it right from here. I'll click Close. I'm going to close all of these windows.

Last, let's clean out your Temp folder. While you use your computer, it automatically saves temporary files on your hard drive. Some of them are automatic backups and others are used by the system to maintain open programs. If you have a lot of files in your temp folder, it can slow PowerPoint down dramatically. To find your temp folder, first you need to close PowerPoint and all the other programs you're using. This ensures that there are no active temp files. Click on the Start button and in the Search box, type %temp%.

A Temp folder will appear at the top of the list. Click on it. Here are all the temporary files on my computer. You can usually delete any files that you find here. Remember that they were all put in this temporary location by your software, but just got left behind. Many of them even have the extension .tmp. Note that the file size for most of them is fairly small, but you will find some over a megabyte. Click on one of the files and do the keyboard command Ctrl+A to select all of them.

If you would rather pick and choose which files to delete, you're welcome to do so. Righ-click on any one of the files and choose Delete. It will ask for confirmation and we'll click Yes. If you got an access error or file in use error, it's most likely because you are tempting to delete a file that is in use. Check off Do this for all current items and then say Skip. You can leave the file there and delete it later or use a more advanced technique to remove it.

Taking all these steps to make sure your computer is in tip-top shape can definitely improve your experience with PowerPoint when your files are multimedia intensive.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for PowerPoint 2010: Audio and Video in Depth
PowerPoint 2010: Audio and Video in Depth

83 video lessons · 9385 viewers

Alicia Katz Pollock
Author

 
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  1. 1m 43s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files
      49s
  2. 20m 45s
    1. Using video and audio appropriately
      1m 58s
    2. Considering copyrights
      3m 57s
    3. Linking vs. embedding media
      8m 35s
    4. Working with video formats
      6m 15s
  3. 22m 4s
    1. Inserting an animated GIF from the clip art gallery
      4m 21s
    2. Inserting a video from a computer file
      3m 55s
    3. Inserting a clip as an external object
      3m 10s
    4. Inserting a video as a Windows Media Player control
      3m 45s
    5. Linking to a YouTube video
      5m 23s
    6. Inserting a video using an action button
      1m 30s
  4. 23m 23s
    1. Inserting a QuickTime video
      6m 3s
    2. Playing a Flash animation
      6m 0s
    3. Using ActiveX as a workaround
      5m 58s
    4. Inserting a web page
      5m 22s
  5. 34m 6s
    1. Trimming a video
      5m 54s
    2. Fading in and out
      4m 23s
    3. Cropping a video
      4m 6s
    4. Selecting a poster frame
      1m 53s
    5. Adjusting brightness and contrast
      2m 40s
    6. Recoloring a video
      2m 50s
    7. Adding video bookmarks
      3m 10s
    8. Synchronizing text captions with bookmarks
      9m 10s
  6. 10m 32s
    1. Resizing a video
      4m 34s
    2. Playing a video in a shape
      2m 2s
    3. Using a video as a slide background
      3m 56s
  7. 29m 3s
    1. Applying a preset video style
      2m 48s
    2. Designing a border
      3m 59s
    3. Adding shadows
      2m 52s
    4. Adding reflections
      2m 39s
    5. Adding glow effects
      2m 16s
    6. Adding soft edges
      1m 45s
    7. Applying 3D rotation
      3m 50s
    8. Applying bevels and 3D formatting
      6m 26s
    9. Using Format Painter
      2m 28s
  8. 22m 34s
    1. Setting the volume
      1m 13s
    2. Playing a clip automatically
      57s
    3. Play full screen
      1m 1s
    4. Hiding a video
      1m 16s
    5. Looping a video
      2m 50s
    6. Rewinding after playing
      1m 13s
    7. Delaying playback of a video
      2m 0s
    8. Showing and hiding media controls
      1m 1s
    9. Triggering a video by clicking a graphic
      5m 5s
    10. Triggering a video using animations
      2m 46s
    11. Playing a video across multiple slides
      3m 12s
  9. 13m 0s
    1. Troubleshooting videos that won't play
      3m 7s
    2. Improving playback performance
      3m 43s
    3. Optimizing Windows 7 settings
      6m 10s
  10. 13m 18s
    1. Working with audio file formats
      3m 7s
    2. Inserting a sound from the clip art gallery
      3m 15s
    3. Inserting audio from a computer file
      1m 56s
    4. Recording your own sounds
      3m 35s
    5. Playing audio in an external application
      1m 25s
  11. 24m 44s
    1. Setting the sound clip volume
      1m 5s
    2. Playing a clip automatically
      2m 23s
    3. Trimming an audio clip
      3m 52s
    4. Choosing a sound's starting and ending points
      2m 18s
    5. Fading sounds in and out
      59s
    6. Looping a sound clip
      2m 23s
    7. Delaying an audio clip
      2m 31s
    8. Rewinding after playing
      1m 13s
    9. Changing the appearance of the sound icon
      3m 13s
    10. Hiding the sound icon
      2m 5s
    11. Adding and removing audio bookmarks
      2m 42s
  12. 18m 19s
    1. Adding sound effects to transitions
      3m 10s
    2. Adding sound effects to animations
      3m 46s
    3. Triggering audio playback with objects
      2m 12s
    4. Playing a sound with a hyperlink
      1m 28s
    5. Triggering actions with audio bookmarks
      7m 43s
  13. 21m 7s
    1. Playing a sound across multiple slides
      4m 10s
    2. Building a music soundtrack
      4m 23s
    3. Playing audio tracks from a CD
      3m 26s
    4. Recording a narration
      9m 8s
  14. 23m 12s
    1. Checking and optimizing media compatibility
      3m 8s
    2. Converting media to earlier versions of PowerPoint
      2m 17s
    3. Converting media from earlier versions of PowerPoint
      2m 37s
    4. Compressing media files
      3m 47s
    5. Saving as a movie
      4m 48s
    6. Packaging a presentation for travel
      3m 43s
    7. Extracting media asset files
      2m 52s
  15. 45s
    1. Goodbye
      45s

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