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Video production software is used to make movies, but the native file formats may not be compatible with PowerPoint. If you can't find a compatible codec, try an ActiveX control as a work around to view the files inside your presentation. For example, we're going to work with an Adobe Director file. Adobe Director is one example of movie-making software. Its regular file output won't work in PowerPoint, but with a few extra steps we can get our finished clip to play. The same procedure will work with any number of third-party formats.
We've saved our Director movie as a Shockwave Director file with a .dcr file extension and put it in the same folder as our PowerPoint file. Because you'll be linking to the file instead of embedding it, I recommend saving the movie file here so that if you move your presentation you won't orphan the media clip. I'll go back to my PowerPoint presentation. Our next step is to make sure that PowerPoint's Trust Center will allow ActiveX controls. Go up to the File tab and down to Options. Choose the last option in the left column for Trust Center and then on the right- hand side, click on the button for Trust Center Settings.
About halfway down the list of options is ActiveX Settings. Make sure you're on anyone of these options that will allow ActiveX controls. The level of security is up to you, but do not choose Disable all controls without notification or the ActiveX container won't work. Click OK and then click OK again to close PowerPoint options. Now, we need to add a new tab to the Ribbon, the Developer tab. Click on the File tab and go back down to Options again.
Click on Customize Ribbon on the left- hand side and then about halfway down the right-hand column put a check mark in front of Developer and click OK. Let's go down to slide 6 to Test our Web Logo, and now go up to our brand new Developer tab right at the center top of your screen. In the Control Group, there's a button that has a wrench and a hammer and a dot, dot, dot on it. This is More Controls. Click on it and in the list that appears scroll down to Shockwave ActiveX Control.
Now, if you don't see this option, it means that you need the latest version of Shockwave. Go to adobe.com/products/ shockwaveplayer to download and install it. As soon as you're done, check to see if it's on this list. If it's not, you may need to quit PowerPoint or restart your computer, but it should be here. Click OK and now drag on the slide where you want to draw the control, starting in the upper left hand corner and ending in the lower right. Do make sure that you're drawing the control to approximately the correct size.
Changing the dimensions later will actually break the control and you'll need to reinsert it. If you need to move it, click in the middle and drag. You can also use the arrows on your keyboard to fine-tune the placement. Now, let's assign our shockwave ActiveXcontrol a movie to play. In Windows, find your movie. Hold down your Shift key and then right-click on it. Holding down shift gives you a different set of options. We want Copy as path and click OK. Now, go back to PowerPoint, right- click on your Shockwave ActiveX control and choose Properties.
Do note that there's also a Properties button on the Ribbon up here. You can resize this box to any size that you would like. Find the property that says SRC. That stands for Source. Click on it and then right click and then select Paste. This puts the link to your file. If it has quotation marks before and after, please remove those. This is also your last chance to set the Height and Width dimensions without having to reinsert the ActiveX control again later.
I'll set my Height to 300 and I'm going to go down to the bottom and change my Width to 350. And then I'll close my Properties and I'll adjust the location of my object on my slide. Now let's play our slideshow. I'll come down to this button to start the slideshow. I get a dialog box that says "An attempt has been made to access or communicate with the following location. This may represent a security risk." This is because ActiveX controls could be a method of propagating viruses.
It asks if I want to Allow Access. If I want it just this one time, I could just click Allow. If I want this movie to always work, I could put a checkmark here. I could also Allow Future Access to This Location from Any Movie, which will allow other movies in this control. I could also tell it Don't Ask Again, which will allow any movie to work in my ActiveX control. For the purposes of this video, I am going to leave them off, but you can choose which one is most appropriate for you.
I'll click Allow and there's my Director movie. Now, if you're going to share this presentation with others or play it on another computer, be sure to use the Optimize Media Compatibility utility before sharing the file with others. We'll explore Optimize Media Compatibility at length later in this course. Also note that if you're going to be exporting your slideshow into a movie as your final output, ActiveX media controls won't play properly in the movie. You'll need to convert the file to .wmv or another native PowerPoint media format, instead of using this technique.
So, if you made your movies yourself, but are limited to a few media formats that don't work natively with PowerPoint, turning them into a Shockwave ActiveX control may be exactly the workaround you need.
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