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How to Insert a VLC Player Into PowerPoint

The VideoLAN group is a free, open-source software provider that codes, among other things, the VLC media player. The popularity of the media player is, in large part, due to its ability to play many different media types from different sources so with one VLC player you can play MOV files from Apple, FLV files from Adobe and WMV files from Microsoft. Embedding a VLC player in PowerPoint is done through the ActiveX control feature, but versions of VLC later than 1.0.3 produce an error that crashes PowerPoint. You can download the version 1.0.3 player from Download.VidoeLAN.org.

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  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation where you want to insert the VLC player. Click on the slide in the presentation where the video will play.

  2. Click on the "Developer" tab. If you don't see it, click on the "File" tab, click "Help," click "Options," click "Customize Ribbon" and check the box next to "Developer."

  3. Click the "More Tools" button in the "Developer" tab. It looks like a wrench crossed with a hammer. The label will appear when you hover your mouse pointer over the button.

  4. Scroll down in the list until you see "VideoLAN VLC ActiveX Plugin" either "v1" or "v2" will work the same. The mouse pointer will turn into a crosshair. Click and drag on the slide with the crosshair to draw the VLC player.

  5. Right-click on the VLC player in the slide and click on "Properties." Click in the "MRL" box and type the file path for the video file you want to play; for example, "C:\My Videos\DrinkingOutOfCups.AVI" --- and then click the "X" in the upper-right corner to close the "Properties" window. Press "Shift+F5" to launch the PowerPoint presentation from that slide and play the video with the VLC player.

  6. Tip

    Play the VLC file outside of PowerPoint using the standard player. Create text in PowerPoint and highlight it then click on the "Insert" tab and choose "Action." Click "Run" then browse to the video file you want to play. Double-click the file and then click "OK." The VLC player will launch when you click the text in the PowerPoint presentation.

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About the Author

James T Wood is a teacher, blogger and author. Since 2009 he has published two books and numerous articles, both online and in print. His work experience has spanned the computer world, from sales and support to training and repair. He is also an accomplished public speaker and PowerPoint presenter.

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