We look at the new video and editing tools in PowerPoint 2010, helping you to create presentations that will keep your business colleagues gripped. 

PowerPoint presentations have become a part of everyday life. Whether you're showing your classmates a school project or pitching a business plan to a new client, at some stage you'll no doubt find yourself clicking through a series of slides.

If you're not careful, however, you could find the phrase "death by PowerPoint" uttered during your speech. Too much detail and too many slides quickly becomes boring.

Video is a great way of jazzing up your presentation and engaging your audience. You'll need to trim your footage and make basic edits first, of course.

Microsoft has introduced a number of new functions that make it easy to embed and edit videos directly in PowerPoint 2010.

In previous versions of the software, you had to open the video in a separate application and make your changes, then import it back into PowerPoint. This fiddly, multistep approach could often leave you constantly toing and froing between the two applications.

In PowerPoint 2010, basic edits can be completed within the program. You can trim videos with a simple click-and-drag gesture, and add effects, styles and transitions with ease.

Video is embedded into the presentation as soon as you hit Save. Should you want to share that project with friends or colleagues the video will be automatically packaged with your slideshow. Because the video can be compressed, you can share the file via email or stream it over the web, without a huge loss of quality.

With PowerPoint 2010 it's also possible to embed video from YouTube or alternative online video sites. Of course, if you choose to do this, you'll need to ensure that a web connection is available when you give your presentation so you can stream it over the web.

Another neat feature is bookmarking, with PowerPoint allowing you to mark key points in a video clip without manually finding your bearings. If you prefer, it's still possible to fast-forward, rewind and pause clips.

In the following workshop, we'll show you how to embed video into a PowerPoint 2010 presentation and make basic edits, and insert bookmarks.

Open a presentation and embed videos in PowerPoint 2010

Step 1. Install Office 2010 (or download the free trial). When prompted, choose between the Upgrade and Customize installations. A custom installation lets you install only certain components; if you choose Upgrade, be sure to keep the disc containing your previous Office suite for use after the free trial expires.

PowerPoint video step 1

Step 2. Double-click the PowerPoint icon on your Desktop or select it from the Programs menu to launch the software. For the purposes of this walkthrough, choose an existing template. Under the File menu choose New and select a template from the thumbnails displayed. You can also use Ctrl, O to open an existing document.

PowerPoint video step 2

Also see:
Microsoft Office 2010 review
Productivity suite reviews
Software reviews
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