Hurricane's Hints

Everything you always wanted to know about Web Design, PhotoShop and Flash .... but refused to buy the book! A collection of helpful hints, tips and tricks for creating stunning computer graphics and keeping your computer running smooth.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Flash Movies in PowerPoint

There has been a lot of articles written about how to insert Flash movies into PowerPoint. One of the problems was that once the movie plays once, it does not rewind itself. There are several ways of modifying the Visual Basic Code to rewind the Flash movie so it can play again if you go back to a previous slide containing a flash movie. This can be quite confusing and darn near impossible for people with little or no knowledge of Visual Basic.

I have found a really simple way to assure that your flash movie plays from the beginning everytime, and I'd like to share it with you.

First, you have to place a copy of the Flash swf file in the same folder where your Main PowerPoint presentation will reside.

Then you have to create a one slide presentation file containing the flash movie, and link to it from your main presentation.

Create a new PPT file and format the background color of the first (and only) slide to the same color as the background of your Flash Movie.

Make sure the Control Tool box is visible by clicking on VIEW, TOOLBARS, and place a checkmark next to the Control Toolbox item in the dropdown list.

Click the MORE CONTROLS icon in the Control Toolbox. This will take a moment to populate a long list of active X controls that you can add to your slides. When the list appears, scroll down and select the Shockwave Flash Object from the list. The cursor will turn into crosshairs. Drag a box approximately the same size as the Flash Movie will appear on the slide.

The Flash Object will initially appear as a white box with an X in it. Right click on the white box and select Properties. This will open up the Properties list box with a number of editable parameters.

You can leave most of them alone, the only ones you need to bother with are the following:

Next to EmbedMovie, change the default value of False to True.

Click inside the blank cell to the right of the Movie parameter, and type in the exact name of the swf movie file (intro.swf)

Then you can close the the Properties box, and save the one slide PPT file. Once it is saved as a PPT, save it again, but this time select Save As, and select PowerPoint Show (*.pps) as the file type. Make sure the PPS file is also in the same folder as the Main Presentation and the Flash swf file. You no longer need the one slide ppt file) The resulting PPS file will automatically open in full screen (show mode) and play the Flash movie from the beginning when opened.

Now go back to your Main Presentation file and create a hyperlink to open up the PPS file you just created. To create the hyperlink, select a text box, (or practically any other PowerPoint object), and right click on the selected object and choose HYPERLINK from the dropdown menu. Then simply type the exact name of the one slide pps file in the "file or web page name" box.

When you are all finished editing your Main Presentation save it as a PPS (show file) too.

When you run your Main Presentation, it will open in Show Mode. When you get to the slide containing the hyperlink, click on the hyperlink, and the one slide PPS will open in show mode and play the Flash Movie. When your done viewing the movie, simply close the one slide PPS file (by pressing Escape or Alt-F4), and you will resume your Main Presentation, still in show mode where you left off. To play the Flash Movie again, just click the hyperlink again.

Notes: I have found that if your Main Presentation is a PPT file (not a PPS file), it may not return properly in show mode after you close the one slide PPS file. However, both files are saved as show files (PPS files), everything works fine.

Also, PPT will not recognize clicks on top of a running Flash movie, so do not make the flash movie fill the entire slide. Leave some space around the edges of the movie to allow you to close the one slide PPS file.

Hope you found this info helpful.

Hurricane Bob

Custom Web Design and Flash Animation by Hurricane Graphics