Embedding Vs. Linking Videos in Powerpoint

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Should you link or embed video in Powerpoint presentations? Different scenarios will offer different results when choosing to link to or embed a video into a PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint has come a long way with regard to adding video into a presentation.

Now you can embed a video file that you have saved on your computer, or you can link to a video on an internet site (such as YouTube) by embedding the HTML code onto the slide, rather than the video file. Or, you can choose either option for a video that is saved on your own computer.

Let's look at the differences.

Note: Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2010, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Advantages of Linking to a Video

For starters, you can use a video in your presentation from anywhere on the internet, so that it will be current and relevant. When using the embedded HTML code to add the video, the file size of your presentation is kept to a minimum. Also, you can link to your own videos that are saved on your computer, rather than embed them in order to keep the presentation file size small.

Disadvantages of Linking to Your Own Videos or Internet Videos

When using your own videos, you must always make sure that the video file is copied as well as the presentation file, if you intend to view it on another computer.

PowerPoint can also be "sticky" about the file path, so your best practice is to keep all items associated with this presentation, (sound files, videos, other linked files), including the PowerPoint file itself, in the same folder. Then you can simply copy the complete folder to a USB flash drive to move to another location, or save the folder to the company network so others have access.

For online videos, you must have an internet connection during the presentation, and some venues just do not offer this.

Advantages of Embedding a Video File

It's important to note that an embedded video becomes a permanent part of the presentation, just like pictures. One of the key advantages of embedding a video file is that you can email one single file to a colleague or client for review or for presenting. No muss, no fuss (except for the larger file size of course). Last, many different file formats are now compatible with PowerPoint. This was not always the case.

Disadvantages of Embedding a Video File

Of course, by embedding a video file, the resultant file size can become huge, which is not ideal. When embedding the actual video into the presentation, sometimes - especially if your computer is not a recent model - your presentation might grind to a halt because it is overwhelmed with the file size. Last, you may encounter issues with the file format you have chosen for the embedded video. However, this situation has improved vastly over the last few releases of PowerPoint, so this problem rarely arises.