Embedding vs. Linking Videos in Powerpoint

Is it better to embed or link to a video in a Powerpoint presentation?

Should you link or embed video into a PowerPoint presentation? If you want to insert a copy of a video into the presentation, embed it. If the video will be updated and you want to view the most recent video, or if you found the video online (such as YouTube), create a link to the file.

Embed vs Link

Overall Findings

Linking a Video
  • Best for sharing video that someone else made.

  • Allows you to access any video from the web.

  • No need to worry about file formats or CPU loads.

  • Presentation will require access to the internet or, alternatively, a host storage drive.

Embedding a Video
  • Best for sharing video that you made.

  • Video lives permanently within the PowerPoint project.

  • Drastically increases the file size of the project, which makes sharing and uploading a challenge.

  • May have issues with CPU load or file compatibility.

Linking a video in a PowerPoint file is a good option if you know you will have internet access during the presentation, or if you have limited storage space or bandwidth to transfer the file. If you will not have access to the internet, or if you need the video file to be accessible wherever the file is stored, you may want to embed the video in the PowerPoint file.

Linking a Video in a PowerPoint Pros and Cons

  • Video is viewable wherever you have internet access.

  • No need to worry about processing power or file compatibility.

  • Requires internet access whenever or wherever the file is opened.

As long as you have permission, you can use a video in your presentation from anywhere on the internet by simply copying and pasting some HTML code. This is convenient because it limits the file size of the PowerPoint project. There's also no need to worry about file formats or CPU loads.

The downside is that the video may not be accessible under all circumstances. In order to view a video linked to a web address (such as YouTube), you will need an internet connection. If there is no internet connection available during the presentation, you can link a video from a hard drive or server, but any instance of the PowerPoint presentation will require access to that hard drive or server in order to view the video.

If you plan to view your presentation on another computer, save all items associated with this project (sound files, videos, linked files) in the same folder as your PowerPoint presentation. When all of the presentation files are in the same folder, it's easier to copy the necessary files to a USB flash drive or to save the folder to a company network so others have access to them.

Embedding a Video in PowerPoint

  • Video lives permanently within the PowerPoint file: No need for internet access.

  • Drastically increases PowerPoint file size.

  • Systems may not always be compatible with video file formats.

An embedded video becomes a permanent part of the presentation, just like text and images. With embedded video, you can upload or share a single file with someone without having to worry about whether or not the video will be accessible.

The downside is that embedded videos often result in huge file sizes. This can make the PowerPoint project file too large to easily share or upload. You'll also have to be careful about what file format the video is in: Newer systems may have trouble viewing old or obscure file formats, and vice versa.