Embedding Vs. Linking Videos in Powerpoint

Image of teens taking video of a school project for a PowerPoint presentation

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

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; and PowerPoint for Mac.

Advantages of Linking to a Video

As long as you have permission to do so, you can use a video in your presentation from anywhere on the internet to keep your presentation current and relevant. You'll create a link to these videos using the embedded HTML code provided by the website. When you link to a 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

If you intend to view your presentation on another computer, save all items associated with this presentation (sound files, videos, and other linked files) in the same folder as your PowerPoint presentation. Then insert the video into a PowerPoint slide as a link. This way, PowerPoint creates the correct associations so that your slideshow displays smoothly.

Also, when all of the presentation files are in the same folder, it's simple to copy the complete folder to a USB flash drive or to save the folder to a company network so others have access.

If your PowerPoint presentation contains links to online videos, make sure the computer is connected to the internet during the presentation.

Advantages of Embedding a Video File

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 a single file to a colleague or client for review or for presenting. No muss, no fuss (except for the larger file size of course).

Disadvantages of Embedding a Video File

When you embed a video file, the resulting file size can become huge, which is not ideal. When embedding the actual video into the presentation, your presentation might grind to a halt because it is overwhelmed with the file size. Or, you may encounter issues with the file format you have chosen for the embedded video.