How to insert SWF file into PowerPoint 2003/2007?

Summary: Step by step guide on how to insert a flash file into a PowerPoint presentation to make it more attractive.


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Prior to the topic, you should understand what SWF is. The file format SWF (also Adobe Flash) stands for Shockwave Flash, not for Small Web Format as often wrongly assumed.

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The advantage of the SWF file format lies in its small size, which is good for Web publication, and its animations and applets of great interactivity and function. Simple and functional is SWF. That is why many PowerPoint users would like to insert a SWF file to enrich their presentations.

Most PowerPoint novices will be at a loss, however, when they are to do the exact job of inserting SWF files to a presentation. Hence, we introduce a systematic guide to help that junior group get through the trouble.

IMPORTANT: Before you begin inserting, make sure that your computer can play flash video. If not, download the latest Adobe Flash player from http://www.adobe.com to enable the Shockwave Flash Object in the ActiveX Control option of your PowerPoint.

To insert a SWF file into PowerPoint, do the following:
  • Copy the URL of the SWF file you want to insert and save it to a notepad. For example, if the file name is abc.swf, and the file is located at D:\My Documents, then the file URL should be "D:\My Documents\abc.swf"
  • Insert the SWF file to your PowerPoint presentation. The specific steps may be slightly different in PowerPoint 2003 and 2007.
    • In PowerPoint 2003, click the View tab in the menu bar, choose Toolbars in the sub-menu, then select Control Toolbox to enter the Control Toolbar.
    • In PowerPoint 2007, ensure the Developer tab has been enabled. If it isn't, go to Office (the Microsoft logo at the top left of the window) -> PowerPoint Options, and tick the checkbox Show Developer tab in the Ribbon in the pop up interface.

    The next actions are the same in both versions.

    • Click on the More Controls icon  in the Control group.
    • In the More Controls prompt box, scroll down the list to Shockwave Flash Object and click the item. Then the ActiveX Control is displayed as a crosshair object.
  • Enter the URL of the SWF file to the ActiveX Control item in your presentation.

    Right click on the crosshair item to select Properties from the list. In the Properties interface, follow these steps:

    • Find out Embed Movie and change the item property from "False" to "True" if you want to move the presentation to another computer.
    • Go to the Movie item and paste the URL of the SWF file (which is saved previously on your notepad) to the right blank.
  • Fine tune the SWF file in the PowerPoint presentation

    To set specific options for playing the SWF file, do the following in the Properties interface.

    • If the Playing property is set to True, you can turn it to False to disable the Start/Pause control.
    • If you don't want the video to play in loop, go to change the Loop property to False.

    Close the Properties dialog box once it is done.

  • Set the presentation to the "Slideshow" mode to view the SWF flash. Click the Slide Show button in the lower left of the PowerPoint window (or press F5, or click View Show in the Slide Show menu,) to run the SWF flash.
In addition, save the presentation with SWF flash to a DVD disc with Moyea PPT to DVD Burner, if you want to reuse it at cross platforms like TVs, the Web or a different PC without loss of effects.