"Movies" are desktop video files with formats such as AVI, QuickTime, and MPEG, and file extensions such as .avi, .mov, .qt, .mpg, and .mpeg. A typical movie might include a speaker talking — an executive, for example — who is not able to be at the actual presentation. Or, you might use a movie to demonstrate a type of training.
An animated GIF (GIF: A graphics file format (.gif extension in Windows) used to display indexed-color graphics on the World Wide Web. It supports up to 256 colors and uses lossless compression, meaning that no image data is lost when the file is compressed.) file includes motion and has a .gif file extension. Though not technically movies, animated GIFs contain multiple images which stream to create an animation effect; they are often used to accent a design or Web site.
You can add movies and animated GIFs to slides from files on your computer, the Microsoft Clip Organizer, a network or intranet, or the Internet. To add the movie or animated GIF, insert it onto the specific slide using commands on the Insert menu. There are several ways you can start it: have it play automatically when the slide displays; click it with the mouse; or create a timing for it so that it plays after a certain delay. It can also be part of an animation sequence.
Although accessed through the Insert menu, movie files are automatically linked (linked object: An object that is created in a source file and inserted into a destination file, while maintaining a connection between the two files. The linked object in the destination file can be updated when the source file is updated.) to your presentation, rather than embedded (embedded object: Information (object) contained in a source file and inserted into a destination file. Once embedded, the object becomes part of the destination file. Changes you make to the embedded object are reflected in the destination file.) inside it like pictures or drawings. When your presentation has linked files, you must copy the linked files as well as the presentation if you need to show the presentation on another computer.
Using Microsoft Windows Media Player for movies
If Microsoft PowerPoint won't play a movie file you try to insert, try to play the movie in Windows Media Player. First, test the movie outside of PowerPoint by opening Windows Media Player and opening your file from the File menu. If the movie doesn't play, Windows Media Player gives you detailed error messages and a Help link that can help you troubleshoot the problem.
If the movie plays in Windows Media Player, you can then insert it from within PowerPoint by clicking Object on the Insert menu and inserting it as a media clip.
A movie that you play in PowerPoint using Windows Media Player cannot have animation settings and special timings assigned to it; instead, you play it by clicking buttons in the Windows Media Player.