Before You Create a Video Clip From PowerPoint

Created: Wednesday, July 11, 2007, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:43 am

Updated: at

Did you know that there's so much you can do even before you export video clips, right inside PowerPoint to make the degrading effects of any subsequent compression minimal? In this post, we will look at some ideas that will help you.

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Note: This post was first written in 2007. Since the content of this post is still applicable to newer versions of PowerPoint, we have slightly edited the post to make it relevant.

Many people use PowerPoint as a video editor, and use the export options in PowerPoint to create video clips. If you use the newer versions of PowerPoint, the output quality can be amazing, but when you upload these video clips to a site such as YouTube or Vimeo, then the quality can get degraded. Why? That’s because these sites compress your video clips, that can lead to the reduction in the video quality. But did you know that there’s so much you can do even before you export the video clips, right inside PowerPoint to make the degrading effects of this compression minimal? In this post, we will look at some ideas that will help you.

Here are thoughts that should concern you even before you create a video clip from your PowerPoint presentation. Do give these topics more than a passing thought or a cursory glance:

1. Use the Right Background

Remember that PowerPoint compresses videos with codecs, and such compression can cause degradation. And then if you upload to YouTube or Vimeo, that means compression again.

Some backgrounds degrade more than others, and cannot cope well with this continued compression. That’s the reason why you should make sure you use a proper slide background that’s suitable for video export. Don’t use a background with many gradients or a design that contains all the colors of the rainbow. Also, don’t use backgrounds with highly saturated color variations of red, orange, or green–these colors tend not to compress too well and you can end up with videos that appear very pixelated.

2. Keep Stuff Simple

Keep the content reasonably uncomplicated. Don’t create slides with too much content, especially if these slides are intended for video export. A few lines of text and a visual or two is the right formula. Also, go slow with in-slide movement–twenty animations happening at once and objects that appear and disappear all the time won’t be a great starting point to convert to a video clip.

3. Keep Your Text Large Enough

Use larger size text. Use nothing smaller than 36 point text size because many times, your exported videos may be played in a smaller size on phones, or even in embeds on web pages.

4. Regular or Widescreen?

Do you want regular or widescreen slides? Decide what type of output you need even before you start creating your slides. If you need a widescreen video clip, start with a widescreen PowerPoint presentation. You’ll find severalĀ widescreen PowerPoint templates at

5. Use a Simple Template

Yes, it’s really best to start with an understated design. If you are converting your PowerPoint to a video clip to post on YouTube or another video sharing site, do remember that the movies are shown in a small window. If you use a very ornamental design, that small size might visually drown all your other slide objects, including text!

6. Use Automatic Slide Timings

If you use PowerPoint, you can set a default transition time while exporting video. But if you are using a recording product like TechSmith Camtasia or another similar video capture product to record your PowerPoint to a video clip, you must set transition timings for all slides.

7. Use Basic Transitions

Consider using basic transitions such as Fade or Wipe. Complicated transitions can distract rather than help!

8. Narration? Music?

What about narration or music? You must decide if you need to add those elements before you export your video.

Finally, after you have taken all precautions, make sure you do a test video export and play it to make sure that everything you wanted has converted well within the video clip. If something did not work right, you may have to make edits to your PowerPoint slides and then export again.

PowerPoint to Video Clip
Image: StockUnlimited

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