Saturday 8 -12

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Embedding Video in PowePoint 2007 (PC) or 2008 (Mac)

We all know we can link to a video that is sitting somewhere on the Internet from PowerPoint. But what do we do when: 1) An Internet connection is not available (or fast enough) where we are presenting or 2) The video we want has unexpectedly been moved or deleted or 3) The video is one we created and is not on the Internet.

Not a problem! Just follow these steps:

(Instructions for PC ~ Instructions for Mac ~ Presentation Issues)


For PCs ONLY – go here for Mac instructions.

1 Create the slide from which you want to play the video. I am calling this slide “An Example of Stop-Action Video“.
2 Make sure the “Developer” tab is being displayed.
Click on the Windows “Button“, then click on PowerPoint Options.
  Check the box in front of “Show Developer Tab“. Click OK.
3 Click on the Developer Tab
4 Click on “More Tools“.
Scroll through the list and select the Windows Media Player.
This will give you a mini-player right inside PowerPoint that allows you to start, stop and replay the video.
Click OK.
5 Your cursor will now look like a cross-hair on the slide.
While holding the LEFT mouse button down, draw a rectangle of the size you want your player to be. When you release the LEFT mouse button, your slide will look like this:
  If you accidentally release the button before you have drawn the rectangle, just start again at step 4.
6 Once you h ave the player inserted, Right-Click on the player. Click on “Properties“.
7 At the top of the Properties input dialog, click on the “” button in the “Custom” row.
8 Browse to find your video file in the Windows Media Player Properties dialog.
You can also set other variables in this box. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are taking all default settings.
  Click OK.
  Click on the small “x” at top-right to close the Properties input dialog.
Your slide will now automatically play the embedded video when it is displayed.
Click here to save a short, 3-slide PowerPoint show that illustrates this task. Save the file to your computer and then double click on it to run the show.


FOR Macs

Presentation Issues

There are many issues that you can run into when presenting PowerPoint shows with embedded or linked files. These include:

  • Your presentation can’t find the file
  • Your presentation slows down significantly
  • Your video won’t play

These almost always relate to:

  • What version of Windows or Mac OS you are running
  • Where you linked files physically reside
  • Whether you are using the same machine you created the PowerPoint on to display the presentation

The permutations of factors makes it impossible to list specific solutions for any situation. However, here are some hints that MicroSoft offers:

  1. If possible, always run your presentation from the SAME machine you create it on
    This eliminates almost ALL issues
  2. If you have to use another machine, be sure you TEST the presentation before you show it
    This gives you plenty of time to troubleshoot issues before you go “live”
  3. Always LINK files that are larger than 50MB
  4. EMBED files that are 50MB or smaller
  5. If you have to present on a “stranger” machine (such as equipment in a convention hall) PACKAGE your presentation for CD in order to keep all linked files where your presentation expects to find them

Quick Reference Guides: Office 2008

guides   Need a little reminder now and then about how to perform a common task in Word, Excel or PowerPoint? Here are some PDF “Quick Reference Guides” for Office 2008.

(Guides courtesy of CustomGuide: Learn on Demand)

Click on the title to download and/or print the PDF file.

Adding RSS Feed to a CommonSpot Page

If you have taken advantage of the new SubSite Tools in CommonSpot to include Upcoming Events or News announcements, you can also provide your readers with the option of subscribing to your feed.  Just follow these easy directions:

[Read more…]

Tips for Formatting Tables in Word 2007

Sometimes There is an “Easy” Way

To clear the contents of a table Select the table
To remove a table and its contents Select the table
To add a row at the end of a table Click in the last cell
Press TAB
To insert a tab character in a table cell Click in the cell
To number rows in a table Select the left column
On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group:
Click Numbering
To number columns in a table Select the top row
On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group: click Numbering
To insert a blank line before a table Click before any text in the upper-left cell of the table
To move a table row and its contents up or down Select the row

Don’t Copy and Paste Content from Word to CommonSpot

no-wordWORD inserts an enormous (literally pages and pages) number of unused and sometimes arcane HTML style codes “behind the scenes” into any document. When you do a simple COPY/PASTE from WORD to CommonSpot, all those tags get inserted onto the CommonSpot page. This makes your page 3 to 4 times larger than it needs to be (which will make loading take longer) and it may confuse CommonSpot and cause unexpected formatting and displays. If you then try to re-edit the content, it becomes hopelessly garbled between any relatively straight-forward content inserted by hand into the CommonSpot editor and the content pasted directly from WORD.

There are three ways to avoid this:

  • Upload the WORD file as an attachment
    If you just want folks to be able to read the content of the document, you can upload the file and link to it. Users can then open or download the document.
    This preserves all formatting including pictures.
  • Mail the document to yourself at gmail. (gmail email accounts are free.)
    Once you receive the email, click on the “View as HTML” link beside the attachment.
    Copy and Paste the displayed text into the CommonSpot Editor.
    This preserves about 80% of the formatting. Pictures will not be displayed.
  • Save your document as a TXT file and open it in Notepad or another plain text editor.
    Select all the content and paste it into the CommonSpot Editor.
    This preserves none of the formatting.