Getting Started With Video Backgrounds

A new Getting Started video tutorial exploring how to use our video backgrounds.

Note: Due to limitations in older versions of PowerPoint, video backgrounds are designed to be used in PowerPoint 2010, or PowerPoint 2011 (Mac) or Keynote 09 (Mac).

Covered in this video:

  • Download and Insert a Video Background in PowerPoint
  • Using the Selection Pane to select or hide items on a slide
  • Using the Animation Pane to control the visibility of items on a slide over time.

View all our video backgrounds for PowerPoint.

  • Deborah Schonfeld

    Thank you! Excellent tip! Learning about the selection tab… wow! That is going to save me SO much trouble and time. Never knew it was there.

  • Nice demo Art! I have to say that when I first discovered the Selection Pane feature it was a total game-changer for me! Now, it’s not only possible but easy to do much more intricate animations…


    Lon Naylor

  • Peace & Greetings,
    I found a great ppt template, the 2nd slide I’d like to use as a video background.
    Item Number: 4812 Type: PowerPoint Template

    I’d like to keep the river running smooth while a poem’s words fade in /out with an narration audio that I want to play to the end….Tips??

    Thanks! Your Travel Buddy, Greg Snead of

    • Art Holden

      Hi Gregory, You could use the tips in this video to do what you are looking to do. Put all the verses of the poem in individual text boxes on one page, and then use PowerPoint, Entrance and Exit animations to control when the verse is visible on the screen. This way PowerPoint never has to start and stop the video like it has to do if you switch slides. Good luck.

      Art Holden

  • Linda

    Great job! This video was very helpful.

  • Joe


    This tutorial was well-done and very helpful. I have a question about the size and proportions of PowerPoint slides using the video backgrounds. Will the video backgrounds work properly if the aspect ratio of the slides is 4:3, or should I be using the same proportions as the original video. Is that 16:9?

    • Art Holden

      Hi Joe, You can still use the video backgrounds in 4X3 aspect ratio presentations. Since the videos are 16×9, you have a couple of choices, you can leave space at the top or bottom of the video (like letterboxing), or you can allow the video to be full screen and then you would be cropping off the edges. I typically do the latter as cropping the edges doesn’t really matter.

      Art Holden

  • Good evening,
    I have joined as a member today and just downloaded the Pond Ripple HD video but the only formats available were in Power Point and I am having a terrible job getting them to work on my Mac. The files once downloaded are greyed out, so I can’t access them. I have checked my PC as well and there is only the Power Point option there as well. Am I missing something somewhere. are you able to help please. If it is possible to demonstrate the same thing using a Mac it would be very helpful – suggestion.

    • Art Holden

      Hi Pauline,

      I think you are looking in the PowerPoint templates instead of the Video Background section. Here is a link to the Pond Ripple video background that is available in a Quicktime format for Mac. I have also sent you an email message if you have further questions.

      Art Holden

  • Kylie

    Just wanted to say I am loving the .flv content that I can use when I create my e-Learning as we do not use powerpoint.

  • Jane Leonard


    I just signed up and I love your products.

    I have one problem. I can insert the video into PPT 2010 but it only appears on one slide. Do I need to insert it in each slide separately
    I have watched the video tutorial but can’t figure this out.
    any ideas?

    • Art Holden

      Hi Jane, If you want to have the video background appear on every slide without having to insert it everytime, you can add it to the Slide Master. The Slide Master controls the default layouts in PowerPoint. You can access it under View>Slide Master. You can choose to add the video to a particular slide layout, or if you add it to the very top slide it will propagate to all the layouts in the master. Be sure to return to Normal View after you are done in the Master.

      Art Holden

  • How do I import a video background into captivate after it is downloaded

    • Depending on the file you downloaded (.wmv , .mov , .swf , .fla) Captivate does not always allow file insertion. Although we do not work with captivate regularly there is a strong community on the Adobe Forums relating to Captivate and various video file types. If your file is a .swf or a .fla you should be able to insert the file the same as you would any other video file into Captivate.

  • Gilbert Hong

    Hi! Subscribed recently and am having a great time making presentations with video. Unfortunately, not all machines play the video the same way.

    On my old 2007 laptop running PPT 2010 on Windows Vista, everything is a-ok. But when running on the newer laptops (same PPT 2010 but on Windows 7), the text boxes or clip art always get hidden behind the videos… I use the Skyline Billboard Item Number: 7421 (which covers the entire slide)

    Any idea why this happens?

    Thanks so much for your great products!

    • Art Holden

      Hello Gilbert,

      I’m glad to hear that you are having fun using our videos and templates. I’m virtually certain that you are using PowerPoint 2007 on the computer with video issue. PowerPoint 2007 does not have the ability to play video behind other items and what you are describing is exactly what would happen in PowerPoint 2007. PowerPoint 2010 does not have this limitation. If you look in the upper left corner and see the round office button, that means you are running 2007.

      If you need to use PowerPoint 2007 in your work flow, be sure to download the 2007 versions of the templates.

      Art Holden

      • Gilbert Hong

        Thank you Art! Double checked the powerpoint versions and you were absolutely right. They had Powerpoint 2007 installed!

        Best regards.

        • Rick Stone

          One thing I discovered was that you *CANNOT* enable the option to Play Full Screen. For me, this caused the video to always be “in front”, in spite of ensuring it was the back most layer.

  • Marcus Simms

    I just joined I am trying to use the video background blue heart for a presentation but for some reason when I get done with putting the slide together. The picture looks right, but went I try to use it as current slide it comes back all the way to the front of all the pictures I have on the slide. I used the send to the back button but it still didnt work. I would appreciate any advise you can give. I am using microsoft 2010. Thank you.

    • Marcus:
      Make sure there is not a clear box over top of the video, if you “send to back” once it’d only send the clear cover to the back, and enable the video to stay in the front. Another solution to this would be to “Send to Front” whatever text/display you have to manually move the items in front of the video. Also check for PowerPoint updates using your “Windows update” in “All Programs” to make sure your PowerPoint has the latest service pack updates.

      • Marcus Simms

        That didn’t work but thank you anyways. I will try to figure it out. It is probably something I am doing. I love everything else so far. Thank you for the suggestions.

        • Art Holden

          Marcus, Are you sure you are using PowerPoint 2010? This problem sure sounds like you are using PowerPoint 2007 which always will play video in the foreground If you look in the upper left corner of PowerPoint and see an orange ‘file’ button, you are using PPT 2010, if instead, there is a round circle with the office logo, then you are using PPT 2007

          Hope this helps,
          Art Holden

        • Rick Stone

          Marcus, I was having the same issue. I discovered you have to simply size the video as desired. You *CANNOT* enable the “full screen” option as it seems to cause the video to leap to the foreground.

  • Marcus Simms

    It is definitely PPT 2010

  • Is it possible to replace the video on the animated presentation template with my own so it starts automatically?

    so it fits in the screen rather than having an abstract video as is the standard.

    This would effectively use the standard screen as a frame for any video which would be cool


    • Mike:
      So I’m understanding, you’d like to replace one of our video backgrounds on an animated presentation with one of your own, and have it start automatically. You would first delete our movie by either clicking on it within the slide, or going through View>Slide Master and deleting it that way, and then replacing it with your own. Once your video is inserted, use the Video Tools to have it “Start Automatically”.

  • Marcus

    Fix it lol….. I figured it out. I have 2010 but it was saving under 2003-2007. I had to convert the presentation to power point presentation. So thank you for everything, I am really enjoying using this site. Completely redid my presentation and people are impressed with what I have been able to do.

    • Glad you are up and running!

  • Ralph


    With Powerpoint for Mac ’11 on OSX10.8.2 (Mountain Lion) I can’t make animations work automatically if the video is playing in the background. Click to advance the animation works but they don’t appear as ‘after previous’ or ‘with previous’. Seems the timer / trigger doesn’t work if a video is playing. Any ideas?


    • Can you try setting them to play “With Previous” without any kind of delay on them? That’d more than likely be the culprit. Also, make sure you downloaded the 2011 version of the template (if you downloaded a template), and if you combined multiple presentations that you did so using PowerPoint’s “reuse slides” feature. Keep me updated and we’ll get you moving along smoothly again.

      ~Kara Jones

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