Insert Rich Media in PowerPoint 2010

December 16, 2010, By Christian Cawley

With Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 you have at your hands the most powerful presentation software available. Any number of different layouts and presentations can be created with this comprehensive application, designed to be used by beginners and professionals alike.

Much of the power in PowerPoint comes from its ability to display a vast selection of information, from basic text to tables, images and even video and audio.

Following our initial look at PowerPoint and the means to begin, save and print a new presentation, we’ll continue with an overview of the Insert tab, the method by which media and text can be inserted into a presentation.

Insert pictures and video PowerPoint 2010

Tables, Images and Illustrations

There are seven sections to the Insert tab, each including options for adding media and pre-formatted content to your slide. From the left, it begins with the Tables and Images sections.

Tables includes the single Table button for adding a table. You are able to select dimensions for the table via a small grid tool, Insert table… to specify exact numbers of rows and columns, Draw table… to construct one with your mouse or even insert an Excel Spreadsheet for a rich cross-application presentation.

Images, meanwhile, allows you to insert a Picture from your computer hard drive or Clip Art via the search box that appears on the right-side of your PowerPoint window. The search box will search your computer for suitably tagged images, and if you have the Include Office.com content box ticked content from the web will also be returned.  Inserting an image this way is simply a case of clicking the item.

The Images tab also includes a Screenshot tool which will paste in a scree capture of any of your open windows, while Photo Album manages the import of images to create a slideshow presentation.

If you’re looking for something more formal, the Illustrations section will allow you to insert a wide variety of mathematical and process chart Shapes, while Smart Art and Charts can also be added for a polished, professional look suitable for corporate presentations.

Inserting Text & Links in PowerPoint

As with any rich-media application, PowerPoint includes the ability to insert Links to locations on the web or perhaps somewhere on a local Intranet or even a networked file, while the Action option allows you to add an event whenever a word or image is clicked, such as linking to the next slide, another presentation, a macro or even a sound.

On the Text section you will find a vast selection of items such as a Text Box and a Header & Footer tool so that you can style the presentation as required. You can also insert Word Art, a Date & Time based on your preferred format and a Slide Number. Objects can also be inserted, such as PDF documents or presentations created in other formats.

Symbols and Media

Finally, the Insert tab features the option to insert unusual Symbols and audio and video Media.

Preset Equations can be inserted from a list, while you can also Insert New Equation and use the Equation Tools to create your own. The Symbol tool will allow you to insert a variety of popular and unusual symbols, such as copyright ©.

If you’re planning to wow the audience of your presentation with some true multimedia, then you need the Media section. With the Video tool you have the option of inserting Video from File… somewhere on your PC, Video from Web Site… which will allow you to paste an embed code from YouTube or a similar site, and Clip Art Video… which works in the same way as inserting Clip Art (see above).

Audio options allow you to insert Audio from File… – something you might have on your PC that includes MP3 – and Clip Art Audio…. There is also the option to Record Audio… and add this directly into the presentation.

PowerPoint’s Insert tab is potentially the most important menu in the entire application, and will help you deliver a superb presentation.

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