gif me a chance to do this right
September 26, 2009 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I used to be able to insert animated gifs into Powerpoint and have them run when I clicked on them. Now the only way I can get them to work (following Powerpoint's own instructions) is to insert them as objects that when clicked, open in Window's "Picture and Fax viewer". Surely there's a better way? I want to make an entertaining presentation for undergraduates, not look like an old fogy who can't use new technology.
posted by acrasis to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Which version of PowerPoint?

Have you tried these instructions? Or, what happens when you follow these steps?
Add a movie or animated GIF file

1. On the Insert menu, point to Movies and Sounds, click Movie from File, locate the folder that contains the file you want, and then double-click the file.

NOTE A movie or .gif file that you've added to Clip Organizer is found in the Clip Organizer folder within the My Pictures folder on your hard disk. Or, go to the original location for these files.

2. When a message is displayed, do one of the following:
- To play the movie or GIF automatically when you go to the slide, click Automatically.
- To play the movie or GIF only when you click it, click When Clicked.
posted by Houstonian at 2:21 PM on September 26, 2009

Also, animated clips aren't necessarily the only way to convey "Hey, I get this." Sometimes they can be the presentation equivalent of the painful brochure that uses tons of clipart and 15 fonts.

If you have access to O'Reilly & Associates' Safari Online library via a university, or are willing to take a look at it and consider picking up a copy at a booktore, Slide:ology is a really, really excellent and pretty gentle introduction to the art of building good presentations for teaching and communicating. Some of the extended content for it is also online.
posted by verb at 2:54 PM on September 26, 2009

These aren't garbagy clip-art thingies (I hate those); these are gifs I've made myself to illustrate points. I'll try what you advise, Houstonian- the problem with inserting them as movies is that Powerpoint keeps asking me to provide a program to run the gifs, and the gifs don't need a program. Also: I'm taking this presentation to a college, and Powerpoint says I need to take a folder containing the presentation AND the original gifs. That seems idiotic, considering that in a previous version of Powerpoint, the gifs just ran when embedded in the presentation.

I think I have the most recent version of Powerpoint (I'm at home now, so I can't check).
posted by acrasis at 3:17 PM on September 26, 2009

Thanks for the clarification, acrasis! Those do sound like a great use: moving diagrams, etc can really do a lot to improve visual communication and Slide:ology even talks about that.

Sorry for the brief philosophical derail. I use Keynote so I can't offer too much detail on PowerPoint...
posted by verb at 3:32 PM on September 26, 2009

No, thanks for the suggestion, verb- I've suffered through enough horrible presentations that I'd like to give good ones. When I'm at work I'll check to see if I have online access through the National Ag library.
posted by acrasis at 3:41 PM on September 26, 2009

The things you mention (must need a program to run it, must take the folder with the GIF) are true for inserting an object. It should work without those issues, though, by inserting it as a movie.
posted by Houstonian at 4:11 PM on September 26, 2009

I'll try it! Thanks, Houstonian! I'll mark you as "best answer" as soon as it works!
posted by acrasis at 4:20 PM on September 26, 2009

I have Powerpoint 2003 and I'm afraid I can't find a way to insert a movie from file. I'm pretty discouraged.
posted by acrasis at 4:01 PM on September 28, 2009

That's the version I have, too. Why are you not able to insert a movie from file? What happens differently than the directions?
posted by Houstonian at 4:05 PM on September 28, 2009

I just tried inserting an animated GIF, and it worked. I did it two different ways. Here are the steps I followed:

1. On the Insert menu, click Movies and Sounds, then Movie from file.
The Insert Movie dialog box displays.

2. On the Files of type field (at the bottom), select All Files (*.*) from the list. Then, navigate to the GIF file, select it, and then click OK.
The file is on the slide.

3. To view the GIF moving on the slide, go to Slide Show view (on the View menu, click Slide Show; or, press F5).

The second way I did it:
1. Open the PowerPoint file, and go to the slide.

2. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to the GIF file.

3. Resize the PowerPoint and the Explorer windows so that you can see them both, side-by-side.

3. From Explorer, drag the GIF file and drop in in the PowerPoint slide.

4. To view the GIF moving on the slide, go to Slide Show view (on the View menu, click Slide Show; or, press F5).
posted by Houstonian at 4:21 PM on September 28, 2009

The first way: I can insert the gif that way (and did), but it won't run in the Slide show. It behaves like a picture and just sits there.

I'll try the second way. Thanks so much, Houstonian- you're going way beyond the call of duty here.
posted by acrasis at 3:48 PM on September 29, 2009

Follow-up. Yes, I'm sorry, this is so boring that no one cares. But when I went to the college and gave the seminar, the Powerpoint presentation played beautifully with all the gifs. So the problem appears to be my computer.
posted by acrasis at 3:58 PM on October 6, 2009

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