I recently had a consult with a guest who was having issues with a PowerPoint presentation. The audio and video was continually out of sync, even after corrections were made. Certain animations were not always playing correctly. Overall, the presentation was running slowly. He was moving from location to location, trying to give this presentation but the issues he was having with his PowerPoint were leaving him at a bit of a loss. He tried to use PowerPoint’s “Save as movie” function, but this feature is not the most helpful. Many animations and transitions are not compatible with it, and the maximum video quality is not the greatest. There was a simple fix to his problem though – screen capture.
All that needed to be done was to use a screen capture tool to film the presentation as it played on the desktop (or laptop). As long as the presentation could play smoothly in PowerPoint than there would be no issue. We used the program Camtasia Studio. For windows, it has an add-in for PowerPoint capturing in versions 6 and newer. For Mac, you simply play your PowerPoint and capture the screen. The process is pretty easy. Here’s a couple great videos from Camtasia’s creators teaching you how.
There are several other screen-capture programs you can download. The most recent version of QuickTime even has its own screen capturing tool. The only key is to make sure whatever program you’re using can capture video, not just still images.
There are several benefits I’ve found to converting your PowerPoint presentation to video. Often, when switching between operating systems or different versions of PowerPoint details within your presentation may be altered and require re-adjustment; fonts may have changed, the placement or animations of images may have been altered. This isn’t unfixable, just a hassle. When you’ve converted your presentation to a simple video file you should be able to jump to and from almost any computer without fault. Having your presentation converted to a video file can also allow for simpler file sharing. Again, if trying to send your presentation to a friend or colleague with a different PowerPoint version or operating system some issues may arise. If you send them a video, they should be able to play it in most media players without issue.
Although having a video presentation does simplify many things there is one major drawback – the ability to make alterations. Changing a word or an image in a PowerPoint file is relatively simple, but once you’ve converted your presentation to video altering it becomes much more complicated. Changes may still be made with certain video editing software, but the process can be much more complicated and time consuming. As long as you have your original PowerPoint file saved you can make alterations to that and re-capture it. But if you have a presentation you’ll need to consistently make changes to, turning it into video may not be the best idea.
Screen capturing has numerous uses on top of PowerPoint capturing. You can use it to create many different types of presentations to teach different programs, train others in the use of certain software or present information from the seat of your desk. Regardless of what your need is, screen capturing is a great tool to keep in your back pocket.