How to Clip a Scene From a DVD to Use in a PowerPoint
By Joshua Smyth
Microsoft's PowerPoint software offers users the chance to create slide presentations, and many people keep it very simple, with slides full of text and basic graphics. This can be both boring and limiting, so PowerPoint allows users to insert photographs, audio clips and video clips into slides to enliven a presentation. If the video clip you want to use is a scene from a DVD, it is possible to extract that scene with a few simple software tools, as long as you have the legal right to do so.
Download DVD-ripping software. There are a number of free software packages such as HandBrake that can process DVDs into MPEG or AVI movies.
Download video-editing software. Basic packages such as Apple's iMovie and Microsoft Movie Maker are free and ship with most Macs and PCs. If your computer doesn't have a copy, download them from the Apple or Microsoft websites.
Double click on the downloaded ".exe" files to open the installers on a PC. On a Mac, they will open automatically. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the ripping program.
Insert the DVD you want to use. Some DVDs may have copy-protection that prevents them from being ripped. Although it is possible to download software to break this protection, doing so is illegal. Under U.S. copyright law, making digital copies of commercial DVDs for personal use is illegal. If you have legal rights to the material on the DVD, go ahead.
Open the DVD-ripping program. Select the DVD and click "OK." Choose a name and destination for the file and what format to record it in. MPEG is best for PowerPoint. Click "Rip."
Launch your movie editor. Click "File" and "Open." Select the movie file created by your DVD ripper. Once it opens, select the scene you want by clicking and dragging, then click "Edit" and "Copy."
Create a new movie file by clicking "File" and "New." Click "Edit" and "Paste" to insert your clip. Click "File" and "Save" to save your clip as a separate MPEG movie.
Open the PowerPoint presentation you wish to insert the movie into.
Go to the slide that you want the movie to appear on and click "Insert." Select "Movies and Sounds" and then "Movie."
Select your clip file and click "Insert." You will be asked to choose whether you want the movie to play automatically as the slide appears, or when clicked. After you have clicked your choice, your movie will be linked in the PowerPoint file.
- Always keep any movies in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation they are a part of. PowerPoint doesn't copy movies into its presentation files, as they are too big. It links to them, and moving the file away could break the link.
- Copyright law on DVD copying is quite strict under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is unclear that it is legal to make copies for personal use, and using a clip to display in public is almost certainly a violation of copyright if that clip is from a commercial movie.
Joshua Smyth started writing in 2003 and is based in St. John's, Newfoundland. He has written for the award-winning "Cord Weekly" and for "Blueprint Magazine" in Waterloo, Ontario, where he spent a year as editor-in-chief. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.