Play an Adobe Macromedia Flash animation in a presentation

PowerPoint for Office 365, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010

If you have an animated graphic that was created by using Adobe Macromedia Flash and saved as a Shockwave file with an .swf extension, you can play the file in a PowerPoint presentation.

You add a Flash file to a presentation in PowerPoint 2010 and later by embedding or linking the file on a slide.


  • There may be some limitations when using Flash in PowerPoint, including the inability to use special effects (such as shadows, reflections, glow effects, soft edges, bevels, and 3-D rotation), the fade and trim capabilities, and the ability to compress these files for easier sharing and distribution.

  • The PowerPoint 2010 64-bit version is not compatible with 32-bit versions of QuickTime or Flash. You must either install a 64-bit version of QuickTime or Flash or a 32-bit version of PowerPoint 2010.

Embed a Flash file

  1. In Normal view, click the slide in which you want to embed a video.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Media group, click the arrow under Video, and then click Video on my PC or Video from file.

  3. In the Insert Video dialog box, locate and click the video that you want to embed, and then click Insert.

  4. To preview the Flash animation, click Play on the Video Tools Format tab.

Link to a Flash file

  1. On the Slides tab in Normal view, click the slide to which you want to add a video or animated GIF file.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Media group, click the arrow under Video.

  3. Click Video on my PC or Video from File, locate and click the file that you want to link to.

  4. On the Insert button, click the down arrow, and then click Link to file.

    Important: To prevent possible problems with broken links, it is a good idea to copy the videos into the same folder as your presentation, and link to them there.

  5. To preview the Flash animation, click Play on the Video Tools Format tab.

To add an .swf file in PowerPoint 2007, you use the ActiveX control called Shockwave Flash Object and the Adobe Macromedia Flash Player. To play the Flash file, add an ActiveX control to the slide and create a link from it to the Flash file.

ActiveX control security settings are located in the Trust Center, where you can find security and privacy settings for 2007 Microsoft Office system programs. You may need to adjust your security settings to allow Active X controls to run. ActiveX settings in the Trust Center apply to all 2007 Office release products. For example, if you change a setting in PowerPoint, that setting is also changed for other Office programs that use the Trust Center. For more information about Active X controls and changing settings, see Enable or disable ActiveX settings in Office files.


  • The Shockwave Flash Object must be registered on your computer for you to play the Flash file within a presentation. To see whether the Shockwave Flash Object is registered, on the Developer tab, in the Controls group, click More Controls Button image . If the Shockwave Flash Object appears in the list of controls, it is registered on your computer. If it is not registered, download the latest version of the Flash Player from the Adobe Web site to register the Shockwave Flash Object on your computer.

  • To guarantee that complex animations run properly, install the latest version of the Flash Player, even if older versions of the Shockwave Flash Object are registered on your computer.

Add a Flash file to a presentation

  1. Install the Flash Player on your computer.

  2. In PowerPoint, in Normal view, display the slide on which you want to play the animation.

  3. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click PowerPoint Options.

  4. Click Popular, and then under Top options for working with PowerPoint, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

  5. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, click More Controls Button image .

  6. In the list of controls, click Shockwave Flash Object, click OK, and then drag on the slide to draw the control.

    Resize the control by dragging the sizing handles.

  7. Right-click the Shockwave Flash Object, and then click Properties.

  8. On the Alphabetic tab, click the Movie property.

  9. In the value column (the blank cell next to Movie), type the full drive path, including the file name (for example, C\:MyFile.swf) or uniform resource locator (URL) to the Flash file that you want to play.

  10. To set specific options for how the animation plays, do the following, and then close the Properties dialog box:

    • To play the file automatically when the slide is displayed, set the Playing property to True. If the Flash file has a Start/Rewind control built into it, you can set the Playing property to False.

    • If you don't want the animation to play repeatedly, set the Loop property to False.

Preview an animation in Slide Show view

  • On the View tab, in the Presentation Views group, click Slide Show or press F5.

    To exit the slide show and return to Normal view, press ESC.


  • Unlike pictures or drawings, Flash files are always linked to your presentation in PowerPoint 2007, rather than embedded in it. When you insert a linked file, PowerPoint creates a link to the file's current location. If you later move the file to a different location, PowerPoint cannot locate it when you want the file to play. It is a good practice to copy the Flash files into the same folder as your presentation before you insert the Flash files. PowerPoint creates a link to the Flash file and can find the Flash file as long as you keep it in the presentation folder, even if you move or copy the folder to another computer. Another way to be sure that your linked files are in the same folder as your presentation is to use the Package for CD feature. This feature copies all the files to one location (a CD or folder) with your presentation and automatically updates all the links for the files. When your presentation contains linked files, you must copy the linked files as well as the presentation if you plan to give the presentation on another computer or send it to someone in email.

  • The third-party products discussed in this article are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

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