Make a video background in PowerPoint

Adding a video as the background of a PowerPoint slide is surprisingly easy.  You might expect that it requires special features but it doesn’t.  There are some tricks to know if the slide gets muddled up.

PowerPoint defaults to adding video as a background or, strictly speaking, bottom layer of the slide.  A true PowerPoint slide background can be a solid color, gradient, pattern or picture.  In the layer above the background, all you have to do is insert a video.

Any text or other elements you add should appear ‘above’ the video.  Choose a slide background color that matches the video for a seamless look (this animated GIF might not faithfully reproduce the background colors).

It’s possible the layers can get muddled up with some elements disappearing from view.

In this example, the title is partly hidden by the video (we’ve changed the background color to grey so the difference between the real slide background and the video is clearer).

To fix that, right-click on the video and choose Send to Back | Send to Back:

Any other slide elements will re-appear ‘above’ the video.

Selection Pane

If things get really confusing, there’s always the Selection Pane (Home | Editing | Select | Selection Pane).

PowerPoint’s Selection Pane shows a list of all the slide elements – visible or not.