Easy video backgrounds in PowerPoint

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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.

A true PowerPoint slide background has to be still a solid color, gradient, pattern or picture.  But the layer immediately above the background can be a video. That video can take up the entire slide or mix with a matching color slide background.

Choose a slide background color that matches the video for a seamless look (this animated GIF might not faithfully reproduce the background colors).

The Moon Rotation as PowerPoint slide - Easy video backgrounds in PowerPoint
Source: Rotating Moon from Lunar Reconnisance Orbiter

Any text or other elements you add should appear ‘above’ the video. 

It’s possible the layers (Title, text and video) 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).

make a video background in powerpoint 13266 - Easy video backgrounds in PowerPoint

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

make a video background in powerpoint 13268 - Easy video backgrounds in PowerPoint

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).

img 58fe36db90893 - Easy video backgrounds in PowerPoint

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

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