Powerpoint to DVD

I had a goal, a dream: transfer my PowerPoint slideshow to DVD so my dad and aunt could have a copy that could be easily viewed. It all started after I returned from a trip to Germany that I had taken with my dad. We had gone together to see the town where he grew up. I had about 130 pictures on my digital camera, so I decided to put them in a PowerPoint presentation and burn it on a DVD for him to watch on TV. My aunt wanted a copy too, and I knew PowerPoint to DVD would be the simpliest way for her to see the pictures. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Things were going along nicely as I made my PowerPoint presentation, although the process of enhancing and cropping each image and putting it in the slide show was extremely time consuming. When I was about 7/8’s of the way through I thought to myself, “You know, self, I’ve never put PowerPoint on a DVD to view on the TV. I wonder how one does that.” Much to my horror, my Google search turned up nothing but discouraging news. “It can’t be done,” they said on all the best forumns. “Use product X.” Oops, not made for a Mac. “Turn each slide into an image and put it into iMovie.” Crappy resolution, and I don’t know how to use iMove. Besides, I had just done all my image work– I didn’t want to have to do it again. When I tried to learn about iMovie, I got conflicting and convoluted advice about some mysterious Ken Burns process and the “jaggies” which, surprisingly enough, has nothing to do with the PBS special about the Civil War. I tried to use iDVD. How the heck do I switch to a template that doesn’t play circus music ad naseaum? I went to bed at three a.m., no closer to my goal.

The only glimmer of clairty I had found was from this website from Mr. Daniel Slagle: Importing a Powerpoint Presentation. But when I tried to follow his suggestions, I created a movie that stayed on my first slide until the one minute and twenty-three second midi file was done playing. Clearly not what I had in mind. So using Mr. Slagle’s advice as my starting point, I waded through the muck and finally produced a PowerPoint movie that plays music and can be seen on my DVD player. The steps I went through to make this masterpiece go from PowerPoint to DVD are given below. In addition, if you save things regularly as you go along, you’ll end up with a PowerPoint Presentation, a QuickTime movie, and a DVD movie. Remember, since a TV has a screen with a lower resolution than a computer monitor, you won’t see the same crisp images on your TV that you have on your computer. However, I think you’ll be very happy the results. This process worked for me. Hopefully it will work for you as well.

Software Used:

  • PowerPoint 2004
  • Photoshop Elements
  • iMovie
  • QuickTime Pro
  • Toast Titanium
  • I worked on an iMac G5, so all the software is for OS X. I’m sure you can use other versions of some of these software products to produce similar results in order to get your PowerPoint presentation to a DVD.

    1. Set-up the PowerPoint Presentation [PowerPoint 2004]

    Suggestions:

  • Use a black background.
  • Don’t use custom animations.
  • Don’t choose an effect for slide transitions.
  • Set slide transitions to advance after four to five seconds. Apply to all.
  • Don’t add music or sounds to individual slides. We’ll add a soundtrack later.
  • 2. Prepare Photos [Photoshop Elements 4]

  • Crop and adjust jpegs from your digital camera or scans.
  • Change resolution to 150 dpi.
  • Resize pictures so that none are greater than 8″ in width or 7″ in height so they fit on the slides.
  • Select all, copy, and paste images into slides. Or you can save the images and use the Insert Pictures from File option.
  • 3. Add text to PowerPoint

    Suggestions:

  • Use a simple, sans-serif font.
  • Make text bold, size 30 – 32, and in white.
  • Adjust text and picture placement so that there is about 1/2″ of empty space all around the edge of the slide. If the text or photo gets too close to the edge, the curvature of the TV will cause images and text to be cut-off.
  • Time the slideshow to see how long it is when it runs by itself.
  • Save as a presentation.
  • 5. Create wav file of your music [QuickTime Pro]

    I tried to use the .mov soundtrack file in my presentation, but it didn’t work. I don’t know why. Also, a .wav file is smaller, but the quality of sound is still great, so my final product was smaller using a .wav file v.s. a .mov file for my soundtrack.

    6. Make a Movie in PowerPoint

    7. Create the file for your DVD

    8. Burn your PowerPoint to DVD [Toast Titanium]

    List of Links that Helped Me:

    15 thoughts on “Powerpoint to DVD

    1. Good info. However, here is a little correction, based on a handout for slide presentation with a LCD projector I prepared for faculty, or the highest resolution that can be displayed. Note: DPI is for printing (dots per inch, on or off, say 1 bit) and PPI is for displays (pixels per inch, grades of 0-255, say 8bits), just to keep the record straight.

      PowerPoint onscreen page size (default) is 10 x 7.5 in. Pixel size of the movie is 640 x 480. Consequently, the ppi (pixels per inch) is 640 / 10 = 64 (or 480 / 7.5). Thus a full screen image should resized and/or cropped to 10 x 7.5 at 64 ppi. Because of the encoding, it’s best to save the images to TIFF (PhotoShop would work too). Your 150 dpi (actually ppi) was downsampled during encoding.

    2. hi
      i haven´t tried all the steps you described yet, (but i´ve bookmarked!) but just to see somebody doesnt´get stuck and keeps trying until finds an answer… well it´s priceless!! best of luck

      >>David

    3. I opened my powerpoint presentation and went to file to make a movie in powerpoint, but there’s nothing listed like what you’ve mentioned here:

      “6. Make a Movie in PowerPoint

      Open your PowerPoint slideshow file.
      Go to File > Make Movie.”

      I have powerpoint 2003

    4. Rebekah – I just realized you’d left a post. Not sure if you’ll see this, but I’m using PowerPoint 2004 for Mac. Maybe it’s only on newer versions.

    5. I followed all your steps but was unable to select my sound files… I have both mp3 and m4p file types from iTunes… for the Background Soundtrack selection within the “Make a movie” dialog.

      Is this for real?!?!? What are the allowed sound files?

    6. Hi Mark,
      If you take a look at Step 5 again, you’ll notice that I used a wav file, not an mp3 or mp4, for my soundtrack. I’m not sure if those file types would work, but the wav file did. I downloaded some beautiful piano pieces off the internet for free and used those for this particular process. Good luck with your project!

    7. That’s a great idea. I’ve got a Boy Scout presentation to do and would like to give the presentation to a number of people. Some of them don’t have a computer but they sure do have a TV! Thanks

    8. Karen, This would have so saved me a month of headaches! Thanks for the tips.i’m using a PowerBook G4 and love it! For the music impaired, I used a sound file from iStockphoto, now that they offer .wav files, they are ready to go and it was super easy. I was able to skip the conversion process with the music.

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