How to insert a YouTube Video into PowerPoint 2013


According to Microsoft you should be able to insert a YouTube video directly into your 2013 PowerPoint presentation.Unfortunately no one told the good people over at YouTube that this is what Microsoft wanted. This all came about due to some changes made by the YouTube programmers. The result is that the insert video process PowerPoint 2013 doesn’t work. I recently promised a class of students that I’d post how to work around the issue. Here it is.

Embedding YouTube Videos in PowerPoint 2013

Thanks to Dale Basler for the original idea of how to work around the issue.

To add the YouTube video you should add the video as normal using:

  • Insert Tab > Media panel >Video drop-down > Video from Website
  • This will open the Insert video from website dialogue box shown below.


Figure 1: The Insert Video from Web Site Dialogue

The code that makes it work

Now the fun begins. The two lines below enclosed by the greater and lesser than signs (< >) contain the bits and pieces you need to embed the video into your PowerPoint presentation in both 2010 and 2013.

Example Code:

<object height=”XXX” width=”YYY”><param name=”movie” value=”;hd=0″><param name=”wmode” value=”opaque”>

NOTE: This may work in PowerPoint 2016 and in the Office 365 version but I cannot be sure as I do not have access to either of these programs at this time.

Into the text box in figure 1 above you need to paste the example code shown in Figure 1 above. However before you do that you need to replace the following parameters:

  • The height XXX (in pixels)
  • The width YYY (in pixels), and
  • The video reference ZZZZZZZZZZZ (an 11 digit code from the YouTube URL).

You should keep in mind that the height and width pixel numbers only matter when you initially insert the video into the slide. Once in the slide you can move and resize the video object at will (and the initial pixel sizes no longer apply so far as I know).

My advice is to use Windows Notepad or some other simple text editor to make the changes. This is the simplest way to make the changes to the code using the built-in ‘replace’ tool. Remember that when you close the notepad document do not save changes.

  • To make the notepad file (or other text file) open your program of choice and copy the example code above into the file
  • Save the file as PowerPoint YouTube Video Code(something that makes sense to you) and then save it somewhere easy to find.

What to look for in YouTube

Below all the videos in YouTube there is a link for Share, Embed, and Email.

  • Click the Embed option
  • Copy all the text
  • Paste it into the bottom of the text document created earlier

What you need from all the above is the width (560 number in pixels), the height (350 number in pixels) and the part of the URL after ’embed/’ (in this case ‘KCxQ3hYHrZk’).

Changes that make the code work

Using the replace function within your text editor of choice (in Notepad you use Ctrl + H):

  • The height XXX with ‘315’ (in pixels)
  • The width YYY  with ‘560’ (in pixels), and
  • The video reference ZZZZZZZZZZZ with ‘KCxQ3hYHrZk’

Figure 2 below shows an example, in this case the width. Do not include any apostrophes (‘) before or after the numbers or part of the URL. They are included in this document for clarity.


Figure 2: The Replace dialogue with the width numbers

Once you’ve completed this process with the X, the Y and the Zs copy the two lines into the dialogue box in PowerPoint and then click the ‘Insert’ button.

Your YouTube video should now play in PowerPoint, for now, until YouTube make changes again that stop this process from working. Let me know if it no longer works for you.

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