You receive a "The format is not supported" error message when you try to preview a QuickTime movie in PowerPoint

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Article ID: 821417 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you insert an Apple QuickTime movie into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, the movie does not play in the presentation. When you try to preview an Apple QuickTime movie in PowerPoint (by right-clicking the movie, and then clicking Play Movie), you receive an error message that is similar to one of the following:
  • PowerPoint couldn't insert movie from the selected file.
  • PowerPoint couldn't insert movie from the selected file. Either the file is non-standard, or QuickTime is not installed properly.
  • The movie file cannot be inserted. For more information, click Help.
  • Cannot play back the file. The format is not supported.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs because PowerPoint can play back only QuickTime movies (.mov and .qt files) that use compression schemes with corresponding Media Control Interface (MCI)-compatible codecs.

A codec (compressor/decompressor) is an algorithm or scheme that is used to record digital video or audio. For example, when you transmit video over the Internet, the video must be compressed on the sending end and decompressed on the receiving end. A codec can be chosen based upon the user's audio or image quality and image size preferences.

When you read a QuickTime movie, a Video for Windows decompressor decompresses the QuickTime files. If the decompressor does not support the compression method used by the QuickTime movie, the decompressor cannot display the movie on the screen.

WORKAROUND

To work around this behavior, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Create a hyperlink to the .mov file

Create a hyperlink to the .mov file, and then let the QuickTime Player for Windows play the file instead. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Select the object or text that you want to assign the hyperlink to.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Hyperlink.
  3. Under Link to, click Existing File or Web Page.
  4. Select the QuickTime movie that you want to play, and then click OK.

    Note Under Look in, click Current Folder to see a list of files, click Browsed Pages to see a list of recently viewed Web pages, or click Recent Files to see a list of recently used files.
During the slide show, click the linked object or text to play the movie. If a valid player is available, the player starts, and then the player plays the QuickTime movie.

Method 2: Convert QuickTime movies to AVI format

Note In the following steps, you must use QuickTime 4.0 Pro. You cannot follow these steps with the basic version of QuickTime 4.0. The steps are the same for both Windows and Macintosh versions of QuickTime 4.0.

You can use other QuickTime editing programs instead of QuickTime 4.0 Pro. To do this, see the QuickTime documentation for the relevant steps.

To convert the QuickTime movies to AVI format, follow these steps:
  1. Start QuickTime Pro, and then open the file that you want to convert.
  2. On the File menu, click Export.
  3. Set the Export file type to Movie to AVI.
  4. Click Options, and then click Settings.
  5. In the Compressor group, click the list of compressors, and then select one from the previous list. Cinepak is a popular format. Select the format that you think works best with the movie.
  6. Make sure that you change the extension on the file name to .avi, and then click Save.

Method 3: Recompress the QuickTime movies with compatible codec

Note In the following steps, you must use QuickTime 4.0 Pro. You cannot follow these steps with the basic version of QuickTime 4.0. The steps are the same for both Windows and Macintosh versions of QuickTime 4.0.

You can use other QuickTime editing programs instead of QuickTime 4.0 Pro. To do this, see the QuickTime documentation for the relevant steps.

To recompress the QuickTime movies with compatible codec, follow these steps:
  1. Start QuickTime Pro, and then open the file that you want to convert.
  2. On the File menu, click Export.
  3. Set the Export file type to Movie to QuickTime Movie.
  4. Click Options, and then click Settings.
  5. In the Compressor group, click the list of compressors, and then select one from the previous list. Cinepak is a popular format. Select the format that you think works best with the movie.
  6. Click Save.

MORE INFORMATION

Verify that QuickTime movies are compatible

You can use Microsoft Media Player to verify that a QuickTime movie is compatible with PowerPoint.

Note Microsoft Media Player (Mplayer.exe or Mplay32.exe) is a different program than Windows Media Player. Microsoft Media Player is included with various versions of the Windows operating systems, and is an MCI-compliant device. Windows Media Player, however, is a new technology that does not rely on MCI to play various forms of media. Windows Media Player can play a wider range of video and audio formats than Microsoft Media Player can play.

To determine the compatibility of the movie, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type the appropriate command for your operating system:
    • In Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, type mplayer.exe, and then click OK.
    • In Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Windows 2000, or Microsoft Windows XP, type mplay32.exe, and then click OK.
    Microsoft Media Player starts.
  3. On the File menu, click Open.
  4. Select the QuickTime movie that you want to verify. Click Open.
If the QuickTime movie is compatible, Microsoft Media Player opens the movie. If Microsoft Media Player opens the movie, but PowerPoint does not, there may be a problem with PowerPoint or with the MCI settings. If Microsoft Media Player does not open the movie, and then you receive an error message in Media Player, the movie is not compatible and cannot be played in PowerPoint. You may be able to make the movie compatible by using one of the methods described in the WORKAROUND section of this article.

Standard compression formats

The following codecs are present on both the Windows operating systems and with QuickTime 4.0. Although there may be other codecs that are available on both platforms, this list contains those that are standard across both operating systems and that you can use without issues:
  • BMP
  • Cinepak
  • DV-NTSC
  • DV-PAL
  • Intel Indeo Video R3.2
  • Intel RAW
  • None

Insert and play a QuickTime movie (*.mov) file in a PowerPoint presentation

To insert a .MOV file in a PowerPoint presentation, click Insert, click Movies and Sounds, click Movie from File, and then select the QuickTime movie (*.MOV) file that you want to insert in your presentation.

Note To insert and play a QuickTime movie (.mov file) in a PowerPoint presentation, certain conditions must be true for any computer where you create or insert the .mov file in a PowerPoint presentation. These conditions must also be true for any computer that plays the .mov file in a PowerPoint presentation.

The following conditions must be true for the computer to insert or play a .mov file in a PowerPoint presentation:
  • The "mov” registry value must be present on the computer.
  • The video codec that is used to compress the QuickTime movie file must be present on the computer where you create the PowerPoint presentation.
  • The codec that is used by the QuickTime movie must be installed on the computer that you use to play the QuickTime movie.
  • The codec that is used to compress the QuickTime movie (.mov file) must be compatible with PowerPoint.

Configure the computer to insert or to play an .mov file in a PowerPoint presentation

The following section of this article describes how to configure the computer so that the conditions discussed in the earlier section of this article are true for your computer.
  • The "mov” registry value must be present on the computer.

    The following "mov” registry value must be present on the computer that plays the movie:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\MCIExtensions

    Value: mov
    Type: REG_SZ
    Data: MPEGVideo

    If this registry entry is not present, follow these steps to add the registry entry.

    Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
    1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
    3. Locate the following key, and then select the following key:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\MCIExtensions
    4. Click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    5. Type the following name for the new value:

      mov
    6. Press ENTER.
    7. Right-click the new string value name, and then click Modify.
    8. In the Value data box, type the following: MPEGVideo.
    9. Click OK.
    10. Quit Registry Editor.
  • The video codec that is used to compress the QuickTime movie file must be present on the computer that you use to create the PowerPoint presentation.

    The video codec that is used to compress the QuickTime movie (.mov file) must be present on the computer. Identify what codec the QuickTime movie file uses. To do this, use one of the following methods.

    Method 1: Determine Video Codec by Using Windows Media Player

    To determine video codec by using Media Player, follow these steps:
    1. Open the .mov file in Windows Media Player.
    2. Click File, and then click Properties. The Video codec setting identifies the video codec that was used to compress the movie.

    If Method 1 does not work, or the video codec is identified as "Unknown”, use Method 2.

    Method 2: Determine the Video Codec by Using QuickTime Player

    To determine the video codec by using QuickTime Player, follow these steps:
    1. Download and install the free QuickTime Player. To do this, visit the following Apple Web site:
      http://www.apple.com/quicktime
    2. Open the movie in QuickTime Player.
    3. Click Window, and then click Show Movie Info. The Format setting identifies the video codec that was used to compress the movie.
  • The codec used by the QuickTime movie must be installed on the computer that you use to play the QuickTime movie.

    Determine whether the codec used by the QuickTime movie (.mov file) is installed on the computer that you use to play the QuickTime movie in a PowerPoint presentation. To do this, follow these steps. The steps vary, depending on your operating system.
    • If you are using Microsoft Windows XP, follow these steps:
      1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
      2. Click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices.
      3. Click Sounds and Audio Devices.
      4. Click the Hardware tab.
      5. In the Devices box, click Video Codecs, and then click Properties.

        The Video Codec Properties dialog box opens.
      6. In the Video Codec Properties dialog box, click the Properties tab, and then identify if the codec is installed.
    • If you are using Microsoft Windows 2000, follow these steps:
      1. Click Start, Settings, and then click Control Panel.
      2. Click Sounds and Multimedia.
      3. Click the Hardware tab.
      4. In the Devices box, click Video Codecs, and then click Properties.

        The Video Codec Properties dialog box opens.
      5. In the Video Codec Properties dialog box, click the Properties tab, and then identify if the codec is installed.
  • The codec that is used to compress the QuickTime movie must be compatible with PowerPoint.

    Confirm that the codec used to compress the QuickTime movie (.mov file) is compatible with PowerPoint.

    To test whether the movie codec is compatible with PowerPoint and whether you can play the movie in PowerPoint, test whether you can play the movie in Microsoft Media Player (not Windows Media Player). Media Player (Mplayer.exe or Mplay32.exe, depending on the operating system that is installed) is a different program than Windows Media Player. Microsoft Media Player is included with various versions of the Microsoft Windows operating systems. Media Player is an MCI-compliant device. However, Windows Media Player is a new technology that does not rely on MCI to play various forms of media. Therefore Windows Media Player can play a wider range of video and audio formats than Media Player.

    To verify if the movie is or is not compatible and if the movie can be inserted or played in PowerPoint, determine whether you can play the movie in Microsoft Media Player (not Windows Media Player). To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. In the Open box, type the appropriate command for your operating system.
      • If you are using Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, type mplayer.exe
      • If you are using Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Windows 2000, or Windows XP, type mplay32.exe.
    3. Click OK to start Media Player.
    4. On the File menu, click Open.
    5. Select the QuickTime movie that you want to verify, and then click Open.

      If the QuickTime movie is compatible, Microsoft Media Player opens the movie, and then Microsoft Media Player plays it. If the movie opens and plays in Microsoft Media Player (not Windows Media Player), but cannot be inserted in or played in PowerPoint, there may be a problem with PowerPoint or with the MCI settings.
The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products. Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

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Article ID: 821417 - Last Review: September 12, 2011 - Revision: 5.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbformat kberrmsg kbprb KB821417

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