Let’s Make a Book Trailer — Part 10

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my series on making a book trailer.

Previous parts are here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 Part 8, and Part 9.

As with the previous posts, the following are merely my thoughts on the trailer construction process.  Feel free to use or snort with derision.

In today’s post we cover how to export your PowerPoint trailers slides both as a movie, and as individual slides.   This is in preparation for further work to come outside of PowerPoint.

We’ll have to modify our constraints slightly by eliminating the word “animation” from the list below.  In addition, we’ll need to remove “video” as well:

  • We’re creating a “Teaser” trailer
  • Using PowerPoint only
  • No video, music, animation or voice overs
  • Working with stock images or some commissioned images

Why save from PowerPoint

PowerPoint is an excellent tool for laying out the structure of your book trailer, particularly if you have limited video editing experience.  As we have seen, it allows you to add slide transitions, in-slide animations, and control timing. 

Although we did not explore this capability, it also allows you to add sound.

That said, there are compelling reasons to export your work in order to further refine it in another application:

  • Timing control — PowerPoint allows you control timing on a quarter-second basis.  This is applies to all transitions and in-slide animation. 

An animation can be set for 1.0 seconds, or 1.25 seconds (for example), but not 1.1 seconds.  This lack of timing granularity is quite limiting when you want to sync audio (both music and narration) to what happens on the screen.

  • Greater variety of transitions — There is a fair number of transitions and animation effects within PowerPoint, but nothing like the vast array available in many video editors.
  • More control over final file format — Even if you build your entire book trailer within PowerPoint (which is possible), you are limited to a single movie file format when you create the final move (export it) — Microsoft’s WMV format. 

There are better formats available (e.g. formats that result in a smaller overall file size) in even the most limited video editor.  This isn’t a knock against PowerPoint which, after all, is a presentation application, not a video creation application.

  • Better and more sophisticated audio handling capabilities — PowerPoint gives you very limited audio capabilities.  Most audio in PowerPoint is set up on a per-slide basis and it’s difficult (though not impossible) to add both a music track and a narration track). 

Audio effects such as fades are not available or are difficult to implement.  All of these problems are eliminated or considerably reduced in video editing software.

  • Ability to directly upload to various video sharing sites (e.g. YouTube) — With PowerPoint you save your presentation (trailer) as a movie.  Uploading to various video sharing sites is a second step you must do outside of PowerPoint. 

Most video editors today (even the low coast and free ones) allow direct publishing to a variety of sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Saving a presentation as a movie

In most versions of PowerPoint saving your trailer as a WMV format movie is quite straightforward:

  1. In the upper left hand corner of PowerPoint’s menu ribbon, click File
  2. Click Save as
  3. Supply a file name and select the location to save the trailer
  4. Select Windows Media Video as the type
  5. Click Save
Saving Your Trailer out of PowerPoint

Saving Your Trailer out of PowerPoint as a WMV file

The “rendering” (saving) time will depend on several factors including number of slides, number of animations and transitions, but shouldn’t take any more than a minute.

You can play your trailer by locating it and double clicking the file.  Here’s mine:


Here’s the thing though about PowerPoint.  It creates huge video files.  My trailer is about one minute long and the resulting WMV file was 111 mb in size.  When I embedded it on this blog post, it took forever to download.

Thus I had to convert it to another file format (mp4).  That cut the file size to less than 25 mb which is still pretty large.  You probably noticed that it still took some time to download.  We’ll eventually fix this issue by saving out of a video editor and/or by uploading the trailer to YouTube (which has its own conversion algorithm to reduce file size dramatically).

Why save your trailer as a series of slides

Saving your trailers as series of slides offers advantages as well.  When saving as a movie you are “stuck” with the transitions and animations you built within PowerPoint.  While these may serve your needs,  It’s difficult to alter them when the saved movie is brought into another video editing application for further work. 

For example, if you have all of your slide transitions set to 0.5 seconds and later decide you need to alter this for one or more slides, it can be difficult to do without going back to PowerPoint, making the change, and then saving again.   Moreover, if you decide to alter an in-slide animation (for example, a text fade), this too is difficult to carry out unless you a a video editing pro.

Saving each slide a separate image allows you to import them into a video editor and exercise greater control as you “stitch” them together.

Exporting a single slide

You can easily save a single slide as a picture by following these steps:

  1. In PowerPoint, find the desired slide and make sure it is displayed in the main window.
  2. Use Ctrl-A to select every element on the slide
  3. Right click anywhere in the slide to display the pop up slide menu
  4. Click Save As Picture …
  5. Supply a file name and select the location to save the picture
  6. Click Save
PowerPoint Popup Slide Menu

PowerPoint Popup Slide Menu














One thing to bear in mind is that the slide will be saved with any text or objects that would normally appear due to animation effects.    If you plan to add text (or other animation) effects in a video editor program you may wish to do the following:

  1. Create another copy of the trailer PowerPoint
  2. In the copy, delete any text or animated objects
  3. Save slides from the PowerPoint trailer copy

This preserves the original trailer PowerPoint and allows you to delete elements from the copy that you plan to “add back” when using video editing software.

Exporting a series of slides

When PowerPoint saves all slides as separate images it will create a folder with the PowerPoint trailer file name (or whatever name you supply).  Within that folder each slide will be saved as a image file and named “Slide1”, “Slide2”, “Slide3” etc.

Follow these steps:

  1. In the upper left hand corner of PowerPoint’s menu ribbon, click File
  2. Click Save as
  3. Supply a file name and select the location to save the trailer
  4. Select jpg as the type
  5. Click Save
  6. PowerPoint will ask you if you want to save merely the Current Slide Only or Every Slide; select Every Slide

Note that you can select JPG, PNG, or TIFF as the image type.  We selected JPG because it tends to result in smaller file sizes.

Save file types in PowerPoint

Save file types in PowerPoint














Now that you can save your trailer slides as individual images, you are ready for the next step: importing your work into a video application.

We’ll cover that next time.  Until then, thanks for reading, and i will see you again soon.


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