Inserting & Embedding YouTube Videos In MS Office 2013

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Going from Office 2003 to Office 2007, the only thing that popped out at me was the annoying format problem. It was a plague for me because I was still studying at the time and project documentation in a group became a problem. With Office 2013 though I was seriously excited because it offered some truly amazing new features, my favorite of which is the ‘pick-up where you left off’ feature in MS Word. Office 2013 also makes it ridiculously simple to insert online videos in both Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. The revamped insert video feature lets you embed a YouTube video, and even search for one from without ever leaving the application. Here’s a quick guide to doing just that.

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The Insert tab on the ribbon is where you can find the insert video option. In MS Word, it is far more obvious at the center where it reads ‘Online Video’. In PowerPoint, the option can be found by clicking the arrow on the  ‘Video’ option at the very end of the ribbon in the Insert tab.

When you click the video option, a pop-up appears listing options for inserting videos. On MS Word, you can search for videos on Bing and on YouTube without ever leaving the application. Alternatively, if you have the embed code for any online video, regardless of which website it’s been uploaded to, you can insert it using the ‘From a Video Embed Code’ option. If you’ve already got your YouTube video open, you can use the embed code and insert it with this option.

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If you decide to use an embed code, you need only copy it to your clipboard (video hosting sites will provide the embed code for a video) and paste it in the ‘Paste embed code here’ field. The video appears not as a link but as a media place holder that you can click to play. The place holder can be resized like a picture can in MS Word and you must be connected to the internet to play the video.

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To search for and insert a YouTube video, select the ‘YouTube’ option and enter your search. The results appear, with thumbnails, in a grid layout and you need only select the video, click ‘Insert’ at the bottom and the video will be added to your document. When played, the video is played in the familiar YouTube video player.

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With PowerPoint, you can sign in to your Live account and insert videos from Facebook and OneDrive as well. For some reason, the embed option and searching Bing videos isn’t available. The insert video option is absent in MS Excel and probably absent in other Office applications where they aren’t normally needed.

It’s also worth mentioning that Office needs to connect to Microsoft’s server to populate the different video inserting options. I was playing around with this yesterday and it couldn’t connect to the server despite my trying for an hour. Today, it connected in seconds. The feature is likely to be of more use in PowerPoint but I love how easy it has been made. Back in my day, we had to jump through hoops to accomplish this. In Office 2010, it was exceptionally harder.

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