Embedding Powerpoint slides with Microsoft Skydrive

Recently, my university moved from an self-served Exchange email system to Microsoft Live for Edu.  With the new email, we also received integrated Microsoft Skydrive, which offers 7 Gigabytes of free cloud storage. (I am told some folks are able to upgrade for free to 20 Gb of storage.  I’m not that lucky yet.)

I also just learned from the Office in Education blog that SkyDrive integrates with Microsoft Office’s web apps.  So now it’s possible to embed Powerpoint presentations directly into your website, blog, wiki, or Desire2Learn course while keeping the files native to Powerpoint. I typically use Slideshare.net for slide decks, but I like the idea that I could Skydrive slide decks for online courses, if needed, and have it work a lot like Dropbox. This certainly could be convenient. (I also understand that you can begin to edit Powerpoint presentations inside the browser and inside SkyDrive, but I haven’t got there yet.)

Here’s how

When you’re in SkyDrive, choose your public folder (#1).  In order for embeds to work, they can only be used in Public spaces. Then go ahead and choose “Add files” (#2). Find your Powerpoint file on your hard drive and upload it into SkyDrive.

I uploaded a file called “title-slide.” Select your file (#3) by checking the box to the left.  Then choose “Embed” from the menu on the right (#4). Note: My process depicted here is on a Mac within Firefox browser. On the Office in Education blog, Jennifer notes that she has to open the “Sharing” menu on the right to see “Embed.” This may be a difference between Mac v. Windows, versions of SkyDrive, and different browsers.  So, just check yours. :)

In the pop-up window, select the “Generate” button to create the HTML embed code (#5). The HTML code, beginning with <iframe src= , should appear. Copy this with your keyboard command, either Control+C or Command+C (#6). When you’re done with this window, you can close it with the “Done” button (#7).

Now you’re ready to paste the embed code into your web page. Using the keyboard, either Control+V or Command+V, paste the embed into the appropriate space. I’ve provide a couple of common examples below.  The first image is from PBWorks. In PBWorks, I have to use the Plugin option and choose to “Insert HTML.” Because the embed code is actual HTML code, you will need to insert this into the correct place within the webpage or tool you’re using. (For example, in Desire2Learn, you need to insert this embed code into your webpage with the the “HTML code” button.)

The other example I’m going to give to you is with WordPress. To paste the HTML code into WordPress, you’ll need to use the HTML tab. Then paste the code where you want it. When you switch back to the Visual tab, the embed code (in my version of WordPress) leaves a generic media box. This box displays correctly when you publish.  Note: In the past, when I’ve added embed codes into WordPress, such as Google Docs, I’ve had to leave the post/page in the HTML tab so that it would display correctly. If you have a problem, give this a go.

Here’s what the final Powerpoint embed looks like inside of PBWorks when the page is saved. (You can see that it’s a lot like Google Docs or Slideshare’s embed format.)

Here’s the finished file in WordPress. This file only has one slide (because I was trying to upload quickly), but the forward and back buttons work just fine.

A few tips

  1. You will notice that if you use “cool” fonts, they will get reformatted to generic ones. So, you may want to think of this ahead of time when you create your slides. You can see the real first slide in a PDF in Slideshare.
  2. SkyDrive has a limit of 300 Mb for any file. If you’re like me and create slide decks with lots of BIG images and video, this will be a problem for you. (Hence the quick example upload of the title slide above.)
  3. Because you put your Powerpoint file into a public folder to share it, Microsoft makes the file available to everyone. This means anyone can then embed anywhere else. In the image below, you see that you click the Info button and it brings up the URL and the embed code for the user.  If you don’t own all the content for your slides, you may should reconsider embedding them.

Let me know if you give this a go and how it works for you.  Also, let me know how and where you’re using the SkyDrive embed technique.  I’d like to give you a shout-out!