Adding Video to Presentations [Impress with Impress]

I had to play media from an Impress Presentation today, and was hoping to work from my Ubuntu laptop, however ran into a few hiccups along the way. Here are some notes from my experience – I hope that anyone that comes across this (a) finds it useful and (b) if they have anything to add/amend, please post it in the comments.

Inserting Media – Menu Items

I tried to Insert –> Object –> Video about 50 times without success before I hit the subject forums and learned that in OpenOffice 3.0 that you need to Insert –> Movie and Sound. Yay! It worked! Movie media inserted!


In Windows with OpenOffice Impress, both avi and mpg worked OK for me.

In Ubuntu, however, I found the avi file repeated the movie playing side-by-side (like there was 1.5 instances of the movie playing next to each other simultaneously). This occurred in the player I was using as well as OpenOffice, so I’m not sure that it was an Impress problem. I abandoned my Ubuntu laptop and drove to the office to get my Windows laptop – I’ll let you know if this is something that I can fix. At this stage, my thoughts are that I will need to convert avi to mpg in order to play within a slide in Impress on Ubuntu.


One thing that was immediately obvious when I inserted the movie media was how do I get the movie to scale to the whole screen? The first few times I tried to play, the movie played in a little square in the middle of a big black frame, even though I had dragged and expanded the object to fit the entire slide.

I then tried to right mouse button click a few times and explored all the options in the context menu, and then I noticed this extra toolbar at the bottom of the screen

Media Playback Toolbar

Media Playback Toolbar

This toolbar had a few key options which controls what happens to the media when the presentation arrives at this slide.


(1) Determines what the media will do when the slide is first shown. Will it stop (default, i think), play, pause or loop?

(2) At what position will it commence playing? You don’t have to start play from the beginning of the media! Very cool option!

(3) Sound (volume and mute)

(4) Size – do you want it 50% of the original size, 100% of the original size, 200% of the original size or scaled to fit the whole screen?

I hope you are able to get your presentations up and running with minimum difficulty. I don’t know that doing this was hard – it was simply a matter of knowing where the controls are – figuring them out was pretty intuitive. Ubuntu is a little behind in their media playing capability, so I’m not sure if no avi playback is strictly a ‘bug’ as yet. Good luck to you all and hope your presentations are a hit!

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  1. what version of oo impress were you using? I tried your way with version 3.2.0 but all I get is a box with an audio speaker symbol .. neither video nor sound is played

  2. stephanie says:

    and also please let me know what is the format of the video you are inserting? Is it MOV or MPG?

  3. Hi Stephanie,
    OK, I’m totally stumped. I’ve tried everything to get a video clip (both mpg and avi) to play in an Impress 3.3.0 slide show, to no avail. Inserting the clip in an empty slide I get a black window with a superimposed question mark. It will play when I use the media control play button in the Media tool bar, but will not play in the slide show regardless of what I do. Any suggestions?

    • Firstly I would suggest upgrading your installation. is currently at 3.3.0 and LibreOffice is at 3.3.2. Sometimes the version could be the issue.
      Second, are you using the insert –> Movie and Sound option? This is important.
      I tried with different formats to see if I could reproduce the problem you described, however it seemed to work for me. One thing that I did note was that the first time I tried to play the video in the presentation it took forever to load. When I hit escape and played it again (using F5 to show the presentation in full-screen mode), it worked ok.
      Let me know if upgrading your version of Impress works.

  4. Hello! I am unable to embed movies into my OO presentations. I am using version 3.4.1, insert click movie and sound clips, but I get a black slide with a large speaker icon. The audio plays but not the video. I have tried avi, wav, wmv formats. have to relegated to keep a separate window open and click directly from my pendrive. Thanks for any help!

  5. Hi! I’m having an issue with my presentation file as well. I have no problem inserting the video, it shows up without an issue. However, once I save the file, the video I put in has disappeared, so the next time I open it, or if I send the saved file to a friend via email, the slide with the video, which was working perfectly before, is blank. I’m using windows, and the video file is MP4. Is it the video format I’m using? Why is it that once I insert the video (which again, seems to work fine) it disappears once I save it.? I appreciate any help…

  6. I just tried it again, after some years I really thought it had improved. didnt work for me. guess i will uninstall OO and forget about it. MS Office still is the best option.

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