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When you add a video to your Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow, the first frame of the clip displays by default until you play it. However, if this isn’t the thumbnail you want on your slide, we’ll show you how to change it.

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Use a Certain Frame as the Preview Image for a Video

Open your PowerPoint presentation, head to the slide containing the clip, and click the Play button on the video. When you see the frame that you want to use as the preview image, click the Pause button.

Press Pause

Go to the Video Format tab and select the Poster Frame drop-down arrow. Choose “Current Frame.”

Select Current Frame

You’ll then see the image that displays for the video on your slide update to the specific frame you picked. As you can see in the example below, this is a much nicer thumbnail for the video.

Original new frame set

Use an Image as the Preview for a Video

Maybe you’d like to display a completely different image for the video thumbnail, like your company logo. Go to the slide containing the clip and click the video.

Open the Video Format tab, select the Poster Frame drop-down arrow, and pick “Image From File.”

Select Image From File

You can choose an image from your computer, a stock image, an online picture, or an icon. Browse for the image you want to use, select it, and click “Insert.”

Select a location to obtain the image

Now you’ll see that preview image for your video instead of the first frame. When you play your video during the presentation, the clip plays as normal.

Logo as video preview image

Reset the Preview Image for a Video

If you decide later that you prefer to use that first frame as the preview image after all, it’s easy to change.

Select the clip and go to the Video Format tab. Click the Poster Frame drop-down arrow and pick “Reset.”

Select Reset

The preview image then returns to the default first frame.

When you present a video in your slideshow, the content normally speaks for itself. But making sure that the image displayed on the slide before the video plays can be just as important as the clip.

For more help with visuals in your PowerPoint presentation, take a look at how to share a slideshow with an embedded video or how to record your screen and insert that clip.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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