Using PowerPoint and Keynote in Final Cut Pro

Posted: May 15, 2011

[ This article was first published in the June, 2009, issue of
Larry's Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Barry Drennan asks:

Could you please tell me whether it is possible to add a PowerPoint presentation into a FCP sequence?

Larry replies: Yup!

Whether you use PowerPoint or Keynote, you can bring that info into FCP by exporting it as a QuickTime movie, then import that QuickTime movie into Final Cut.

However, people design for PowerPoint differently than for video, and you’ll have problems if you don’t take a few extra points into consideration:

  • Create, or resize, your PowerPoint to be as close to the final video resolution as possible. Generally, a size of 1024 x 768 , for SD, or 1280 x 720, for HD, works best.
  • Reduce the amount of text on the page.
  • Increase the point size of the text.
  • Pay attention to all the design constraints we’ve always worked with in video. Even when presenting on HD, we don’t have as much resolution as our computer screen.
  • Transitions should export, however, slides will only output as a single frame, which you’ll need to lengthen in FCP.
  • Embedded movies will probably not export correctly. Generally, audio and video lose sync during export. Plan to replace these with the original movies.
  • Any music in the PowerPoint file will not export, you’ll need to add it again manually.

UPDATE – June 18, 2009

Cal Deal writes:

I’m away on vacation, but I saw your newsletter. I think you’re in error about exporting one Keynote slide frame. As long as the timings are programmed in, I believe they will export and play normally.

Sharon Sobel adds:

Just to follow up from your most recent newsletter. Larry, I import powerpoints all the time into FCP. The only thing that gets sacrificed with my method is animated transitions.


Here’s how I do it:


  1. Open powerpoint, and open the file.
  2. Click “View slideshow”
  3. Wait for a few seconds until the slide transition icon in the bottom corner disappears.
  4. Click Shift + Command + 3 on the slide—you’re doing a screen capture. Do this with each slide in the file. If there is a “build” on the page, do a screen capture between the “builds” on the page, and add dissolve transitions through Final Cut.
  5. You’ll end up with a bunch of .jpgs on your desktop.
  6. Make a new folder to put them all in, and then move the folder to your project’s folder to stay organized.
  7. Import the folder into Final Cut. All of the slides will be in this folder. You shouldn’t have to do any re-sizing of the images in a 4:3 project.

Still need to bring movies in separately, as you indicated, but this process works for 95% of the powerpoint presentations I get, and is a pretty fast method.

Larry replies: Thanks, Cal and Sharon, for writing. I appreciate the update.


Your thoughts are welcome


Larry Jordan & Associates, Inc
Video Editor
Experience Revolutionary Video Editing Techniques Through Final Cut Pro X Tutorials, Adobe Video Editing Classes, Final Cut Pro Classes, & A Variety of Other Software! Larry Jordan, Internationally - Renowned With 35+ Years Experience, Delivers Final Cut Pro Training & Other Software Via Live Webinars, Hosts Internet Radio, Podcasts, & More!
Los Angeles, CA
United States of America

Google Privacy Policy

Follow Larry

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Google+