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How can I embed a PowerPoint show?

I know how to upload powerpoints to Canvas but currently, my students must download the PPT in order to view it.  I just made a PowerPoint show and uploaded it but I want to embed the file so my students can watch it in Canvas instead of having to download it.  I have the file uploaded into my Files section.  How can I made it be embedded rather than a link to download it?

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @sara_chronister ‌...

In searching the Community, I came across this question from back in April 2016: Has anyone embedded a PPT in a Canvas page?.  Do you think it would meet your needs?


 @sara_chronister ‌,

You really have two options that I'm aware of, depending on your preferences:

  1. Upload the PPT file onto a Content Page in your course. Without taking any additional action (other than clicking Save), the PPT will be available for your students to download and view (by clicking the File's 'link') or clicking on the previewing icon next to the 'link'. If you're like me, you worry that most students will fly right by both of these options, so that's why I always set the file to auto-open in the file previewer available in Canvas. Instructions for this can be found here: How do I set the auto-open for inline preview for files using the Rich Content Editor? This at least allows students to click through or scroll through your slides without having to open the PPT with Office software. The link that  @chofer  directed you to above highlights this option and is very useful (especially for Word Docs, PDFs, etc.). 
  2. ***MY PREFERENCE*** Convert your PPT to a Google Slides presentation and embed the Slides wherever you want students to access them. For now, you'll need to A) share the Slides so that anyone with the link can View and B) actually copy the embed code for the Slides and paste it into the HTML Editor (but that's simple enough, once you know where to look). Ideally, the new Google Drive integration would make it even easier to embed Slides, but if you do so right now with the integration, the Slides won't render in 'Present' mode. Click this link to watch me demonstrate how easy it is to embed Google Slides in Canvas.

The other great benefit of doing this is that if you need to make changes to one or more slides, you can do so in Google and those changes will very quickly be visible to your students when they view the embedded Slides. Imagine the alternative with a PPT file: you'd have to open, change, save, upload the most recent version and replace the old version in Canvas.

Good luck!

Do you have a way of tracking how many slides a student views?

No, Canvas is not currently able to track this level of detail of content interaction. The best it can do is tell you when and for how long a student was on the page. There have been similar requests for this type of activity, usually it's around viewing a video.

If it's crucial to you that students view every slide of a presentation, the only way I know to currently accomplish this would be to create break the presentation apart and add each slide to a module and leverage module requirements to require all module items were viewed. You can accomplish the latter by either uploading a bunch of 1 slide powerpoints, or recreating each slide as a content page.

I know this isn't an ideal situation, but I thought I would offer this option as a current alternative in lieu of nothing.

Relevant Guides:

How do I add assignment types, pages, and files as module items?


Unfortunately, no. What I was describing in #2 above was basically the ability to embed the Google Slides on a Canvas item (Page, Assignment, Quiz Instructions, Discussion, etc.) which is really nothing more than allowing one website (Google) to run 'live' on another (Canvas). Great for giving students access to the content all in one interface, but not very helpful if you're looking for analytics related to how students are interacting with that content. There are services that can be licensed that get you closer to that kind of capability, but typically for $$$.  @MattHanes ' suggestion about Office Mix is intriguing and as a school district that has both Google and Office 365 accounts, I need to investigate that option, too! 

Your suggestion for embedding the Google Slides was really helpful. I plan to use it unless Matt's Office Mix suggestion is easy enough for me to figure out in the next day or two.

Hi  @galindojavier ‌ I am a big fan of embedding! I did a presentation at my school last week about different embedding options, and I did it as a Canvas course... with a Google Slide deck embedded too! It's open here:

Laura PAINTs Canvas 

I'm not inclined to do narration for slideshows, but if I wanted to do that, my preference (since I like to use the same tools my students can/do use) would be to do SoundCloud and embed that on the same Page with the show, plus a transcript (since my guess is many people really do prefer to read than to listen).

There's an example of embedded SoundCloud there too. 🙂

Hi Laura,

Would you create your transcript by hand? Or is there a transcription service that I can use with my soundcloud audio?

If I were to narrate a slideshow (but, like I said, that's not really my style), I'd do it from a script to start with. Otherwise, I'd start rambling and would never get to what I wanted to say!

I use SoundCloud to create audio of existing texts for my students so that they can listen while they read. That's what I've done here for example:

Indian Epics: Images and PDE Epics: PDE Mahabharata