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Like this article? We recommend Placing a Movie on a Page

Placing a Movie on a Page

So, let’s put a movie on our Didgeridoo brochure.

Figure 2 shows our starting point: this is the PDF page with all the text and artwork; everything is here except the movie. Note that this includes the artwork for the Play and Pause buttons. While it is possible to have Acrobat create buttons complete with artwork, that’s an unnecessarily elaborate process that we’ll reserve for a future article.

Figure 2 We start with a page that has all the non-movie bits in place. Notice this includes the artwork for the Play and Pause buttons; we’ll turn them into actual buttons later in the article.

If you want to play along at home, the “starter” PDF file (with everything but the placed movie) and the video file are available at; look for

So, here’s how to place the movie on the page:

  1. In the Tools pane, select Multimedia > Video (Figure 3).
  2. Figure 3 We start by selecting Video in the Content panel’s Multimedia pop-up menu.

    Acrobat will display the Insert Video dialog box (Figure 4).

    Figure 4 We use the Insert Video dialog box to specify the video file we want to import into Acrobat.

  3. Click the Choose button and select your movie file in the resulting Pick-a-File dialog box. You can pick any of a wide variety of movie formats, as long as it is H.264-encoded. This will include most of the common movie files from video cameras and other sources. The pathname of movie you pick will appear in the long text field next to the Choose button.
  4. If you come from a UNIX background and/or like painful exercises in precision typing, you can type the complete pathname of the movie file directly into the text field; I counsel against it, life being short enough as it is.

  5. Click the OK button. Acrobat will convert the movie to Flash and then embed it on the PDF page. What you will see on the page is the movie’s poster image, taken from the video file (Figure 5).
  6. Figure 5 When you place a movie on a page, what you see is actually the movie’s poster image, a fixed image that gives you something to look at when the movie’s not playing.

When the user clicks on the movie poster, Acrobat plays the movie, displaying some useful controls whenever the mouse pointer moves over the playing video (Figure 6).

Figure 6 When the mouse pointer rolls over a playing movie, Acrobat displays a collection of translucent controls that let you play, pause, and otherwise control the movie.

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