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How do you extract an embedded Flash object from a Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation?

I have a PowerPoint Presentation (version 2003) with an embedded flash file. Since I have lost the original Flash (.swf) file, I need to find a way to extract this flash object from the ppt file.

I am quite amazed that this seems to be a problem that no one has yet solved.  

The only EE reference to such a problem doesn't work:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Q_21713739.html?qid=21713739

which references the following non-working code:
http://www.hairy-spider.com/2004/10/29/ExtractingAFlashFileFromAPowerpointPresentation.aspx

There are also many references to the above code in a Google search.

I have also attempted saving the presentation as a web code BUT still the .swf is not extracted (doesn't even work from a HTML page).  I have run out of ideas.

Any workable method (free tool or not - I don't care at this point) will get you 500 points but I need a solution as soon as possible.

Thank you

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Shawn Connelly
Asked:
Shawn Connelly
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1 Solution
 
GlennaShawCommented:
SWF files cannot be embedded in PowerPoint, therefore if it runs then it has to be linked on your PC somewhere.
If it does work, try the Package for CD and save it to a folder.  By default all linked files should be included.
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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
GlennaShaw, I afraid you are very incorrect.  

Flash objects (or just about any standard object) can indeed be embedded within a ppt.

As a real example (or proof), the computer that I am currently using had absolutely no contact with the original flash file yet that "embedded" flash file will run perfectly when I start this powerpoint presentation.  

How else do you think Powerpoint presentations are distributable as one single .ppt file?

Thank you for your input.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Power point embeds the file just like it would a graphics program, an image, or whatever PPT is embedding.  The file is added to the PPT file LITERALLY, as it originally was, without any additional compression.

Your best way would simply be to use a very CAPABLE hex-editor -- like hexedit -- www.hexedit.com

You simply browse in hex mode the PPT file, looking for the SWF header and trailer.  Since you won't have any idea what you are doing, you'd better study several SWF files for the key signature bytes for the right headers and trailers for the SWF format.  Once you figure that out, you simply copy the entire SWF block from the PPT file into another file, like notepad (assuming it is not too large) then save that file with a SWF extension, and VOILA!  you have your SWF file.
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GlennaShawCommented:
Ok, so shoot me, but it can only be done by setting the VB properties to Embed=True
Right click on the Flash Object, click on Properties
Under the Movie setting see if there is a path to the SWF file.
See also: http://www.site-designs.co.uk/powerpoint_flash.htm
I also found this if you don't mind coding:
http://p2p.wrox.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53230
You can also save the presentation as an HTML and then (maybe) use Flash Extract Pilot to get it out:
http://www.mrbelshaw.co.uk/teacher/programs.htm

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GlennaShawCommented:
BTW, let us know if the trick with Flash Extract Pilot works.
Sorry 'bout sending that piece of code you'd already found yourself.  Been a rough week :-)
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GlennaShawCommented:
Here's another utility that will allow you to save swf movies from your cache:
http://www.bytescout.com/flashextractor_how_to_convert_swf_to_exe.html
I'm not sure if playing the movie in PowerPoint will add it to your cache, but it seemed worth a try.
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arkoakCommented:
powerpoint file can have the movie embedded in it in different ways, if this way is used : http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/HA010348071033.aspx

you can simply open the movie in powerpoint, click on it, right click > properties > categorized > movie
this will give you the url where the movie is being played from ,

I am still suspecting it when you say there is no contact with the flash file, it could have been downloaded to ie cache from internet without you knowing.

once you get the url, you can get the swf file,
if you need to go further, swf decompiler is there:www.sothink.com/product/flashdecompiler/
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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
scrathcyboy:
>Your best way would simply be to use a very CAPABLE hex-editor

I would not say that is the "best" way. A flash file begins with a signature of FWS. Finding the end of the file is a near difficult challenge. I have tried several times using AXE and what I extracted doesn't work.

It isn't as easy as you described.

GlennaShaw:
>Ok, so shoot me

No, all comments are welcome.

>Flash Extract Pilot

Not applicable. This is designed primarily for extracting flash left behind by web browsers. I mentioned in the beginning, that the embedded flash doesn't work when converting the PPT to HTML. What was Microsoft thinking?

>Here's another utility that will allow you to save swf movies from your cache

No, that won't work either. The flash is not cached out when the PPT is playing.
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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
arkoak:

As I mentioned, this flash object is embedded, it is not linked or downloaded from any other location.

>you can simply open the movie in powerpoint, click on it, right click > properties > categorized > movie
>this will give you the url where the movie is being played from ,

Doing this simply tells me the originating location of the flash movie (a hard drive location on another computer). This is simply a meaningless reference.

>I am still suspecting it when you say there is no contact with the flash file, it could have been
> downloaded to ie cache from internet without you knowing.

As I mentioned, the flash movie is embedded, that makes this file portable and workable on any computer regardless of a network or Internet connection.


Anyone else?

Thanks for all the input.
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GlennaShawCommented:
Maybe something here might help:
http://www.swftools.com/
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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
GlennaShaw:
>http://www.swftools.com/

Some interesting tools here. One possibility would be to reduce the presentation down to one frame and use one of those tools to convert the ppt to a swf. That might work but first I want to see if someone can suggest an extraction method.

I am really surprised at how difficult this seems.
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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
Now that I have reduced the PPT to the one slide containing the embedded flash, I will try another crack at extracting the flash by way of a hex editor.
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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
I have reduced this presentation down to one slide (which holds the embedded flash movie) and with my hex editor, I could no longer find FWS (obviously a false sig before) but I also searched for another possible signature but without success.  I have determined this method isn't going to work.

Anyone else want a crack at 500 pts?

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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
....and my eternal gratitude.  :-)
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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
I have re-asked this question (in different sigs), hoping that I will expose this question to someone that might have a solution. The new question is:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/MultiMedia_Applications/Q_22721487.html

So, it is possible that a solution will get someone a 1000 pts.

Excerpt from my new question:
What I have tried (in both Powerpoint 2003 and version 2007):
- save the presentation as a web (HTML) code.  The .swf is not extracted (so the flash portion doesn't work from a HTML page).  
- Reduced the PPT file down to a single page which has the Flash object and attempted to extract using the aforementioned tool.
- Attempted to extract just the flash by way of a binary editor. But it is difficult to determine where the file begins and ends (the standard binary sig. doesn't seem evident)
- Convert the ppt slide (with the embedded flash) to a flash file using one of the many PPT to FLASH converters. It simply produces a static slide. The flash no longer works.

I am at a loss..... anyone wish to enlighten me?
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GlennaShawCommented:
Here's a video that shows you exactly how to use the download from the Hairy Spider link (note the tiny URL).
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3357963748616559399&sourceid=searchfeed
It's not in English, but since it's a video you should be able to follow it.
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GlennaShawCommented:
Updated Hairy Spider link with downloadable executable referenced in video:
http://www.hairy-spider.com/2006/02/21/ExtractingSwfFlashFileFromAPowerpointPresentationPart2.aspx
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arkoakCommented:
The embed flag must have been set to true then, I can't find a simple way to extract it once its embedded in powerpoint (hex editing won't help), though I would like to know what problem are you having with the script at http://p2p.wrox.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53230 , maybe you are not using it properly?

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Shawn ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
GlennaShaw:  You started out being incorrect but in the end you made my day!  Thank you, thank you!

>Updated Hairy Spider link with downloadable executable referenced in video:
>http://www.hairy-spider.com/2006/02/21/ExtractingSwfFlashFileFromAPowerpointPresentationPart2.aspx

The video is in German but it is pretty easy to understand and it explained out to actually use this program. As far as I know, there is no text that actually explains correctly how this tool is used.

A big thanks, as well, to the author of this video and extraction tool!


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GlennaShawCommented:
We both gained from this one.  I can't believe I missed the Embed property of the Flash ActiveX component.  It's nice for me to know becaude I build Interactive Dashboards in Flash and frequently insert them in PowerPoint.  See: http://www.pptmagic.com/projectmgm.htm
It's nice to know how to embed them as opposed to linking them.
Given how hard this was to find, I think I'll post the EXE and instructions on my web site (giving total credit to the application and video authors) when I get a moment to work on it.
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