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How to assign FlashVars to embedded SWF in Powerpoint so they will stay when the presentation is re-opened

Posted on 2008-11-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I am able to embed a swf file into PowerPoint easily.  I can set the FlashVars either by using the Properties window and setting them directly or by appending them to the embedded movie path, such as c:\swfs\TestSwf.swf?var=12345.  However, whenever I re-open the presentation, the variables are getting lost.  I have embedded the swf manually, and using VBA, and using c#, but they all result in the same thing.  The presentation works fine the first time I load it, but the flash variables are getting lost when I close it and re-open it.
I don't know if it matters, but the swf was generated using Xcelsius 2008, which is supposed to load the flash var on load.  When I embed the swf in an html page, it works fine every time.  It's just the Powerpoint container that won't cooperate.
Many, many thanks to whoever can solve this one.  I want to avoid using VBA in the project, and add-ins are not an option.  The flash var that is being passed in is a license key that is used within the swf to determine if the user's license has expired.  Users purchase the presentation which expires at a future date, and the presentation is created dynamically using c# and embedding the movie with the flash var.  But even the manual creation is failing when I re-open the file.
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Question by:lsdillard
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Expert Comment

by:GlennaShaw
ID: 22859920
You're going to have a problem with embedded Flash with PowerPoint 2007:
http://www.flashppt.com/blog/2008/04/cannot-embed-flash-movies-in-powerpoint.html

Is it also happening in PPT 2003?  And did you embed the original Flash using Xcelsius or did you export it to a Flash and then embed it manually?
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Author Comment

by:lsdillard
ID: 22863099
This is useful information, but it seems inaccurate.  I have 2 versions of the swf at my disposal.  One takes a flash var and one doesn't.  When I embed the swf without the flash vars and share it with others, it plays fine.  I am saving it as a ppt file not a pptx.  But I would disagree with that post in the first place, as I can also share it as a pptx and have it work (and I can unzip the pptx file and see that it did get embedded into the zip file).
Unfortunately, I don't have PPT 2003, so I'll try to get a copy and see if that works ok.  I am embedding it manually, as the machine that has Xcelsius does not have PPT installed (it is an XP virtual machine running on my vista box).  Xcelsius does not support embedding a file in ppt and setting the flashvar, but it is worth seeing if it looks any different when it is embedded by Xcelsius, so I'll give that a shot.  
But, I don't think this answers the question, since I am clearly able to embed the SWF and have it play for others; the problem is not embedding the file--it is passing the flash vars into the embedded file.
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by:lsdillard
ID: 22877094
I tried embedding the swf in Powerpoint 2003 and I had the same issue.  The flashvar setting seems to only work during the session in which you add the declaration.  Once you close the file and re-open it, the flashvars are lost.
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by:GlennaShaw
ID: 22945865
Sorry for the delay in responding.  Been house hunting in Charlotte for the last 2 weeks.
Try Shaym's answer:
http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-925384.php
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Author Comment

by:lsdillard
ID: 22947301
While this might work, it isn't what I need to do.  Again, there may simply be no solution to this.  Per my problem description: "I want to avoid using VBA in the project, and add-ins are not an option."
I realize that VBA or an add-in can do this, but they would introduce a significant support risk for what we are trying to achieve.  Also, PowerPoint and VBA got very difficult with 2007, so that example is not as easy as it appears, since there is no event that gets fired from PowerPoint the way it did in 2003 or before.  
I appreciate the input, but I am still hoping for an answer that doesn't involve VBA, add-ins, or other workarounds like that.
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GlennaShaw earned 500 total points
ID: 22949554
I do not believe you can do this just with the control properties.  I think you have to use code.
BTW, the Active X Control for WMV files also has an issue with not all properties working.

I'm unsure if this is an issue with PowerPoint or the Shockwave Flash Active X Control.
To send feedback to Microsoft: https://feedback.office.microsoft.com/default.aspx?productkey=office2007&scrx=1
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Author Comment

by:lsdillard
ID: 22980869
I think I agree with GlennaShaw that this simply isn't possible.  In case this helps anyone else, here is where I am:
Built a Flex wrapper to host the Xcelsius generated swf file
Moved the logic that was in Xcelsius and that required the flashvar to be in the Flex wrapper
Automated the build of the Flex swf using Ant
Created process to call Ant to build the swf before proceeding on to the PowerPoint automation that is done via a c# library.

It's very nasty, but it seems to be working so far.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lsdillard
ID: 31517696
Thanks - I kinda hate to award points for letting me know that what I thought was the answer was, in fact, the answer, but I appreciate your taking the time to back it up with details...
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