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How To Embed SWF or FLV File In Microsoft Excel 2007?

Update: Apparently, I was drunk while posting this guide, which is only applicable to SWF file, not the FLV file type :-(

After publishing note on how to insert or embed Shockwave flash (SWF file) in Microsoft Word 2007, I uploaded two “silent” screencasts (created by friend) to WalkerNews Channel.

These two “silent” screencasts (alive with music taken from AudioSwap), are based on Microsoft Word and Excel 2007 (as the Shockwave flash container).
Does Microsoft Excel 2007 require a different way to embed SWF or FLV file? Actually, there is no difference, if you already know how to do it with Microsoft Word 2007.

Anyway, it cost me nothing to make another text + video tutorial for reference, except of spending little bit of time and effort. After all, I am not that good of expressing idea and knowledge in words.

A “live” screencast, however, should complement my weakness. One video speaks thousands of word and it is easier to understand than static images. Best of all, YouTube provides me a zero-cost video hosting with responsive streaming (at countries with reliable broadband infrastructure and allows people to access YouTube service in full).

OK, here we go – The steps to embed / insert SWF game or FLV movie file into Microsoft Excel 2007:

1) Click the Developer tab. Locate and click the Insert button in Controls group. You will see a little frame pops up, providing both Form Controls and ActiveX Controls. Click the More Controls icon of ActiveX Controls category (usually on the bottom-right corner of that frame).

2) In the More Controls dialog box, scroll down to select Shockwave Flash Object and click OK button. (I am not sure, at this moment that this object is provided by default Microsoft Office installation. If you’re able to watch YouTube video with a web browser, the Shockwave flash object should be available for Microsoft Office too).

3) Now, move the mouse to draw the Shockwave flash container, either in the shape of square or rectangle (if you know how make it round or in other shapes, please leave a comment :-).

4) Right click the “letter box” you’ve just created, select Properties option from the Context menu.

5) In Shockwave flash object properties dialog box, locate MovieData field and enter the full path of SWF or FLV file that you want to embed.
  • Enter the full path to the Shockwave file (SWF) in the Movie property text-box.
  • Set the EmbedMovie property to True (otherwise, the SWF file is never truly embedded into the Excel document, i.e. your friend who receive the Excel document is never able to see or play the Shockwave game as it’s not embedded)

6) Close the Properties dialog box. The box remains with a cross, right?

Don’t panic. Looks at the Microsoft Office Ribbon (new menu and toolbar interface introduced in Office 2007), the Design Mode in Controls group is highlighted and turned on. The SWF or FLV playback is shown after turning off the Design Mode.

To toggle Design Mode on and off, just click the button. When it’s off, the “letter box” should render Shockwave flash game or flash movie of what you’ve just done.

Watch the next screencast or read my earlier guide on how to embed SWF file in Microsoft Word 2007, in case you’re interested:

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  1. cookiedough 06-08-09@00:43

    i understand all that but how do you get the .swf file of the game from the website to you computer so that you can add the whole path into the movie properties box?

  2. Jugger 17-12-09@02:21

    Shockwave out OR Shockwave in. You’ve cracked it all. Simply briiliant !!
    My next target ?
    Online-onscreen skill like yours above. Thanks again.

  3. ty foon 20-12-09@18:01

    Followed your tut, however, when i try to email the .xlsm, the recipient can no longer see the .swf embedded in the workbook…..nor can i for that matter.

    Not sure what, but i know i have missed something.

    For example the .xlsm works just fine the first time after i save it, but then it fails to open. And when i check properties, the movie setting of “true” reverts back to “false”.

    My original .swf file is 812 KB, the saved .xlsm is only 12KB.

    Any ides?

  4. Shivakumar 06-01-10@17:14

    Hi sir,

    How to inserted it into in Excell sheet ,but i have the version of the excel is 2003 is’t possible for to inserted in my swf file. please let me know the answer because i had a lot of presentation conducted to client side some time they have no Flash player. so, they couldn’t opened my files on they place. so, please clarifing my doub’t iam waiting for your reply as soon earliest to me.

    Thanking you


  5. Walker 06-01-10@23:44

    I remember I did once in Office 2003. Although the steps / interfaces are different than Office 2007, but this can be a guide for that.

    BUT, I doubt your clients able to play the embedded SWF if the Adobe Shockwave Player is not installed. Just like if you don’t have Flash Player installed, you can’t watch YouTube, etc.

  6. ty foon 12-01-10@09:44

    what about answering my post (20th Dec) above ??

  7. Walker 12-01-10@21:16

    Sorry dude, I can’t figure out how could that happen in your case.
    I will if I know that.

  8. sivarocks 11-02-10@19:11

    dudes.. i dont know.. but this embedding work only works if you save your work as “excel workbook 2003”. the file size show correct if it’s 2003 xls file (with the swf included). 2007 xlsx doesnt fully embed the file if your sending it out from ur comp. not sure why.. cheers

  9. Ashram 22-05-10@13:00

    sir i have a question, my microsoft excel dont have developer tab so i really cant follow your tut.. is there another way to show that developer thing?

  10. Ashram 22-05-10@13:02

    oops sorry i found it thanks for the tut really help me a lot when i want to play at the office :D

  11. Ashram 22-05-10@15:49

    sir i followed the tut but it wont play the game and when i save it and tried to open it again it only show a white square.. any idea whats happening? and after a click on the design mode nothing happened. there should be a pop up after that right? but didnt get any..

  12. Dr Jazz 01-06-10@20:39

    I have been unable to get any “macro enabled” office 2007 file to embed a flash object (by that I mean a .swf). I can go through all the steps (as used in Office 2003) and it will work. After I save in 2007, I get all the signs that it i s there but it just does not work. Security settings are such that all VBA macros work, and they do. It is just that the Flash, although apparently embedded, does work.

    Any thoughts on this appreciated.

    Dr Jazz

  13. Dr Jazz 02-06-10@14:12

    Further to my post of June 1 2010, You may be aware that an excel .xlsm file is in fact a zip file. By changing the extension to .zip it can be opened. Now here is the odd thing: for my file, inside the zipped file is a folder named “xl”; inside that folder is one called “media”; inside that is a file called “image1.emf” that is a picture of the first frame of the shoockwave file (.swf) I am trying to embed. I cannot find the shockwave file anywhere in the zipped folder. Does this mean that it not, in fact, embedded?

  14. Bruce 14-07-10@05:09

    Thank you for the insight and guidance…

    I’m having similar problems to those expressed above.

    I follow your steps exactly to insert the swf in excel 2007 and everything works perfectly, the swf file plays and looks exactly as expected, the menu controls on the video work as they should – but when I close the file and reopen it again, the embedded file shows the “Envelope Box” and will not respond at all. I click on the design mode button and right click on the properties and it shows me a different properties menu.

    I must start all over with your original instructions and then it will work again until I close and reopen the file.

    I am using… Windows Vista Home Premium and Excel 2007 with an xlsm file.

    I’ve saved it in windows 2007 and 2003 and experienced the same problem.

    any ideas would be greatly appreciated

    Thank you


  15. Dr Jazz 12-11-10@20:32

    Glad to know you had the same experience as me. I have spoken to some very experienced coders since and they have not been able to do anything but confirm what I previously posted. They have no solution. As an interesting aside, Office 2011 for Mac osX, now supports VBA (after a fashion!) but also does not support embedded Flash. In fact, little of the VBA code would run until I disabled the reference to Shockwave in the library.
    Dr Jazz

  16. Mav 20-06-11@11:35

    OK That worked really slick once I moved the .SWF file to a location not so deep in folder structure… but can someone tell me how to now put text or WORD ART in front of it? I try to send .swf to the back and pull text or word art to the front and once I exit out of Design Mode the text always goes to the back again :(

  17. J 04-07-11@07:44

    That’s fine, but I have a problem when closing and reopening the file. Before the item will “play” I need to re enable the play function EVERY TIME. Is there a way to make sure it stays on play permanantly?

  18. kharisma 09-01-12@17:12

    thanks. it works

  19. matt 01-02-12@08:06

    As per the very first query, I have the file in the website but I am unable to send it to the computer as a swf file, can someone explain how to do this please?

  20. idah 09-08-12@11:20

    wonderful..it works well!
    Thanks for sharing it online.

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