Our ramblings about website design and other things

Extracting a Flash File from Powerpoint

We had a client who wanted a Flash Movie File putting onto their website, no problem except it was supplied to us as part of a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation. Of course we assumed this would be easy to extract but as it proved it was not.

We found various suggested solutions including saving the file as a HTML version or changing the extension from .pptx to .zip and opening with Winzip, however this extracted the graphics files but did not extract the .swf movie file.

We then tried to simply copy the movie and past to another location but all this did was save a Scrap.shs file, .shs files are used by Microsoft to transfer objects between their Office Applications so we were stuck with this file.

After lots of searching we found a utility called extractaflash.exe and this solved our problem, this pulled the .swf movie file out of the .shs file.

You can download the file from here as a zip file.

To use do the following:

1, Open Powerpoint, Copy the flash file and paste to your required directory location – Windows will save as Scrap.shs

2, Copy the extractaflash.exe to the same windows location as point 1

3, Open Windows Command Prompt and change to the directory you used above, look for your scrap file ending in .shs

4, At the Command promt type extractaflash.exe Scrap.shs flashfilename.swf

5, You will end up with a Flash Movie file in this case called flashfilename.swf (do not use spaces in any of the filenames or it will fail)

We are not sure who produced this great utility, if you know we would be happy to acknowledge them and link to their site.


  • By Fred, January 3, 2012 @ 3:49 am


    I got the utility (thanks) but I cannot start the program. (Failed to initialize.) Does anyone know why or a solution?



  • By admin, January 3, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Hi Fred,

    We used this on Windows XP – did you extract the file from the Zip file and it only runs using Command Line



  • By bb, March 20, 2012 @ 11:14 am


    I had exactly this problem and have written a blog post here (http://blog.interrupt3h.com/?p=250) that addresses the issue.

    I had a few problems running extractaflash on Win7 x64 so I had to find a workaround.

    The steps I followed were :

    1. Open PowerPoint file and ensure that it is saved as .pptx (the new XML Office format)
    2. Rename the .pptx as a .zip file
    3. Open the .zip file in winrar/winzip or your preferred utility
    4. Navigate to the .\ppt\activeX directory in the archive
    5. Extract all the .bin files to another directory
    6. Run the php script on it

    The PHP script is located on the blog post.

    Anyone with better PHP skills than I may be able to get it to run directly over the ppt (or even unzip the pptx automagically) but at least this way you can also extract from pptx as well.

    Hope it helps anyone Googling this issue.


  • By JLS, July 30, 2012 @ 4:06 am


    Nice tool. I will add that for Win7 x64 and PPT2007 you need save the file as .pptm, then change the extension to .zip and extract it. Look for the file \ppt\activeX\activeX1.bin, save it to the same location you saved extractflash.exe and rename it as Scrap.shs. Follow the rest of the instructions above thread and you will get the precious swf.

    Hope it works for you too!

  • By Avneesh, August 3, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

    I followed the instructions by JLS till converting the PPTX to PPTM and after that I just opened using WinZIP. I found my media files under ppt\media\

    Thanks for this article.

  • By veera, April 21, 2015 @ 11:14 am

    I followed the instructions by JLS its worked for me. very usefull post.

  • By jwest, January 7, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

    Same. Followed JLS instructions and worked like a charm. Thanks!


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