- By Joan Lambert
Add audio content to slides
You can enhance presentations by adding sound to slide transitions, to animated content, to an individual slide, or to the presentation as a whole. For example, you could run a presentation that provides basic information and icebreakers during the time leading up to your actual presentation. You can add a pleasant royalty-free soundtrack that loops while the presentation plays, to avoid the discomfort of a room full of people who don’t want to break the silence.
If you plan to distribute a presentation electronically for people to watch on their own, you might want to add audio narration to an animation, or provide narration for the entire presentation.
You can add prerecorded audio content to a presentation, or record your own content directly within PowerPoint. PowerPoint supports the most common audio formats—MP3, MP4, Windows audio (.wav) and Windows Media audio (.wma), and more specialized formats such as ADTS, AU, FLAC, MIDI, and MKA audio.
When you add audio to a slide (rather than to an animation or transition), the audio icon (shaped like a speaker) and an accompanying trigger icon appear on the slide, and the trigger event appears in the Animation Pane.
The trigger is created and added to the Animation Pane automatically
When the audio icon is selected, the Audio Tools tab group, which includes the Format and Playback tool tabs, appears on the ribbon, and audio playback controls appear on the slide.
The playback controls are simple but provide sufficient options
You can start audio content on a slide automatically or from the playback controls. The playback controls are visible only when the audio icon is selected. The icon isn’t obtrusive, but you can disguise or hide it if you want to.
You can change the size or angle of the audio icon by using the sizing handles or rotation handle
You can customize the audio content by using commands on the Playback tool tab, as follows:
- Edit the audio content so that only part of it plays.
- Make the sound gradually increase and decrease in volume.
- Adjust the volume or mute the sound.
Specify whether the audio content plays:
- Automatically when the slide appears.
- Only if you click its icon.
- Make the audio object invisible while the presentation is displayed in Reading view or Slide Show view.
- Specify that the audio content should play continuously until you stop it.
- Ensure that the audio content starts from the beginning each time it is played.
To insert an audio clip onto a slide
- Save the audio clip on your computer or on a network-connected location.
- On the Insert tab, in the Media group, click the Audio button, and then click Audio on My PC to open the Insert Audio dialog box.
- In the Insert Audio dialog box, browse to and select the audio file, and then click the Insert button.
- In File Explorer, open the folder that contains the audio file.
- Arrange the File Explorer and PowerPoint windows on your screen so that both are visible.
- Drag the audio file from File Explorer to the slide.
To record audio directly onto a slide
- On the Insert tab, in the Media group, click the Audio button, and then click Record Audio to open the Record Sound dialog box.
In the Name box, enter a name to uniquely identify the recording. Then click the Record button (labeled with a red circle).
The Record Sound dialog box
- Speak or otherwise provide the audio that you want to record. When you finish, click the Stop button (labeled with a blue square). The audio icon and an accompanying trigger icon appear in the center of the slide, and the trigger event appears in the Animation Pane.
To restrict the playback of an audio clip to a specific segment
Select the audio icon. On the Playback tool tab, in the Editing group, click the Trim Audio button to open the Trim Audio dialog box.
You can trim audio from the beginning and end of the clip, but not from the middle
In the Trim Audio dialog box, do any of the following:
- Click the Play button to play the clip, and then click the Pause button to pause when you locate a point that you want to mark.
- Drag the green Start marker to specify a playback starting point other than the beginning of the clip. (If you drag the marker near the point at which you paused the playback, the marker snaps to that location.)
- Drag the red End marker to specify a playback end point other than the end of the clip.
- Select the Start or End marker, and then click the Previous Frame or Next Frame button to move the selected marker back or forward 0.1 seconds (one-tenth of a second).
- When you finish, click OK to close the Trim Audio dialog box.
To fade into or out of an audio clip
Select the audio icon. On the Playback tool tab, in the Editing group, do the following:
- In the Fade In box, specify the length of time over which you want to increase the audio to full volume.
- In the Fade Out box, specify the number of seconds at the end of the audio clip over which you want to decrease the audio volume.
To modify or hide the audio icon
Select the audio icon, and then do any of the following:
- Drag the sizing handles to make the icon larger or smaller.
- Drag the icon to a different location on the slide, or to a location slightly off the slide but still on the development canvas.
- Use the commands on the Format tool tab to change the icon’s appearance.
- Replace the default icon with a different image (such as a picture or logo).
To manually start audio playback
Do any of the following:
- In Normal view, Reading view, or Slide Show view, point to the audio icon. When the playback controls appear, click the Play button.
- In Normal view, click the audio icon, and then click the Play button on the playback toolbar or in the Preview group on the Playback tool tab.
- In Slide Show view, after the audio icon has had focus, press Alt+P.
To automatically start audio playback
- On the Playback tool tab, in the Audio Options group, in the Start list, click Automatically. Then select the Loop until Stopped check box.
To prevent an audio clip from stopping when the slide changes
On the Playback tool tab, do either of the following:
- To play to the end of the audio and then stop, in the Audio Options group, select the Play Across Slides check box.
- To loop the audio until the end of the slide show regardless of other audio tracks, in the Audio Styles group, click the Play in Background button.
To loop (repeat) an audio clip
- On the Playback tool tab, in the Audio Options group, select the Loop until Stopped check box.