Gavilan College, Gilroy, California

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Jane's Quick Tips
Tip 14
Inserting Audio Files

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Inserting Audio Clips

You can insert audio from files on your computer or from the Clip Art Audio Collection, either locally or online. You can also record your own audio to add to a presentation. After you have inserted audio in a presentation, you can control how you would like the file to play.

Insert Tab, Media Group, Audio button arrow
Figure 1: Insert tab, Media group, Audio button arrow

An audio file can be set to play one time, or to loop, meaning it can play repeatedly until it is stopped manually. A track, or song, from a CD can play during a slide show. In this 2010 version, audio and video can be embedded or linked to the presentation. To embed is to save a presentation so that the audio file becomes part of the presentation file. To link is to save a presentation so that the audio file is saved separately from the presentation. Make sure you obtain copyright permission to link or embed audio to a presentation.

Audio clips can include: voice, music and sound effects. File extensions may include: .aiff, .au, .mid, .midi, .mp3, mp4, .wav* and .wma.
*The only audio files that may be embedded in a PowerPoint presentation are .wav audio files that are under 100 kilobytes in size.

Please Note: Audio files that are linked to your presentation, rather than embedded, must be copied along with your presentation if you are going to be showing the slideshow on another computer.

When you insert audio on a slide, the speaker icon appears. When you select the speaker icon, a Sound Control Panel is displayed. From the Sound Control Panel you can play/pause (Alt+P) the audio file, move forward (Alt+Shift+Right) by 0.25 seconds, move back (Alt+Shift+Left) by 0.25 seconds, and adjust the volume setting. You can use the keyboard shortcut to Mute/UnMute the audio (Alt+U). The control panel also displays the time that has elapsed since the start of the audio. Sound Control Panel with Speaker icon selected
Inserting Audio from File:
Display the slide to which you want to add music or audio file.

1. Click on the Insert tab.
2. Under the Media group, click on the Audio button arrow and select Audio from File to insert audio clips onto your slide.
3. The Insert Audio dialog box displays.

4. Navigate to your audio choice and click the Insert button.

Insert Audio Dialog box
Inserting Audio from the Clip Art Audio:

Display the slide to which you want to add music or audio file.

1. Click on the Insert tab.
2. Under the Media group, click on the Audio button arrow and select Clip Art Audio to insert audio clips onto your slide.
3. When you choose Clip Art Audio, your Clip Art task pane opens on the right side of the window to display available audio clips as icons.

4. Type the topic of your audio in the Search for: text box at the top of the Clip Art task pane and click the Go button. Under the Results should be: drop-down list, make sure the Audio check box is checked under the Selected media file types.
5. Once you have selected the audio file that you want to insert, click on the audio icon or click on the down-arrow next to the audio file and select Insert.

If you want to search for more audio files, click on the link Find more at and make sure you select the Audio checkbox.

*You can stop the audio by clicking the slide, by pressing Enter to advance to the next slide, or by pressing the Escape key (Esc).

Clip Art Task Pane with Audio Clips Selected

You can edit the audio file with the Audio Tools Format tab that comes up each time you select the audio file.
Audio Tools Format Tab
Figure 1: Audio Tools Format Tab

The Audio Tools Playback tab contains the Preview, Bookmarks, Editing, and Audio Options groups. Under the Audio Options group, you can change the Sound volume,choose your Start option, Hide the audio during the show, Loop and Rewind.
Audio Tools Playback tab
Figure 2: Audio Tools Playback Tab

To play the music or audio, you can set it to start automatically when the slide displays, to start on a mouse-click, or to play it across your slides. If you don't want the speaker icon to be visible, you can hide it and set up the audio to play automatically. You can also set a trigger for starting the audio file. See Quick Tip 15 for more details on customizing your Audio settings.
Choosing your Start playing option:

Audio Tools Playback tab with Start Options selected   Audio Options group under the Audio Tools Playback tab
Under the Audio Tools Playback tab, under the Audio Options group, you have 3 options from which to start playing your audio file.

FIRST OPTION: When you choose the option (Automatically), the audio plays when your slide appears.
SECOND OPTION: When you choose the option (On Click),the audio plays when you click on the speaker icon speaker icon.

THIRD OPTION: When you choose the option (Play Across Slides), the audio plays across all of your slides. When you use this option, the audio file stops abruptly after the last slide unless you choose to fade it out or change the Stop playing option in the Play Audio Dialog box. See Quick Tip 15 for more sound editing details.

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This page was last modified March 30, 2014
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