Add and play sounds in a presentation

To enhance your presentation, you can add a sound for emphasis or effect.

In this article


About sounds

When you insert a sound on a slide, an icon Icon image that represents the sound file appears. To play the sound while you give your presentation, you can set the sound to start automatically when the slide is displayed, start on a mouse-click, start automatically but with a time delay, or play as part of an animation sequence. You can also play music from a CD or add narration to your presentation.

You can add sounds from files on your computer, a network, or Microsoft Clip Organizer. You can also record your own sounds to add to a presentation or use music from a CD.

You can preview a sound and also make the sound icon invisible during a slide show by hiding it or moving it off the slide into the gray area.

To use a sound effect for emphasis, you will want to play the sound once, which is the default behavior for sounds in Microsoft Office PowerPoint. To keep the sound playing until you stop it, or to play it for the duration of the presentation, you need to choose the stop options in the Custom Animation task pane or set the sound to play continuously. If you do not choose when you want a sound to stop, it stops the next time that you click the slide.

Only .wav (WAV: A file format in which Windows stores sounds as waveforms. Such files have the extension .wav. Depending on various factors, one minute of sound can occupy as little as 644 kilobytes or as much as 27 megabytes of storage.) (waveform audio data) sound files can be embedded — all other media files types are linked. By default, .wav sound files that are greater than 100 kilobytes (KB) in size are automatically linked (linked object: An object that is created in a source file and inserted into a destination file, while maintaining a connection between the two files. The linked object in the destination file can be updated when the source file is updated.) to your presentation, rather than embedded (embedded object: Information (object) contained in a source file and inserted into a destination file. Once embedded, the object becomes part of the destination file. Changes you make to the embedded object are reflected in the destination file.) in it. You can increase the size limit for embedded .wav files to be a maximum size of 50,000 KB, but raising this limit also increases the overall size of your presentation.

When you insert a linked sound file, PowerPoint creates a link to the sound file's current location. If you later move the sound file to a different location, PowerPoint cannot locate it when you want the file to play. It is a good practice to copy the sounds into the same folder as your presentation before you insert the sounds. PowerPoint creates a link to the sound file and can find the sound file as long as you keep it in the presentation folder, even if you move or copy the folder to another computer. Another way to be sure that your linked files are in the same folder as your presentation is to use the Package for CD feature. This feature copies all the files to one location (a CD or folder) with your presentation and automatically updates all the links for the sound files. When your presentation has linked files, you must copy the linked files as well as the presentation if you plan to give the presentation on another computer or send it to someone in e-mail.

If you want the .wav sound file to be contained inside the presentation, you can increase the size of the embedded file to a maximum of 50,000 KB (50 megabytes). However, raising this limit also increases the overall size of your presentation and may slow down its performance.

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Add a sound

To prevent possible problems with links, it is a good idea to copy the sounds into the same folder as your presentation before you add the sounds to your presentation.

  1. In the pane that contains the Outline and Slides tabs, click the Slides tab.
  1. Click the slide to which you want to add a sound.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Media Clips group, click the arrow under Sound.

Insert tab image

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click Sound from File, locate the folder that contains the file, and then double-click the file that you want to add.
    • Click Sound from Clip Organizer, scroll to find the clip that you want in the Clip Art task pane, and then click it to add it to the slide.

 Tip   You can preview a clip before adding it to your presentation. In the Clip Art task pane, in the Results box that displays the available clips, move your mouse pointer over the clip's thumbnail. Click the arrow that appears, and then click Preview/Properties.

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Preview a sound

  1. On the slide, click the sound iconIcon image.
  2. Under Sound Tools, on the Options tab, in the Play group, click Preview. You can also double-click the sound icon.

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Choose between Automatically or When Clicked

When you insert a sound, you are prompted with a message asking how you want the sound to start: automatically (Automatically) or when you click the sound (When Clicked).

  • To automatically start the sound when you show the slide, click Automatically.

The sound plays automatically when you show the slide unless there are other media effects on the slide. If there are other effects, such as an animation, the sound plays after that effect.

  • To manually start the sound when you click it on the slide, click When Clicked.

When you insert a sound, a play trigger effect is added. This setting is known as a trigger because, to play the sound, you have to click something specific, as opposed to just clicking the slide.

 Note   Multiple sounds are added on top of each other and play in the order in which they were added. If you want each sound to start when you click it, drag the sound icons off of each other after you insert them.

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Play a sound continuously

You can play a sound continuously during just one slide or across many slides.

Play a sound continuously for one slide

  1. Click the sound icon Icon image.
  2. Under Sound Tools, on the Options tab, in the Sound Options group, select the Loop Until Stopped check box.

Sound Tools Options tab image

 Note   When you loop a sound, it plays continuously until you advance to the next slide.

Play a sound across multiple slides

  1. On the Animations tab, in the Animations group, click Custom Animation.

Animations tab image

  1. In the Custom Animation task pane, click the arrow to the right of the selected sound in the Custom Animation list, and then click Effect Options.
  2. On the Effect tab, under Stop playing, click After, and then select the total number of slides on which the file should play.

 Note   The sound file should be as long as the specified display times of the slides. You can see the length of the sound file on the Sound Settings tab, under Information.

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Hide the sound icon

Important     Use this option only if you set the sound to play automatically, or if you created some other kind of control, such as a trigger, to click to play the sound. (A trigger is something on your slide, such as a picture, shape, button, paragraph of text, or text box, that sets off an action when you click it.) Note that the sound icon is always visible in Normal view unless you drag it off the slide.

  1. Click the sound icon Icon image.
  2. Under Sound Tools, on the Options tab, in the Sound Options group, select the Hide During Show check box.

Sound Tools Options tab image

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Set the sound start and stop options

  1. To adjust the settings for when the sound file plays or stops, click the sound icon Icon image.
  2. On the Animations tab, in the Animations group, click Custom Animation.

Animations tab image

  1. In the Custom Animation task pane, click the arrow to the right of the selected sound in the Custom Animation list, and then click Effect Options.
  2. Do one of the following:

ShowChoose when a sound starts playing

On the Effect tab, under Start playing, do one of the following:

  • To start the sound file immediately, click From beginning.
  • To start the sound file from the last track played on the CD, click From last position.
  • To start the sound file after a time delay, click From time, and then enter the total number of seconds for the delay.

ShowChoose when a sound stops playing

On the Effect tab, under Stop playing, do one of the following:

  • To stop the sound file with a mouse click of this slide, click On click (the default).
  • To stop the sound file after this slide, click After current slide.
  • To keep the sound file playing for several slides, click After, and then enter the total number of slides that the file should play on.

 Note   For these last two options, the sound should be as long as the specified display times of the slides. You can see the length of the sound file on the Sound Settings tab, under Information.

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 Notes 

 
 
Applies to:
PowerPoint 2007