You can add audio to your presentations such as music, narration or sound bites. Only audio files with a file type supported by PowerPoint can be added to a presentation. Audio files are inserted using the Insert Tab on the Ribbon in much the same way you would insert other items. Like video, once audio files are inserted, you can trim them, fade them and style them the same as you would style any other objects.
Audio files can be embedded or linked and it’s important to understand the difference as how you insert the audio will impact your PowerPoint file size. For instance, embedded files are absorbed by the presentation, increasing the size of the presentation file whereas linked files remain separate so they do not affect the size of the presentation.
You can also record your own audio as long as your computer is equipped with a sound card, microphone and speakers.
Supported audio file formats
PowerPoint supports the following file formats and extensions.
- AIFF Audio file (.aiff)
- AU Audio file (.au)
- MIDI file (.mid or .midi)
- MP3 Audio file (.mp3)
- Advanced Audio Coding – MPEG-4 Audio file* (.m4a, .mp4)
- Windows Audio file (.wav)
- Windows Media Audio file (.wma)
Insert An Audio file from your computer
Insert audio and embed it into the presentation.
- Click the Slide you want to add audio to
- Click the Insert tab > Media Group > Audio > Audio on my PC
- In the Insert Audio Dialog Box, navigate to the folder where the audio clip resides, click on the file to select it and then click the Insert button. The audio icon and controls will appear on the slide
Preview the Audio
Setting Audio Options
There are many options that you can set that will determine how your audio will be played in your presentation. If you click the Play in the Background button on the Audio tools Playback tab, your sound will be treated as a background track and all the buttons to Start Automatically, Play Across Slides, Loop until Stopped and Hide during Show will all be activated. Alternatively, you can set only the options you desire as shown below.
- Select the audio clip icon .
- Click the Audio Tools > Playback tab > Audio Options group
- In the Start list, click Automatically. This will start the audio clip automatically when you run the slide show. Alternately, if you want to manually start the audio clip when you click it on the slide, choose When Clicked.
- Still in the Audio Tools > Playback tab > Audio Options group, select Play Across Slides and Loop until Stopped. This will play the audio clip as you click through the slides and play the audio clip play continuously until you stop it.
- Preview the presentation by clicking the Slide Show tab > Start Slide Show group > From Current Slide. Your audio should be playing. Adjust your audio options as desired.
Managing Audio in your presentations
There may be occasions where you may choose to link to audio clips instead of embed them. While this can decrease the file size of your presentation, it may cause problems if the linked file gets moved to another folder or deleted from your computer. Also, if you give your presentation from another computer, are sharing your presentation with others or collaborating with others who do not have the audio located on their computer, you may wish to break the link and just embed the file instead.
- To link audio instead of embed it, just select “Link to File” instead of insert when adding audio to your presentation.
- To check whether a presentation has any embedded files, click the File tab and under Info, view Optimize Media Compatibility and you will see how many media files are embedded. In our example, we have one Media file embedded.
- To remove a link, under the same info screen in the Related Documents section, click Edit Links to Files.
- In the Links dialog box, click on Break Link and then click Close.