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How do I record audio and set playback options on Powerpoint?

You will need a microphone. Most laptops have a suitable built-in microphone.

Make sure your PowerPoint file is the latest format (.pptx).
If it is an earlier version (.ppt) you must first Save As, Save as type*.pptx

You can record yourself narrating slides in Powerpoint and embed audio snippets in each slide. This is an alternative to recording a voiceover video using your webcam.

You can even make simple edits to your audio files from within PowerPoint, and choose how the audio plays, for example, on mouse click, or automatically when a slide is shown. 

Record audio

Follow these steps to create an audio clip:

  1. Ensure that your microphone is turned on.
  2. Select the Insert tab, select Audio and then Record Audio.
  3. Type a name for your audio clip.
  4. Click Record and start speaking.
  5. You can Stop your recording at any time and press Play to review it.
  6. If you are satisfied with it, click OK, or click Record to re-record the clip.
  7. Select and drag the audio icon to where you want it on the slide. If you have audio clips on multiple slides, it is recommended to put the icon in the same place on each slide to make it easy to locate.

Editing the audio file

Further options are available when you select the icon and then navigate to the Playback tab at the top of the screen.

To trim the audio, select Trim and then use the red and green sliders to trim the audio file accordingly. This can be used to cut out any long pauses at the start or end of the clip. Before you click OK, play the file to check that the markers are in the correct place.

To fade in or fade out audio, change the number in the Fade Duration boxes.

To adjust volume, select Volume and select the setting you prefer.

Select playback options

To choose how the audio file starts, select the dropdown arrow and select an option:

  • In Click Sequence – Plays the audio file automatically when the listener clicks anywhere on the slide (available on more recent versions of Powerpoint only, where this is also the default option).
  • Automatically – Plays automatically once you advance to the slide that the audio file is on.
  • When Clicked On – Plays audio only when the icon is clicked on.

To choose how the audio plays in your presentation, select an option:

  • Play Across Slides: Plays one audio file across all slides.
  • Loop until Stopped: Plays an audio file repeatedly until it’s stopped manually by clicking the Play/Pause button.
  • To have the audio play continuously across all slides in the background, select Play in Background.

Updated on March 28, 2020

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