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Media Browser (Audio Tab) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn about the Audio tab within the Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

Date Created: July 1st 2011
Last Updated: July 1st 2011

We have already explored the new Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, and its Photos tab. The second tab within the Media Browser is the Audio tab -- this tab allows you to quickly add sounds to your PowerPoint slides. Since PowerPoint 2011 is so well integrated with Mac OS X, the Audio tab displays your iTunes and GarageBand music collections. Similar to the Photos tab, the Audio tab is also divided into upper and lower panes, as shown in Figure 1.

Audio tab within Media Browser
Figure 1: Audio tab within Media Browser

Tip: iTunes is the default music playing application that is included as part of Mac OS X, and ships as part of new Macs. Garageband is a simple music creation program that also ships as part of new Macs -- it is often updated and you can buy the newest version of Garageband as part of the iLife suite of apps.

Let us now explore the options within the Audio tab of Media Browser:

  1. Folder / Browser: Browse the contents of folders, sub-folders, podcasts, and music playlists.
  2. View Splitter: Drag the dot to adjust the size of the upper and lower panes. Drag further up to change the Folder / Browser pane to a drop-down list.
  3. Preview pane: Displays all the audio files within the chosen folder.
  4. Scroll Bar: The vertical scroll bar, placed towards the right of the preview pane can be used to scroll down if you have more sound clips. Click one of the double-headed arrows at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar to move up and down.
  5. Play: Select any sound clip within the preview pane and click this button to play. You can even double- click the sound file to play.
  6. Search: Just type in part of a filename, or some keywords in the search field to view search-narrowed, relevant sound file instantly.
  7. Number: Lists the number of sound clips in your preview pane -- this value changes depending upon the folder you are browsing, and also dynamically changes when you enter a search term in the Search box.

Within the Audio tab's preview pane, you can select a audio file and right click to get a contextual menu as shown in Figure 2.

Choose display options for audio preview pane
Figure 2: Choose display options for audio preview pane

There are four options in the list which are explained below:

  1. Open in iTunes: Choose this option to open the selected sound clip in iTunes.
  2. Reveal in Finder: This option will open the folder where the selected sound clip is stored.
  3. Display as List: Choose this option to change the sound clips preview into a list view. If you are already within the list view (refer to Figure 1 above), choose the Show Columns option to bring up a submenu (see Figure 3) to customize the columns visible (refer to Figure 3 again).

    Show Columns submenu
    Figure 3: Show Columns submenu

  4. Display as Icons: This option displays the sound clips as icons.

Inserting Audio

To insert a audio, just drag it from the preview pane into your presentation, as shown in Figure 4.

Audio being dragged on slide
Figure 4: Audio being dragged on slide

When the audio is inserted on your slide, a sound icon appears (see Figure 5). To play the sound, click the Play button on the sound control, highlighted in red in Figure 5.

Audio inserted in presentation
Figure 5: Audio inserted in presentation


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