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Add Sound / Music to a PDF

Learn how to add sound/music to a PDF.


Author: Geetesh Bajaj

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There are times when you have to share your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF – mainly because you want to send a non-editable file format to someone. However any sound or music clips within your original PowerPoint file do not get included within the converted PDF. At other times, you may just want to add some sound or music to an existing PDF, even if that PDF was not created from a PowerPoint file.

Whatever your reason to add sound or music may be, it’s easy to achieve these results as long as you have the following prerequisites:

  1. A PDF that you want to use – this PDF should allow editing and preferably should not be password protected.

  2. Adobe's Acrobat Professional software – you cannot do this within the free Acrobat Reader. For this tutorial, we are using Acrobat X Pro, but any of the newer versions should work.

  3. A sound or music clip – essentially this is an audio file. If you are using Microsoft Windows, make sure you use a WAV file. Mac users can similarly use an AIFF file.

When Enric Mañas, a good friend and an amazing presentation designer from Spain sent me a PDF card that automatically played music, I asked him how he achieved the result – thanks to Enric for these steps and his permission to reproduce them for you all:

  1. Open the PDF you are using with Adobe Acrobat Pro, as shown in Figure 1, below. Make sure you are on the page where you want to add the music or sound clip.

    Navigate to the page where you want to add the music or sound clip
    Figure 1: Navigate to the page where you want to add the music or sound clip

  2. Then choose the View | Show/Hide | Navigation Panes | Page Thumbnails option, as shown in Figure 2 – or you can even press the F4 keyboard shortcut.

    Access the page thumbnails
    Figure 2: Access the page thumbnails

  3. This will bring up the Page Thumbnails pane on the left, as shown in Figure 3, below.

    All the page thumbnails
    Figure 3: All the page thumbnails

  4. Now right-click the thumbnail that represents your active page, and choose the Page Properties option, as shown in Figure 4, below.

    Bringing up Page Properties
    Figure 4: Bringing up Page Properties

  5. This will bring up the Page Properties dialog box shown in Figure 5 – make sure you are on the Actions tab of this dialog box.

    Page with an Action
    Figure 5: Page with an Action

  6. Click the Select Action box, and select the Play a Sound option from the resultant drop-down list (see Figure 6).

    Play a sound
    Figure 6: Play a sound

  7. Click the Add button (see earlier in Figure 5). This brings up the Select Sound File dialog box, as shown in Figure 7, below.

    Select a sound file
    Figure 7: Select a sound file

  8. Browse to and choose a WAV file (or an AIFF file if you are on a Mac) – remember the files you choose must be uncompressed. Click the Open button, as shown in Figure 8, below.

    Choose the file you want to add
    Figure 8: Choose the file you want to add

  9. Back in the Page Properties dialog box, click the OK button. Then choose File | Save in Acrobat Pro to save your changes. Close the file.

  10. Now open the file again in Acrobat Pro and navigate to the page where you added the sound / music clip – it should play instantly!

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