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Animation Sounds in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

Learn to add sounds to accompany animations in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows. This is one of those features that need a compelling reason to use.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher



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The main purpose of adding animation to any slide object is to draw the attention of the audience to some movement. Once you set an animation event, and set the speed of the animation, you may also want some sound to play along with the animation -- one aspect that you should always remember is that although you can add sound to an animation, it is not always necessary to do so. We suggest you only add sound sparingly -- and even then, you must make sure that the sound adds some value to the animation. In addition, it is important that you use the perfect sound type for any animation -- using clapping or blasting sounds is very cliché. Now that we have made you aware about the precautions you should take while using sound in PowerPoint animations, let us go ahead and explore the procedure:

  1. Make sure that your slide that has an animated slide object. You may want to look at our Adding an Animation tutorial if you don't have a slide with an animated object. Ensure that the Custom Animation task pane is visible. To do so, access the Animations tab of the Ribbon, and click on the Custom Animation button, as shown in Figure 1, below. Remember that this is a toggle button. So, if your Custom Animation Task Pane is already visible, then clicking this button will make the Task Pane disappear.
  2. Custom Animation button within the Animations group of Animations tab
    Figure 1: Custom Animation button within Animations group of the Animations tab
  3. You should now see the Custom Animation Task Pane, as shown in Figure 2, below. In this Task Pane, you will see a list of animations applied to objects on the slide. Right-click any animation, and from the resultant menu, choose Effect Options, as shown in Figure 2.
  4. Effect Options selected for the animation in the Custom Animation Task Pane
    Figure 2: Effect Options selected for the animation in the Custom Animation Task Pane
  5. Doing so brings up the dialog box with options to edit the animation, as shown in Figure 3, below. Within this dialog box, select the Sound option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  6. Sound option within your animation dialog box
    Figure 3: Sound option within your animation dialog box
  7. Note: In Figure 3 above, you can see that the dialog box is named Peek In, the name of this dialog box differs based upon the type of animation applied. In this case, we had applied a Peek In animation, hence the name. If you had a Wipe animation applied, the dialog box would read Wipe rather than Peek In. In any case, the Sound options work the same way for any animation type.
  8. This reveals the Sound drop-down list, as shown in Figure 4, below. In this list you can select any of the pre-built sounds that PowerPoint contains -- these have names such as Arrow, Bomb, Breeze, Camera, etc. The sounds are of a very short duration, typically under 2 or 3 seconds. In Figure 4, you can see that the Arrow sound has been selected in the Sound drop-down list.
  9. Arrow sound selected to play along with the animation
    Figure 4: Arrow sound selected to play along with the animation
  10. As soon as you select a sound, the volume button located next to the Sound drop-down list becomes available. Click it to bring up a volume slider that lets you increase or reduce the volume of the animation sound, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, below.
  11. Volume slider
    Figure 5: Volume slider
  12. If you want to add a sound clip other than the preset sounds offered, scroll down to the bottom of the Sound drop-down list where you will find the Other Sound option, as shown in Figure 6, below. Select this option.
  13. Other Sound option within the Sound drop-down list
    Figure 6: Other Sound option within the Sound drop-down list
  14. This will take you to the Add Sound dialog box, as shown in Figure 7, below. In this dialog, navigate to the folder where you have saved the sound you want to play as part of the animation. Select the required sound file, and click the OK button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7, in this dialog box to add your sound clip to the animation.
  15. Add Sound dialog box
    Figure 7: Add Sound dialog box
  16. Tip: You can only use WAV files for Animation sounds - other sound formats such as WMA and MP3 that PowerPoint accepts cannot be used as animation sounds. However, WAV files are typically larger in size than the same MP3 file. You can actually use an MP3 file with a WAV header and trick PowerPoint. Learn more about creating such files in our Use CDex to Add WAV Headers to MP3 Files tutorial. Also, animation sounds are always embedded rather than linked unless they are over 50 mb in size.
  17. In addition to using the preset sound library in PowerPoint, or your own sound clip, you will find that the Sound drop-down list offers two more options at the top of the list. These are No Sound and Stop Previous Sound, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8, below. Here is an explanation of what these options do:
  18. No Sound and Stop Previous Sound options within Sound drop-down menu
    Figure 8: No Sound and Stop Previous Sound options within Sound drop-down menu
  19. No Sound

  20. This is the default option which is active before you add any sound to your animation. Choosing this option after you add a sound to your animation provides a quick way to remove sound from your animation.
  21. Stop Previous Sound

  22. Lets you stop the sound playing along with a previous animation. Sometimes you may add a longer sound clip and you may not want it to play longer. In that case, the next animated object with the Stop Previous Sound event selected will stop that sound from playing further.
  23. After selecting the required sound, or any of the other options explained above, click the OK button, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 8, below. This will play the selected sound when the object animates.
  24. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

13 03 11 -

Advanced Animation Concepts: Animation Sounds in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Animation Sounds in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Animation Sounds in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Animation Sounds in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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