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Insert Audio (Sound) in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Add audio to your slides in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. You can choose from several audio file formats, and the process is easy.

Sound files of various types such as MP3, WMA, or WAV files can be inserted in slides within PowerPoint 2010 for Windows, which automatically embeds them into your presentation. This means that you no longer have to worry about linked files getting misplaced or lost like you had to in previous versions of PowerPoint. Even then, it is a good practice to keep your sound files in the same folder in which you save your PowerPoint 2010 presentation, even before you insert them.

Before You Begin with Audio Files

As far as possible, work with a presentation that’s saved at least once. Also, do explore our PowerPoint Friendly Audio Formats page to understand which common and exotic audio file types you can insert in your PowerPoint slides.

Follow these steps to insert sound in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

  1. Navigate to the slide where you want to add a sound. From the Insert tab of Ribbon, click the downward arrow below the Audio button to bring up the menu shown in Figure 1. From this menu, choose the Audio from File option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, below.

  2. Figure 1: Audio from File option
  3. Doing so brings up the Insert Audio dialog box, as shown in Figure 2, below. Navigate to the folder where your audio clips are saved, and select any file.

  4. Figure 2: Insert Audio dialog box
  5. Now, click the Insert button, highlighted in red within Figure 2, above, to add the audio clip to the active slide and embed it as part of your presentation. This embedding, of course can balloon the file size, and you can still link the audio file rather than embedding it by following the alternative options explained next.
  6. To link rather than embed, click on the downward pointing arrow next to the Insert button. Doing so brings up a menu with three options as shown in Figure 3:

  7. Figure 3: Choose if you want to link or embed
  8. Insert is the default option that embeds the sound within the presentation. This is the same as discussed in step 3 above.
  9. Link to File does not store the audio clip as part of your presentation but links to it. This is the same as the default behavior in previous versions of PowerPoint (PowerPoint 2007 and earlier). If you do choose the Link to File option, always copy your audio clip to the same folder as your presentation before you insert it within your slide.
  10. Show Previous Versions is an option applicable only if you have overwritten your original audio clip and the previous version of the file is stored on an NTFS volume under Windows Vista or higher. According to Microsoft, "Previous versions are either backup copies—copies of files and folders that you back up by using the Back Up Files wizard, or shadow copies—copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of a restore point."
  11. Whichever option you choose, PowerPoint will place an audio icon on the center of the slide, as shown in Figure 4, below.
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    Figure 4: Audio icon placed on slide


  13. You can use the Play button on the Player Controls bar below the audio icon, as shown in Figure 4, above. You can also set the audio to play automatically. To do so, select the audio clip icon so that the two contextual Audio Tool tabs of the Ribbon are visible. Click the Audio Tools Playback tab of the Ribbon to activate it, as shown in Figure 5, below.

  14. Figure 5: Audio Tools Playback tab of the Ribbon
  15. Contextual Tabs

  16. The Audio Tools Playback tab is a contextual tab. Contextual tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time. They only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
  17. This tab offers you different options to control the playback of the audio you have selected. Within the Audio Options group, locate the Start drop-down list, highlighted in red within Figure 6, below, and select the Automatically option. Doing so will make the selected audio play automatically when the slide containing it comes up in Slide Show mode.

  18. Figure 6: Automatically option selected within Start drop-down list
  19. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Audio in PowerPoint - Basics: Insert Audio (Sound) (Glossary Page)

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