Inserting Audio

Use audio in PowerPoint presentations, from background music to sound effects. Learn all about the PowerPoint audio feature here.

Introduction

Video: Inserting Audio

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PowerPoint allows you to add audio to your presentation. For example, you could add background music to one slide, a sound effect to another, and even record your own narration or commentary. You can then edit the audio to customize it for your presentation.

Previously, you also had the option to add clip art audio from Office.com, but this service has been discontinued.

Optional: Download our practice presentation.

To insert audio from a file:

  1. From the Insert tab, click the Audio drop-down arrow, then select Audio on My PC.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Inserting audio from a file
  2. Locate and select the desired audio file, then click Insert.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting the desired audio file
  3. The audio file will be added to the slide.
The inserted clip art audio file
Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013

Recording your own audio

Sometimes you may want to record audio directly into a presentation. For example, you might want the presentation to include narration. Before you begin, make sure you have a microphone that is compatible with your computer; many computers have built-in microphones or ones that can be plugged in to the computer.

To record audio:

  1. From the Insert tab, click the Audio drop-down arrow, then select Record Audio.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Record Audio
  2. Type a name for the audio recording, if desired.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Renaming the audio recording
  3. Click the Record button to start recording.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Record button
  4. When you're finished recording, click the Stop button.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Stop button
  5. To preview your recording, click the Play button.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Previewing the recording
  6. When you're done, click OK. The audio file will be inserted into the slide.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The recorded audio file

Working with audio

To preview an audio file:

  1. Click an audio file to select it.
  2. Click the Play/Pause button below the audio file. The sound will begin playing, and the timeline next to the Play/Pause button will advance.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Playing an audio file
  3. To jump to a different part of the file, click anywhere on the timeline.

To move an audio file:

To delete an audio file:

Editing audio

You can modify your audio files using the commands on the Playback tab. For example, if you add a song to a slide you can trim it to play only a brief section. You can also add a fade in and fade out, and add bookmarks that allow you to jump to specific points in the audio file.

To trim an audio file:

  1. Select the audio file, then click the Playback tab on the Ribbon.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Playback tab
  2. Click the Trim Audio command.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Trim Audio command
  3. A dialog box will appear. Use the green handle to set the start time and the red handle to set the end time.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Setting the start and end time
  4. To preview the audio file, click the Play button.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Play button to preview the changes
  5. Adjust the handles again if necessary, then click OK.

To add a fade in and fade out:

  1. On the Playback tab, locate the Fade In: and Fade Out: fields.
  2. Type the desired values, or use the up and down arrows to adjust the times.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Adding a Fade In and Fade Out

To add a bookmark:

  1. Click the timeline to locate the desired part of the audio file.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting the desired location in the audio file
  2. From the Playback tab, click the Add Bookmark command.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Add Bookmark command
  3. The bookmark will appear on the timeline. Click the bookmark to jump to that location.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The added bookmark

Audio options

There are other options you can set to control how your audio file will play. These are found in the Audio Options group on the Playback tab.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The Audio Options group

To change the audio icon:

By default, an audio file will appear as a speaker icon in the slide. If you want, you can change the icon to a different picture.

  1. Select the audio file, then click the Format tab.
  2. Click the Change Picture command.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Change Picture command
  3. The Insert Pictures dialog box will appear. Click Browse to select a file from your computer. Alternatively, you can use the online image search tools to locate an image online. In our example, we'll click Browse.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Browse
  4. Locate and select the desired picture, then click Insert.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting the desired picture
  5. The icon will change to the new picture.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The updated audio icon

For information on corrections, color adjustments, borders, shapes, and effects, check out our lesson on Formatting Pictures.

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use our practice presentation.
  2. Insert a sound from a file from your computer, if you have one.
  3. Preview the audio file.
  4. Trim the audio file.
  5. Add a fade in and fade out.
  6. Experiment with the different Audio Options on the Playback tab.
  7. If your computer has a microphone, record some audio for a slide.
  8. Change the picture for one of the audio files.