How to Add Music to PowerPoint Presentations

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Microsoft PowerPoint allows you to add different types of multimedia content. Music is just one more content type you can add to catch attention. Before you start adding music to your PowerPoint presentations though, do remember that not all types of music and even not every sound effect may be suitable for your presentation. 

As a general rule for creating engaging PowerPoint presentations, always tailor your presentation around the content and not the other way around.

Let’s learn how to add music to your PowerPoint slides and then customize the music file with the playback controls in the PowerPoint Ribbon. 

Here are a few things you should know before you upload the first music file: 

  • You can add one or several audio files to your slides. 
  • You can download a song or a music file from the internet and then insert it in your slides.
  • You can record your own voice and add it as a narration to your presentation. 
  • You must use an external audio editor to string together multiple music files when you want to cover a long presentation. 
  • PowerPoint supports WAV, WMA, MP3, and a few other file formats. 

In this article, we won’t talk about adding audio narration to PowerPoint. Instead, let’s look at how to add music to your PowerPoint presentation with a sound file of your choice. 

Add Music To Your PowerPoint Presentation

Adding music to PowerPoint slides is just like uploading any other file type.

  • Go to the Ribbon > Insert tab. In the Media group, select Audio > Audio on My PC.
  • Browse to the location of the audio file on your desktop and upload it. An icon represents the sound file on the slide. You can drag and position it anywhere.
  • The Audio Tools Playback tab appears on the Ribbon as soon as the file is uploaded on the slide. You can also select the icon of the audio file in the Normal slide view and display the Audio Tools Playback Tab.
  • Click the Preview button to test the playback. 

Customize The Music With The Audio Tools Playback Tab

By default, the Audio Style is automatically set to No Style.

You can select Play in Background. Play in Background makes the audio file start automatically during a slide show and also play across multiple slides.

There are three ways to start the playback. 

  • Automatically: The music starts automatically when the slide appears.
  • When Clicked On: The music only plays when you click on the audio icon. For this to work, uncheck the Hide During Show option to reveal the icon in the presentation view. 
  • In Click Sequence: The music plays when triggered with other effects you’ve configured on the slide (such as animation effects).

The other choices like Volume, Play Across Slides, Loop until Stopped, and Rewind After Playing are all self-explanatory. 

How To Trim Your Music Clip

The Editing group on the Playback tab gives you a few ways to change the way your music file will sound. You can add Fade effects with the Fade In and Fade Out timers to gradually introduce the sound clip in your presentation. 

Trim Audio is another editing tool that can snip away the unwanted parts of a sound clip and keep the section you want to play. Click the button to open the Trim Audio box. 

Click the Play button. When the playhead reaches the point where you want to make the cut, click the Pause button. Make tiny adjustments with the Next Frame and Previous Frame buttons if required. You can, of course, scrub the playhead to the desired position too. 

Drag the green marker (at the start of the clip) to the marker position. To trim the end of the clip, drag the red marker on the right to the new point where you want to end it. 

Instead of dragging the markers, you can also note the time of the end points and then enter it in the Start and End time boxes. 

When you save the presentation, the trimmed information is saved in the file. You can also save a separate copy of the trimmed music file outside PowerPoint too.

How To Add Bookmarks To An Audio File

You can also use bookmarks to make your music file work. Bookmarks work just like any other bookmarks. They are more useful when you use video files in your PowerPoint or narrated audio files. 

But you can put them to a few creative uses while playing music too. For instance, you can use a bookmark on an audio file to trigger a new animation like an entrance slide or a transition effect. 

Adding a bookmark is simple from the Playback tab. 

  • On the slide, select the audio clip and click Play. When you reach the point where you want to add the bookmark, click Pause
  • In the Bookmarks group, click on Add Bookmark. A yellow dot on the playhead shows the position of the selected bookmark. A white dot is an unselected bookmark.
  • You can add multiple bookmarks. To remove a bookmark, select the one you want to remove and hit the Remove Bookmark button on the toolbar. 

When You Want 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 Audio Format tab.
  2. Click the Change Picture command.
  3. Use the dropdown to select a file from the choice of sources. 
  4. Click Insert to swap the default icon for the new picture. 

Play The Perfect Audio For Your Presentation

You can add different sound effects to different slides. Start with a cool background intro music, or add a tiny sound effect to one slide, or just record your own commentary. 

You can consider using songs or an instrumental score to your slides when you want to convert PowerPoint into a video. 

But do remember that these media shouldn’t overpower the content of your presentation. Every rule of effective presentations says that it’s important to know what to leave out as well as what music to add into your PowerPoint slides. 

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