How To Play Audio in PowerPoint

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In this article you will find the range of options to play audio in PowerPoint . Learn how to change volume, play in specific slides, trigger audio etc.  This article is part of the series of tutorials on audio files in PowerPoint.

Yes, there are a lot more options to playback audio in PowerPoint than many presenters know. Let us start with going to the Playback tab in the PowerPoint ribbon. To get the tab you need to click on the audio icon on the slide

Audio Icon in PowerPoint Slide

 The options for playback are divided under two groups of tools called Audio Options and Audio Styles.

Audio options and Audio Styles Menu

Audio options and Audio Styles Menu
First, let us explore the group under ‘Audio options’ in Playback tab.

#1 Volume Option:

The first option is fairly straight forward. You can choose the level of volume at which you want the audio to play when you go to Slide Show mode.

Volume option in PowerPoint

Set the Volume
It helps to always keep it at ‘High’. You can always control the volume from your PC or speakers.

#2 : Play back option

You can choose to start playing the audio automatically when the slide appears in slide show mode or you can choose to play the audio on click.

Play back audio options

 Unless you use Presenter View or you provide an explicit visual cue on the previous slide – you may not be able to remember the slide with audio. So, to avoid being surprised by the sudden sound, it helps to choose ‘Play on click’ option always.

Note: When you use ‘Play on click’ option, keep the audio icon on the slide where you can easily locate the icon to click on. Don’t place the icon away from the slide area.

Here are 4 options in the audio options menu to choose the method to playback:

4 Audio Options in Playback
Play IconPlay across slides – This option ensures that your audio doesn’t stop playing after you move to the next slide. We will see how to determine the length of play a little later in this article.
Loop Till Stopped IconLoop until stopped – Keeps the audio looping until you stop playing the audio. This is an excellent option for reducing file size. You can keep looping a small music piece as background music, instead of inserting a long music piece and fatten the file size.
Hide IconHide during show – Hides the audio icon when the slideshow starts. If you have used ‘Play on click’ option earlier and you choose the option of ‘Hide during show’ – you won’t be able to see any icon to click on – to play the audio.  So, choose this option only for ‘Play automatically’ option
Rewind IconRewind after playing – Gets the audio file to the start when the audio finishes playing

#3 : Playing the audio for a fixed number of slides:

When you play audio across slides, it is not necessary that you need to play the audio for all the slides in your presentation. You can choose to limit the play till a fixed number of slides. We will the steps to achieve that here:

In the audio playback option, choose the play across slides option

Go to ‘Animation’ tab in PowerPoint ribbon and click on ‘Animation pane’ option:

Go to animation pane

 In the Animation pane, right click on the music loop and go to ‘Effect options’

Trigger Animation Effect Options

 In the dialog box that opens up you can define the starting and ending slides for audio playback.

Start and End Slides for Audio Playback

Related: Find more tutorials about using animations in PowerPoint right here.

#4 : Audio Styles option:

In the Playback ribbon, you also have the option to play the music in background.

Music in Background option

 ‘No style’ option allows you to reset all the changes you made to audio clips.

Thus, PowerPoint allows you to play the audio clips in the way you want to suit your specific requirements.

Infographic capturing all audio play options:

You can save the infographic below or pin it, to remember all the options for audio play available in PowerPoint.

Options to Play Audio Infographic

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