How to Insert Audio Clips in PowerPoint 2010

By Geetesh Bajaj

When you insert an audio clip into a PowerPoint slide, you can control its volume, set it to play looped, or even hide the audio icon. These are some of the advanced options available for any inserted audio clip in PowerPoint. Remember that these advanced options only exist so that you can use them when they are required, rather than using them just because they exist!

Let me now explore these options:

  1. Open your presentation, and navigate to the required  slide where you have already inserted an audio clip. Select or double-click the audio clip to bring up the two contextual Audio Tools tabs in the Ribbon. These two tabs are Format and  Playback — click the Playback tab to activate it, as shown  highlighted in red within Figure 1.Fig 1 Geetesh March
    Figure 1: Audio Tools Playback tab of the Ribbon2. Within the Audio Tools Playback tab, locate the Audio Options group, as shown in Figure 2.

Fig 2ab Geetesh march

Figure 2: Advanced audio options within the Audio Tools Playback tab

Within this group you’ll find the advanced audio options. Let us explore them as marked in Figure 2 above:

A. Volume:  This button enables you to set the volume for your audio clip. Click the downward arrow within the Volume button to open the Volume drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 3. Within the Volume drop-down gallery choose one of the following options: Low, Medium, High, and Mute.

Figure 3 Geetesh March

Figure 3: Volume drop-down gallery

Note that you are restricted to set the volume at only the Low, Medium and High levels within the Volume drop-down gallery. On the other hand, you can set the volume to whichever level you want by clicking on the Volume button on the Player Controls bar below the actual audio clip on the slide, as shown in the bottom right of Figure 4, below.

Figure 4 Geetesh march

Figure 4: Volume button in the Player Controls bar

B. Start: Here you can specify how you want your audio to start during your presentation. Click the Start list to bring up a drop-down list, as shown in Figure 5.

figure 5 Geetesh march

Figure 5: Start drop-down list

There are three options within the Start drop-down list:

1) Automatically: Play your audio when the slide (containing the audio) appears in Slide Show view, automatically.

2 ) On Click: Plays your audio by clicking on the audio itself in Slide Show view.

3) Play across slides: Plays your audio across the slide. You can learn more about this option in our Sound Across Slides in PowerPoint 2010  tutorial.

C. Loop until Stopped: Plays your audio repeatedly and continuously when the  active slide is shown.

D. Hide During Show: Select this check-box to hide your audio clip graphic in Slide Show view. This option makes sense       only if you set the Start option for the audio to be Automatically or Play across Slides. On the other hand, if you choose On  Click, you should never pair that with selecting the Hide During Show check-box — if you do so, you won’t be able to see anything you can click!

E. Rewind after Playing: Select this check-box to rewind your audio once it has played during your presentation. This can be useful if you need to play an audio clip more than once while you are still presenting the same slide which contains that audio clip.

3. Choose options based on your requirements. Make sure  you save your presentation.

About the Author:

Geetesh Bajaj has been designing and training with PowerPoint for 15 years and is a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional.) He heads Indezine (  a presentation design studio and content development organization based in Hyderabad, India. The site attracts more than a million page views each month and has thousands of free PowerPoint templates and other goodies for visitors to download. He also runs another PowerPoint-related site ( that provides designer PowerPoint templates.


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