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Setting your slide show to music is perfect when the presentation will be self-running, or when you're not actually talking about the content. In previous chapters, we've already learned all the techniques you'll need, but because this is such a common practice, it's useful to bring the techniques altogether. If you'd like further information about any of these steps, please see the individual movies in this course. You do need to take copyright protection into consideration. If this slide show is for personal use, playing published music won't do any harm. But if your presentation is for business, you should ask for written permission to use the music.
When in doubt, royalty-free music can be found online. Your songs can be saved as WMA, WAV, MP3, AIFF, or any of the most common digital-music file formats. By default, the sound files are linked into your PowerPoint presentation, meaning that they're stored in their original locations on your hard drive and merely referenced. I recommend saving the sound files into the same folder as your PowerPoint file before you begin. Go up to the Insert Ribbon and choose Sound, at the far right. Navigate to intro_short. It's a WAV file.
I'll click on it and click OK. It asks me how I want to how the sound to start in the show, and I do want it to play automatically. A speaker appears in the center of the slide. Go ahead and drag it down to the lower right-hand corner. Go up to the Sound Tools and the Options tab. Where it says Play Sound Automatically, I'll drop this down and tell it to Play across slides. I'll put a check mark in front of Hide During Show so that the speaker icon doesn't appear on the slide. If you had one song and you wanted the music to repeat as long as the slide show runs, I would click Loop Until Stopped.
Now go to the Animations tab and click on the Custom Animation button on the left. A pane opens up on the right, and I can see my sound file. It's important that your sound file is the first animation to happen on the slide. On this slide, it's the only animation, so I'm in good shape. Now if I'm going to want to switch to another song after this song plays once, PowerPoint doesn't have a way to automatically start the second song after the first. You could open the songs in audio-editing software, string the tracks together consecutively, and then export them as one file.
If you don't have the ability to do that, you'll need to figure out where you'll be in the slide show when the first song ends. If you're not sure, go to a later slide instead of an earlier side, so that you don't cut off or overlap your music. I'll go to slide 4, and I'll repeat the same steps we did for the first song. I'll go to Insert, click on the Sound button, navigate to audio_short (also a WAV file), and click OK. I'll play the song automatically. I'll drag the speaker icon down to the lower right-hand corner.
I'll go to the Sound Tools > Options tab. I'll change Play Sound Automatically to Play across slides, and I'll hide the speaker icon. Now when I look at the Custom Animation pane on the right, I can see that this sound file came in after my content placeholder, meaning my bullets. So hold your cursor over your sound file, click on it, and drag up until you get a black line above your bulleted list. I'll let go. Now my sound file will be the first animation on the slide.
Now let's play our slide show. I'll go back to slide 1 and click on the Slideshow button. My first song will start, and I'm on my way. (music playing) Voila, the soundtrack! While there is no way to build an actual soundtrack, taking advantage of PowerPoint's sound techniques allow you to play the music right along with your content.
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