On Adding Audio (e.g. MP3 files) To Your PowerPoint 2003 Presentation

On Adding Audio (e.g. MP3 files) To Your PowerPoint 2003 Presentation
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How To Add Audio From A File To Your PowerPoint

This is the third in a series of articles on how to add “audio” (music or speech) to your PowerPoint presentations. The articles are designed for those of us who use PowerPoint 2000/2003 and who have neither the desire nor need to change to PowerPoint 2007.

In this article, we assume you want to play music from an audio file (such as an MP3 file) as background music to your presentation.

In the simplest case, you want the music to start playing from the first slide when the presentation begins and continue playing until the presentation ends.

Here’s how you can do this:

Open your presentation in PowerPoint; the first slide should be displayed. If you want the music to start from a different slide, just go to that slide.

From the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on Insert > Movies and Sounds > Sound from File…

(To see a larger view of any image, click on the image)

This should bring up a box similar to the following:


Navigate, if necessary, to the folder containing the file you want to use. Select the file and click OK. Note: PowerPoint lets you use music stored in almost all common file formats such as MIDI (.mid), MP3 (.mp3) and WAVE (.wav).

When you click OK, the following will appear:


If you choose “Automatically”, the music will start as soon as you begin your presentation. If you choose “When Clicked”, the music will start when you click on the “sound icon” that will be placed on your slide (see below). This allows you to choose exactly when you want the music to start.

For now, assume you choose “Automatically”. The following icon (shown selected) will be placed on your slide. You can resize it or drag it to any convenient position on the slide.


You are now ready to view your presentation. Press F5 (or select Slide Show > View Show) from the menu bar. The first slide comes up and the music starts to play.

Suppose you advance to the next slide by clicking the mouse. Surprise! Surprise! The music stops. Not quite what we wanted, is it?

How to play the music for all slides

Why did the music stop when we advanced to the next slide? To see why and to fix the problem, do the following:

Stop the presentation (right-click the mouse on the slide and choose “End Show”); this takes you back into Edit mode. Right-click on the sound icon and choose “Custom Animation…” (You can also choose it from the Slide Show menu: Slide Show > Custom Animation…) This will bring up the following box on the right of your screen (the name of your file will be displayed):


Click on the drop-down arrow in the box with the file name (it appears just above the white rectangular area) and choose “Effect Options…” from the options that appear. This brings up the following:


At the top of the dialog box, there are three tabs: Effect, Timing and Sound Settings. Click on the Effect tab if it is not already selected. Now we see the reason why the music stopped when we clicked on the mouse to go to the next slide. Here it says Stop playing On click. Now that we know the reason why the music stopped, we now show how to fix it.

Suppose your presentation has 10 slides. Select the radio button next to After and use the “up” arrow so that the box reads “10”. (You could also type ‘10’ in the box.)


Now the music will stop after 10 slides – the end of the presentation.

Note: if the presentation is longer than the length of the music chosen, the music will stop before the presentation ends. If you want the music to repeat, you must select the “Timing” tab in the above box. This will display:


Click in the “Repeat” box and select how many times you want the music to repeat.

In our next article, How To Voice Your PowerPoint Slides With A Recording, we will explain how to get your presentation to ‘voice’ text printed on your slides.

This post is part of the series: How To Add Audio To PowerPoint 2000/2003 Presentations

Ever wondered how to get your presentations to talk and sing? Welcome to a series of articles on how to add “audio” (music or speech) to your presentations. These articles are designed primarily for those who use PowerPoint 2000/2003 but the principles are all applicable to other versions.

  1. Getting Started With PowerPoint 2003 Audio
  2. Adding CD Audio to PowerPoint 2000/2003 Presentations
  3. Adding File Audio to PowerPoint 2000/2003 Presentations
  4. How to ‘Voice’ Your PowerPoint Slides with a Recording
  5. Play Voice Recordings Automatically and Across Slides in PowerPoint
  6. How To Create A Self-Running Presentation in PowerPoint 2000/2003
  7. How To Control When Elements Appear In PowerPoint 2000/2003