Add sound effects to an animation

Add sound effects

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Add sound effects to your presentation in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2013. Set them to start and stop when you want them to, and add multiple sounds to animations.

Combine animation effects

When you are working with multiple animation effects to a single object or slide, we recommend using the Animation Pane. Click ANIMATIONS > Advanced Animation > Animation Pane to open it.

  1. Click the thing on your slide that you want to animate.

  2. On the ANIMATIONS tab, use the Animation gallery or Add Animation to apply an effect to the object that you clicked.

  3. Click Add Animation to add another effect. If you don’t use Add Animation, you won’t add a new effect, but instead will change the effect you have already applied.

  4. Use the Animation Pane to change the order of the effects, and the Timing group on the ANIMATIONS tab to coordinate when each effect starts and how long it lasts.

    • At Start, choose With Previous to run an effect at the same time as another. Choose After Previous to start an effect when another one finishes.

  5. To watch how it all works together, click Preview on the ANIMATIONS tab.

An important tip

Animation is fun, but can become too much of a good thing. Many presentation experts recommend using animations and sound effects sparingly, because too much can be distracting. You don’t want people to ignore you because they are watching things move instead.

Want more?

Animate pictures, clip art, text, and other objects

Trigger an animation effect

Design motion paths

Imagine you have the perfect sound effects for an animation, but you are unsure how to add them.

For instance, here is an animation: a flying witch.

I want to add a witch’s laugh to the animation.

And to play an eerie tune.

How would I add these sounds to the flying witch? Let’s step through it.

I have clicked the ANIMATIONS tab, so that we can work with the animation effect.

Now, I’ll Zoom Out in order to show the margins around the slide.

The animation effect is this motion path.

It's applied to the witch graphic.

I’ll click Preview to play the effect again.

The witch enters the slide frame from the bottom right corner and exits out the top left corner.

To add the witch’s laugh, we’ll click Animation Pane, and add the sound to the motion path effect.

In the pane, this item represents the motion path effect that is applied.

This little icon indicates that it is a straight-line motion path, applied to Picture 2, the witch graphic.

To work with options for the motion path, we select it in the pane, click this arrow to display its menu, and click Effect Options.

To make a sound play with the motion path, we click the arrow next to the Sound box.

Currently, no sound is applied. I can apply one of the built-in sounds, or choose Other Sound to select a file of my own.

This sound file, Cackle.wav, is the witch’s laugh. I’ll select it and click OK.

The sound immediately plays, a little preview.

And I see that the sound file is now selected in the Sound box.

I’ll click OK.

Let’s click Play All to see a preview.

The flying witch now has a laugh.

The laughing sound is part of the motion path effect and plays when the motion path plays.

I can apply only one sound directly to the motion path.

To add the second sound, the background music, we’ll use another method.

We click INSERT, then Audio, and Audio on My PC.

Here’s the sound file I want, Eerie music.wav. I’ll select it, and click Insert.

When I insert a sound file by itself, it is treated as an animation effect, and the effect appears in the Animation Pane.

The file itself gets inserted, with a playbar, in the middle of the slide — I’ll move it down, so we can see it better.

If we look closely at the effect, over in the pane, we see this mouse icon, which means the music is set to play when I click the playbar.

I’ll click Play All for a preview.

The witch and her laugh play immediately, but I have to click Play to start the background music.

Instead, I want it to start by itself and play along with the other effects.

To change how the music starts, I select the sound icon, and under AUDIO TOOLS, click PLAYBACK.

Next to Start, I’ll click the arrow and change On Click to Automatically.

Now, in the Animation Pane, the sound effect has a clock icon, which means it will start on its own, but after the preceding effect.

We’ll click its arrow and change the Start After Previous setting to Start With Previous.

All effects will now play together. Let’s close the Animation Pane.

The final thing we’ll do is select the sound icon and drag it off the slide, since we don’t need to click it to start the music.

Let’s have a look at the animation in Slide Show view.

With the new sounds, our haunted scene is complete.

For more information, see the course summary, and experiment on your own.

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