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Video presentations and PowerPoints (for Mac)

Record audio narration for your PowerPoint presentation

You can record narration for a presentation right within PowerPoint.
To record and play back sound, your computer must have a sound card, microphone, and speakers. Make sure that you aren’t running any other sound-recording applications, such as Speech Recognition, while you are recording.

Note: You can download a PDF of the audio narration instructions for offline use.

Record audio and add it to a slide

  1. In the navigation pane, select the slide that you want to add sound to.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Audio, and then select Record Audio. The Record Sound dialog box opens.
  3. To start recording, activate Record.
  4. When you are finished, select Stop.
  5. To listen to the sound that you just recorded, activate Play.
  6. In the Name box, type a name for the sound, and then select Insert. An audio icon appears on the slide.

Set the playback options

  1. On the slide, select the audio clip icon.
  2. On the PowerPoint ribbon, on the Playback tab, do the following, as needed:
    • Determine when the audio clip should start playing: In the Start list, select Automatically or When Clicked.
    • To play an audio clip continuously until stopped (rather than just playing once), select Loop Until Stopped. (Used alone, this option means the looping sound lasts while the slide it resides on is being shown. When Loop Until Stopped is used in tandem with Play Across Slides, the looping sound continues throughout the presentation).
    • To play the audio clip as you present through the slides in your presentation, select Play Across Slides.
    • Select Hide During Show if you want the audio icon to be invisible during Slide Show.

Preview audio

On the slide, select the audio icon, and then activate the Play/Pause button beneath the audio icon.

Hide the audio icon

  1. Select the audio clip icon.
  2. On the PowerPoint ribbon, on the Playback tab, select the Hide During Show check box.

Important: Use this option only if you set the audio clip to play automatically.

Note: that the audio icon is always visible unless you drag it off the slide.

These instructions are modified from the Microsoft Office support page.

Turn your presentation into a video

When you make a recording of a presentation, all its elements (narration, animation, pointer movements, timings, and so on) are saved in the presentation itself. In essence, the presentation becomes a video that your audience can watch in PowerPoint.

After you’ve created your slides and recorded any timing and narrations and laser pointer gestures that you want to include, you’re ready to create a video file.

Note: You can download a PDF of the converting to video instructions for offline use.

Save as a video file (Windows)

  1. On the File menu, select Save to ensure all your recent work has been saved in PowerPoint presentation format (.pptx).
  2. Select File > Export > Create a Video. (Or, on the Recording tab of the ribbon, activate Export to Video.)
  3. In the first drop-down box under the Create a Video heading, select the video quality you want, which pertains to the resolution of the finished video. The higher the video quality, the larger the file size. (You may want to test them to determine which one meets your needs.)
  4. The second drop-down box under the Create a Video heading tells whether your presentation includes narration and timings. (You may switch this setting if you like.)
    • If you haven’t recorded timed narration, by default the value is Don’t Use Recorded Timings and Narrations.
    • The default time spent on each slide is 5 seconds. You can change that timing in the Seconds to spend on each slide box. To the right of the box, activate the up arrow to increase the duration, or activate the down arrow to decrease the duration.
    • If you have recorded a timed narration, by default the value is Use Recorded Timings and Narrations.
  5. Activate Create Video.
  6. In the File name box, enter a file name for the video, browse for the folder that will contain this file, and then activate Save.
  7. In the Save as type box, choose either MPEG-4 Video or Windows Media Video. You can track the progress of the video creation by looking at the status bar at the bottom of your screen. The video creation process can take up to several hours depending on the length of the video and the complexity of the presentation.
    • Tip: For a long video, you can set it up to be created overnight. That way, it’ll be ready for
      you the following morning.
  8. To play your newly-created video, go to the designated folder location, and then double-select the file.

How to export your presentation as a video (Mac)*

  1. Select File > Export.
  2. On the File Format menu, select the video format that you want (MP4 or MOV).
  3. Select the video quality you want: Presentation Quality, Internet Quality, or Low Quality. The higher the video quality, the larger the file size.
  4. If you have recorded timings and want to use them in the video you create from your presentation, make sure the box next to Use Recorded Timings and Narrations is checked. You can also choose to set the amount of time the video will spend on each slide if you don’t have a set timing.
  5. When you’ve made all your selections, choose Export.

*This feature is only available to Office 365 subscribers. If you have an Office 365 subscription, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Note: When you export your presentation as a video, any narrated audio that was recorded in Slide Show will play, but other embedded media files won’t play.

After you’ve saved your presentation as a video, you can share it just as you would any other video, by using applications or devices that can open and play videos.

These instructions are modified from the Microsoft Office support page.

Microsoft Office support for Mac can be found here.

Content reviewed May 2023

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