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For Seniors: How to Add a Musical Soundtrack to a PowerPoint Presentation

As your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation plays, you may want to play music in the background. PowerPoint enables you to load an audio CD on the PC that’s being used to show the presentation and play the CD in synchronization with the presentation.

Musical soundtracks work best for self-running presentations — that is, those presentations where the slides are set to advance automatically after a certain number of seconds. In a presentation with a live speaker manually advancing the slides, that live speaker is probably also speaking to the audience, and the speech can interfere with the music (and vice versa).

To set up an audio CD track, follow these steps:

  1. Select the first slide in the presentation, or the slide on which the music should start playing.

  2. Insert the audio CD in your computer’s CD drive.

  3. On the Insert tab, click the down arrow below the Sound button, displaying a menu.

  4. Click Play CD Audio Track.

    The Insert CD Audio dialog box opens.

  5. Enter track numbers in the Start at Track and End at Track list boxes.

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  6. (Optional) To have the chosen song(s) repeat if the presentation runs longer than the song, select the Loop Until Stopped check box.

  7. Select the Hide Sound Icon during Slide Show check box.

  8. Click OK.

    A prompt asks whether you want the music to play automatically or when clicked.

  9. Click Automatically.

    At this point, the music is attached to the first slide in the presentation. The rest of the steps here are necessary to make the music continue to play after you move past the first slide.

  10. Display the Custom Animation task pane (by choosing Animations→Custom Animation).

  11. Double-click the CD Audio animation in the task pane.

    The Play Audio CD dialog box opens.

  12. In the Stop Playing Clip section, select the After xx Slides radio button and then type 999 in the field.

  13. Click OK.

  14. Check your work by viewing the presentation in Slide Show view (by choosing View→Slide Show).

    The music you pick isn’t stored with the presentation: the music is linked to it. If you show this presentation on some other PC, you must have the same audio CD available on that PC, or the music won’t play.

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