Adding sound to a PowerPoint animation (if you must)

This content is 12 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Please don’t misunderstand me – nine times out of ten – clip-art, over-use of slide animations/transitions and sound effects in PowerPoint presentations are naff. No – worse than that – often completely unnecessary and, in some ways, reminding me of the early days of desktop publishing, when it seemed to be necessary to use 20 fonts on a single page… just because they were there

Thankfully these days (most) people have reined themselves in and seem to steer clear of the “embellishments”, maybe using a single transformation style throughout a whole deck and the occasional build, perhaps with the odd animation – and some decent stock images. Even so, I recently found myself wanting to use sound in a PowerPoint animation.

I could work out how to add the sound to the slide transition but these was nothing obvious for individual animation steps. After some googling, it turns out that the trick is to select the barely-noticable dropdown arrow on a custom animation, and then click Effect Options, after which the option to enhance the animation with sound will become visible. I was using PowerPoint 2007 – it might be different with other versions but, be warned, with great power comes great responsibility. Or something like that.

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