Record a slide show with narration and slide timings

Applies to: PowerPoint for Office 365, PowerPoint for Office 365 for Mac, PowerPoint for the web, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2019 for Mac, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010, PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, PowerPoint for Mac 2011.

Narrations and timings can develop a web-based or self-running slide show. If you own a sound card, microphone, and speakers, and (optionally) a webcam, you can record your PowerPoint presentation and utilise narrations, slide timings, and ink gestures.

Once you have made the recording, it’s similar to any other presentation that can be played for you or your audience in Slide Show—or you can save the presentation as a video file.

(The ability to record is available both to Office 365 subscribers and non-subscribers. Subscribers get a few extra features.)

Office 365 for Windows

  1. Switch on the Recording tab of the ribbon: On the File tab of the ribbon, press Options. In the Options dialogue box, pick the Customise Ribbon tab on the left. Then, in the right-hand box that shows the available ribbon tabs, click the Recording checkbox. Press OK.
The Customize Ribbon tab of the PowerPoint 2016 Options dialog box has an option to add the Recording tab to the PowerPoint ribbon.

  1. To get ready to record, choose Record Slide Show on either the Recording tab or the Slide Show tab of the ribbon.
  • Pressing the upper half of the button starts you on the existing slide.
  • Selecting the lower half of the button offers you the option to start from the beginning or from the present slide.
The Record Slide Show commands on the Recording Tab in PowerPoint.

(The Clear command erases narrations or timings, so be mindful when you use it. Clear is greyed out unless you have previously recorded some slides.)

  1. The slideshow appears in the Recording window (which looks similar to Presenter view), with buttons at the top left for starting, pausing, and stopping the recording. Press the round, red button (or press R on your keyboard) anytime you are ready to start the recording. A three-second countdown initiates, then the recording starts.
  • The current slide is displayed in the main pane of the Recording window.
  • You can cease the recording any time by pressing Alt+S on your keyboard.
  • Navigation arrows on both sides of the current slide enable you to switch to the previous and next slides.
  • PowerPoint for Office 365 autonomously records how long you spend on each slide, such as any Animate text or objects steps that occur, and any triggers applied on each slide.
  • You can record audio or video narration as you pass through your presentation. The buttons at the lower-right corner of the window enable you to toggle on or off the microphone, camera, and camera preview:
On/off buttons for the microphone, camera, and camera previewing window

If you use the pen, highlighter, or eraser, PowerPoint logs those actions for playback also.

Inking tools in the Recording window

If you re-record your narration (including audio and ink), PowerPoint erases your last recorded narration (including audio and ink) prior to you start recording again on the same slide. You can also re-record by selecting Slide Show > Record Slide Show.

  1. You can choose a pointer tool (pen, eraser, or highlighter) from the array of tools right under the current slide. There are also colour selection boxes for altering the colour of the ink. (Eraser is grayed out unless you have previously added ink to some slides.)
  1. To stop your recording, pick the square Stop button (or press S on your keyboard).

After you finish recording your narration, a small picture emerges in the lower-right corner of the recorded slides. The picture is an audio icon, or, if the web camera was activated during the recording, a still image from the webcam.

Sound icon

The recorded slideshow timing is saved by default. (In Slide Sorter view, the timings are listed beneath each slide.)

In this process, what you record is linked in each slide, and the recording can be played back in Slide Show. A video file is not formed by this recording process. However, should you require one, you can save your presentation as a video with a few extra steps.

Preview the recorded slideshow

On the Slide Show tab, choose From Beginning or From Current Slide.

During playback, your animations, inking actions, audio and video will play in sync.

Shows the "from beginning" button on the slide show tab in PowerPoint

Preview the recorded sound

In the Recording window, the triangular Play button by the top left corner gives you a preview of the recording of the slide that currently has the focus in that window.

Start, Stop, and Play buttons in the Recording window

In Normal view, pick the sound icon or picture in the lower-right corner of the slide, and then press Play. (When you preview individual audio in this way, you won’t see recorded animation or inking.)

Click Play

You can pause playback while previewing the audio.

Set the slide timings manually

PowerPoint for Office 365 autonomously records your slide timings when you insert narrations, or you can manually set the slide timings to accompany your narrations.

  1. In Normal view, choose the slide that you want to set the timing for.
  1. On the Transitions tab, in the Timing group, under Advance Slide, pick the After checkbox, and then state the number of seconds that you want the slide to appear on the screen. Repeat the process for whichever slides that you want to set the timing for.

If you want the next slide to appear either when you click the mouse or automatically after the number of seconds that you enter — whichever comes first — select both the On Mouse Click and the After checkboxes.

You can apply manual slide timings to the trim the end of a recorded slide segment. For example, if the end of a slide segment concludes with two seconds of unnecessary audio, simply set the timing for advancing to the next slide so that it happens before the unnecessary audio. Effectively, this saves you time from having to re-record that entire audio.

Delete timings or narration

The Clear command is for erasing unnecessary or irrelevant timings or narration from your recording.

In the Recording window, the Clear command in the top margin of the window enables you to:

  • Clear recordings on the current slide
  • Clear recordings on all slides

In Normal view, there are four different Clear commands that allow you to:

  • Delete the timings on the currently selected slide
  • Delete the timings on all slides at once
  • Delete the narration on the currently selected slide
  • Delete the narration on all slides at once
  1. If you only want to delete some of the timings or narration in your presentation, click a specific slide that has a timing or narration that you do want to delete.
  1. On the Recording tab of the PowerPoint for Office 365 ribbon, on the Record Slide Show button, select the down arrow, point to Clear, and then pick the appropriate Clear command for your situation.
The Clear commands on the Record Slide Show menu button in PowerPoint.

Turn off timings or turn off narrations, and ink

Once you’ve recorded your PowerPoint for Office 365 presentation, any timings, gestures, and audio you conducted are saved on the individual slides. Yet, you can deactivate each of them if you want to view the slideshow without them:

  • To turn off recorded slide timings: On the Slide Show tab, clear the Use Timings box.
  • To turn off recorded narrations and ink: On the Slide Show tab, clear the Play Narrations box.

Publish the recording to share it with others

After you’ve edited the recording to your heart’s content, you can share it with others by publishing to Microsoft Stream.

  1. With the presentation open, on the Recording tab, click Publish to Stream.
  1. Enter a title and a description for the video.
  1. Define other options, such as whether you want others in your organisation to have permission to see the video:
Options for publishing a video to Microsoft Stream

  1. Choose the Publish button.

The upload process can take many minutes, based on the video’s duration. A status bar at the bottom of the PowerPoint window records the progress, and PowerPoint displays a message once the upload is finished:

PowerPoint notifies you when the upload is finished
  1. Choose the message to instantly reach the video playback page on Microsoft Stream.

Create closed captions

To make your video more accessible by adding closed captions, select from these options, which are described in separate Help articles:

After you have a closed-caption file, you can add it to your video file by using PowerPoint.

See also

Turn your presentation into a video

Create a self-running presentation

Animate text or objects

Recording tips

  • Recordings are added to the presentation on a per-slide basis, so if you want to change a recording, you only have to re-record the affected slide or slides. Also, you can rearrange the order of slides after recording without having to re-record anything. This also means it’s easy to pause for a break while recording a presentation.
  • PowerPoint doesn’t record audio or video during transitions between slides, so don’t speak while advancing the slide. Also, include a brief buffer of silence at the beginning and the end of each slide to make the transitions smooth and ensure that you don’t cut off audible narration while transitioning from one slide to the next.
  • You can’t record narration in PowerPoint for the web. Use a desktop version of PowerPoint to record your narration.
  • You can adjust and edit the size of video and ink in edit view.
  • If it’s possible that your audience may use PowerPoint for the web to experience the recording, use the transitions that are supported by PowerPoint for the web (Cut, Fade, Push, Wipe, Split, Random Bars, Shape, Morph).
  • Presentation recording works best with touch-screen PCs that have a web camera.
  • Use video preview to make sure everything is set up correctly before recording.
  • For slides that you want to record gestures (such as ink) on, make multiple copies of the slide so that you can easily record multiple takes. Then delete the extraneous slides when you’re done.
  • Record a few seconds of silence by turning off audio and video to advance after a set time.
  • For higher quality, use an external web cam and/or microphone.Built-in cameras and microphones are suitable for most tasks. But if you want more professional-looking video, consider using an external web cam, if you’re able. If you’re using PowerPoint on a tablet or laptop and you’re inking with a stylus, an external camera and microphone allows you to minimise stylus noise.
  • As soon as you finish your first slide recording, play it back.Before you get too far down the road of recording your presentation, make sure your audio and video sound and look the way you expect.

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