PowerPoint Tips: PowerPoint sound won’t play

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By Ellen Finkelstein

PowerPoint sound won’t play


Know the difference between linked and embedded sounds

The reason is usually because the sound was linked, not embedded. When the recipient opened the PowerPoint file, the audio file was missing, so it wouldn’t play. Some audio (whether narration, music or another sound) is linked and some is embedded:

*Linking means that the audio is in a file that is separate from your PowerPoint file. The PowerPoint file contains a link to the audio file.

*Embedding means that the audio is within the PowerPoint file. There is no separate file.

Advantages and disadvantages of linking and embedding

You don’t always have a choice, but when you do, you should consider which option is best for your needs.

Advantages Disadvantages
Linking Keeps file small; if you change the audio file, the presentation uses the updated file Requires access to the linked file; if the audio file is missing or moved, the sound doesn’t play
Embedding Ensures that the audio will play (usually) Makes the PowerPoint file larger, sometimes too big to e-mail; to change the audio file in the presentation, you have to delete the link and re-link to the new file.

What determines if you can embed a sound?

This post is excerpted with the permission of PowerPoint Tips.

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1 thought on “PowerPoint Tips: PowerPoint sound won’t play”

  1. I always embed because if I more the PowerPoint to a different folder or run it on a different computer, you are less likely to have problems.

    The disadvantage of files being too big to email can be overcome by using cloud storage like Dropbox, Box.net, or SkyDrive.

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