Google Slides is a remarkable tool for combining images and text to create engaging digital lessons.  Add sound to your Google slides to add more depth and personalize your classroom experience.  Students can use sound to narrate their slide projects.

Allowed file formats for Google Slides

Google slides support MP3 and WAV file formats. Try not to be intimidated if you are unfamiliar with using or creating these files.  We’ll cover where to find legal audio files later in this article.  Or, consider creating your own audio files.  Your students will appreciate hearing your voice during the lesson.

How to insert an audio file in a Google slide

Save the audio file to your Google Drive

The first step is to upload your audio file.  Follow these steps to save the file to your Google Drive.

  • Login to your Google account and visit Google Drive.
  • In the upper-left corner, click New and select File Upload.
  • Browse and select your MP3 or WAV file.
  • Click Open to upload your file.
Save the audio file to your Google Drive

Share your audio file 

This step is important if you plan to share your slideshow with others. If you forget to share the audio file, your audience may not have access to hear your music or voice.

  • From Google Drive, select the audio file to share.
  • Click the Share icon in the toolbar.
  • Under the Get Link area click the Share with option.
  • Change the access permission from Restricted to Anyone with the link.
  • Click the Done button to close the share options.
Share your audio file

Open or create a Google Slide file

  • Open your existing Google Slide or visit http://slides.new to quickly create a new presentation file.

Insert audio file

  • Go to the slide you want to insert the audio file.
  • From the menu click Insert and select Audio.
  • In Google Drive, select your audio file.  (You can search for your file or find it under Recent if you just uploaded it.)
  • Click Select to insert your audio file.

Google Slide Audio Format Options

The audio format options will open when you insert your file.  But, you can find the format options later.  With your audio icon selected, click the Format menu and select Format options.

These options control how the audio play button looks and acts on the slide.

Category Format Option Description
Audio playback Start playing Control if the audio starts playing after the play icon is clicked or automatically when a slide opens.
  Volume A slider from 0 to 100 controls the volume of the audio file.  

Unless the inserted audio is VERY loud, I suggest keeping this set to 100.  They can control the volume using their device volume.

  Hide icon when presenting This option is only available if Start playing is set to automatically play.  This will hide the audio icon.
  Loop audio Select this option to repeat your audio after it ends.  This is handy when using the audio file as background music.
  Stop on slide change Select this option to prevent the audio file from playing across multiple slides.
Size & Rotation Size Control the width and height of the audio icon.
  Lock aspect ratio Select this option to ensure the width and height change proportionally.
  Rotate Use these options to rotate or flip the audio icon.
Position From Orientate the position either from the top-left corner or center of the screen.
  X & Y Inches along the X & Y axis to position the audio icon.
Recolor Recolor Use the recolor dropdown to change the play button to match your slideshow theme.
Adjustments Transparency This slider is from 0% to 100% and controls how transparent the play button is displayed.  Setting this to 100% will make the play button invisible.
  Brightness This slider is from -100% to +100% and controls the image contrast for the play button.  Generally, leave that at the default of 0%.
Drop shadow Enable/Disable Select this option to enable the drop shadow on the play button.
  Color Select the drop shadow color.
  Transparency This slider is from 0% to 100% and controls how transparent the play button drop shadow is displayed. 
  Angle This slider is from 0° to 359° and controls the angle of the drop shadow radiates from the play button.
  Distance This slider is from 0 to 100 and controls far the drop shadow is from the play button.  Generally, you want this at a low number such as 3 to 5.
  Blur Radius This slider is from 0 to 100 and controls how “fuzzy” the drop shadow looks.
Reflection Enable/Disable Control if the play button has a reflection under the play button.
  Transparency This slider is from 0% to 100% and controls how transparent the play button reflection is displayed. 
  Distance This slider is from 0 to 100 and controls far the reflection is from the play button.  Generally, you want this at a low number such as 3 to 5.
  Size This slider is from 1 to 100 and controls how much of the play button is reflected.

Background Music in Google Slides

Audio can be used as background music in your slide show. Here are steps to add background music to your Google Slideshow.

  • Insert your audio file from your computer or Google Drive on the first slide of your presentation.
  • If not already open, open the Format options by clicking the Format menu and selecting Format options.
  • Under Audio playback set the Start playing