Adding Audio to Play on a Set of Google Slides

Not long ago, Google finally added the functionality of adding audio to Google Slides for all users.  And, not long thereafter, we started asking for improvements! 😬  Hey, it’s what we do! 😃

In this post, I’m going to share with you a hack to get the most asked for improvement.  It’s not an elegant hack (that’s an oxymoron, I think) but it’ll do until Google adds the actual functionality.

When you add audio, the main choice that you’ll have to make is
– “Do I want this to stop playing when I advance to the next slide…
– or do I want it to continue until the audio ends…
– or do I want it to loop until the end of the slideshow?”
Unfortunately, there’s no option to have it play on Slides 1, 2, 3 and 4 and then stop on Slide 5.

But what if that’s what we want?  In this post, I’ll show you a hack to set your audio to play for a subset of slides, but not for others.

My first idea for a hack was adding a different piece of audio on Slide 5, but that just leads to both audio files playing simultaneously.  Back to the drawing board.

My second idea worked.  So, here it is…  #EduGIF first, step-by-step instructions next.

This animation shows how to add audio for only a subset of the slides in a Google Slides file. The steps are typed out below the image.

You can see a Pausable version of this #EduGIF here.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Add your audio file on the first slide in the set that you want it to play on.
    – In my example, it’s slide 1, but if you want the audio to play on slides 4-9, for example, you’d do this on slide 4.
  2. With the audio icon selected, click Format Options.
  3. Select Stop on slide change.
  4. Decide if you want to select Loop audio.
    – Looping means that the audio will play repeatedly until you advance to the next slide.
  5. Download each of the subsequent slides that you want the audio to play on as images
    – .jpg or .png are both fine. Click File > Download to get there.
  6. Add the image of the 2nd slide in the set onto the first slide.
    – Insert > Image > Upload from Computer.
  7. Click Slide > Change transition.
  8. Select the image of the 2nd slide.
  9. Click Add Animation.
  10. Select On Click in the dropdown menu.
  11. Repeat steps 8-10 for each subsequent slide that you want the audio to play for.
  12. In the slide menu on the left, shift+click each slide that you added as an image.
  13. Right-click and select Skip Slides.
    – This way the slides are still there so that they can be viewed or edited, but don’t play in the animation.
    – Side Note: In my example, I wish that I would’ve duplicated the first slide & “skipped” the duplicate of it.  That way, it’d still show that slide when not in present mode.
  14. Now you’re ready!

Published by

Jake Miller

Jake is the host of the Educational Duct Tape podcast, the #EduGIF Guy, a Tech Integration Coach, speaker, Former STEM, Math & Science Teacher, and a presenter.

  • What are the top (for teachers to create/embed) and easiest (for littles) to record audio?

    • Good question, Scott! There are lots out there. Eric Curts mentions ChromeMP3 Recorder from HablaCloud, Online Voice Recorder, Beautiful Audio Editor & Twisted Wave in this post. I used Online Voice Recorder with my 10-y-o son and it went well, though I hate that there are those tricky ads on the page. John Sowash recommends the AudioRecorder Chrome Extension & Cloud Audio Recorder. I also think that Synth is a great tool. If you use Screencastify and WeVideo, you can now export audio only from both of them. Soundation is another option that you could consider.