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How to Add Video & Music Files in Keynote Presentations

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Read Time: 8 min
This post is part of a series called How to Use Apple Keynote (Ultimate Tutorial Guide).
How to Quickly Make a Timeline in Keynote With Templates
How to Make Flowcharts & Gantt Charts in Keynote With Templates

A splash of multimedia can make all the difference in your presentation. Including that inspiring video clip or dramatic audio can set the stage to leave an impression on the audience. Luckily, it's easy to add either to an Apple Keynote presentation using this tutorial.

It's easy to embed video in Keynote. Just browse to a video clip that you've saved to your Mac, and insert it into the slide. You can also manage if the video auto-plays or trim the full video file to only include a portion of the original.

It's also a breeze to add music to Keynote. Point the app to an audio file stored on your computer, and presto! You'll learn this and how to customize how the audio plays in this tutorial.

In this tutorial, I'm going to teach you two important skills for working with multimedia in Keynote. You'll learn how to embed video in Keynote to include a video clip, and how to add audio on Keynote slides as well. Let's jump in.

Add Video and Music to KeynoteAdd Video and Music to KeynoteAdd Video and Music to Keynote

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Watch & Learn

In this screencast, I'm going to show you both of the skills that you need to work with audio and video in Keynote. First, we'll cover how to embed video in Keynote. Then, we'll walk through how to add music to Keynote presentations. You'll also learn how to customize those clips so that they play exactly the way you want in your presentation.

This is just the start of adding video and audio to Keynote. In the tutorial below, I'll show you more details on customizing how audio and video plays. Follow along with the rest of the tutorial to learn more.

How to Embed Video in Keynote

A perfectly-placed video in a Keynote presentation can reiterate your message, or provide a different angle for your ideas. It helps to embed a video in Keynote.

To insert video into Keynote, start off with your Keynote presentation already open. Then, click on the Media option on the menu and click on the Choose option. (I opt to skip the built-in "Movies" dropdown because it only explores the movies in your library that belong to iMovie or Final Cut Pro.) 

Now, you'll want to browse to where your video file is stored. Simply use the Finder window to find a video clip that you want to add to your presentation. Then, choose to insert it. Keynote supports most of the common video file formats, so you can choose practically any clip that's stored on your Mac.

Video  Choose Option in KeynoteVideo  Choose Option in KeynoteVideo  Choose Option in Keynote
Click on the Media option and select the Choose option to browse for a video file that's stored on your computer and add it to Keynote.

After your video is placed on the slide, you can work with it like any Keynote object. That includes clicking on it and dragging it around to reposition it on a slide, or grabbing the handles to resize it. You can cover the entire slide with a video clip, or resize it down to just occupy part of the slide.

Bear in mind that when you embed video in Keynote, you'll increase the file size. Make sure that you're monitoring how large the final presentation file is when you start to insert video into Keynote.

Step 1. Change How Video in Keynote Plays

After you've added a video to your Keynote slide, you can also adjust how it plays. That can range from trimming the file to only play a portion of the original file, to set it to autoplay.

With the video selected, make sure that Format is selected in the upper right corner. Let's start off by switching to the Movie tab. There are several key features that you might want to tweak on this menu:

  • Start movie on click. Untick this option to auto play the video when you switch to the slide with the video clip.
  • Trim. Pull the handles on the edge of this slider to adjust, which part of the video will play in your presentation.
  • Volume. The volume slider can be used to give your audio a boost, or potentially to pull it down and mute it in your presentation.
Video Settings in KeynoteVideo Settings in KeynoteVideo Settings in Keynote
With a video clip selected, open the Format menu and adjust settings like Trim, Volume, and Start Movie on Click to control how the video plays in your presentation. BePro Keynote Template from Envato Elements.

Tweak these options to control how your video plays in your Keynote presentation. 

Step 2. How to Embed a YouTube Video in Keynote

So far, our example has focused on how to insert video into Keynote from files already stored on your computer. What if there's a YouTube clip that you want to add to your presentation?

In Keynote, you'll need to download the YouTube video before you add it to your presentation. I typically will use VideoGrabber to simply paste in a URL from YouTube, and then download the video file from the site. Then, follow the same steps to browse to and insert the video file on the Keynote slide.

For more detail on how to embed a YouTube video in Keynote, jump over to the quick tutorial below to see a standalone screencast.

How to Add Music to Keynote

Audio can also add effect and impact to your Keynote presentation. Whether you're using background music or an inspiring audio clip, you can add audio files to your Keynote presentation.

To add audio on Keynote, start with the slide open. Then, return to the same Media menu that we used to add video, and again click on the Choose option. Browse to the audio file on your computer to choose the audio file that you wish to add and choose to insert it.

Audio Clip Added to Keynote PresentationAudio Clip Added to Keynote PresentationAudio Clip Added to Keynote Presentation
An audio clip will show in your Keynote slide as a speaker symbol, and you can click on it to start playing it. BePro Keynote Template from Envato Elements.

That's it! You'll see an audio player appear on the slide, and you can press the Play button to play it on the slide. But, that's not all there is to it—let's also look at how to adjust how the audio plays.

Change How Audio in Keynote Plays

Much like the options for video clips, you can also adjust how audio plays in a Keynote presentation. Make sure that you've selected the audio clip, and then open the Format option and make sure that you're on the Audio tab to control the settings.

On this menu, there are similar settings that tweak how the audio plays in your presentation. Here are some of the key settings that you might want to adjust:

  • Volume. Give the audio a boost or pull it somewhat to the left to decrease the volume levels for your audio clip.
  • Trim. Got a longer audio clip like a podcast or motivational speech down to the relevant portion by pulling the handles of the timeline to only select specific parts of the audio. Press the Play button on the slide to preview your selection. 
  • Start audio on click. If you untick this box, your audio clip will autoplay when you switch to the slide.
  • Repeat. Setting this option to "repeat" will have the audio loop continuously, which is useful for background music.

One idea for auto-playing audio is to have it as a looping clip that plays on the opening slide. This option is helpful if you want some background music before you start the presentation. 

Audio Settings Controls in KeynoteAudio Settings Controls in KeynoteAudio Settings Controls in Keynote
With the audio clip selected on your slide, open the Format menu and make sure that you're working on the Audio tab to adjust any of the settings like volume, trim, or repeat. BePro Keynote Template from Envato Elements.

These settings can help totally control how an audio file plays in your Keynote presentation. Consider auto-playing audio clips if you want to set the tone for a presentation.

Learn All About How to Make Great Presentations (Free eBook)

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You now know how to add video and music to Keynote. But there's so much more you can do! Take the knowledge you gained in this tutorial further with our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great PresentationsGrab this PDF Download now for Free with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.

Keep Learning

In this tutorial, you learned how to embed video and audio in your Keynote presentation. These two types of multimedia can give your presentation an edge and add variety to them. Not only can you easily add audio or video files to a Keynote presentation, you can also adjust how they play with the settings on the Format menu.

Want to learn more about Keynote? Check out the tutorials below to learn more about Apple's presentation software.

How do you work with video and audio in Keynote? Let me know in the comments section if you've got a favorite tip to share with other Tuts+ readers.

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