Friday, January 29, 2016

Exporting a PowerPoint with Audio as a Video on a Mac Using the Virtual Lab

Recording audio into PowerPoint is advantageous because it creates a separate recording for each slide, so if you make a mistake, it's easy to just re-record one slide rather than edit using a more complicated program like Camtasia. It's also nice to avoid introducing an additional program into the process for people who are less adventurous technologically since PowerPoint is often familiar.

To record audio in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, just go to the Slide Show tab and choose Record Slide Show. Bam! You're recording.

  • Make sure to stop recording after one slide and listen to verify the mic is working.
  • If you are using PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, the audio may not carry over to Windows. Do a test first. It's been inconsistent for me.
  • Use a traditional font like Helvetica, Arial, Calibri, etc so that you don't have font issues when you open the PowerPoint on Windows. 
  • Do not just give students the PowerPoint file. Students will inevitably experience problems with it.

Instead, export the PowerPoint as a video (mp4, ideally) and stream it from somewhere like Kaltura or YouTube. Then you can just distribute a URL or embed it into D2L. It's a little more work now, but less work later since you won't need to figure out why some students can't access it.
Unfortunately, Mac users need the Windows version of PowerPoint to export their PowerPoint as an mp4. I have a solution that lets you continue using your Mac though!

Use the Virtual Lab to Access Windows on Your Mac and Export the PPT as an MP4 (UWEC specific)

You can physically go to a Windows computer, but if you want to stay on your Mac we have a good option at UWEC: the virtual lab (Lab Anywhere). It's basically like running a general lab computer in your browser. Weird and awesome!

It is pretty easy to use the virtual lab. Access it through a browser by going to

Download the client if you would like or choose the option on the right for HTML access, login with your UWEC username and password, then choose Win 10 Gen Access Lab. It might take a few minutes to login.

1. When logged in, open up your PowerPoint with audio. You will need to have saved it somewhere you can access it like you are on a different computer, since you kind of are (OneDrive, Dropbox, H or Projects Drive, etc.)

2. Look through the PowerPoint to see if any formatting needs to be fixed and make sure the audio still works.

3. Click the File tab on the top left.

4. Click Export

5. Choose Create a Video. Make sure it's on "Use Recorded Timings and Narrations." You probably don't need Large - it will take less time to export if you choose something else. Click the drop down on the right side to choose a different size.

6. Click Create Video again. Leave it on the default of MPEG-4 Video.

Remember that it is like you are logging in to a lab computer, so if you save things on the desktop they will be gone when you login again.

The progress window is pretty subtle. You'll see the image below at the bottom of your PowerPoint.

The white area will progress. If your PowerPoint is long (over 10 minutes or so) expect it to take a long time, particularly since you are in a virtual environment. Close out of other programs and let the computer's resources focus on this!

7. When it is done, upload the mp4 to Kaltura or YouTube and then share the URL with students or embed it in D2L. I personally don't keep the mp4s since the PowerPoint can be exported again and there's a copy on Kaltura.

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