Thursday, May 5, 2016

Office Mix: A Good Solution for Audio in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

If you have the newest version of PowerPoint (2016) and you like to add audio to the slides, it is now essential to download the PowerPoint add-in Office Mix or when you export the video, the speaker icons will still be visible on the slides.

UWEC people can download Office Mix on a university computer from the UWEC appstore by going to appstore.uwec.edu in Internet Explorer (sorry Mac users - this is only available on Windows). You can also download Office Mix on personal computers from the Microsoft website. When it asks you to sign in, you can choose Work/School account and enter your UWEC email address.

Office Mix integrates right into PowerPoint in a tab called Mix, so it's pretty user friendly. I recommend recording audio right through the Mix tab (Slide Recording - far left) rather than using the Slide Show tab that was recommended in PPT 2013. In other words, you can do all your recording and exporting under the Mix tab.


The recording interface via the Mix tab has many advantages over the old recording interface (screenshot below) including seeing your mic audio to know if it is picking up, inking/annotating, seeing your slide notes, recording your webcam video, and choosing when to record vs starting automatically in the old version. 


Below is a screenshot of it with the Export to Video button highlighted. It's important to export to video so you can upload the mp4 to Kaltura (if you're at UWEC) and share it with students in a format that is easily accessible to them. Not all students can access audio through the .ppt file.


You can now/still...
  1. Record slide by slide, so if you make a mistake just stop and re-record! It will ask if you want to overwrite, so it's more difficult to accidentally record over good recordings. 
  2. See lines moving by the microphone to know it is picking up audio and verify that the correct mic is being used. 
  3. Easily access the inking tools if you want to circle or write something on the slide.
  4. Hit record when you're ready (the old way would just start automatically).
  5. Record your webcam as a small window within the PowerPoint or as the whole slide. It didn't turn out in the screenshot, but it should be viewable on the top left side under Audio and Video.
  6. See your slide notes! 
  7. Export it and upload to Kaltura so the students can view it easily on all devices and platforms.
Office Mix has additional functions like inserting a screencast and adding quiz questions, but it needs to be hosted on Microsoft's site for those features to work. However, Kaltura now has quizzing and if you need to add a screencast, an instructional designer can help you figure out the easiest way! 

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