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.

TIP: Make sure to stop after one slide and listen to verify the mic is working.

Then Export it as a Video ... on Windows :(

After audio is added, the resulting file is probably huge. I recommend doing two things to combat this:
  • Break down the presentation into chunks of ~10 minutes, both to manage file sizes and accommodate attention spans. 
    • If you realize the presentation is really long after recording audio, you can break it into a few .pptx files.
  • Export the PowerPoint as a video (mp4, ideally) and stream it from somewhere like Kaltura or YouTube. Then you can just distribute a URL. 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, the Mac version of PowerPoint is seriously inferior to the Windows version.
  • PowerPoint 2011 says you can export as a movie/video, but the audio is not included so not really
  • PowerPoint 2016 removed this function completely (hopefully it will be included later). 
The current best solution for Mac users who want to narrate PowerPoints on their Mac is to still record audio on the Mac version, but export it on Windows. I verified that files created on both versions (2011 and 2016) transfer over to Windows just fine, but make sure you are using fonts that are available on both platforms. I recommend something like Trebuchet, Geneva, Helvetica, or Verdana.

Use the Virtual Lab to Access Windows on Your Mac (UWEC only)

You can physically go to a Windows computer to do this, of course, but if you want to stay on your Mac we have a good option at UWEC: the virtual lab (Lab Anywhere). It allows people to access Windows on different platforms. It can be used in situations like this, where a person wants to use a Windows software but stay on their Mac. It is also used to access software only available on university computers, such as SPSS.

It is pretty easy to use the virtual lab. If you don't want to commit to downloading a program, you can just access it through a browser by going to .

Choose the option on the right for HTML access, then choose General Lab Computer. At some point it will prompt you to login with UWEC credentials. Then you'll see the familiar Windows start screen. Voila!