This tutorial shows how to insert audio files in Microsoft Word. We will also look at how to play inserted audio files.
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 250 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013.
Are you on a Mac? Please see “How to Insert Audio Files in Word for Mac.”
How to Insert Audio Files in Microsoft Word
- Place your cursor where you want to insert the audio file.
- Select the Insert tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Object button in the Text group.
- Select the Create from File tab in the Object dialog box.
- Select the Browse button.
- Locate and select your audio file (commonly an MP3 or WAV) in the Browse dialog box. After you make your selection, the file name should appear in the File name text box.
- Select the Insert button.
- Select Link to file if you want to link to the audio file rather than embed it in your document.
What Is the Difference between Linking and Embedding Objects?
In Word, you can embed or link objects such as audio files, PowerPoint slides, and Excel spreadsheets.
- Become part of the Word document.
- Don’t require your readers to have access to the source file.
- Won’t update when the source file is updated.
- Increase the Word document’s file size (sometimes substantially).
- Create a link to the source file (but the source file is not stored in the Word document).
- Require your readers to have access to the source file.
- Can be updated automatically or manually when the source file is updated.
- Don’t increase the file size substantially.
If you want to link an object rather than embed it but are concerned about your readers having access to the source file, one solution is to store your Word document and the source file together in cloud storage before creating the link.
- (Optional) Select Display as icon to display the audio file with an icon instead of just the file name.
How to Change the Audio File Icon and Caption
- (Optional) Select the Change Icon button.
10.a. Select the Browse button in the Change Icon dialog box to locate a different image stored in your computer.
10.b. Write a caption in the Caption text box to replace the audio file name.
10.c. Select the OK button.
- Select the OK button in the Object dialog box.
12. Save your file to save your changes.
How to Play Audio Files in Microsoft Word
- Double-click the file name or icon in the Word document.
- Select the Open button in the Open Package Contents dialog box.
The audio file will play in your default media player. For most PC users, the default media player will be Groove Music or Windows Media Player (see figure 15).
- Use the media player’s controls to pause, stop, or close the audio file as necessary.
Updated July 16, 2023