Put a presentation on a CD that runs automatically

You can send potential clients or friends a CD that contains a presentation that runs automatically when they put the CD in their CD-ROM drive. If you add narration, the presentation will start automatically and run from beginning to end by itself.

This technique works well for sales brochures that you create in PowerPoint, for a narrated slide show of your vacation pictures, or any other use you can imagine. The beauty of it is that the receiver doesn’t even have to have PowerPoint.

You can also create many variations on the steps below. For example, you can add music instead of narration. Or, you don’t need to add timing to slides; instead, you can add an instruction to click on the slide to go to the next slide.

These steps show you how to create a presentation with narration and then save it to an auto-run CD. You’ll need the following:

  • A microphone or Web cam (better quality will provide better results)
  • A blank CD-R (readable, not writable)
  • A CD burner driver, with its accompanying software

Follow these steps:

Create the slides for the presentation.

Write a script and print it out. Practice delivering the script in Slide Show view.

In Normal view, choose Slide Show > Record Narration. (In PowerPoint 2007, choose Slide Show tab>Set Up group>Record Narration.

In the Record Narration dialog box, click Set Microphone Level and follow the instructions. You should see a green indicator in the volume bar as you speak. If necessary, use the slider to adjust the volume. If you don’t see the green indicator, you need to check your microphone settings. When you’re done, click OK to return to the Record Narration dialog box.

Click OK to start narrating, according to your script. You’ll automatically go into Slide Show view. As you talk, click to advance to the next slide. By doing this, you’ll be adding timings to each slide.

When you get to the black slide after the last slide, click to exit Slide Show view.

You’ll see this message, asking if you want to save the slide timings. Click Save. What this does is save the timing for each slide so that it exactly matches the time you needed for each slide’s narration.

Go into Slide Show view and review the presentation to make sure it’s what you want. My main experience was that the sound wasn’t very good, indicating that I should probably buy a better microphone.

When you’re satisfied, switch to Normal view, save the presentation, and choose File>Package for CD. (In 2007, choose Office button>Publish>Package for CD. In 2007, you’ll see a message about formats, because there isn’t a 2007 PowerPoint viewer. Click OK)

In the Package for CD dialog box, name the CD. If you want to add other presentations, click Add Files, browse to them, and click Open. If you want to change the options, click the Options button. Here you can add a password, if you want. By default, the PowerPoint Viewer is included, which allows people without PowerPoint to view the files.

Click Copy to CD. You may see one or more messages. Some that I’ve seen are:

  • A message about including linked files in the package. If you have linked files, such as audio or video files, click Yes.
  • A message about about macros, linked objects or embedded objects not working in the PowerPoint Viewer, and asking if you want to continue. Click Continue. This won’t be a problem if your viewers have PowerPoint.
  • A message aboaut ActiveX controls. This is an unusual situation, but if you have added an ActiveX control to your presentation, the receiving computer must also have the control to view it. However, in my experience, the Viewer just doesn’t play an ActiveX control.

Your CD-burning software may pop up, but in my experience, you can ignore it You’ll now see a Copying Files to CD window that shows you the progress.

You see a window asking if you want to copy the files to another CD. If you just want one CD, click No. Otherwise, put in another CD and click Yes. Your CD should eject from your CD-ROM drive.

In the Package for CD dialog box, click Close.

Put the CD back inside the drive.

The Viewer opens and you need to click Accept to accept the license.

After that, your presentation plays.

The PowerPoint Viewer has some limitations:

  • It won’t play macros
  • It won’t play ActiveX controls
  • To avoid problems, it’s suggested that you embed sounds.
  • Picture bullets & animated GIF pictures may not work

8 comments to Put a presentation on a CD that runs automatically

  • Kassidy Burks

    this was no help to me i needed to know how to burn a powerpoint onto a cd.

  • It’s there in the tip. File>Package for CD. Which version of PowerPoint are you using? In 2010, it’s File> Save & Send> Package Presentation for CD.

  • Mike Mitchell

    Created the CD, just like it was supposed to. The CD does not autoplay, unfortunately. It still requires My Computer>DVD Drive>PPTVIEW.EXE. I was hoping it would run automatically at disc insertion.

  • Do other CDs start automatically? It’s possible to turn this feature off in Windows. This is an old tip and I haven’t tried it recently.

  • mohammed adri

    It need to create an autorun file in *.inf extension.
    Best practice to make it file just using your notepad application in Windows, and save as autorun.inf, which Save as type choose as all files type.

    Please type carefully next instruction on notepad :
    [autorun]
    open= “type your presentation package file”
    icon = “choose your cd icon”

    Examples :
    [autorun]
    CompNetw.pps
    icon=unp.ico

    I hope this tips usefully

  • MIchael

    Thank you for this very good help. I just needed to make an autoplay for a friend and your help here made it go very fast.

    BTW, I have windows 7 64 bit on an i7 860 computer and using office 2007.

  • John Doe

    This dis not hlep. Office 2010 will not make it an autoplay even when making the PPt a kiosk presentation. It just copies the files over on cd. I need autoplay. Thanks again Microsoft, for making making another mess!

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