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

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18 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 :
    open= “type your presentation package file”
    icon = “choose your cd icon”

    Examples :

    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!

  • Jack (aka John) Adams

    Is there the capability to produce slideshow CDs that autorun on both Windows and Apple machines? If so, how does it handle HFS and ISO 9660.

    Thanks in advance

  • Hmmm, I don’t know. My guess is that you need to use a Mac to create a CD that runs on a Mac.

  • Wally Brandt

    Hello Ms Finkelstein
    Im trying to help a non-profit create a simple Power point presentation. I have created the 30 slide presentation with no problems using Powerpoint from Office 2003. They no longer have the computer with 2003 office. I am using Office 360 to put this presentation on the cd for them to use but I cannot make the autostart work on the cd’s. I get two options once it starts on PP presentation and on that shows the title of the Presentation that when you click on it, looks for Power point on the local machine, then downloads the actual presentation. Once you click on that it s says no PPS or viewer found do you want to browse? Other option is down load Microsoft viewer from a web site. These discs are going to a mission in a third world country with no internet access to download or connect to. My objective is create a disc that is basically plug and play–put CD in , suto play and then the presentation appears……these are non-English speaking so I really need to make this work totally auto. Is there any possible help I could enlist from you? Can you not create an suto play version using Office 365 powerpoint? THANKS THANKS AND MORE THANKS Shalom Wally Brandt

  • I’ve never tried, but my guess is that Office 360 doesn’t have those settings. I recommend that you try with a later version of PowerPoint. To really test it, you’d have to test it on Macs, too, and I’m not sure it would work. You might want to consider converting to a video file since almost everyone can view videos. That’s what I would do.

  • Wally Brandt

    Thanks for you quick reply, did the video conversion but not working correctly. Will find another version of Office and or Power Point and try that. THANKS for the help….Really appreciate it.

  • Waleed Wagdy

    It’s Very Easy, Please use this code
    1- Create New File by right click in any where in your folder and select NEW and the select New TEXT Documents.
    2-Change the file name from “New Text Document.txt” to “AUTORUN.INF”
    3- Open the file and type the next Code:


    Notes: 1-The Sample.ppsx is the name of your presentation
    2-You have first to save your presentation by Microsoft power point show extention *.pps Or *.PPSX or etc.

    بالغة العربية
    لعمل برزنتيشن تعمل تلقائيا من على السى دى برجاء أتباع الآتى
    1- عمل ملف جديد بواسطة ضغط زر الماوس الأيمن فى اى مكان فاضى داخل الفولدر المطلوب وأختيار “New TEXT DOCUMENTS”
    2- تغيير الأسم والأمتداد للفيل من “New Text Document.txt” ألى “AUTORUN.INF”
    3- كتابة الكود الأتى داخل الفيل

    1- sample.ppsx هى اسم البرزنتيشن خاصتك
    2- يجب عليك اولا ان تحفظ البرزنتيشن “العرض التقديمى” بمتداد مايكروسوف للعرض التقديمى “Microsoft power point show بامتداد
    *.pps Or *.ppsx إلخ

  • kabir kharade

    Hey i tried the steps above but its not working.. only the contents are opening but not the actual file.. i want to run my welcome.ppts when i insert the cd into cd drive..
    Please let me know how to do this…

  • shashi bhooshan

    200 % is working the steps has given by Ellen.. but Ellen Finkelstein has been done two mistakes in the Package for CD process which is declared by me follow this steps properly:-

    Hello Ellen Finkelstein,

    I am sorry to declare that you have done some mistakes that is below :-

    All steps are right but
    In the Package for CD dialog box,type name the CD then
    click on the Options button and MARK in the both box includes
    1st is – Linked files,
    2nd is – EMBEDDED TRUE TYPE FONTS (here was 1st mistake by Ellen..)
    then click on OK button
    then again click on COPY OF FOLDER OPTION, after open the folder please change the FOLDER NAME here please add with the name of CD [CD Package] in the folder name dialogue box as example :
    (as per the Name the CD)
    Yournewhouse CD Package (here was 2nd mistake… )
    then click on copy to CD box so on as it was followed by Ellen……

    if my steps was right….please give us feedback on [email protected] If you want.

    I hope it will be helpful

  • Letty

    I am using PowerPoint 2016 and would like to make an PowerPoint presentation autorun cd. I have try the package to go it does not work what happen is I have to download the viewer and still does not work when asking Microsoft about this problem the said to us a 2nd software that converts it to and autorun. I have been trying to do this for 4 days no luck. It work with powerpoint 2007 why would they change it. Can you please help

  • Bill Tate

    One very simple thing I found after burning 3 cd-r’s, Thanks to you! I took the burned CD directly to my cd player and it wouldn’t play “unknown”. After reading your tip, I put the cd back into my computer drive and oked the agreement that popped up. So many have not included that advice in previous Google searches for tips.

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