How to Create a Karaoke File With PowerPoint

By Kevin Lee

A sure-fire hit at restaurants, parties and weddings, karaoke machines turn ordinary people into singing stars, whether they can hold a tune or not. The magic lies in the karaoke machine's ability to display words that synchronize song lyrics with the music that’s playing. Performers read the lyrics from a screen as the song plays and sing them. If you don't have a karaoke machine, you can recreate that exhilarating karaoke experience using Microsoft PowerPoint 2013. Simply create slides that hold your song lyrics and sync the slides to the music.

Insert the Lyrics

Step 1

Launch PowerPoint and a slide appears. The slide contains a "Click to add title" section and a "Click to add text" section. Type the song's title in the slide’s Click to add title” section and press "Ctrl-M" to add a second slide to the presentation.

Step 2

Type the first line of your song. For instance, if the song is "Jingle Bells," the first line would be "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way."

Step 3

Repeat this process until you create enough slides to contain all of the song's lyrics. When you're done, you'll see thumbnail representations of those slides in the Thumbnails pane on the user interface.

Step 4

Press "F5" to preview the presentation. You'll see the first slide that contains the song's title. Click that slide to advance to the next slide that contains the song's first line. At this point, the karaoke is almost complete. All it needs is music and synchronization that syncs the slides to that music.

Add a Dash of Music

Step 1

Click the first slide in the Thumbnail pane to view it. Click "Insert" followed by "Audio" and then click "Audio on My PC" to view the Insert Audio window.

Step 2

Navigate to the folder that contains your song and double-click the song to open it. PowerPoint places a speaker icon and a small audio player on the slide. Click the "Play" button to listen to the song. Click the "Pause" button when you want to stop playback.

Step 3

Right-click the speaker icon, click "Style" and then click "Play in Background." This important step causes the song to play in the background as the slideshow runs.

Step 4

Click "Slide Show" and then click "Rehearse Timings." Power Point enters preview mode and places a small music player on-screen. The music also begins to play as you view the first slide that shows the song's title.

Step 5

Listen to the music and click the first slide when the song reaches the point where you hear the song's first line. When you click the slide, PowerPoint shows the slide that has that first line. Continue to listen and click that slide when you hear the song's second line. PowerPoint advances to that slide. Repeat this process until you reach the end of the song.

Step 6

Press "Esc" and PowerPoint displays a message window that shows the length of your slide show. It also asks if you'd like to save the new slide timings. Click "Yes" to close the message window and return to the main user interface.

Step 7

Press "F5" to preview your presentation. The music plays and the slides advance automatically in sync with the music. This happens because PowerPoint remembered the timing information you set up when you clicked slides in Rehearse Timings mode. You can save your presentation and run it any time when you want to sing along to your karaoke song.

Create a Karoke Video

Step 1

Click “File” followed by “Export” and select “Create a Video.” Click “Computer & HD Displays” and click one of the output options you see. Those options are “Computer& HD Displays,” “Internet & DVD” and “Portable Devices.”

Step 2

Click “Use Recorded Timings and Narrations” and then click “Create Video.” Navigate to the folder where you want to save the video and type a name for the file in the “File Name” text box.

Step 3

Click the “Save as Type” drop-down menu and select the video format you’d like to use and then click “Save.”

Tips & Warnings

  • You don’t have to convert your presentation into a video, but you’ll find a video useful when you want to share the karaoke. Anybody can play the video without installing PowerPoint or a PowerPoint reader program.
  • You can format and customize your slides any way you like. For instance, if you want to avoid patterns, colors or images that might distract the singer, you could leave all slides in white with black text. If you want to add style, move to the Slide pane, hold down your "Ctrl" key and click each slide to select it. You can then right-click any slide and click "Format Background" to view the Format Background pane. There you can select different formatting options that change the way the background looks on your slides.
  • Karaoke music tracks consist of instrumental versions of songs. Sites such as Karaoke Version provide instrumental versions of popular songs (link in Resources). If you visit the site you’ll see legal information at the bottom of the page that says, “all uses other than home and private use are forbidden.” Before you download a karaoke backing track from any website, review the site’s legal information to ensure that you do not violate copyright restrictions when using downloaded tracks to create karaoke in PowerPoint. Look for links on sites such as "Terms and Conditions" or "Terms of Service" if you can't find legal information. Other karaoke backing track sites that provide this type of legal information include Sing Me and Hit Trax.