Creating content in Google Slides: Text and fonts Offline working; Saving your work; Advanced: Converting to and from Google Slides Changing and customising theme colours: At the time of publishing, it is not We've compiled a list of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Slides in a handy PDF. Print a document, spreadsheet, or presentation. You can print Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides using browsers, like Chrome or Safari. Print your file as a PDF Document or Presentation: A PDF file will automatically download. Orientation; Paper size; Page color; Margins Try powerful tips, tutorials, and templates. Download the Jamboard App from the Play Store to a compatabile Chromebook or from the App · Store to an Change the background of your. Jamboard Double-tap a note to edit the text or change the color. Tap 'share Jam' as PDF.
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|Google slides background color changing when downloading as pdf|
|Google slides background color changing when downloading as pdf|
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Google Slides: The ULTIMATE guide
Whether you’re a student, in business, or a software pro, there’s little doubt that you’ve heard of Google Slides. As presentation enthusiasts (to say the least), we at BrightCarbon have had plenty of opportunity to get to know the ins and outs of Google’s browser-based presentation tool.
However, while the name may ring a bell, we know that many of you won’t have had the time to delve deep into Google Slides’ functionality. But never fear! This guide will cover everything you need to know about Google Slides – from the very basics to the most advanced features – and will provide you with the know-how to make brilliant slides, quickly and easily.
How to use this guide
Whether you’re an experienced presentation creator or a total beginner, this is the ultimate guide for you! Work your way through the sections from start to finish if you’re a newbie, or navigate to a section that interests you most by clicking the links below. This is a really in-depth guide, so bookmark the link and add it to your favourites to come back to. If you want more hands-on help, we also offer paid live Google Slides training.
How Google Slides works
- Is Google Slides free?
- Getting started
- Adding and removing slides
- Understanding the menu bar
- Understanding the toolbar
- Using the master
- Using and creating themes
- Using add-ons
Creating content in Google Slides: Text and fonts
- Inserting and editing text boxes
- Advanced: text formatting
- Inserting tables
- Adding fonts to Slides
- Advanced: Google Slides keyboard shortcuts
Creating content in Google Slides: Images and shapes
- Inserting and editing images
- Advanced: Making attractive slides
- Creating charts
- Inserting media
Creating content in Google Slides: Animation and interactivity
- Making movement
- Advanced: Linking and hyperlinking
Getting the most out of cloud and collaboration features
- Cloud working
- Offline working
- Saving your work
- Advanced: Converting to and from Google Slides
Presenting and printing
- Presenting your work
- Printing your work
Getting even more out of Google Slides
- More Google Slides resources
- Resources for making better presentations
How Google Slides works
Here we cover the basics of using Google Slides, from creating a brand new presentation all the way to setting up the slide master.
Is Google Slides free?
Yes. Google Slides is free to use (along with other G Suite offerings such as Docs, Drive, Sheets and more) as long as you have a Google account – which is also free. This includes the web, mobile and desktop apps. Whilst companies using G Suite can upgrade to a paid version with more business functionality, for the individual user the free version offers all the tools they’re likely to need.
Creating a new Slides presentation: To use Google Slides you need to have a Google account. You can create one here.
From Google Drive, click New at the top of the left-hand dashboard, then choose Google Slides > Blank presentation. There’s also an option to build your Slides deck from a template – we’ll cover that later.
If you’re working from the Slides homepage, simply click the blank template with the plus sign beneath Start a new presentation in the top left of the main page.
Once open, you can rename your new Slides doc any time by clicking the Untitled Presentation box in the top left. So can your collaborators – we’ll introduce them properly later.
Changes are saved automatically when working online. This is why there’s no Save button in Google Slides. We talk more about saving your work later on.
Adding, removing and hiding slides
To add a new blank slide, right click the slide thumbnail and select New slide. To create a slide that is identical to an existing slide, right click the slide thumbnail in the left-hand panel and select Duplicate slide.
To remove a slide click on the slide thumbnail that you wish to delete, and hit the DELETE key on your keyboard, or right click and select Delete.
If there’s a slide you want to keep in your deck, but do not want to show when presenting, you can hide it. Right click the slide thumbnail and select Skip. The slide thumbnail will fade back. When you are in present mode this slide will now no longer show. To un-skip a slide, right click the thumbnail and click to remove the tick next to Skip.
Understanding the Menu bar
The menu bar covers all the key functionality you’ll need to get started building your presentation. You’re likely to have come across many of these options before in other software programs, so we’ll focus on some of the more Google Slides-specific functionality below.
The File tab has all the basics for sharing, editing and toggling settings.
The Share… button lets you share your presentation with others. To learn more about sharing and privacy settings, see Cloud working below.
Version history allows you to see past iterations of a document, which can be incredibly useful. We talk more aboutVersion history in the Viewing and saving your work section below.
Publish to the web lets you publish a non-editable version of your presentation that can be viewed via link, or embedded on a web page. This is a great feature if you want an audience to see your final, finished piece of work. Click Publish to the web, select either Link or Embed, and hit Publish.
The Edit tab includes some of the simplest – but most useful – tools you’ll use in Slides. Here you can find the expected Undo and Redo buttons, for taking edits a step forward or back, and options for Cut, Copy and Paste. A particularly handy tool is Find and replace…. If you have a word or phrase running throughout your presentation that needs changing, type it into the Find dialogue box and type your alternate into the Replace box. Then hit Replace to go through each instance individually, or Replace all for a blanket change across slides.
The View tab is used to change screen setup, open new windows and side panels, and toggle grids and guides on and off. You can also toggle guides by right clicking your slide and selecting Guides from the drop down menu.
To open the animation and transitions pane, click Animations. Here, you can view all animated objects in your presentation. To animate an object, select it and click Select an object to animate in the Animation pane. Click here for more about using animations and transitions.
Master opens the slide master for your document. We’ve got a whole section about using the master later on.
Grid view shows youyour slides in grid formation so you can see an overview of your whole deck rather than looking at things one slide at a time. In Grid view, you can reorder slides by dragging and dropping them – a handy way of rearranging things in your deck. To toggle Grid view off, go back to the View tab and untick it. Alternatively, you can toggle between Grid view and Film strip view (the default view) by clicking the icons at the bottom of the sidebar on the left.
Guides lets you add guide lines to your presentation by clicking the Add vertical / horizontal guide buttons. Once you’ve added guides you can click and drag to rearrange them. By selecting Show guides or Clear guides you can toggle the guides on and off.
The Insert tab is where you add text, shapes, videos, images – and more – to your slides. We go into more detail about inserting and editing images and shapes later.
Here you will find tools to help you customise your slide text. Go to Text to see a range of ways you can adapt the look and feel of text. Here you can change the Size, Colour, Capitalisation and more. If you need to add references, you can use the Superscript and Subscript options.
Below Text is Align and indent. You can choose whether your text aligns to the left, right or center margins of the text box it sits in. You can also choose Justified for text paragraphs, spacing the text out evenly to fall flush with both margins.
Under Borders & lines you can create and edit a border for your text box, change its colour or increase/decrease its line thickness.
To remove all formatting changes to your text, click Clear formatting.
Slides has some more advanced tools for formatting text, we talk about these later on.
The Slide tab has more ways to add and remove slides from your deck. You can use it to apply a layout from your master by clicking Apply layout, or open the animation pane to select a new transition by clicking Change transition. Change background… opens up a new window where you can choose a colour or image fill for your slide. Once selected, you can choose to apply this background to a single slide, or click Add to theme and apply it to your master.
The Arrange tab includes the alignment tools. You can use these to easily arrange and position objects in an ordered way. The alignment tools are so useful that we’ve dedicated a whole section to how you use them!
There’s a lot of easy-to-miss functionality hidden in the Tools tab.
The Spelling menu has standard tools such as Spell check. Personal dictionary lets you add words and phrases that wouldn’t show up in a standard dictionary. This way, these words don’t get flagged as misspelled. This would be useful for a company name, for example.
You can find the standard Dictionary feature in the Tools tab, too.
Unlike the Tools tab in Google Docs, Google Slides unfortunately doesn’t have an option for viewing word count. A way to see the word count for your presentation is to click File > Download as > Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx) or Plain Text (.txt), or copy and paste the text from your presentation into a Google Docs file.
From the Tools tab you can also open up the Preferences window. Here you can toggle some standard Slides features on or off, such as Automatically detect links, or Automatically capitalize words. This would be useful if you have a particular style you need to adhere to, for example, all lowercase.
The Tools tab is also home to the Voice type speaker notes feature, which we cover here.
There’s a lot to cover here, so see below for more on using Add-ons in Google Slides.
Understanding the toolbar
The toolbar is home to all the helpful tools you need to create a dazzling presentation. We’ll guide you through some of Slides’ more unique tools, so you’re ready to get stuck in with confidence.
Paint format: This handy tool allows you to copy and paste the formatting of one object and apply it to another. Select a shape and click the Paint format tool. Then select another shape and watch the formatting of the first shape (fill colour, line colour, line width) be applied.
Zoom: Google Slides’ zoom functionality is somewhat limited. Selecting the Zoom button in the toolbar only allows you to zoom to 50, 100 or 200 percent. One way to more accurately adjust your zoom increments is to use the keyboard shortcuts CTRL+ALT++ and CTRL+ALT+-.
Image: You can use the Image button to insert images from Drive, the web and from your computer. Slides has a lot of functionality for inserting and editing images that isn’t confined to the toolbar, however. Learn more about all Slides has to offer where inserting and editing images is concerned here.
Bullet points: Whilst we don’t recommend presenting bullet-point and text-heavy content, the bullet tool is quite easy to miss in Slides, so we thought we’d call it out here for those of you wondering how to add bullet points to your presentations! The Bulleted list drop down sits towards the end of the toolbar. Simply highlight your text, select the drop down and choose the type of bullet you wish to use. Next to the Bulleted list is the Numbered list, which you can use if you want to use numbers and letters to organise your text points instead.
Using the master
The slide master controls the look and feel of your deck. Use it to set custom layouts, backgrounds, colour schemes and fonts for all your slides. It’s best to set up the master at the very start of your project to create a consistent set of slides. Be mindful if you edit the master after having created slides. Changes in the master will retroactively affect the slides you’ve already built, so be sure to check through the whole deck afterwards!
Master layout: To launch the master editor go to the View tab in the menu bar and click Master. Down the left hand side you will see a number of layouts. At the top is the master layout. This is like the control center for the rest of your deck: any changes you make to this layout will be applied to all other layouts in the master, and all slides within your presentation, too.
Slide layouts: If you want to make specific types of slide, like the title slide or agenda slide, you’ll want to edit the different slide layouts which sit below the master layout.You can make small tweaks, like adjusting background colours or adding images, or larger adjustments, like repositioning text boxes. Unlike with the slide master, these changes will not be applied to all slides; only slides which use that specific layout will be affected.
To edit a layout, first locate it down the left hand side of the master view. You can also create a new one by right clicking on any layout and choosing New layout. Once you have the right layout selected, you can begin editing it like any other slide. Add, move, alter or even delete objects to achieve your desired layout style. Right click the layout thumbnail in the left hand panel and select Rename layout. A new window will appear where you can give the layout a more specific name, like ‘Agenda slide’.
When you are done editing your layouts, have a thorough check over your deck. Once checked, you can exit the master by clicking X in the right hand corner. All changes will be automatically saved.
To apply a particular layout to a slide, right click the slide thumbnail in the left hand panel and click Apply layout. This will bring up all the layout options from the slide master for you to choose from.
Using and creating themes
Themes are pre-made slide layouts that you can apply to your presentation. Google Slides comes with a number of preset themes that you can use straight out of the box, or customise via the master layouts for a more personalised look and feel.
You can also create your own, personalised theme. To do this, open up a blank presentation and make the necessary edits to the master slide and layouts, as explained above. You can then save your presentation as a blank template, to be duplicated and reused time and time again.
Choosing a theme: When you create a new Slides deck (by clicking +New and then Google Slides from your Google Drive homepage) you will be presented with a range of themes when your presentation first opens. If this doesn’t happen, go to the Slide tab in the menu bar and select Change theme. You can click on any theme in the panel to preview it. Once chosen, simply close the panel by clicking the X in the right hand corner. To customize the theme, open the slide master and follow the steps as explained above.
Changing the theme: If you are working from an existing Slides document and want to change the theme, go to the Slide tab in the menu bar and select Change theme to preview Google Slides’ preset options. If you choose a new theme, it will be applied to all of your existing slides, so check through all your slides once the change has been applied to ensure it looks how you want it to.
Changing and customising theme colours: At the time of publishing, it is not possible to create a set of custom colours that appear in the colour palette for your theme. One (slightly inconvenient) work-around would be to create a PowerPoint file with a custom colour palette and import this into Slides by uploading and converting your PowerPoint file to a Google Slides file. You could then build your theme around the imported custom palette, or save the file so you can use it again and again by making copies.
Importing a theme from PowerPoint: You can import a theme from a different presentation into Slides. This is extremely handy if you have a PowerPoint theme that you would like to apply to your Slides deck. Go to the Slide tab in the menu bar and select Change theme…. At the bottom of the theme panel that should open up, select Import theme. In the new window, navigate to the upload tab and click Select a file from your computer. Once you have located the right PowerPoint file, Google Slides will extract the theme. Click OK and it will be applied directly to your slides.
Changing slide size: Google Slides defaults to the standard widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. This works for most modern laptop, TV and projector screens, but if you want something different – for example, you want to switch from landscape to portrait – there’s an easy way to toggle between set slide dimensions or create a custom size.
Go to Page setup in the File tab. Use the drop down to choose a standard size (Standard 4:3, Widescreen 16:9, Widescreen 16:10) or choose Custom to input your own dimensions. Once chosen, click OK.
If you do choose to use a custom size for your deck, make sure you do so with good reason. The standard 16:9 aspect ratio is widely used because it fits perfectly on most widescreen screens and projectors. A custom size may not work as well, and can make inserting slides from other decks quite tricky!
How to add an add-on to Slides: Add-ons are independent apps you can add to Google Slides to increase its capabilities. You can find the full range of add-ons by clicking the Add-ons tab in the toolbar and choosing Get add-ons….This opens a new window with some featured add-ons, and a search bar to look for something specific.
Once you’ve found one to try, select it and click the + button in the top right corner. You may then be asked to verify your login details and allow permission settings. Once you’ve clicked Allow, the add-on will be added to Slides. You can find all of your downloaded add-ons in the Add-ons tab.
Our favourite add-ons: We’ve compiled a list of the handiest Google Slides add-ons that help us do our jobs better, so you can get some inspiration!
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Creating content: text and fonts
Inserting and editing text boxes
To insert a text box, click the Text box button in the toolbar or Insert > text box from the menu bar. Then, drop the text box onto your slide by clicking with your cursor. You can now begin typing.
The majority of text editing tools can be found in the toolbar. Here you can change the font, colour and size of your text, add bullet points or change its alignment.
It’s worth noting that not all text needs to sit inside a text box. You can add text directly into a shape by simply clicking it and starting to type. We’ve got some more advanced tips for editing text below!
Advanced: text formatting
Slides has a handful of more advanced tools for text formatting. Access them by selecting the object or text box you want to format, and clicking Format options to the far right of the toolbar. This opens up a number of different options, including Size & Position and Text fitting.
Size & Position: The Size options allow you to resize objects more precisely. You can adjust the Width and Height of text by typing directly into the provided input fields. If you want to resize your object without it being warped or stretched, check the Lock aspect ratios box.
The alignment tools will suffice for most users, but – if you need more precision – the Position tools provide a more accurate way of positioning an object or text box on the slide. The Rotate tool allows pinpoint accuracy when rotating an object by enabling you to enter a specific degree.
Text fitting:Text fitting tools give you more control over text that sits within a shape. The Indentation tool lets you fine-tune lines of text without having to alter the shape they sit within. You can play around with this by typing in the size of your desired indentation, in inches, into the provided input fields. Within the Indentation menu there are some further options. Click the drop-down labelled Special and select one of the following:
- None: Select for text to follow the default indentation parameters
- First line: Select to adjust the indentations on the first line of a paragraph only
- Hanging: Select to adjust the indentation for all lines of text except the first one
Where indentation allows you to fine-tune specific lines of text, Padding is used to adjust all of your text and how it sits within its text box. By adjusting the four Padding values (top, bottom, left and right) you can control the margins of your text box. For example, if you wanted to perfectly left-align an object with some text, you can set the left-hand margin to 0!
At the time of publishing, there is no way to fully wrap text around an image or shape in Google Slides – these tools are your best options!
To insert a table onto your slide, go to the Insert tab in the menu bar and hover over Table. In the drop down menu you are given the option to select how many columns and rows you want, for example 2 x 5. Once selected, your table will appear on your slide.
You can now move it around your slide, or make it bigger or smaller, in the same way that you would with any slide object. To begin adding information into your table, simply hover your cursor over one of the boxes and click once. You can now begin typing.
The table tool is a great way to add text columns to slides, as there is currently no inbuilt functionality to do this. You can make your table invisible, so that only the text within the cells shows, by selecting the individual lines within the table and clicking the Border colour tool in the toolbar, and selecting Transparent.
Adding fonts to Slides
At the time of publishing, Google Slides does not support custom fonts. You cannot import them, and there are currently no add-ons for custom fonts in the add-ons store. However, there is a way to add a few new fonts to your existing Slides font library. In the toolbar, click the font drop down and select More fonts…. This opens up a new dialog box with a selection of Google fonts that you can add to the default list. Click on a font to install it. Installed fonts will turn blue, with a blue tick. To remove a font, simply click on it again and the blue tick will disappear. Once you are happy with the fonts you have added, click OK.
It’s worth noting here that there is a handy add-on for Google Docs called Extensis fonts that provides access to a library of over 1000 fonts. Here’s hoping it becomes available for Slides soon!
Advanced: Google Slides keyboard shortcuts
We’ve compiled a list of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Slides in a handy PDF. Click here to download it for free and check out our favourite shortcuts for increased productivity.
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Creating content: images and shapes
Inserting and editing images
To insert an image, click the Image button in the toolbar, or go to Insert > Image from the menu bar to Upload from computer, Drive, Google photos or even directly from your Camera. If you have a web link for a specific image, select By URL and paste the link into the dialogue box.
Slides even has an in-built Google Image Search feature. Simply select Image > Search the web.
Images typically need to be under 2MB and in JPEG, GIF or PNG format to upload correctly.
You don’t have to stop at simply uploading your image. There are lots of ways you can edit an image to achieve a more polished, on-brand look and feel. Stay tuned to the blog to learn more about image editing techniques in Slides, and click here for a few simple ways you can ditch the text and make your slides more visual.
To insert a shape, click the Shape button in the toolbar, or Insert > Shape from the menu bar. Select the shape you want to use, then either:
- Click on your slide to insert a perfectly proportioned shape at a default size
- Click and drag whilst holding down the SHIFT key (if you want to retain proportions) and drag your shape to an appropriate size
Adjusting the size of Slide objects: Whether you’re working with an image, shape or text box, there are some simple but effective ways you can edit them to achieve a more custom look and feel.
To adjust the dimensions of an object, click it to make adjustment nodes appear. Click and drag any one of these nodes to alter your object. If you want to make your object bigger or smaller whilst maintaining its proportions, hold down the SHIFT key whilst dragging the nodes.
Grouping and ungrouping objects: If you have objects on your slide that intersect with one another – like a text box layered on top of a shape, or a complex bar chart – you may wish to group them so that they stay together when moved or resized.
First, select the objects you want to group together (it can be as many as you like). Then right click the objects and select Group, or use keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + G. Now, when you select one object, all other grouped objects will be selected too.
To ungroup your objects, select the group and right click > Ungroup, or use keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + G.
Cropping images: If you only want to show a specific part of an image, right click and select Crop image. Alternatively, you can double click the image to bring up the cropping options. Now pull the black handles to reveal the mask that will hide parts of the image that you don’t want to see. This tool can be a little fiddly, and if you accidentally select one of the image nodes instead of a black handle, you could wind up distorting your image instead of cropping it. If this does happen, just hit the Undo button in the toolbar and try again!
Using the alignment tools: To ensure that your slides are slick and professional, you need to tap into Google Slides’ alignment tools. To show you how to make the most of these tools, we’ll show you how you could use them to format an agenda slide.
Select all four agenda points and click the Align drop down in the Arrange tab. Here you will see a range of alignment options. Click Left, so that all points line up along the left hand side.
Next, with all four points still selected, click the Arrange tab again, but this time choose Distribute and then Vertically. This spaces all of your points evenly between the top and bottom point.
Now you have a perfectly aligned and distributed agenda slide!
Another handy tool here is Center on page, again in the Arrange tab. Choosing either Horizontally or Vertically positions your selected object in the centre or middle of the slide.
Adding and editing GIFs: Google Slides is very GIF friendly, and you can insert and edit animated GIFs in the same way as static images. If you edit a GIF (by cropping or resizing, for example) it will still work, playing in both present mode and on your slide as you edit!
Advanced: making attractive slides
It’s all well and good knowing how to add images and shapes to Google Slides, but we want to show you how to use them more effectively to help tell your story better, too. At BrightCarbon, we strongly believe that text-heavy slides won’t help you achieve much besides sending your audience straight to sleep. When audiences are forced to read slides like this, they naturally tune out everything that the presenter is saying because it’s impossible to read and listen at the same time! So instead of presenting distracting slides like this, try toning down the text and introducing more visuals. People respond much better to interesting visuals, and what’s more, are much more likely to listen to what you, the presenter, is trying to say.
So, here are our four simple tips for using more visuals to not only make your slides look more attractive, but to increase audience engagement and help get your message across!
Use charts, processes and timelines to relay information: Charts and timelines are an excellent way to show information visually, and help audiences see the result or trend straight away. What’s more, they are an easy visual for anybody to create. We talked a bit about how to use charts earlier, so here’s an example of a simple but effective timeline, using nothing but Google Slides shapes. Looks better than a list of bullet points, right?
Use visual metaphors to help tell stories: Combining simple but striking visuals with a little bit of text can be a great way to get your audience thinking. This kind of simple imagery is great for segue slides or section headers – to change the tone before heading into a new section.
Replace bullet points with simple iconography:
Consider removing large chunks of text and replacing them with simple icons that speak to the larger themes of your slide. Icons are much more visually interesting – and less daunting – than long blocks of text!
Use high quality photography- not stock photo clichés:
Don’t underestimate the power of photography. The image choice you make will have an impact on how your brand is perceived. The right photography can create a positive atmosphere and sense of finesse around you and your presentation; cheesy stock images will have the opposite effect! Aim to use high quality imagery from free imagery websites like unsplash.com, rather than pulling straight from Google Images, where the majority of content is copyright protected.
This image uses unrealistic and cheesy imagery that the audience may struggle to relate too. They may, as a result, not take you or your brand seriously. There’s also a lot of text on the slide, which the audience will read instead of listening to what you are saying.
This image, on the other hand, shows a more realistic depiction of events that audiences may be able to better relate to. Using high quality, modern-looking stock-photography also helps to paint your brand and your presentation in a better light. Reduced text means your audience can focus instead on the imagery and on listening to what you are saying.
When it comes to graphs and charts, Google Slides doesn’t have the largest library to choose from, but it does cover the basics and is incredibly easy to use, customise and update. There are four different types of built-in charts you can create: Bar, Column, Line and Pie. Each chart works in a similar way, so here we will just demonstrate a simple pie chart.
Adding data to your chart: Go to the Insert tab in the menu bar, click Chart and then Pie. A basic pie chart will appear on your slide. To edit the data in your pie chart, select the chart and click the small drop down arrow in the right hand corner that looks like a ‘v’. Then click Open source.
This opens a new Sheets doc where you can start to edit the data for your pie chart. Once you have added all of your data, close the Sheets doc and click the UPDATE button that will have appeared next to your pie chart. The pie chart will now adjust to reflect your data.
Customising the look and feel of your chart: You can recolour the individual segments of your pie chart by clicking the small drop down arrow in the right hand corner that looks like a ‘v’. Then click Open source to open up the data in Google Sheets.
In Sheets, double click any segment of your chart to open up the Chart editor. Here, beneath Series, click the Colour drop down to choose a colour for the segment. Repeat on each segment until your pie chart is the desired colours. Once done, close the Sheets doc and click the UPDATE button. The new colour scheme will now be applied.
If you’re looking for an easier way to recolour your pie chart, Slides has a few custom options you can use. Select the chart and click Format options… on the toolbar. Beneath Recolor, click the No Recolor drop down and choose from one of the many colour options. Click one to automatically recolour your chart.
Inserting a GIF: Adding an animated GIF to a slide works in exactly the same way as adding an image. In the menu bar go to Insert > Image > Upload from computer, then select the GIF from your computer. The GIF will appear on your slide and begin looping. You can edit it in the same way you would edit a static image such as a JPEG.
Inserting a video: Go to the Insert tab in themenu bar and select Video… to open up the Insert video window. At the top of the window you will see three tabs; Search, By URL and Google Drive. These are the three places you can get videos from.
The Search tab shows a search bar and the YouTube logo. Type into the search bar to search for any video on YouTube. As with any media you use in your presentations – make sure you have the rights to use the video you choose. Click on the video you want to use and then hit Select. The video will now appear on your slide. You can move it around or resize it like any other Slides object. To watch the video, click the play button in the centre of the video. This works in both normal and present mode.
The By URL tab is handy if you already have a link to a video you wish to use. Paste your link into the box labelled Paste YouTube URL here. Once entered, hit Select and the video will appear on your slide.
If you have a local copy of the video you want to show, in MP4 format for example, you can upload it to Drive and then use the Google Drive tab to search and locate it. Once you have found your video, hit Select and it will be added to your slide.
If you need to set a specific start and end time for your video (so that it only plays a chosen section of the content) here’s how to do it. Once your video has been added to your slide, right click it and select Format options. In the new window that appears to the right, click the Video playback drop down. From there you can input the desired start and end times by typing into the boxes. Once completed, the video will start and end at the chosen times whenever it is played, in both Present mode and normal view.
Inserting audio: Google Slides doesn’t support audio files (at the time of publishing), but there is a simple work-around. As we already know, Google Slides supports video clips, so the first thing you need to do is convert your audio file to a video file, which you can do by using free downloadable tools such as Audacity. If you want to use a popular song or soundtrack, it’s probably worth checking if it’s on YouTube first, so that you can skip this step. Once you’ve converted your audio file to video, or located a video on YouTube, use the steps in the Inserting video section above to add it to your slide.
Next, we need to turn on autoplay, so that the video clip begins playing as soon as you land on the slide in present mode. Right click the video and select Format options. Here, under Video playback, check the box next to Autoplay when presenting. You can now close this window by clicking the x in the right hand corner.
Finally, we need to mask the video to make it invisible, so that your audience will hear the audio but will not be able to see the content. Resize the video and make it much smaller. Select the video and click and drag one of the corner nodes to do this. Next, add a rectangle by clicking the Shape icon on the toolbar and selecting Rectangle from the drop down. Click and drag on your slide to add the rectangle. Reposition it over the top of your video file and make sure that the rectangle is big enough to cover it. Now, with your rectangle selected, click the Border colour icon on the toolbar and select Transparent.
The only thing left to do is change the colour of the rectangle so that it matches the background of your Slide. With the rectangle still selected, click the Fill Colour drop down and select the same colour as your Slide background. If your background is a photograph, move the video behind the photograph by right clicking it and choosing Send to back. Your video should now be completely invisible, hidden behind the rectangle. When you present your deck in Present mode, the video will be nowhere to be seen, but your audio will automatically play loud and clear!
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Creating content: animation and interactivity
Transitions: Google Slides has a number of transitions to help you segue from one slide to the next. Go to Transition… in the toolbar to open up the transition and animation panel. In this panel, click the No transition drop down to see the different options.
Whilst it’s tempting to use a number of different transitions to jazz up your deck, we advise keeping things simple, so as not to distract from your story. Typically, we like to use Dissolve (which gives a subtle fade effect)for most slides in the deck, as this is a good way to transition between slides without distracting the audience. At the end of each section, we like to use Fade (fade to black) to accentuate the break between sections in a more obvious way.
If you want to apply one transition to all slides, click Apply to all slides below the transition drop down.
Animation: To access the animation pane, either click Transition… in the toolbar, or go to the Insert drop down in the menu bar and select Animation. Here you can view all the animated objects in your presentation, and access the range of animation options that Google Slides has to offer. You’ll see that there aren’t as many options as some other presentation software, but the essentials are there.
To animate an object, first select it. Then, click Select an object to animate in the Animation pane. Using the animation drop down (which usually defaults to Fade in before an animation has been selected) you can choose from a variety of animation options. Options such as Fly in and Fade in make your objects appear on the slide. Conversely, Fly out and Fade out make objects that are already on your slide disappear.
You can also choose when your animation will begin with the Start condition drop down. Choose between On click (animation starts when you click with mouse or keyboard), After previous (animation starts after the previous animation) or With previous (animation starts with the previous animation, or directly after the previous slide has ended).
Slides makes it easy to animate paragraphs of text individually, by checking the By paragraph checkbox when creating your animation.
Adjust the Duration slider to set the time it takes for your animation to complete.
Advanced: Linking and hyperlinking
As a web-based program, Slides makes great use of hyperlinks, so you can easily navigate between Slides, web-pages and other documents as you present.
Hyperlinking text and objects
Long, complicated URLs can make slides look messy. If you want to provide a link to an external website in your presentation whilst keeping your slide looking slick and professional, you need to know how to hyperlink text!
Highlight the text that you want to turn into a hyperlink – one or two words is best. Right click the text and scroll down to Link… This will bring up a new dialog box, in which you can paste the link of your chosen website. Click Apply, and you’re done!
Now, whenever you click that link (even in present mode) a new browser page will launch, directing you to the web page. You don’t have to link to just web pages, you can link to other Google Docs and Sheets too. This same method of linking works on shapes, images and any other kind of Slides object.
Linking to a slide within your presentation
You may want to be able to link between different sections of a presentation, or easily navigate back to an agenda slide. To do this, highlight the text or select the object that you want to act as the hyperlink, right click it and scroll down to Link…. In the dialog box, you should see a drop down next to the Link box with a button that says Slides in this presentation. Click this to reveal a choice of Slides in your deck. Select the one you wish to hyperlink to and hit Apply.
Linking to a slide in a different presentation
It may also be necessary to link to a particular slide in a different presentation. To do this, first open the deck that you want to link to, and click on the slide you want it to open on. Whilst on that particular slide, copy the hyperlink from the browser bar.
Now, in the deck you want to link from, right click the text or object that will act as the hyperlink, scroll down to Link…, and in the dialogue box paste the hyperlink next to where it says Link. Click Apply. Now when you click your hyperlinked text or object, a new browser window will launch your presentation, on the exact slide you want!
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Getting the most out of cloud and collaboration features
Google Slides has an unparalleled range of collaboration features. Slides has been purpose built for collaborating in real-time, offering a number of different ways for interacting with colleagues or friends. No more version control problems, emailing files back and forth, or being pushed to download anything. Here’s how you can make the most of these features:
Sharing a presentation: Sharing means granting someone access to view, edit or comment on your presentation. Handy if you are collaborating on a project, would like a second opinion on your own work, or need multiple team members to work in the same document at the same time. Google’s sharing settings allow you to set restrictions, so you are always fully in control of the document you share.
To Share a Slides presentation, head to the File tab and select the Share… button. Alternatively, click the blue SHARE button in the top right of your screen. This will open a new window where you can input the email addresses of the people you want to share with. To the right of the window you will see a button with a pen icon. Using this drop down lets you toggle whether recipients will be able to edit, comment, or simply view your presentation.
Advanced sharing settings: