Google Slides is an excellent tool for online presentations. With a Gmail account, you can start creating powerful presentations that include videos, images, graphs, and more unique visualizations. More importantly, Google slides is completely free with a Google account. No annual fees or subscription is required.
If you’re already familiar with Google Slides, these useful tips and tricks will take your presentation development to the next level.
1. View and Create Guides
Guides help keep items aligned and organized. To turn on guides, go to the top menu and select View – Guides – Show Guides. The shortcut for this is CTRL-ALT-E CTRL-ALT-G. CMD instead of CTRL if you’re a MAC user. Once you’ve turned on your guides, click and drag from either the top or left ruler to create a guide. Mouse over the guide to click and drag it to the desired position. Moving the guide off the slide towards the ruler will remove it.
Now when you move around a text box, shape, or image, you can align your items to your guides! The guides will remain on till you turn them off. Use the same shortcut as you would to turn them on, to turn them off. Or visit View – Guides – Show Guides (a checkmark will indicate that they’re turned on).
2. Use the Explore tool for layouts purposed for your content
The explore tool not only allows you to quickly insert URLs or images from the web, but it also provides custom layouts for the current slide. More importantly, it’s purpose is to create layouts that fit your content. The explore tool is always available but when a unique layout is available, it will highlight yellow like so:
Browse through the layouts and when you find one you like, click on it and once you’ve clicked on a layout, it will save it in your layouts! Therefore if you want to use it again, you can go to Layout – and locate your custom layout.
3. Use Google Image Search to Insert Images
Struggling to find an image for your slide? In Google Slides, (and other Google editors) you can access Google images right from the menu. Go to Insert – Image – Search the Web to access images from Google. Once you’ve found an image you like, click on one or multiple images and select insert. You can also click and drag them into your slide.
Note: You can also search for images with the Explore Tool.
4. Hold down the Shift Key to keep Image and Object Proportions
Without distorting images, hold down the shift key while resizing an image from its corners. Doing so with a shape will also keep its proportions. Additionally, holding down the shift key while creating a square or circle will make a perfect square/circle.
5. Work in Full-Screen Mode
Working in full-screen mode provides a distraction-free environment. To enter full-screen mode, press f11 on your keyboard (some keyboards may require you to press fn + f11). Press again to exit this mode.
6. Use Premade Diagrams for Unique Visualizations
Another useful tip in Google Slides is using premade diagrams. To access premade diagrams such as timelines, grids, or processes, go to the top menu and select Insert – Diagram. Explore the options available to demonstrate a visual representation of the information you are providing. Moreover, each diagram has it’s own custom fields such as colours and number of fields. Edit the content as you normally would within a textbox. In the example below, we chose a grid diagram with 3 levels and selected red as its colour. As you can see, there are a lot of custom diagrams to choose from!
7. Insert a Chart from Google Sheets
Presenting data from Google Sheets into Slides is easy because the data can be linked. Meaning, you don’t have to update the data twice. To insert a chart from Sheets, go to the top menu, select Insert – Chart – From Sheets. Depending on the data, you can select which graph you’d like to insert. To unlink the data, click on the chart and in the upper right, click on the link icon and select “unlink” from the dropdown. Selecting “open source” will open up the original Google Sheet.
8. Modifying the Theme
Upon going to Google Slides main page, you are able to select from a premade theme or a blank one. Within a theme, you have a selection of layouts. To view or change the layout of a slide, click on “Layout” from the toolbar. Editing these layouts is easy. Simply go to the top menu, select Slide – Edit Master.
Any changes you make to the layout will be updated in your presentation (if it has that layout). For example, if you change the font colour or size in a layout, it will apply it throughout your presentation with that selected layout. At the top of the layout you’re editing, you’ll see the number of slides using it. To stop editing the master, click on the “X” in the top right.
As a result, editing the master makes it easy for you to make changes without having to make those adjustments every time you create a new slide.
9. Download as Multiple Formats
In Google Slides, you can download your presentation as PowerPoint, PDF, ODP, TXT, JPEG, PNG, and SVG formats. The important ones being PowerPoint, PDF, and JPEG. This makes Google Slides very versatile to work with. Go to the top menu, select File – Download and select your format.
10. Publish your Google Slide Presentation to the Web
Although some technical knowledge is required, you can publish your Google Slides presentation to your website. In the top menu, click on File – Publish to the Web. You can either select a link or embed your presentation (ask your website provider or contact Ab Web for help with this!). Copy the link or embed code, to be placed on your website page.
Note: Doing this will make your presentation available to the public. Make sure no confidential information is included in the presentation.