Google Cloud Apps Admins

Introducing Google Slides & Presentations

Written by Joey Allen (GCP Apps Admin) | September 29, 2013

Google Apps includes a powerful alternative to Powerpoint presentations called Google Slides. You can work on Google Presentations together, as a team.  Since everything's stored in Google Drive you can access, edit and present from any modern browser or mobile device. 



Create a presentation

From Google Drive, click the Create button and select Presentation.

When you first create a presentation, you can choose a theme. Themes give all your slides the same background and fonts. They give your presentation extra pizazz and a consistent look and feel, (but you can override the background and fonts for a specific slide if you want to). You can switch the theme later if you change your mind.

An untitled presentation will appear in your browser—now you're ready to edit!

Tip: Don’t forget to rename your presentation. Just click Untitled presentation to edit your title.

Edit your presentation

Use the edit toolbar to customize your presentation.

Note: If you’re not currently editing text, you won’t see all these items on the toolbar. Select a text area in your presentation to activate the text-related options.

Tip: If you have a set of legacy Slides, you can make changes to them by creating a new presentation, and importing the old slides (Insert > Import slides).  Just make sure you have the  button in your toolbar.

Click the Insert menu to see additional features you can add (text boxes, images, videos, shapes, arrows, equations, callouts, and more):

Format your presentation

Once you insert an image or shape, Slides helps you to keep your images consistent and line them up with each other using red, gray, and blue guidelines.

Resize an object

Align your objects


When you resize an image, grab a corner or side of an image and drag.  Blue lines appear to help line up the edges of the image with surrounding objects, like text boxes, shapes, or other images.


When you move an image,  you can line it up with the edges or center of  nearby objects by using the red lines to guide you.  


Add a new slide

There are several ways to add a slide to your presentation:

  • Click the  button in the edit toolbar. Click the down-arrow to the right of this if you want to specify a new layout for the slide:

    The layout determines the placement of text boxes on your slide. You can always move, delete, or re-size the text boxes, though, or add new ones.

    If you don’t use the down-arrow to specify a new layout, the default layout is used. For slide 1, the default layout is
    Title. For slide 2, the default is Title and Body. After that, the default is the layout of the previous slide.

  • Click Slide > New slide or Slide > Duplicate slide.  You can also right-click on an existing slide to see these options.

  • Click Insert > Import slides to add slides from other Google Slides or PowerPoint presentations (.ppt or .pptx format, up to 10MB in size).

Arrange your slides

It’s easy to rearrange your slides. Select a slide in the left pane and click the Slide menu for options to move it up, down, or to the top or bottom of your presentation.

Or, you can drag and drop the slide to a new position. Just click a slide in the left pane, hold the mouse button down, and drag the slide to a new location.

Do you want to move several slides at once? No problem! Use Shift-Click to select a sequence of slides, or Ctrl-Click to select multiple, non-sequential slides.Then use the Slide menu options or drag and drop to move all the selected slides at the same time.

Change your presentation style

You can change the theme for your slides at any time, or use a different background for one or more slides instead.

  • To select a new theme, click Slide > Change theme. This will change the theme for all your slides.

  • To choose a background image or color for the current slide (or all slides), click Slide > Background.

    If you select a new background color, you can choose from a palette of standard colors, custom colors, colors that match or coordinate with your current theme, or a transparent background.

    If you prefer a background image, you can upload one from your computer, choose one from Drive or your photos, find one on the web, or even take a new snapshot.

Add speaker notes

Use speaker notes to keep track of your talking points for each slide. In the presentation editor, they are displayed in the text area beneath the current slide. When you first add a new slide, this area shows Click to add notes.

If you don’t see the speaker notes, click the View menu and make sure Show speaker notes is checked.

When you present your slides, your speaker notes are displayed in a separate window. (This window also has controls to advance or pause your slideshow.)

Share and collaborate

Take advantage of the collaborative features of Slides by sharing your presentation with others. Multiple people will be able to edit the same presentation at the same time—you'll always have the most up-to-date version at your fingertips.

To get started sharing a presentation, click the Share button at the top right of the page. See Sharing and Collaboration to learn more about sharing settings.

Preview or present your slides

When you’re ready to preview or present your slides, click the Present button at the top right of the page. Click the down-arrow for additional options:

When you move the mouse on your slideshow, a bar temporarily appears with controls to display another slide, pause or resume the slideshow, and toggle to and from full-screen mode. Click the gear icon in this bar to see more options:

Learn more

So now you’ve mastered the fundamentals for creating Google Slides. If you still have questions or you’d like to learn more ways to enhance your presentations, (such as how to bring more life to your presentations with animations and slide transitions), check out the Google Slides Help Center.