If you're looking for a presentation tool, don't overlook Google Slides. This free tool, available through Google Drive, has a lot to offer. In fact, it's one of the best presentation creation tools out there.
Google Slides has the basic slide presentation features, ranging from the ability to format text and add images to the ability to use layouts and themes. It also includes more advanced presentation tools such as the ability to publish to the web and great collaboration features.
For a comparison between Google Slides and other top presentation tools, look at:
- PresentationsPowerPoint vs. Keynote vs. Google Slides: What Is the Best Presentation Software?Laura Spencer
In a short time, you can easily learn how to use each Google Slides presentation tool. In this article, we point you to step-by-step tutorials for various Google Slides features you can learn how to use right now.
This is a good article to bookmark. When you've got more time, work through all the tutorials in this article for a more complete mastery of Google Slides.
If you're new to Google Slides, get started with this tutorial:
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Now, let's go through the most important Google Slides presentation tools—with tutorials you can jump into learning more, right now:
1. Add Text and Bullet Points
With a free software tool, you'd expect limited text formatting tools. With Google Slides, you get a full complement of text formatting tools. Here's a look at the Google Slides formatting tools:
Each number below corresponds to an icon in the illustration above:
- Font. Choose a font for your text.
- Font size. Define the text size.
- Text effects. Bold, italicize, or underline your text.
- Font color. Select a font color.
- Text alignment. Define horizontal text alignment as left, center, right, or justified.
- Line spacing. Set up line spacing between lines of text. This option also lets you add space before or after a paragraph and define custom spacing.
- Lists. Define various types of numbered and bulleted lists.
- Indents. Decrease or increase text indents.
- Clear formatting. Clear the current text formatting.
For detailed steps on how to apply formatting to your Google Slides presentation, look at:
2. Add Images and Backgrounds
Images and photos can be a great way to add interest to your Google Slides presentation. Fortunately, Google Slides includes tools to help you do it. Here's a look at the Insert Image screen:
Upload an image into your professional presentation from your choice of locations. Google Slides even gives you the tools to use an image as a background to a slide.
Find royalty-free images to use in
your presentations through Envato Elements. For more guidance on how to upload images into Google Slides,
3. Change Google Slides Presentation Themes
How your Google Slides slideshow looks determines what people think of it...and by extension, what they think of your business.
With Google Slides, you're not locked into a single look for your presentation. Google Slides includes some basic themes, but for more graphic layouts and pro features you may want to use a Premium template.
To make your presentation stand out, learn to use the Slide > Change Theme menu option to apply a unique professional theme to your slideshow. You'll find step-by-step instructions for changing Google Slides themes here:
4. Create Google Slide Layouts
Not only does changing the theme of your presentation help to engage your audience, adding varying slide layouts also adds interest. Google Slides allows you to modify existing slide layouts through the Master Slides tool.
Here's what the Master Slides tool looks like in the popular Everland Business Google Slides Theme:
Each arrow points to a different layout that could be used in your presentation. All the slides in your presentation are based on the Master Slide, shown at the top.
Change your slide layouts or add new ones using the Slide > Edit master menu option. Learn how in this tutorial:
5. Learn to Use Google Slides Templates
Graphic templates are a cool Google Slides tool that you should learn to make use of. They'll save you a lot of time.
Let's look an example of how convenient using a template can be. Ordinarily, making a timeline in Google Slides would involve a lot of online "drawing" on your part. While Google Slides does offer a Shape and a Line tool, putting the right shapes and lines together to make an attractive infographic template could take hours.
However, many third-party Google Slides templates include a timeline as part of the Premium design features. If you choose to use one of these pro templates, all you would need to do is modify it in the timeline with your own information. Instead of working on it for hours, you could have a professional-looking timeline in minutes.
Here's a tutorial where we modify a graphic template design from the best-selling Marketofy Google Slides template:
The finished timeline ends up looking like this:
How long would it take you to use
the drawing tools to make something like this on your own without a template?
6. Use Collaboration Tools
One of the strengths of Google Slides is the ability to
collaborate with others. Since the presentations are online, you can easily
share a presentation with a team member using the Google Slides collaboration
Depending on what rights you give your collaborator, they can view, edit, or comment on your presentation:
Explore the Google Slides collaboration tools further in Tip 9 of this tutorial:
- Google Slides19+ (Quick) Tips & Tricks to Use Google Slides Like a Professional in 2019Laura Spencer
7. Use Google Slides Special Effects
You wouldn't necessarily expect it from a free tool like Google Slides, but you can choose from a variety of professional slideshow special effects. Google Slides special effects rival those offered by pricier software tools.
With Google Slides, define up to seven transition options between slides. Google Slides transition options range from Fade to Flip to a Gallery effect. Not only can you vary the transition effects you use, you can also change the timing of the transitions.
In addition to the transition effects, Google Slides also offers you the opportunity to animate specific objects on an individual slide. Choose from 15 different animation effects.
To explore the Google Slides special effects tools in greater depth, refer to this this tutorial:
8. Add YouTube Videos
Multimedia is everywhere these days, and slideshow presentations are no different. Often, to really capture and hold your audience's attention you need to add video.
With Google Slides, add your choice of YouTube or other video to your presentation using the Insert > Video menu option. Here's the Insert Video dialog box:
For the complete scoop on how to add video to your professional Google Slides presentation, review this tutorial:
9. Publish to the Web
Because Google Slides is an Internet-based tool, it includes excellent tools for publishing a slideshow online. This is convenient if you need to use your Google Slides presentation for a webinar or if you want to reach a remote audience.
You can even embed your presentation into your website. This could come in handy if you've got a marketing presentation that you want all your prospects to see. Google Slides even allows you to define how long each slide appears on the computer screen and whether your presentation restarts automatically when it comes to the end.
Learn more about how to publish a Google Slides presentation online.
10. Use Google Slides Offline
Don't let the fact the Google Slides is an online software tool frighten you. If you know how, you can set Google Slides up so that you can work offline:
This feature comes in handy if your Internet is down or if you travel to an area without an Internet connection. When you come back online, your offline presentation automatically syncs with the online version. Learn all about how to work offline with Google Slides.
11. Run Google Slides Remotely
Did you ever wish you could use your smartphone or tablet as a remote for a larger screen (such a projector screen or a television)? If you travel and give presentations, learning how to do this will make your life easier.
With the right tools, you can run Google Slides remotely from an Android or IOS device. To do it, you'll need:
- An Internet connection
- Apple TV if using an IOS device
- Chromecast device if using an Android device
- Google Slides app
Turn to this Envato Tuts+ tutorial, for detailed instructions on how to run Google Slides remotely.
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Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.
Should you be using Google Slides to create your presentations? Comparing Google Slides presentation features to the features of other presentation tools shows that Google Slides offers some advantages over other tools.
Google Slides is a web-based tool that's ideal for collaboration and online publishing, as well as other professional presentation needs. When you consider that the Google Slides presentation tool is also free, it becomes an excellent option.
Start learning how to use Google Slides
presentation tools right now by studying one or more of the step-by-step
tutorials described in this article.