Do you need a specialized Google Slides layout for your presentation? Maybe you need to add a logo to a title page layout? Maybe you want to change the default font or colors for certain slide layouts. Or maybe you want to format your text into columns.
It doesn't matter if your presentation is for your business, for a class, or for some other purpose. You may find yourself wanting to arrange a slide in a way that isn't defined by your current presentation theme. You'll need to know how to change slide dimensions in Google Slides for that.
You can create unique layouts in Google Drive Slides that you can use throughout your presentation if you know how. Follow the steps in this tutorial to learn how to create your own Google Slides layouts. We'll also discuss Google Slides dimensions and cover a few slide design basics.
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Now let's get started with this tutorial. You'll learn all about how to change Google Slides slide size and dimensions.
How to Create Google Slide Layouts Quickly (QuickStart)
In this screencast, we walk through how to create Google Slides layouts using Master Layouts. This way you can take your new slide design and apply it to any number of slides in your presentation quickly:
Read on for an illustrated guide to making your own unique Google Slide layouts with or without presentation templates.
Jump to content in this section:
Choose a Google Slides Presentation Template
For this tutorial, we've used the Bold Lapis Google Slides template from Envato Elements. It's a modern download with multiple layouts for Google Slides available.
To use the template, simply type over the slide information in the template with your own information. It's really easy to make these premade layouts for Google Slides fit your content. You typically won't have to worry about what are the dimensions of a Google Slides deck with them either. But more on that later.
Discover more Google slides presentation templates on Envato Elements. You can also browse through our top new selections:
Understanding Google Slides Sizes & Dimensions
Before you download a template, however, choose the Google Slides dimension that you want to use for your presentation. This section covers the Google Slides Page Setup option, which is how you define the aspect ratio of your Google Slides layouts.
In Google Drive Slides, you'll find the available slide dimensions in the Page Setup dialog box. Open the dialog box by File > Page setup:
Click the up and down arrows to see the various aspect ratios available. These help you decide the size and dimensions of a Google Slides presentation:
As you can see, there are four aspect ratio options available to change the size and dimensions of a Google Slides deck:
- Standard 4:3
- Widescreen 16:9
- Widescreen 16:10
The Google Slides size of layout depends on the aspect ratio of the equipment you'll present with. Whether it'll be printed out also matters. The numbers after each choice represent the slide's aspect ratio. It compares the horizontal to vertical resolution. This takes the guesswork out of wondering what are the dimensions of a Google Slides presentation.
If you're unsure what are the dimensions of a Google slide, don't worry. You can tell if the aspect ratio is wrong for your equipment if you see black space around the edges of your presentation when you view it.
The second and third options are best for most new devices. Even most smart phones use a 16:9 aspect ratio. But if you're using older equipment to display your presentation, you may need to use the Standard 4:3 option. These two are the most common size and dimensions of a Google Slides template.
Using the Custom option, you can define your own aspect ratio in inches, centimeters, points, or pixels. This is useful if you want to adjust the size of the Google Slides yourself:
The Bold Lapis Google Slides template comes with a pair of aspect ratios. That means you don't need to know how to change the Google slides size because common options are available:
You can learn how to choose and download your own professional Google Slides theme in this quick tutorial:
It's good that you understand more about how to change Google slide dimensions and sizes. Now it's time to look at another important, related concept. Let's examine the concept of master slides:
What Is a Master Slide?
Before we can create our own Google Slides layouts, you need to know what a master slide and a master layout is.
A master slide defines how your presentation looks. It affects all the slides in your presentation. In contrast, master layouts could be used by all your slides, but you may choose to only re-use a layout several times.
Each slide you create is based on both the master slide and the master layout. To see the master slide and layouts for your presentation, use the Slide > Edit master menu option to open the Master Layout Editing dialog box:
Many presentation themes have a pre-defined master slide as well as master layouts. This reduces the need to create your own master and layouts.
Even with so many options available, you may occasionally feel the need to create your own layout. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create your own master layouts. Let's get started:
How to Create Google Slide Layouts
Google Drive Slides themes include a wide variety of master layouts for you. But sometimes you need a different slide layout. When that happens, you'll need to create your own master slide.
Do you like this tutorial? You may also be interested in this Google Slides tutorial. It explains how to add background images to a Google Slides presentation:
Step 1. Start with an Open Presentation
Start by opening the presentation for which you want to create the Google Slides layout:
Step 2. Add a Blank Slide to Your Presentation
Next, add a new blank slide to your presentation. This is the slide for which we'll create a new master layout.
To add a blank slide, click on the down arrow to the right of the Plus (+) symbol in left corner of the screen:
A dialog box opens displaying master layouts that are available. Click the Blank option to add a blank slide. A blank slide displays:
Step 3. Open the Master Layout Editing Dialog Box
Make sure the blank slide is selected by clicking on it in the pane to left of your open slide.
Select the Slide > Edit master menu option to open the Master Layout Editing dialog box:
As you can see, you're working with a Blank layout that's currently used by one slide.
At this point, it's a good idea to rename the layout since it'll no longer be blank after you're done with it. Click the Rename button:
Type the new name of your master layout and click the OK button. In this case, I named the new layout AnyTown Consulting, since I am creating it for an AnyTown Consulting presentation. But you can call it whatever you want.
Step 4. Make Layout Changes to Your Master Slide
With the Master Layout Editing dialog box open, use the toolbar tools make the layout changes you desire to the master layout you're working on:
- Use the Text tool to insert a placeholder for text.
- Use the Image tool to add an image.
- Use the Shape tool to add a shape.
- Use the Line tool to add a line.
Whatever layout changes you make for Google Slides appear on every slide that uses the master layout you create.
In this example, I used the Text tool to add a title. I used the Line tool to add a blue line underneath that title. And I used the Text tool again to create four columns of text. Also, just for fun, I used the Shape tool to add a solid blue diamond at the top right of the slide layout.
You can also use the toolbar tools to change the font style, font size, and font color. In the illustration below, I am changing the font in a text box:
Once you've finished your master layout, click the white X in the right corner of the dialog box to close it.
Here's a slide using the new master layout I just created:
Simply type the text and subtitle where indicated.
Step 5. Apply Your New Master Layout
Now that you've created a new master layout in Google slides, you can apply it to as many slides as you want.
Here's how to use the new master layout on a new slide:
To add it to a new slide, simply click the down arrow next to the + symbol on the left of your screen to add a new slide. Notice how the new master layout that you created is now available as a choice:
Click on the new master layout to apply it to the new slide you're creating.
Here's how to apply the new master layout to an existing slide:
To apply it to an existing slide, click on a slide to select it. Right-click on the selected slide to bring up a drop-down menu:
Select the Apply layout option from the drop-down menu. Next, click on the new master layout from the layout selections to right of the drop-down menu.
The master slide layout you created is applied to the new slide.
5 Basic Google Slide Design Tips
It's great to be able to create your own master layouts in Google Slides. But if your presentation is going to be effective you should remember to follow these basic design principles.
Discover basic slide design guidelines to follow. In this section, we briefly cover three design areas that you need to master:
- less text
- font usage
- graphics (including images)
Let's examine each area separately.
1. Use Less Text
There's nothing that can add unnecessary bloat to your layouts for Google Slides like text. Big blocks of text are distracting for an audience, and they don't translate well to a visual medium like a slideshow.
No matter what your Google Slides size and dimensions are, avoid using a lot of text. Keep it simple. Use bullet points and short lines of text to keep space free for more important elements.
2. Add Animations
You may not think of animations as part of slide design, but they're key for your overall presentation. They help you tell the story you want with your content.
You can dictate everything from pacing to transitions to a different main point all with a well-placed animation.
Google Slides has plenty of animations by default that you can explore. Try out how they can interact with your text boxes, images, and more on the site.
Color is an important part of your design. You can change the color of slide elements using the master slides and master layouts in Google Drive Slides.
You can also change some color elements as you create a slide without going into the Master Layout Editing dialog box.
For example, you can change the color of fonts used in your presentation. You can also change the color of drawing elements that you add directly to a slide, such as lines and shapes. You can't change the color of drawing elements added through the Master Layout Editing dialog box without going back into the dialog box.
When choosing colors, remember the following points:
- Color choices should contrast or complement one another. In most cases, avoid clashing colors such as orange and purple.
- Choose colors that portray a professional image to your intended audience. Earth tones and neutral colors such as white, black, gray and blue are usually considered professional. Pastels such as pink and lilac may work for certain markets and not others.
- Keep in mind your branding. Other elements of your branding such as your logo, website, and stationery should already have a unique color scheme. Your presentation should mirror your branded color scheme.
- Keep in mind visibility. Text in some colors, such as light yellow against a white background, are hard to read.
Your font choices are another important design decision. The fonts you choose can affect how successful your presentation is. When it comes to fonts there are three main factors to consider:
- Number of fonts
Simple fonts like Helvetica or Arial work best. Avoid fonts with lots of flourishes such fonts that are made to look like script or handwriting. The fancier fonts are more difficult to read.
Also, you should limit the number of fonts you use in your presentation to one or two. Enhance your font choices using bold, italic or underline. But avoid using many different fonts if you want your presentation to look cohesive.
Photos, drawings and charts play a big part in an effective slide presentation. To make the most of your graphics avoid these common mistakes:
- picking a poor-quality image
- using an image with a low resolution
- choosing a chart with text that's too small
- putting too many graphics on a single slide
To learn more about presentation design, review this tutorial for more detailed information:
Take Control of Your Layouts in Google Slides
Creating your own Google Slides master layouts can be quite useful—especially if you make a lot of presentations. Learn more about how to use Google Slides in our ultimate tutorial guide series. Our instructors have also created helpful articles to get you on your way in Google Slides.
- How to Use Google Slides in 2023 (Quick Start Guide)Rebecca Tarnopol15 Mar 2023
- How to Do Hanging Indents on Google Slides (+Video)Andrew Childress17 Apr 2023
- 20 Cute Google Slides Themes With Fun, Colorful Designs (2023)Dacia Egurrola22 May 2023
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It'll help walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.
Find Tons of Google Slides Templates on Envato Elements
Learning how to change the Google Slides size isn't the only thing you should know from this article. We've got a creative service that'll help you in presentations and other creative projects.
It's called Envato Elements. Get unlimited downloads of professional assets (such as Google Slides presentation templates) for a low monthly fee.
That includes everything from layouts for Google Slides to Photoshop templates, and so much in between. You can sign up for Envato Elements today to start designing without limits.
Start Your Next Presentation Today
In this tutorial, you've learned how to change slide dimensions in Google Slides. You also learned how to work with master slides and master layouts. We also showed you how to create your own custom slide layouts for Google Slides that you can use over and over. Finally, we covered some basic design tips for making more effective presentations.
Keep this information handy for whenever you need to work on a presentation! Knowing what are the dimensions of a Google Slides presentation you're making helps you make better slide decks.
Why not get started on your next presentation today? Find and download your favorite Google Slides template.
Editor Note: This article has been updated for accuracy and relevancy by Nathan Umoh.