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Google Slides allows you to create and deliver presentations right in your web browser—no special software is required.

Google Slides is part of G Suite for Education.

Next to Google Docs, Slides is probably the G Suite for Education app that is the easiest to use and the most directly applicable for the classroom. It's generally feature-rich enough to do everything you'll want in a presentation while remaining simple, flexible and portable. If you're not already using Slides for your presentations, please give it a shot -- you'll be amazed at how easy it is to create presentations you can use right now and access at any time on any Internet-connected device.

So, let's get started! The quickest way to access Google Slides is probably slides.google.com


Gif demonstrating opening Slides through the nine-dots Google menu


You can also access Slides through the Google apps menu (the nine-dots menu).


Image demonstrating user typing slides.new into a Web browser to create a new slideshow


Protip: If you’d like to quickly create a new slideshow, just type slides.new in your Web browser. (If you're like me, you'll never actually remember to use this, but it's a cool trick to know.)


Starting the (Slide)Show

Image showing the + Button in Google Slides


Once you're ready to create your new presentation, from the Slides home page, click the + button Image showing the + Button in Google Slides to get the show started. Under Start a new presentation, you'll get the option to either begin with a blank template or to start with a themed template from the template gallery.


Gif demonstrating a user browsing the template gallery in Google Slides


Check out all the template gallery has to offer for some great layout ideas (there's also a Weber School District tab with more templates). If you're a template snob like me, there's plenty more out there: Just try Googling for them! Once you've chosen your theme, you're ready to go!


Something Borrowed, Something Renewed

You may be thinking, "I already have a metric ton of presentations in PowerPoint/Keynote!" Well, good news! It's easy to import your existing presentations into Slides. (That is, unless you're using Prezi, in which case you're making me dizzy, so please stop.) There are many ways to import presentations into Slides, but here's one:

Start in your Google Drive. Once you're there, click on the + New buttonPicture of the + New button in Google DriveThen, select File uploadPicture of the File Upload button in Google Slides and browse your computer for the presentation you'd like to convert. Once you've found it, select it and right-click the file, choose open with and then Google Drive.


Gif demonstrating uploading a presentation for conversion to Google Slides


And here's another way to import presentations into Slides: From the Google Slides homepage, Click on File > Import Slides




Then, select the Upload tab. Drag your presentation file to the Upload box, or just click on Select a file from your device. Then choose the file, and presto: Your file will be converted to Slides and automagically Googlefied. That's a word, now.


Choosing a Theme

Whether you decide to spice up a blank theme or to choose a new theme for your presentation after you've started, the process is simple. To add or change a them, first select the slides you'd like to redecorate, then just click Theme ... on the Slides toolbar, then scroll through the themes displayed in the Themes palette that appears. Choose one of those, and you're good to go!


Gif demonstrating changing a theme in Google Slides


If you'd like to choose a different layout from the templates included with a theme, click on Layout and choose one of the options that drop down from there:


Picture of the Layout drop-down menu in Google Slides


Don't forget the Explore button Picture of the Explore button in G Suite! Clicking on that will pop up a menu with suggested layouts as well.


Renaming Your Presentation

This one's super-easy: To rename your presentation, just click on the words Untitled Presentation (or whatever the name of your presentation is) and type away to rename it. 


Gif demonstrating clicking on a Google Slides presentation name to rename it


You could also click File > Rename, but that's twice the clicks. Best to conserve that clicking energy.


Adding Slides to a Presentation

To add a new slide, click the New Slide button Picture of the New Slide toolbar button in Google Slides. If you click on the arrow next to the plus sign, a drop-down menu will allow you to select a layout.


Gif demonstrating adding a new slide with layout in Google Slides


You can also right-click one of the slide thumbnails and select New slide, or click Insert > New slide from the menu, or, if keyboard shortcuts are your thing, then Ctrl+M might be your jam. To make a copy of an existing slide, just right-click the slide's thumbnail and choose Duplicate slide. (Ctrl+C and Ctrl-V also work.) As usual for G Suite applications, Google has many ways to accomplish something. Choose whichever you'd like!


Adding Images to Your Slides

Whether it's for backgrounds, illustrations, informative examples, or just 37 pieces of flair, it's easy to add images to your slides. From the toolbar, click Insert > Images to add images from your computer, from a Web search, Google Drive, Photos, and more!


Gif demonstrating user clicking the Add Image button in Google Slides


You can also click the Insert image button Picture of the Insert Image button in Google Slides on your toolbar. Or drag and drop images from your computer's file browser directly onto a slide. 

To resize an image, click it once, then drag the blue borders. To preserve an image’s aspect ratio, drag from the corners.


Gif demonstrating resizing an image in Google Slides


To trim excess content from an image, click the crop button Picture of the Crop button in Google Slides. (You can also double-click the image, or right-click on it and choose Crop image.) Drag the solid, dark borders that appear to crop the image.


 Gif demonstrating cropping an image in Google Slides


To mask an image (masking is creating a shape for the image to fill), first select it, then click the little arrow to the right of the crop button Picture showing the Crop button and the arrow next to it in Google Slides. A drop-down menu will appear with a ton of different image mask options to choose from. Select any shape, and it will automagically apply to your image.


Gif demonstrating masking an image with a heart shape in Google Slides


You can resize and/or crop your image while it's masked, just like you could before. But let's say you do all that work, but then decide you want to replace your formatted, masked, and resized image with another image, but while retaining all your hard work. That's easy, too! To replace an image, select it, then right-click and choose Replace image.


Gif demonstrating the Replace Image function in Google Slides


You can then insert an image from your computer, Drive, a Web search, or wherever. Any image masking is preserved. Click Replace when you're done.


Adding Text to Your Slides

If there's text already in your slides, of course you can just click on it and type away to replace it with anything you'd like. But creating new text boxes is easy, too! Click Insert > Text box to add a new text box, then click on your newly added box to enter, well, text


Picture showing Insert text box selected in the Google Slides menu


You can also click the text box button Picture of the Insert Text Box button in Google Slidesdirectly on the toolbar. Then, draw your box and type!


Gif demonstrating clicking on Insert Text Box and then drawing a text box in Google Slides


You can move and resize these text boxes just like any other Slides object, and you can adjust your font style and size as well.


 Gif demonstrating changing the font and size of text in Google Slides


To create a link from text, first select the text (the exact words you want to link to something), then click the link button Picture of the Insert Link button in Google slideson the toolbar. 


Gif demonstration selecting text in Google Slides and creating a link to an external URL


You can also right-click the selected text, click Insert > link, or hit Ctrl+K. To link to another slide in your presentation, click the arrow by Slides in this presentation and choose a slide.


Gif demonstrating linking to another slide in the same presentation in Google Slides


But wait, there's more you can do with text in Google Slides! If you'd like to add even more flavor to your text, try some Word Art. Click Insert > Word Art to add text you can stylize.


Gif demonstrating a user creating Word Art in Google Slides


Fill your Word Art with color, choose a border, distort its shape … no matter what, you won’t be able to make it uglier than Comic Sans or Papyrus.

One more thing: speaker notes. These are handy little notes to yourself that don't display in presentation mode (they will be visible to anyone you share the presentation with, though). To add speaker notes, just click on the area just below the slide in your edit view labled Click to add speaker notes to type reminders, links, or anything else you might find useful.


Gif demonstrating typing speaker notes in a slide in Google Slides


Adding Video, Charts, Shapes, and More to Your Slides

With Slides, you can add all kinds of media to enhance your presentation and increase audience engagement. Slides makes it especially easy to embed YouTube videos -- even short clips from larger videos -- so they play right in your presentation. To add a video, click Insert > Video to add videos from YouTube or from Google Drive. This will pop-up a menu where you can search YouTube for a video, paste a link to a video, or search your Drive.


Picture of the Insert Video pop-up in Google Slides


To clip a video so only a portion of it plays in your presentation, click Format > Format options (or right-click the video). Under the Video Playback palette that opens, you can choose start and stop times for your clip either by timestamp or by using the slider on the video.


Gif demonstrating choosing a clip from a video in Google Slides


You can also add charts, shapes, and plenty o' other swell objects to your presentation from the Insert > menu. Move, resize, and/or delete these as you please!


Gif demonstrating adding a chart to a slide in Google Slides


That's all for now, but stay tuned for Google Slides GCE Level 2: Electric Boogaloo!

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