This is the first of a new set of posts, this time looking at Google’s presentation tool, Google Slides. It takes its cue from the classic Microsoft presentation software, Powerpoint, but as with the other Google Apps, it’s far more streamlined and contains the most common and essential tools to be able to produce great presentations and visual documents.

Here I’ll give you an overview of the software, in particular, the layout, the menus, and the toolbar.

First, let’s create a new Slides document.

In Google Drive, click on the red “New” button, then select Google Slides.


This will open a blank Slides document.


Finding your way around Google Slides

It’s pretty easy to find your way around Google Slides as the page isn’t cluttered with many different things. At the top you have the menus and below that the toolbar. Most of the things you want to do are accessed via the menus or the toolbar.

On the left-hand side, you have the slides sorter, which is where you can see all your different slides and can reorder them. In a new Slides document there’s only one slide, but this can easily be added to. In the centre, is the current slide.

On the right-hand side is the sidebar, which is only visible for certain options, usually where extra options to be shown, for example, here it offers different ‘themes’, which are different colours and formats for you slides.

At the bottom you have the option of adding some notes as a speaker (or presenter). The audience won’t see these.

Finally, in the top-right corner you have some options like the present mode, sharing and commenting, plus your account options can be accessed from here.


What’s in the menus?

File – Options relating to the file as a whole.


Edit – Options to edit the text.


View – Options mainly relating to how you view the slides.


Insert – This allows you to add different types of things in your slides.


Slide – This contains options to add slides, change the way they look across all the slides, plus it has some navigation tools.


Format – As nothing has been selected, these are greyed out, but these allow you to edit the text, shapes, and images you have.


Arrange – The objects on the slide can be arranged in different ways. They can be controlled vertically and horizontally, but also each slide has layers, so you can change which objects are on top of each other. It also allows you to group items.


Tools – This contains a few useful tools, such as, the spellchecker, and the ‘research’ tool, which allows you to search the Net right from within Slides.


Table – Similar to the tables in Google Docs, this allows you to add and edit tables in your slides.


Help – Finally, there is a comprehensive help menu.


What’s on the toolbar?

The most common functions are on the toolbar. Let’s briefly go through them.


Plus: Add a slide or add a slide with a different layout; Print; Undo; Redo; Paint format


Zoom to fit; Zoom


Select; Text box; Insert image; Insert shape; Lines & connectors


Comments; Background options; Layouts; Theme options; Transitions between slides


At the top with have 4 extra options. Present the slides; Comments (& notifications); Share; Account options (including Sign Out)


In future posts, we’ll look at all these areas in more details.

The toolbar also changes depending on what is selected on the slide, which is really handy as it brings up the options relevant to what you need at that moment.

eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)