In this post, I’m going to focus on working with text in your slides. If you’re already familiar with Google Docs, a lot of the editing controls here are the same, but don’t worry if you’re not, I’m going to take you step-by-step through what’s available.

We’re going to look at:

  • Text boxes – inserting, changing the size and position, rotating
  • Text editing – font, size, bold, italics, underline, colour
  • Text alignment – horizontal & vertical

Text boxes

One key difference from adding text in Slides to writing in Docs, is that in Slides you need to create a text box to tell it where you want the text to go. This has the benefit of allowing you to put text wherever you want with ease.

In my previous post we saw how you can add a theme and a layout, where the text boxes were already created. To edit them we just had to click on them. Let’s suppose that we want something different, let’s create our own one.

Inserting a text box

Here I’ve created a new Slide document and by default the first slide already has a couple of text boxes. So, first I’m going to delete them. Click on the border of the text box, so that the border goes from grey to blue. Then press delete. So now we have a blank slide.


Click on the “Text box” icon on the toolbar.


Then click and drag on the slide, so that you make a rectangle. When you let go of the mouse button, you’ll see the cursor is in the text box ready to write some text.


I type some text in.


Editing the text

Now we want to edit the text. There are two things to remember, you can either edit the whole text box and all the text in that box in one go, or you can edit specific words. More often than not, you’ll want to edit the whole box.

To edit the whole box, you need to click on the blue border, like we did to delete the text boxes earlier. When you hover over the border you’ll see the cursor change to 4 arrows. Click on the border.

Changing the font size

Now let’s change the font size. Click on the triangle next to the font size and select the size you want.


As you can see, it’s change the font size for all the words in the box.


Editing specific words

If we want to just edit specific words, double-click on the word to highlight it.


Changing text to Bold

Then click on the edit option you want. E.g. let’s make “text” bold. Click on the “B” on the toolbar.


This changes just that word.


Changing the font

Now let’s change the font. Click on the text box border, then click on “Arial” on the toolbar.


This opens the font list. Select one of the fonts on the list. Here I’ve selected Comic Sans.


Slides doesn’t just have the fonts on the list, it has hundreds of fonts available which you select and add to your list. At the bottom of the same menu, click on “More fonts”.


This brings up the Fonts dialogue.


To help you, there is the option to choose a category (Display, Handwriting, Monospace, Serif, Sans Serif), which displays just the fonts in the category.

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You can also sort them in various ways (popularity, alphabetical, date added, trending).

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Or if you know the name, you can type it in the search box. Here I’m going to add “Helvetica Neue”. Often you don’t need to type the whole name, because as you type it’s searching for fonts matching with what you’ve typed so far. Click the font name and then “OK” to add it.

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The font will then appear in the font list.

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Now, I select my text and add the new font.


Adding italics and underlining

Similar to adding Bold, you can add italics and underline words or complete phrases.

Italic: The word ‘italic’ to the left is in italics, it’s slightly slanted to one side. To add it, select your text and click the “I” icon on the toolbar. Alternatively, you can select the text and press Ctrl+I.

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Here I’ve selected the text box.


Underline: The word ‘underline’ to the left is underlined, it has a line under the word. To add it, select your text and click the “U” icon on the toolbar. Alternatively, you can select the text and press Ctrl+U.

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Here I’ve selected the last word.


Changing the font colour

So far, we just have black text, but let’s add some colour to it. Select your text, click on the font colour icon and select a colour.


If you are using a theme, you also have specific colours selected for that theme, which are really useful as more often than not, they match the colours in your slides really well.


Although there are lots of colours to choose from, you also have the option to make your own one. Click on the font colour icon and click on “Custom”.


The box to the left controls the colour and the rectangle to the right, controls the brightness. You can click on the box and move the circle around to change the colour. On the right, move the slider up or down to control the brightness. I would start with changing the brightness as normally it starts off with black, so you need to lighten the black to be able to see the colours.

You will see the current colour in the box at the top. Click “OK” once you’ve found the one you want.

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Aligning your text

Here I’ve made the text box bigger, just so we can see the effect of the following alignment options.


We can control the horizontal and vertical alignment.

Click on the “align” button on the toolbar.


The top row controls the horizontal alignment and the bottom row the vertical alignment.

Horizontal alignment

We have 4 choices, left, centre, right, and justified.







Justified: Here I’ll use a paragraph of text to show you the difference from Left.


Vertical alignment

We have 3 choices: top, center, and bottom.







Changing the text box position

Let’s move the text box to somewhere else on the page. This is a simple case of clicking on the box and dragging it to the position and let go of the mouse button. It’s usually best to click away from the text as Slides might think you want to edit the text.

Notice, as you move it around your slide, you will occasionally see red lines. These are there to help you align the box with other elements on the page. They are really, really useful. For example, let’s put the put in the centre of the page. I move it until I see a horizontal red line in the middle of the page and a vertical one in the middle.

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Rotating the text box

Finally, text boxes can also be rotated, which is particularly useful for title slides.

Click on the little blue circle just above the text box and drag it either to the left or right. You’ll see a ghost image of the text box showing you it rotating and you’ll also see the degrees of rotation, if you want to be exact.

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Once it’s rotated where you want it, let go of the mouse button.


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Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)