Public Relations Today
Jayne Miller By Jayne Miller • August 4, 2015

Tips for Anyone Making the Switch to Google Slides

So we hear it’s presentation time.

That’s why we’ve collected tips and tricks for using Google Slides during your next presentation.

Not using Google Slides? Don’t just take it from us; they're worth a try. (I mean, we're going to show you how to control your presentation with your phone. That's pretty cool. The future is now.)

Show Me the Shortcuts

  • Ctrl + M: New slide

  • Ctrl + D: Duplicate slide

  • Home: First slide

  • End: Last slide

  • Page Up [OR] Up arrow: Previous slide

  • Page Down [OR] Down arrow: Next slide

  • Ctrl + Up arrow: Move slide up

  • Ctrl + Down arrow: Move slide down

  • Ctrl + Shift + Up arrow: Move slide to beginning

  • Ctrl + Shift + Down arrow: Move slide to end

  • Ctrl + Alt + C: Copy formatting of the selected text or shape

  • Ctrl + Alt + V: Paste formatting of the selected text or shape

  • Shift + Up arrow: Select previous slide

  • Shift + Down arrow: Select next slide

  • Shift + Home: Select first slide

  • Shift + End: Select last slide

  • Ctrl + F5: Present slides

  • Ctrl + Shift + F5: Present from beginning

  • Enter: Play selected video

Okay, fine. Just take all of em.

Organize Those Slides

If you’re new to Slides, this will be one of the first things you want to learn. First and foremost, you can drag and drop all your slides in the left-hand slide list. It’s one of the easiest ways to play around with your slide order and keep yourself organized.

You can also navigate to your slide menu and select “move up,” “move down,” “move to beginning,” and “move to end.”

Bonus round: number those slides by heading to “insert” and then “slide numbers.”

Why Yes. You Can Add Video.

There’s an old presentation rule that says a presenter is there to show his or her audience something, not tell them. So let’s mix this presentation up with some media options.

If you’d like to add video to your Google presentation, navigate to “insert” and then “video.” Now we’re cooking. You’ll be prompted to drop in a url and then size your video once it appears on your slide.

Don’t Be Constrained

You can now change the sizes of your slides. Just make sure you scope out the type of projector you’ll be using so your chosen size fits your screen/projector/IT setup.

To do this, head to “Page Setup.” You should find one standard and two widescreen presets available to choose from, or you can input custom dimensions.

Show Me a Cool Design Trick

Okay. Let’s talk image masking. The time may come when you’d like to change the shape of an image embedded on your slide. For example, maybe you want your headshot to appear in a circle, not a rectangle, like the original image. Masking is how we’re going to do that.

Select the image, and then select “Mask Image,” from the dropdown arrow on your crop tool. You’ll have a menu of shapes that you can mold to your picture.

Bonus tip: everyone loves presentations that feature cats.

Hacking Layouts

Yes, PowerPoint fans. You’ll find a familiar setup with a master slide theme that will apply to all slides in your presentation. (If you want your name or logo on every slide, you’ll want to place it on the master.) To edit this, just head to “Slides” and then “Edit Master.”

If you know the basics of slide layout and creating a master, you might be interested in learning how to import a theme from another presentation.

In your “Choose Theme” menu, you’ll see an “Import Theme” option on the bottom left. You’ll be prompted to select another presentation in your Drive or upload one. Google Slides will take it from there. Time saved.

Custom Colors

Set Your Custom Colors

Don’t feel constrained by Google’s default color palette. Any color menu comes with a “Custom” option at the bottom of the menu. You can play around with the slider or enter a hex code to generate your desired hue.

Have no idea what a hex code is or which particular one you need for that sky blue you’re going for?

I was recently introduced to this very cool Chrome extension that will allow you to generate hex codes from colors you find on other sites. A nice design/presentation tool to have in your back pocket.

Wait. What is Snap to Grid?

When you interact with a shape/object, the snap-to-grid feature will align (re: snap) to the closest intersection of lines as if your document were placed on a grid. (This feature will also pick up on other objects and snap to them.) It makes it much easier to line up elements on your slide.

You’ll find this feature is automatically turned on with Google Slides. You can change that under the “View” menu. Or you could be super sneaky and just hold down “Alt” while you move your object, and snap-to-grid will be temporarily disabled.

Embedding on Websites

Embedding. Yes. It can be done.

Not to totally steal the thunder of this (great) tutorial on how to publish your presentation on a website, but you’re going to “Publish to Web” and grab the embed code.


Run Your Presentation From Your Personal Device

Ready to impress your colleagues? With the help of Chromecast or Airplay, you can run your Google presentation from your phone.

To do this, you’ll need to open your presentation on your device and press play. From there, you’ll either opt to begin casting (Chromecast) or switch on your “mirroring” setting (Airplay). From there, you’ll run the rest of your presentation from your device. So snazzy.

Here are some more details straight from Google.

The Teacher's Guide to Using Google Drive 2.0