Google Slides is more than a presentation app. We can create comic strips, magazine covers, newsletters, e-books, and yes, even yearbooks, in this versatile Google app.

If you are already familiar with Google Slides, then fill free to skim the page. You must learn something new.

Create Slides from Google Drive

Google Drive is a teacher's home base. Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Sites, Drawings and more are stored in this Cloud. These files can be manually organized into folders. The user can Search Drive by name or file type.

Create Slides

  1. Go to
  2. Select NEW.
  3. Click on Google Slides.

Have you taken the opportunity to view the Google Slides Template Gallery?

Create Slides in Google Classroom

Think of Google Classroom not as an assignment maker, but rather a Google Drive organizer for both the student and teacher. Read the student directions for creating a Google Slides that is automatically shared with the teacher.

Create a Slides

  1. Click OPEN on the Google Classroom assignment.
  2. Select CREATE.
  3. When the Slides with your name opens, click on it.

Google Slides

Here are a few basic directions for Google Slides plus a few options that I use on a daily basis.

Add a New Slides Layout

The + icon in the upper left corner adds a new slide. Select the down arrow to select a particular layout.

Docs editors Help

Change Slide Layout

The menu changes depending what you select in Google Slides. For example, if you select on the slide itself, the word Layout appears. If you click inside the text box, a text format menu appears.

  1. Click on Slide (not in a text box).
  2. Click on Layout.
  3. Select the layout of your choice.

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Change Background Color

Add a bit of color to the Google Slides by changing the background to white, a solid color, a gradient color, or an image.

  1. Click on the background of the slide. A menu with Background, Layout, etc will appear.
  2. Click on Background.
  3. Select either Color or Image.
  4. Notice the multiple options. Select your choice.
  5. Click the blue Done to change the background for ONE slide. Click Add to theme to change ALL slides.

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Insert Multiple Images

  1. Click on the image icon.
  2. Select one of the following: Upload from computerSearch the webDrivePhotosBy URL, or Camera.
  3. Select one or more photos.
  4. Click Done.

Specify an Image Size

  1. Click on the image.
  2. A new menu will appear. Select Format options.
  3. Specify an image size. You can check Lock aspect ratio.

Add a Bulleted List

Bulleted lists communicate ideas. Google Slides has 6 default bulleted icons.

  1. Click inside a text box.
  2. Look for the icon.

If you do not see the option, look for ... to view more options.

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Customize Bullet List

Knowing how to customize a bullet list with emojis may not help you create a yearbook BUT it is super fun on presentations and in Google Docs!

  1. Select the Bullet list icon or use the shortcut CTRLShift 8.
  2. Type the list.
  3. Right-click (or 2-finger touch on Chromebook) to view menu.
  4. Select More bullets.
  5. Search the Categories or search by drawing in the box.

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Access diagrams such as grids, Venn diagrams, and timelines in Google Slides!

  1. Select Insert.
  2. Click on Diagram.
  3. Choose the type of diagram.
  4. Select the level, copy and style.

Slides Add-ons

Like Docs and Sheets, Google Slides has Add-ons. These Add-ons give more functionality to the app.

Look in the Menu bar for Add-ons. Then select Get add-ons and explore the options. New add-ons are added each month. Eventually, SlidesYearbook will be one of them.

Use Add-ons

  1. Select Add-ons on the menu bar.
  2. Click Get-add-ons.
  3. Search the store to find an add-on. Click on it and select Free.
  4. Add-ons include Unsplash (quality photos), the Noun Project, (icons) and Paletti (color templates).

Some add-ons may be blocked for students. Below is a list of Add-ons that work in my K-8 district.

List of Slides Add-ons

To protect students from potentially inappropriate images, schools use internet filters. These filters may also block Add-ons. Below is a list of Add-ons that work with my K-8 school filter and ones that are blocked for students.

Add-ons that work with our school filter

  • AudioPlayer for Slides
  • Doc 365 GIFmaker
  • Easy Accents - Slides
  • Flat - Music Notation
  • Grackle - Accessibility Checker
  • Insert icons for Slides
  • Lucidchart Diagrams
  • Magic Rainbow Unicorns
  • Noun Project
  • Paletti
  • Peardeck
  • ShapeApp
  • Slides Toolbox

Blocked for our students

  • Adobe Stock
  • Top Stock Photos
  • Shutterstock
  • Unsplash
  • Wireframe

Use Explore in Google Slides

When you have minimal text and images, use the Explore option to view suggested layouts.

  1. Type minimal writing and/or insert an image. This image is from the Unsplash add-on.
  2. Select the Explore icon in the lower right. It should be yellow.
  3. Scroll through the options to find the layout of your choice.

Docs Editor Help

Copy/Paste Google Slide into a Google Docs

A visual created in Google Slides can easily be copied, pasted and linked into a Google Docs! Why use this feature? Images are powerful! They inspire ideas and help us reflect. The student can illustrate a story in Slides and use those illustrations  Docs. Students can copy/paste a Slide as evidence of learning as they write a reflection of their work in Docs. The best part is when the Slides is updated, the student can select Update from the image in Docs.

  1. Right-click on one Slide on the left-hand column.
  2. Select Copy.
  3. Open the Google Doc of your choice.
  4. Paste (CTRL + V).
  5. Select Link to presentation.
  6. Image is now inserted and can be updated as necessary.

YouTube Playlist

  • 6 NEW Updates for Google Slides by Teacher's Tech
  • September 2017 User Group Meeting by Eric Curtis (Watch 1:08:53-2:01:15)


Learn to Make Your Own Add-ons


Did you learn something new about Google Slides? Let's talk about color now.

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