With each Google Slides update, the ability to edit an image in the app is getting better. We can crop, mask images into shapes, and make adjustments such as recolor, transparency, and contrast. We can also add drop shadows, reflections, AND (my favorite) resize to a specific size using the Format options sidebar.

Before we jump into image editing in Google Slides, let's begin with some Google Slides basics such as creating a new Google Slides, add a slide, and inserting images. We will learn more about graphic design in Google Slides in the next section.

Create Slides

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. As we discuss on the Search Features page, users can Search Drive by name or file type.

Create Slides from Google Drive

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

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

Use Google Slides

Add a New Slides Layout

  1. Select the arrow next to the + icon in the upper left corner.
  2. Select the layout of your choice.

Docs editors Help

Insert Multiple Images

Insert one image or more at the same time. If you insert 2-3 images, the images will be resized to fit the Slide. If you insert more, the images are layered on top of each other. This may change in the future.

  1. Click on the insert 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.

Insert Image from a Shared Google Photos Link

As I have mentioned previously, my 7th and 8th Graders do not have individual school Google Photos accounts. I share the yearbook photo with them using a Google Sheets Table of Contents. The student then figured out the following solution for inserting that image.

  1. Open the shared photo and select the three vertical dots for more options.
  2. Select Download all.
  3. In a Google app such as Slides, select the insert image icon and Upload from computer.

Edit Images in Google Slides

Specify an Image Size

The ability to specify the dimensions of an image or object is a lifesaver! Not only can you size an image, you can also position it on an x-y axis and rotate it!

  1. Click on the image.
  2. A new menu will appear. Select Format options.
  3. Specify an image size. I highly recommend that you Lock aspect ratio.

Format Options: Recolor

  1. When you click on the image, the Format options menu appears.
  2. Click on Format options.
  3. Select the drop-down menu under Recolor on the sidebar.
  4. Select a color of your choice.

Format Options: Adjustments

In the same Format options sidebar, you have the ability to manually adjust the transparency, brightness, and contrast of the image.

Format Options: Shadow & Reflection

  1. Click on the textbox or image.
  2. Select Format options (you may have to select more).
  3. Click the drop-down arrow to view advanced options OR simply check Drop shadow (or Reflection).

Crop an image

  1. Select the image.
  2. Select the cropping icon. (If you also combine step 1-2 by clicking on the image twice).
  3. Click and drag the blue squares to crop the image.
  4. When you’re done, press Enter on your keyboard or click anywhere off the image.

Docs Editor Help: Crop and Adjust Image

Mask an image into a shape

Cropping photos as rectangles is a bit boring. Fortunately, there are more options with mask image, which include ovals, hearts, clouds, and more!

  1. Click the image you want to mask.
  2. At the top, next to the Crop icon, click the Down arrow.
  3. Click the shape you want.
  4. To adjust your shape, pull in the edges.

Docs Editor Help: Mask an Image

Google Slides Image Editing Add-ons

Shutterstock Add-on

The Shutterstock add-on allows users to edit a Google Slides image; however, the add-on is blocked by our school filter as it allows access to the Shutterstock library.

Click here to get the Slides add-on.

Edit an Image with Shutterstock

  1. In Google Slides, open the Shutterstock Google Slides add-on.
  2. Select the image. The temporary border will be blue.
  3. Select Edit photo.
  4. Edit the photo as you wish.
  5. Select Saves to Slides when you are done.

Image Editing Options in Shutterstock Add-on

Additional Resources

YouTube Playlist

  • Supercharge Google Slides with Add-Ons by Eric Curts (start at 31:38 for Shutterstock)
  • Shutterstock Editor by Shutterstock
  • New Image Options for Google Docs by Shawn Beard
  • Google Slides - Image Options & Replace Images by Tom Mullaney
  • How to Add Filters to Your Images in Google Slides by BetterCloud
  • Edit Images in Google Slides by JP Prezzavento



Search Features

Google has made searching in Google Drive even more powerful!

Search features in Google Drive

Updated January 22, 2023.