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 might learn something new or be inspired to explore the app even further.

Basic Graphic Design in Google Slides

If you need to learn or review the following skills, please click on the links below:

Change Slide Layout

The menu changes depending on 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.

Docs editors Help

Change Background Color

Add a bit of color to the Google Slides by changing the white background to 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.

Docs editors Help

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.

Docs editors Help

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) on the bullet to view the menu.
  4. Select More bullets.
  5. Search the Categories or search by drawing an object in the box.

The emojis and characters will look different depending on the device and OS you are using.

Docs editors Help


There is no need to create complicated diagrams when you and use and customize the built-in grids, Venn diagrams, timelines, and more in Google Slides!

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

Slides Templates

Google Slides provides templates at Take a look at the templates like Photo Album.

Replace Image

  1. Select a template's image.
  2. Click Replace image and select Search the web.
  3. Search for an image.
  4. Select the image.
  5. Click Replace.
Replace image in a Google Slides Template

Slides Add-ons

Like Docs and Sheets, Google Slides has Add-ons. These Add-ons give more functionality to the app. From experience, I have found most of these add-ons great for teachers but not accessible to students.

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).

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

Sometimes creativity needs inspiration. This is why the Explore tool comes in handy. When you have minimal text and images, use the Explore option to view suggested layouts.

  1. Type minimal content and insert up to 2 images.
  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.

If the Explore tool is not yellow, read these suggestions from 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 in a Docs. The best part is when the Slides is updated, the student can select Update from the image in Docs.

  1. Right-click on a 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. The image is now inserted and can be updated as necessary.


Shapes add visual elements to your yearbook design.

Updated September 24, 2022.