Lesson 6: Google slides

Lesson Outline

Today we are getting focused on building presentations using slides.

Google slides

After the lesson students should get a basic understanding what google slides is, and they should be also able to build a basic presentation on their own.



As usual spend around 10 minutes doing a quick recap of previous day. Hans on recap for the students to do some arithmetic functions in google sheets for instance.


What is it

Explain them what Google Slides is for. A presentation is a combination of short texts and images to catch the attentions of the attendance and set the context. But compared to google docs where all the content is in the own document, slides is more a support tool for the speaker. A presentation is a dynamic session where the speaker explains every slide, and listens to possible question from the attendants.

How to Create a Blank Presentation

Now that you have a Google account, it’s time to create your first presentation. Head over to Google Slides and place the cursor on the multicolored “+” icon in the bottom-right corner.

The + turns into a black pencil icon; click it.

Pro Tip: Type slides.new into the address bar from any browser and hit Enter to automatically create and open a new blank document.

How to Import a Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

When you import a PowerPoint presentation, you can use either Google Slides or Drive to upload your files. Both methods let you drag and drop a file from your computer directly into the web browser for easy uploads. Your Drive houses all of your uploaded files, but—for the sake of convenience—when you go to the Slides homepage, it only shows you presentation-type files.

From the Slides homepage, click the folder icon in the top right, and then click the “Upload” tab. Now, drag and drop any files you want to upload directly into this window.

Once the file uploads, Slides opens it automatically, and it’s ready for you to edit, share, or collaborate.

To open a PowerPoint presentation that you want to edit, click the filename with the “P” next to it from your Google Slides homepage.

Click to either view the PowerPoint file or edit it in Slides.

After you’ve finished editing your file, you can download and export your presentation back into a Microsoft PowerPoint format. Just go to File > Download As, and then click the “Microsoft PowerPoint” option.

If you’d rather download your presentation as a PDF, ODP, JPEG, TXT, etc., you can do that here, as well.

Delete a Text Box in Googles Slides

First, go ahead and open the Google Slides presentation and navigate to the slide that contains the text box you want to delete. Select the text box by clicking it with your mouse. If you want to select multiple text boxes at once, hold the Ctrl key (Command on Mac) while you click the text boxes. The outside of the text box turns blue when selected.

Once selected, simply press the Backspace key (or Delete on Mac) to remove the text box. Or, right-click the selected text box and then click “Delete” in the context menu.

You can also click “Edit” from the menu bar, and then choose “Delete” from the drop-down menu.

Regardless of which method you choose, the text box will be removed. Repeat this as many times as necessary.

Quickly Undo the Text Box Deletion

If you have several text boxes you need to remove from the presentation, you may accidentally delete the wrong one. The good news is you don’t have to redo everything that was in the text box—you can just undo its deletion.

To undo the text box deletion, just press Ctrl+Z (Command+Z on Mac). You can also click “Edit” from the menu bar and then choose “Undo” at the top of the drop-down menu.

This undoes the previous command, so if you deleted the text box 20 steps ago, you’d need to use this shortcut 20 times. If you accidentally delete a text box that you need, it’s important you bring it back before continuing on with other tasks.

So that’s all there is to deleting (and bringing back) text boxes. You’ll find yourself using this feature quite often as you continue using Google Slides. Sprucing up your presentation is key to making it successful, so don’t feel bad getting rid of those unnecessary distractions.

How to Check Your Spelling in Google Slides

Now that you have a few presentations, it’s time to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. Slides is equipped with a spellchecker. If you misspell something, it underlines the error with a squiggly line and prompts you to make a change.

This should be on by default, but you can make sure in Tools > Spelling > Underline Errors.

To see spelling corrections and suggestions, right-click the word with the line underneath. Alternatively, press Ctrl+Alt+X (Windows) or Command+Alt+X (Mac) to open the Spell Check and Grammar tool.

Along with a spellchecker, Google Slides comes loaded with a built-in dictionary and thesaurus. To use them, highlight a word, right-click it, and then click “Define [word].”

How to Wrap Text in Google Slides Presentations

To get started, open your Google Slides presentation and then navigate to the slide that contains the image and text you’ll be working with. If you haven’t already inserted your image, click Insert > Image, and then choose the location of the photo. If you don’t already have text in your slide, you can add a text box via Insert > Text box.

When everything is on the slide, it may look something like this:

The issue is that all of the text to the right of the image is in a single text box. In this case, you won’t be able to put the last paragraph of text under the image, giving it the illusion of text wrapping, while it’s still in that same text box. The solution here is to simply add a new text box, copy and paste the bottom paragraph in the new text box, and then position it so that it has the appearance of wrapping around the image.

To copy the text to your clipboard, click and drag your cursor over the text to select it, and then press Ctrl+C (Command+C on Mac). Text is highlighted in blue when selected.

Next, insert a new text box by clicking “Insert” in the menu bar and clicking “Text Box” in the drop-down menu.

Your cursor will turn into crosshairs once selected. Draw the text box on the slide by clicking and dragging your cursor.

Next, press Ctrl+V (Command+V on Mac) to paste the text. Be sure to delete the text you copied and pasted over from the other text box.

Now you may have something that looks like this:

The next step is to adjust the bottom text box to align with both the left side of the image and the right side of the right text box. Click the text box to select it, and then click and drag the handles to adjust it.

After some fine-tuning, you’ll be able to make your text wrap around the image, just as if you were using a built-in tool.

How Inserting Audio in Google Slides Works

Though a seemingly simple feature, inserting audio in Google Slides hasn’t always been an option. Previously, the only way to insert audio in your Google Slides presentation was by inserting a video or linking to a site like Spotify—just inserting the audio file alone wasn’t possible. Thankfully, now you can.

The caveat here is you can’t upload the files directly from your local machine. You can only upload them from Google Drive. So unlike PowerPoint where you can record your audio directly in the application, you’ll need to record your audio separately for Google Slides, upload the audio to Google Drive, and then add it to your presentation from there.

This obviously isn’t limited to audio recordings. As long as the audio files are MP3 or WAV, you can upload any type of audio you like, including music.

Uploading Audio to Google Drive

If you don’t already have your audio file uploaded to Google Drive, head over to your Google Drive account and click the “New” button in the top-left corner of the window.

Next, click “File Upload” in the menu that appears.

File Explorer (or Finder on Mac) will open. Locate and select the file you want to upload and then click “Open.”

How to Import Audio to Google Slides

Once the audio file is uploaded, open your Google Slides presentation that you’d like to add the audio to, click “Insert” in the menu bar, and then click “Audio.”

The “Insert Audio” window will appear. In the “My Drive” tab, select the file you’d like to upload by clicking it.

Next, click the blue “Select” button in the bottom-left corner of the window.

A speaker icon in a grey circle will appear on the slide. You can resize the icon by clicking and dragging the handles that appear when selected. You can also rearrange the position of the icon by clicking and dragging it to the new location.

Underneath the icon, you’ll find the play/pause and volume options.

You can also choose how and when the audio plays during the presentation. When you click the icon, the “Format Options” pane appears on the right-hand side of the window. You’ll automatically be in the “Audio Playback” group.

Under “Start Playing,” you can decide if you want the audio to play when you click the audio icon or if you want it to play automatically when you make it to the slide.

You can also pre-set the volume of the audio during the presentation. Click and drag the slider under “Volume When Presenting” to adjust it.

Underneath the slider, you’ll see these three options:

  • Hide Icon When Presenting – This option, as the name implies, hides the icon when you’re presenting. This option is only available if you selected the option for the audio to start playing automatically.

  • Loop Audio – Once your audio reaches the end, it will start over. This is ideal for background music during a wedding or graduation ceremony.

  • Stop on Slide Change – Once you move to the next slide, the audio will end.

That’s all there is to it. Adjust the playback options to fit the atmosphere of your presentation.

How to Collaborate on Presentations

One of the best features of Google Slides is its ability to generate a shareable link. Anyone you share the link with can view, suggest edits to, or directly edit the presentation. This eliminates the hassle of sending a file back and forth between collaborators. Each person has her own text entry cursor to use on her computer.

To do this, click the orange “Share” button in the file you want to share. Next, choose how and with whom you want to send a link to the file. You can type email addresses or click “Get Shareable Link” in the top corner to hand out the invitation yourself.

From the drop-down menu, you can select one of these options for what other users can do:

  • Off: Sharing is disabled. If you’ve previously shared a link with others, it will no longer work and revokes any permissions they once had.

  • Anyone with the link can edit: Gives the shared users full read/write access. They still can’t delete it from your Drive, though—this is just for the contents of the file.

  • Anyone with the link can comment: Allows shared users to leave comments which is handy for team projects.

  • Anyone with the link can view: Shared users can view the file, but can’t edit it in any way. This is the default action when you share a file, and it’s the best option if you’re trying to share a file for download.

You can do a lot more with these shareable links, as they also work with other Drive files and on mobile.

How to See All Recent Changes to a Presentation

When you share documents with others, it’s difficult to keep track of all the small changes that happen if you’re not present. For that, there’s revision history. Google keeps track of all the changes that occur in a document and groups them into periods to reduce clutter. You can even revert a file to any of the previous versions listed in the history with a click of your mouse.

You can view a list of all recent changes by clicking File > Version History > See Version History. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H (Command+Option+Shift+H on Mac).

You can also share a link to a specific slide in your presentation with a friend or coworker, without having to mention which one you’re referencing. When someone clicks the link and the presentation loads, it jumps directly to the slide you’re referencing. You do have to enable file sharing before you can link to a specific slide in your presentation, though.

Because each slide has a unique URL, all you have to do to link to one is click it in the left pane, and then copy the URL from the address bar.

How to Insert Special Characters into a Slide

Google Slides also has a character insertion tool. This allows you to insert special characters into your presentation without having to remember any Alt-codes. There are tons of symbols, characters, languages, and so much more. So, whether you want an arrow, different language scripts, or if you just want a few silly emojis to spruce up your presentation, Google Slides makes it easy to include them.

To open the character insertion tool, click “Insert,” and then click “Special Characters.”

From here, you can manually search for specific characters with the drop-down menus.

Use the search bar to find a specific character or emoji.

You can also use your drawing skills to search.

How to Use Google Slides Offline

What happens if you need to access Google Slides but don’t have an internet connection? Although Slides is a web-based product, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it offline. Any changes you make to the file offline will update the next time you connect to the internet. First, download the extension for Chrome.

To enable a presentation for offline use, go to the Google Slides’ homepage and, in the top-left corner, click the Hamburger menu > Settings. Once here, toggle “Offline” to the On position, and then click “OK.”

To save storage space on your local machine, Google only downloads and makes the most recently accessed files available offline. To manually enable a file, click the three dots icon, and then toggle “Available Offline” to On.

All the Best Google Slides Keyboard Shortcuts

General Program Actions

These shortcuts make it easier to do everything from copy text to undo a mistake:

  • Ctrl+M (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+M (macOS): Make new slide.

  • Ctrl+D (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+D (macOS): Duplicate the slide currently selected in the filmstrip.

  • Ctrl+C (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+C (macOS): Copy the selected text or graphics to the Clipboard.

  • Ctrl+X (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+X (macOS): Cut the selected text or graphics to the Clipboard.

  • Ctrl+V (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+V (macOS): Paste the contents of the Clipboard to a slide.

  • Ctrl+Z (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Z (macOS): Undo an action.

  • Ctrl+Y (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Y (macOS): Redo an action.

  • Ctrl+K (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+K (macOS): Insert or edit an external link.

  • Ctrl+S (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+S (macOS): Save (every change is saved in Drive, though, if you’re paranoid)

  • Ctrl+P (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+P (macOS): Print your presentation.

  • Ctrl+O (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+O (macOS): Open a file from your drive or computer.

  • Ctrl+F (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+F (macOS): Find specific text in your slides.

  • Ctrl+H (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+H (macOS): Find and replace text in your slides.

  • Ctrl+Shift+F (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+F (macOS): Switch to Compact mode (hide the menus).

Format Text

Google Slides has heaps of shortcuts that allow you to format the text in each slide. These are the shortcuts you use to do things like italicize, bold, or underline text:

  • Ctrl+B (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+B (macOS): Bold text.

  • Ctrl+I (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+I (macOS): Italicize text.

  • Ctrl+U (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+U (macOS): Underline text.

  • Alt+Shift+5 (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+X (macOS): Apply strikethrough to text.

  • Ctrl+Shift+J (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+J (macOS): Justify text.

  • Ctrl+Alt+C (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+C (macOS): Copy the format of the selected text.

  • Ctrl+Alt+V (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+V (macOS): Paste the format of the text.

  • Ctrl+\ (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+\ (macOS): Clear the format of the text.

  • Ctrl+Shift+> and < (Windows/Chrome OS), or Cmd+Shift+> and < (macOS): Increase or decrease the font size, one point at a time.

  • Ctrl+] and [ (Windows/Chrome OS), or Cmd+] and [ (macOS): Increase or decrease paragraph indentation.

  • Ctrl+Shift+L (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+L (macOS): Left align the text.

  • Ctrl+Shift+E (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+E (macOS): Center align the text.

  • Ctrl+Shift+R (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+R (macOS): Right align the text.

  • Ctrl+Shift+7 (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+7 (macOS): Insert a numbered list.

  • Ctrl+Shift+8 (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+8 (macOS): Insert a bulleted list.

Use the Filmstrip

The filmstrip is the pane on the left where you see a vertical list of all your slides. You can use these keyboard shortcuts when the focus is on the filmstrip:

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+F (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+Shift+F (macOS): Move focus to the filmstrip.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+C (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+Shift+C (macOS): Move focus to the canvas.

  • Up/Down Arrow (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Move focus to the previous or next slide.

  • Home/End (Windows), Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down Arrow (Chrome OS), or Fn+Left/Right Arrow(macOS): Move focus to the first or last slide.

  • Ctrl+Up/Down Arrow (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+up/Down Arrow (macOS): Move the slide in focus up or down.

  • Ctrl+Shift+Up/Down Arrow (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Up/Down Arrow (macOS): Move the slide in focus to the beginning or end.

  • Shift+Up/Down Arrow (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Extend the selection to the previous or next slide.

  • Shift+Home/End (Windows) or Shift+Fn+Left/Right Arrow (macOS): Select the first or last slide.

Move Around in a Presentation

You can move around your document quickly without touching your mouse! These helpful shortcuts will have you zipping around in no time:

  • Ctrl+Alt and +/- (Windows/Chrome OS), or Cmd+Option and +/- (macOS): Zoom in/out of a slide on the canvas.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+Shift+S (macOS): Open the speaker notes panel.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+P (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+Shift+P (macOS): Switch to the HTML view of your presentation.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+B (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+Shift+B (macOS): Open a slide’s transition animation panel.

Move or Arrange Objects in a Slide

You probably have some objects, pictures, or shapes in your presentation you need to move or alter. Here’s how you can do it without touching a mouse:

  • Tab (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Select the next object or shape.

  • Shift+Tab (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Select the previous object or shape.

  • Ctrl+D (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+D (macOS): Duplicate the currently-selected object.

  • Ctrl+Alt+G (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+G (macOS): Group the selected objects.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+G (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Option+Shift+G (macOS): Ungroup objects.

  • Ctrl+Down/Up Arrow (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Down/Up Arrow (macOS): Send the selected object backward or forward.

  • Ctrl+Shift+Down/Up Arrow (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Shift+Down/Up Arrow (macOS): Send the selected object to the back or front.

  • Arrow keys (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Nudge an object or shape right or left.

  • Shift+Arrow keys (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Nudge an object or shape right or left, one pixel at a time.

  • Ctrl+Alt+J (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Ctrl+J (macOS): Make the object or shape smaller.

  • Ctrl+Alt+K (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Ctrl+K (macOS): Make the object or shape larger.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Q (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Ctrl+Q (macOS): Make the object or shape smaller vertically.

  • Ctrl+Alt+I (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Ctrl+W (macOS): Make the object or shape larger vertically.

  • Ctrl+Alt+W (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Ctrl+I (macOS): Make the object or shape smaller horizontally.

  • Ctrl+Alt+B (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+Ctrl+B (macOS): Make the object or shape larger horizontally.

Present Your Presentation

These shortcuts can make the process of showing your presentation go a lot more smoothly:

  • Ctrl+F5 (Windows), Ctrl+Search+5 (Chrome OS), or Cmd+Enter (macOS): Present slides from the currently-selected slide.

  • Ctrl+Shift+F5 (Windows), Ctrl+Search+5 (Chrome OS), or Cmd+Shift+Enter (macOS): Present slides from the first slide.

  • Right/Left Arrow (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Go to the next slide

  • A Number followed by Enter (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Go to a specific slide number (4+Enter goes to slide 4).

  • S (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Open speaker notes.

  • A (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Open audience tools.

  • L (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Toggle the laser pointer.

  • F11 (Windows/Chrome OS) and Cmd+Shift+F (macOS): Toggle to full-screen.

  • B (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Show or return from a blank black slide.

  • W (Windows/Chrome OS/macOS): Show or return from a blank white slide.

Access the Menus on a PC

You can use the following shortcuts on a PC to access any of the menus on the menu bar. If you use Chrome, follow those shortcuts instead:

  • Alt+F (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+F (Other browsers): Access the File menu.

  • Alt+E (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+E (Other browsers): Access the Edit menu.

  • Alt+V (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+V (Other browsers): Access the View menu.

  • Alt+I (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+I (Other browsers): Access the Insert menu.

  • Alt+O (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+O (Other browsers): Access the Format menu.

  • Alt+T (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+T (Other browsers): Access the Tools menu.

  • Alt+H (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+H (Other browsers): Access the Help menu.

  • Alt+A (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+A (Other browsers): Access the Accessibility menu (present when screen reader support is enabled).

  • Shift+Right-click: Show your browser’s context menu (by default, Google Slides overrides your browser’s context menu with its own).

Access the Menus on macOS

You can access the menu bar with keyboard shortcuts on a Mac, too. Here’s how:

  • Ctrl+Option+F: Open the File menu.

  • Ctrl+Option+E: Open the Edit menu.

  • Ctrl+Option+V: Open the View menu.

  • Ctrl+Option+I: Open the Insert menu.

  • Ctrl+Option+O: Open the Format menu.

  • Ctrl+Option+T: Open the Tools menu.

  • Ctrl+Option+H: Open the Help menu.

  • Ctrl+Option+A: Open the Accessibility menu (present when screen reader support is enabled).

  • Cmd+Option+Shift+K: Open the Input Tools menu (available in documents that contain non-Latin languages).

  • Shift+Right-click: Show your browser’s context menu (by default, Google Slides overrides your browser’s context menu with its own).


Create a presentation like this

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