Google Slides – Inserting static & dynamic charts

It’s common to see some kind of chart showing figures or statistics in presentations. Slides provides easy ways to insert charts, either as a static one (the figures are fixed) or as a dynamic one (the figures can be updated from a linked spreadsheet)

There are three ways to do this:

  1. Insert chart within Slides, then edit in Sheets
  2. Copy from Sheets and paste in Slides
  3. Insert from Sheets

Inserting charts within Slides

Go to the “Insert” menu then click on “Chart”. You have 4 chart types to choose from: bar, column, line, pie.

Let’s insert a bar chart. So, select “Bar”.


This does two things: 1) It creates a bar graph on your slide with some default data;


2) It creates a Google Sheet in your My Drive, where that data comes from. The chart and the spreadsheet are linked, meaning if you change the data you’ll change the chart on the slide.


Open the Sheet and you’ll see the data and a chart on the sheet.


Edit the data and edit the title in the chart. See my posts on Google Sheets, if you need any guidance on using Sheets.


When you go back to your slide, you’ll see that the chart now has an “update” button. Click that to update the chart with the latest changes.


Here you’ll see the data and titles have been updated.


Copying and pasting a chart into Slides

In Sheets, click on your chart and select “Copy chart” (either it’ll be at the top of the chart or you’ll have to open the chart menu).



Go to Slides and paste your chart in, by pressing Ctrl+V. You will be presented with a pop-up which asks you if you want to link the chart to a spreadsheet. If you want to be able to update the data on the chart, whenever it’s changed, then select “Link”. If you just want a static chart, then click “Don’t link”.


Here I’ve clicked “Link” and as you can see it inserts the chart and in the top-right hand corner, I have 2 options. On the left, it gives you the option to unlink the chart form the Sheet. On the right, it allows you to open the linked Sheet.



Here I’ve clicked “Don’t link” and as you can see, those options are not available.


Inserting a chart from within Slides to a linked Sheet

The final way, is to make a spreadsheet first and create a chart from the data, then to link that Sheet with your slide.

Here I’ve got some data on problems in our classrooms.


I’ve made a simple pie chart to visually show the data.


Go to the “Insert” menu then click on “Chart”. Select “From Sheets…”.


This opens the Insert chart dialogue box which displays your spreadsheets with the most recent one first. Click on the one you want and press “Select”.


This opens the “Import chart” dialogue box. If you’ve got more than one chart, it will show all of them here. Click on the one you want, then press “Import”.

You have the choice here, as to whether you want to link it with the spreadsheet. By default, it’s linked, just uncheck “Link to spreadsheet” if you only want a static one.


Your chart will then be pasted onto the slide. Notice, that it doesn’t fill the screen, but you can move and resize it later.


As stated above if you’ve chosen a linked chart, you’ll see two icons in the top right-hand corner. Let’s change the data in the sheet. Click on the arrow on the right to open the linked Sheet.


Change the data.


When you return back to your slide, after a few moments, an “update” button appears. Click on it to update your chart.



eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Using links to create quizzes, stories & games

Here we’ll look at the power of links and how something so simple can allow you to make your slides more interactive.

We’ll cover:

  • Inserting a link to a webpage
    • From a text box
    • From an image
  • Inserting links to different slides to create:
    • Quiz
    • Adventure comic story
    • Business decision game

Inserting a text link to a webpage

The first thing to know, is that you can’t just insert a link by itself. The way you do it in Slides is to connect a link to an object. So, when someone clicks on that object, it opens the link. Links can be added to any kind of object, for example, a text box, an image, a shape, a line.

Let’s start by adding a link to a text box. Click on the text box (not inside it, as you don’t want to edit the text box).


The toolbar will change and you’ll see a link icon. Click on that to insert a link.


This opens the link box. Click inside the Link box, where it says “Paste a link”.


And paste in your link (with Ctrl V). Then click “Apply”.


Now you’ve added a link to the text box. To open the link (with your slides in edit mode), click on the blue address that appears below the text box.


That opens the link in a new tab.


If you have your slides in present mode, when you hover the cursor over the text box, it will change to a little hand, to show you that it’s a link that can be clicked on.


Adding a link to an image

Sometimes we don’t want the link to be words, but we want to add the link to an image. The process is the same. Click on your image in Slides.


Click on “Insert link”.


Paste your link in and click “Apply”.


Clicking on the image will now open the link.


You can change a link or remove it, by clicking on “Change” or “Remove”.

Inserting links to different slides – Making a quiz

Slides also has the wonderful ability of navigating around your slides by using internal links. This is similar to above but this time you state which slide number you want it to go to.

Let’s create a simple quiz as an example, and in this quiz, the student will choose from two options. If they get the answer right, they get a confirmation of the correct answer, then move on to the next question. If however, they get an answer wrong, they are taken to a page with the correct answer but also a brief explanation of the grammar point.

Before adding the links, set up the slides you want. The pattern is:

Slide A – Question

Slide B – Correct answer

Slide C – Incorrect answer

Slide D – Next question

And so on…


Slide 1: the first question with two options


Slide 2: The “correct” slide – It shows confirmation of the correct answer and also, has a continue arrow to move to the next question.


Slide 3: The “incorrect” slide – This shows correct answer and the continue arrow as above, but also includes some information for the student about the grammar point.


Then I repeat the process for the next 3 slides, which cover question 2. For quickness and continuity between all the slides, use Duplicate slides to create the new ones.




Adding the internal links

Once you’ve created your slides, now it’s time to add the interactive part via the internal links.

On slide 1, click on the text box for answer (a).


Click on the click on “Insert link” on the toolbar.


This time, click on the “Slides in this presentation” drop-down menu.


Here you’ll have a choice of the next or last slide, a specific slide number.


As answer (a) is the correct answer, I choose Slide 2. Then I click “Apply”.


Clicking on that text box shows me that it is linked to “Slide 2”.


I then do the same for answer (b) but this time select Slide 3 as it’s the incorrect answer.


On the correct and incorrect slide, we’ll need to add a link from the continue arrow to the next question. Click on the arrow, insert link.


Then select Slide 4 as this is the next question.


Repeat the same process for each set of question.


Tip: Once you’ve made one quiz, make a master copy of it, which you can use to create other ones. Then all you need to do is edit the questions, saving lots of time!

Making an adventure story and a business decision game

We can use the same idea to make an adventure story or a decision game, where the students decide what the characters are going to do and where they end up is all based on their decisions.


I’ve also used this in a business game where the students decide what to do in each situation then see the consequences of their actions.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Layers, arrange & groups

When you insert objects (images, shapes, text boxes) onto a slide, each one is inserted on a layer on top of the other one. So, the first object you insert is at the bottom (let’s say layer 1) and then the next one on top of that (layer 2) and the last one will be on the top (layer 3). You can change the layer your object is on by moving it either forwards or backwards.

Arranging your images & shapes

Here I’ve added 3 images and a green rectangle. I added them in this order:

  1. Green rectangle (the ‘ground’)
  2. Cat
  3. Bone
  4. Dog

So, what has happened is that the dog is on the top layer and the green rectangle is on the bottom.


First let’s separate them out.


Now I want to move the bone so it’s at the feet of the dog, but as you can see when I do that, it’s behind the dog not in front of it like I want.


To change this, right-click on the bone, then select “Order”. You will be presented with 4 options:

Bring to front – This moves the object to the top layer.

Bring forward – This moves the object up one layer.

Send backwards – This moves the object down one layer.

Send to back – This moves the object to the bottom layer.

Here I’ll click on “Bring forward” to move it up one layer.


Now the bone is in front of the dog.


Now, I’ve decided to half bury the bone, so I’ve clicked on the green rectangle and selected “Send to front”. I then moved the bone down a bit to ‘bury’ it, i.e. now it’s behind the green rectangle. Note, I also rotated the bone a little, so some of it was still sticking up above the ‘ground’.


Note, that the layer analogy is not strictly true, as no two objects can share the same layer. If originally above we have something like this:

Layer 1 – Green rectangle

Layer 2 – Cat

Layer 3 – Bone

Layer 4 – Dog

Moving the bone up has this effect:

Layer 1 – Green rectangle

Layer 2 – Cat

Layer 3 – Dog

Layer 4 – Bone

It makes Layer 3 the Dog, and Layer 4 the bone.

Moving the rectangle to the front does this:

Layer 1 – Cat

Layer 2 – Dog

Layer 3 – Bone

Layer 4 – Green rectangle

It moves all the others down one. So, moving something up or down, not only moves it up or down but also affects the position of the other objects, as the objects have a relative position to each other.

Grouping your images or shapes

Grouping objects together is often used with arranging and allows you to edit, move and arrange objects together, rather than doing them individually, which will save you a lot of time, and as we’ll see in a future post, will allow you to animate them together.

Here along with the cat, I’ve already added a speech bubble and a text box within that bubble. Now I want to move all 3 objects, but I don’t want to have to do it 3 separate times and I don’t want to have to select all the 3 objects individually every time I want to edit them.

So, first I select all 3 objects, by holding down the shift key and clicking on each object.


Right-click on any of the selected objects and then click on “Group” from the menu.


Now, all 3 objects are grouped together as one object. You can edit, move or arrange them as if they were one object.


I find this particularly useful for speech bubbles, where you have a speech bubble and a text box. I create the two and then group them together, so they act like an editable speech bubble.


To ungroup the objects, right-click on the objects and click on “Ungroup” from the menu.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Sharing, emailing & downloading

As with other Google Apps like Docs and Sheets, in Slides you have the ability to share your document with others, either by giving them access to your document or by emailing it to them. You can also download your slides in various ways, possibly to share them in different formats. Here we’ll look at:

  • Sharing
  • Email collaborators
  • Email as attachment
  • Downloading

Sharing your slides

To share your slides by giving access to someone, click the blue button at the top of the Slides screen.


This will open the “Share with others” dialogue box. From here you can type in the person’s  name or email address (or a group’s) and share it with them by pressing Done. As explained in my Google Drive post sharing files and folders you can control how the document is shared, for example, whether they can edit, only comment or only view it. Click on the “Can edit” box on the right to do this.


Since that Drive post, one thing has slightly changed. In the top-right of the box you can see “Get shareable link”. If you click on that, if will automatically change the sharing status of your file to “anyone with a link” and also provide you with a link that you can share.


If you click on the “Anyone with the link can view” drop-down menu, you’ll see you can control what they can do with your file.


Clicking on “Advanced” in the Share with others box, will take you to the “Sharing settings” box, as explained in the drive post.


Email collaborators

You can email those who already have access to your file (the collaborators). Go to the File menu and click on “Email collaborators”.


This will open the “Send message” dialogue box. On the left you have your email message, including the option to send yourself a copy of the email. On the right, you have the people you can send the email to. By default, everyone’s selected, just untick those you don’t want to send the email to. If you have a big group of collaborators and only want to send the email to a few, click “none” then tick the ones you want. Press Send when you’re ready to send your email.


The recipients will receive an email like this with a link to the file.


Email as attachment

Sometimes you need to send the file as an attachment, maybe in a different format or you want to send the file as it was in that particular moment and not the live file.

From the File menu, click on “Email as attachment”.


This opens the “Email as attachment” dialogue box. Similar to the one above, you enter your email message but this time you need to add who you are going to send it to, as this gives you the opportunity of sending the document to someone who doesn’t already have access to the file or even doesn’t have a Gmail account.


From the “Attach as” menu, you have 3 different formats you can send your slides in. PDF, pptx (Powerpoint) or as plain text. Probably the first two are the most commonly used.


Here I’ve sent it as a PDF:


Here I sent it as a text file:


Downloading your slides

You can also download a ‘physical’ copy of your slides onto your computer. From the File menu, click on “Download as” and you will be presented with the following options:

Microsoft Powerpoint (.pptx) – Powerpoint file

PDF Document (.pdf) – Adobe Acrobat file

Plain text (.txt) – Text file

JPEG or PNG image – This downloads an image of the current slide

Scalable vector graphics (.svg) – Similar to above, this is a .svg file of the current file


You can of course email these files either via Gmail or another email programme as attachments.

eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Printing your slides

Even in this digital age, we still often print out our slides. On Slides this is easy to do and you have the option of printing them out in different formats.

Here we’ll look at:

  • Printing and the settings
  • Printing formats – Slides and handouts
  • Download as PDF (as slides or handouts)

Printing your slides

To simply print your slides, one page per slide, click on the printer icon on the toolbar (or press the classic, Ctrl+P (Cmd+P – Mac)), which will open the Print dialogue box.


On the left you have some printing options and on the right you have the preview of your slides. Going down on the left you have:

Total: The number of pages and sheets of paper you’re going to print, with the current settings.

Destination: This is the printer you’re going to print to. Click “Change” if you want to print to a different one.

Pages: You can print all the pages, or certain ones. If you want to print a range of pages, for example, pages 1 to 4, type 1-4 in the box. If you want to print specific pages, for example, 1, 3, 5, then type 1, 3, 5 in the box using commas to separate the pages. You can mix the two, as per the example in the box.

Copies: This is the number of copies you want to print.

Paper size: by default, it’ll be A4, but you can change this to other sizes.

Options: Here it’s given me the option of fitting the content of my slides to the page. This can be useful if you have something that’s fairly small on the page, and you want it to fill the page, but only on the printed version and not on the slides itself.


If you hover the cursor over on the right-hand side, a little menu will appear, which first gives you the options of “fit to page” or “fit to width”, then the next two buttons, allow you to zoom in and out of the slides.


Press the blue button Print, when you’re ready to print.

Print settings and preview

There are further formats you can print in but these are accessed via a different menu item. Go to the “file” menu and click on ” Print settings and preview”.



At the top of the page, you have some options. By default, the slides will be printed 1 slide per page and without any speaker notes. You can control the orientation, you can hide the background especially if it looks fine on a computer screen but maybe doesn’t look good on a handout.

You also have the option of downloading the slides in the format you’ve selected as a pdf, which is handy if you want the pdf to have a number of slides per page, for example.

Finally, you can print the slides from this dialogue box. To close the preview, just click on “Close preview” to return to your slides.

Slides10-10 (1)

To change the number of slides per page, click on the drop-down menu “1 slide without notes”. Here you have the option of printing the slides 1 per page with or without speaker notes. Plus, the option of printing handouts, with from 1 to 9 slides on a page.


You can also change the page orientation here, by clicking on portrait or landscape.


Here I’ve selected 4 slides per page.


And here 9 slides per page. Obviously here, as there aren’t 9 slides, there is a space at the end.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Presenting your slides

You’ve made your presentation, now you want to present it. Here let’s look at how to present your slides and some of the tools which will help you give a better presentation. We’ll look at:

  • Present mode
  • Changing slides (arrows/click/slide selector)
  • Laser pointer
  • Full screen
  • Print or Download presentation as a PDF / PPTX
  • Presenter view – Speaker notes, slides selector, stopwatch

Presenting your slides

Click on the “present” button at the top of the screen.


This opens your slides in present mode.


Navigating around your slides from the slides view

To move to the next or previous slide, you can either press the left or right arrow keys or the up and down keys. To advance 1 slide, you can click your mouse. Alternatively, you can use the options bar below.

Presentation options bar

If you move the cursor to the bottom-left, a bar with some options will appear.


The arrows on the left allow you to navigate from one slide to the next, either forward or backwards. The play button, plays the slides using any animations you may have set up in the slides.

Clicking on “Slide 1” will bring up the list of slides, which can be useful if you want to jump to a specific slide.


Next to the Presenter view, you have the laser pointer icon. Click on this to change the cursor to a laser pointer, so you can ‘point’ to certain areas of your slides. A red dot will zoom round the slide as you move the mouse.



Next to that is the full screen icon, represented by 4 arrows. This allows you to get rid of the browser tabs, bookmarks and menus off the screen. Below is what it looks like without full screen. Generally, you’ll want to turn it on, but sometimes if for example, you are switching between applications or sites, you may find it better to leave it turned off.


Clicking on the gear icon, will open an options menu. Here you can view any speaker’s notes you may have written, print the presentation, download the presentation as a PDF of Powerpoint file. This can be used as a quick way to print or download, although it only gives you the option of printing or downloading with one slide per page, whereas in edit mode, you have other options, which we will see in a future post.


Adding speaker notes

Instead of having some notes about what you’ve going to say on cards, you can make a note of them within Slides. At the bottom of each slide, you have a an area where you can type some notes. Click on where it says “Click to add notes”.


Then type in what you want. Press enter to start a new line.


When in Present mode, click on the gear icon to open the speaker notes.


On the right, you’ll see your speaker notes, but on the projected screen your audience won’t see them. You can also get to this dialogue box by clicking on “Presenter view”. The only difference is, is that it goes straight to the “Audience tools” instead of the Speaker notes.


You can also change the font size of your notes, so you can read them more easily. Click on the + or – buttons to change the size. note, this doesn’t save the size, so if you open the presentation again, it returns to the fault size.



On the left-hand side you can see the current slide, the previous one and the next one. Which is really handy, to allow you to connect between the slides as you speak. You also have the option of going to a specific slide, by clicking on the “Slide 2” bar.


This opens the list of slides, so you can jump straight to one, without your audience seeing what you’re doing.


Finally, at the bottom you have a stopwatch, which you can pause and resume, if necessary.


To exit the present mode, press the Escape key.

The audience tools we’ll look at in a future post.

eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Lines, connectors, scribble

Google Slides has a whole host of different lines, connectors, etc, which you can edit in lots of ways. Here we’ll look at:

  • Types of line
    • Line
    • Arrow
    • Elbow connector
    • Curved connector
    • Curve
    • Polyline
    • Scribble
  • Line weight, colour, dash
  • Start & End line

Adding lines to a diagram

Here I have a simple diagram made with text boxes. I want to add some arrows to show that the Google Apps are all connected with Google Drive in the middle.


Click on the “Line” icon on the toolbar.


Then the crosshairs will appear instead of the cursor. If you hover near one of the text boxes, some dots will appear on the border, like the one here on the left. These are centre points and are there to help you attach lines in the right place.


Click on one of the dots then drag the line to the other box. As you can see the other box then highlights the centre points, allowing you to attach it the line in the right place.


I repeat the same for all 5 boxes.


Now I want to change some of the line properties. First I select all 5 lines, holding down the shift key and clicking on each of the lines. This allows me to edit all 5 lines at the same time.


On the toolbar, you’ll see the line edit options appear. These are (left to right) line colour, line weight (thickness), line dash, line start, and line end.


Changing line colour

Let’s change the colour of the lines from black to a softer grey. Click on the “Line colour “icon then choose a colour from the palette.


Changing line weight

Now, let’s change the line weight. Click on the “Line weight” icon and select a thickness.


Changing lines from solid to dashed or dotted ones

Here we could the lines from solid ones to dashed or dotted ones, by clicking on the “Line dash” icon and selecting a style. Here I decided not to do that.


Changing the style of the ends of the lines

We can change the ends of the lines by adding arrows, circles, squares, or diamond shapes.

Each line has a start and an end. The start is from where you started to draw the line.

To change the start end, click on the “Line start” icon and select a shape. In this example,  I’m going to leave it as is.


To change the end of the line, go to the “Line end” icon and select a symbol. Here I’m going to select an arrow.


So, now we have grey, thicker arrows, instead of the plain lines.


Adding arrows

In the above example, we converted the normal lines into arrows. This time we’re going to add arrows directly to our diagram.

Here I have a simple procedure and I want to add arrows in between the blocks to show it’s a process.


Click on the “Line” icon on the toolbar and select “Arrow”.


As with the lines above, when you hover near the text box, the centre points appear.


Click on the first point and then draw downwards to the next.


As you can see an arrow is drawn, connecting the two.

Slides8-6 Slides8-7

Adding an elbow connector

Sometimes, we don’t want a straight line to connect elements, instead we want one that will go down, across, and then down again. This is an elbow connector, it’s a bit like some pipes connecting your elements. From the Line menu, select “Elbow connector”.


Then draw from the first element to the second. As you can see below, the ‘pipes’ are drawn.



Here I’ve connected the oral test with all three written test. This can also be useful for organigrams or family trees.


Like the normal lines, you can add arrows, etc on the ends in the same way.


Adding a curved connector

The above connector used straight lines, the curved connector, as the name suggests, adds curved lines.

Select the “curved connector” from the Line menu.


Connect the elements i the same way as above.


As you can see it adds curved lines, which can be useful for things like documenting brainstorming ideas.


Adding a curve shape

So far, the above has focused more on connecting elements to each other. The next 3 are drawing tools, which allow you to draw shapes and freehand.

The first is a curved shape. Select the Curve from the Line menu.


Click on the slide, then move to another point on the slide and click again. Each time it will draw a curve between the two points.


To finish, you need to click on the original starting point, so that the shape is complete.


This then automatically fills in the shape you’ve created.


Here I’ve decided to draw a lake, so I’ve changed the fill colour to blue.


Adding a polyline shape

Similar to above, the polyline creates a shape by you setting the points on the slide. The difference is this time, the lines are all straight. Select the Polyline from the Lines menu.


Click on the slide and finally on the starting point.


This will then fill in your shape.


Scribbling on a slide

Finally, we have the option of freehand drawing on the slide. Of course, with a mouse or trackpad, it’s not always easy, but at least it allows you to draw whatever you want, more or less.


Click on the slide and hold down the mouse button and draw. When you let go of the mouse button, it stops drawing and also makes that drawing a selection, which you can then move and edit like a line.



Here I’ve ended up at the starting point, which isn’t necessary, but you can see that this time it doesn’t fill in the space.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Inserting & editing shapes

Along with images, Slides allows you to insert a wide range of shapes and then edit them. This is one of the tools that makes Slides more than just a presentation package, (‘presentation’ as in standing up and presenting something). You can create a slide for a whole host of reasons. For example, a comic, a flyer, a process flow diagram, step-by-step guide, adventure story, game template, floor plan, etc. Adding shapes allows you to represent your ideas. So, here we’ll look at:

  • Inserting shapes
  • Filling a colour
  • Duplicating
  • Rotating
  • Flipping
  • Different types – Shapes, arrows, callouts
  • Line colour, thickness, dash, type

Inserting a shape

To insert a shape click on the “Shape” icon on the toolbar.


This will open a menu with a whole variety of shapes. They are in four categories: Shapes, Arrows, Callouts, and Equation. Here are the shapes available:





Here I’m going to create a simple floor plan, which will show you some of the useful tools that can also be used with shapes, to enable you to create the visual you want. Here from the Shapes options, I’ve added a rectangle. Do this by clicking on the symbol in the menu, then clicking on the slide and dragging the shape to the size you want.


Now I want to add a corner shape. I do the same as above. I want to line it up with the edge of the rectangle. To do this, click and drag the shape until you see the red guideline, which here shows you that the left-hand side of the shape is in line with that of the rectangle.


Changing the fill colour

By default, the shape is filled in with a light grey colour. Let’s change that to a darker one. Click on the “Fill colour” icon on the toolbar.


This opens up the colour palette. You have a choice of a selection of colours, plus a group of colours that match the theme, or the option of creating your own colour in the custom section.


Here I’ve selected a dark grey.


Duplicating an element

Now I want to make a duplicate of the rectangle. There are two ways to do this, I can either press Ctrl+D (Cmd + D) and the duplicate will appear just slightly off the original. Or I can hold down Ctrl and drag the original (Alt+drag), and the duplicate will appear and starting moving.


Rotating an element

Now I want to rotate it 90º clockwise. Go to the “Arrange” menu, select “Rotate”, then “Rotate clockwise 90º”. You can access the same menu by right-clicking on the shape, then selecting “Rotate”, etc.


Here we have the rotated rectangle. Now I just drag it to where I want it.


You can also rotate an element by clicking on it and then clicking on the little circle above it, then moving either to the left or right. You’ll see the degrees of rotation appear.


Here I’ve rotated a chord shape, which kind of looks like a chair.


Flipping an element

We can also flip an element either along the vertical plane or the horizontal one. Let’s flip the corner shape. I duplicate it, then right-click on it to open the menu. Select “Rotate” then “flip horizontally”. This produces a mirror image of the original, i.e. the part on the left is now on the right.


Slides7-39 Slides7-13

Using the above tools, I can quickly make a floor plan such as the one below.


Other shapes

Now let’s look at some other shapes and their uses. This time I want to produce a simple flow chart showing the steps of a process.

I’ve created 4 text boxes (by duplicating the original three times) and filled them in with orange.


Now I want to show a process by adding some arrows. Click on the shapes icon, then “Arrows”. Click on the arrow you want.


Resize the arrow by dragging the blue squares.


I then change the colour by filling the arrow with a darker grey and duplicate it three times, so that I have the same arrow for each step.


Adding a line colour

Here I also want to add a dark line to the outside of the orange boxes. To do so, I click on the first box, then holding down the shift key, I click on the second box, third box and fourth box. Note, that the arrows aren’t selected here.


Click on the “Line colour” icon on the toolbar.


This opens the colour palette. Click on the colour you want.


This then changes all the boxes. I could of course have done this with the first box then duplicated it, but sometimes we want to change the style of something once the elements have been made.


Adding speech bubbles

If you want to make a comic or a cartoon, you can add speech bubbles it by adding one from “Callouts”.


By default, it has a light grey background like the rectangle we added earlier. Here I’ve changed it to a white background by using Fill colour.


To add text to your bubble, you’ll need to add a text box in it, and type some words.


Here I’ve centred the text box and added bolding, to improve the look of it.


To me, the border of the bubble is too thin, so let’s make it thicker. Click on “Line weight ” on the toolbar and choose a bigger number (i.e. a thicker line).

Changing the line weight

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Changing the line style

We can also change the line style from a solid line to a dotted or dashed line, if for example, I want to show that the comic character is whispering.

Click on “Line dash” on the toolbar and select one of the options.

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Changing line type

There are further line styles you can add, but these are under the Format menu. As an example, let’s add a different border to this welcome sign. At the moment, by default is has a single, thin line as a border.


Go to the “Format” menu, select Lines, Line type, and in this example, I’m going to add a “Triple” line.


There’s not much difference is there? Well that’s because my sign was very small and you can’t see the triple border. Let’s resize it and make it a bit bigger.


Now, you can see the triple lines clearly and as you can see it’s makes a big difference to the look of the sign.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)


Google Slides – Working with images (part 2)

Following on from the first part on working with images, here we’ll cover:

  • Inserting an image
    • From your computer
    • From a URL
    • From Google Drive
    • From a search
  • Resizing an image
  • Deleting a slide

Inserting an image from your computer

There are other ways to insert images onto your slides. Either click on “Image” on the toolbar and go to the “Insert” menu then click on “Image”.

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This will open the “Insert image” dialogue box. Along the top you can see you have various options and it will depend on where you images are and what you want to do with them exactly.


Let’s start with “Upload”. This allows you to upload an image from your computer straight into Slides. Click on the blue “Choose an image to upload”, then select the image from the directory on your computer. It’s also possible to drag the file from the directory into the middle of the Insert Image box, where it says “Drag an image here”, and the uploading will start automatically.


Inserting an image from a URL

If you have a URL for an image or have copied one from an image on a website (by right-clicking and selecting “Copy Image address” or something similar on Windows), then you can paste the link into Slides.


From the Insert image dialogue, click on “By URL” then paste your link. Your image will appear below, then press “Select”.



Inserting an image from your Google Drive

If you have an image already stored on your Google Drive, from the “Insert image” dialogue, click on “Google Drive”. You have a few options to find your image. If you know the name, the search bar at the top is probably the quickest way. Just type in the image name. You can also look in your Shared with me filter or Recent images.


Here I’ve clicked on Recent and then I’ll click on the image I want and press “Select”.


Searching for an image in Insert image

Instead of using the Research tool, you can also use the Search option in the Insert image dialogue. There are 3 options to choose from, Google, Life, and stock, but personally, I’ve not found the Life and Stock options very useful.


Type in a search term. You have the choice of filtering the results by colours (click on one of the coloured squares) or by image type.


To choose an image type, click on “Any type” and choose one of the options below.


Resizing an image

If you insert a large image, one nice feature of Slides is that it will fit the picture to one of the sides of your slide.


If you want to change the size of your image, click on the image then drag the one of the little blue squares. Usually one of the corner ones is best, as this resizes both the top to bottom and the left to right sides, so it doesn’t distort the image. If you drag one of the squares on the sides, it will only resize one side, so will distort the image, but sometimes this isn’t important.


Deleting a slide

We have our images on our slides, but I have one slide too many. To delete that slide, just click on the slide in the Slides sorter and press delete.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)

Google Slides – Working with images (part 1)

Using images is probably one of the most common things you’ll do with Slides. Here we’ll look at how we get images into Slides and some basic editing that can be done. We’ll also touch on a couple of other functions, like duplicating and deleting your slides. There will be two parts (part two is here).

In part 1 we’ll cover:

  • Duplicating a slide
  • Using Research to find images
  • Centering an image
  • Cropping an image
  • Masking images
  • Image options

Duplicating a slide

To start off, in Slides I’ve changed the background of a slide to black (see changing backgrounds) and now I want to make a few blank slides, where I’m going to add my images on to. Click on the slide in the Slides sorter on the left hand side, then press Ctrl+D (Cmd+D). This will duplicate the slide. Do this a few times to create a few blank slides.


Using Research to find an image

A great tool within Slides is Research, which allows you to search for things on Google while staying within Slides. I particularly like the fact you can quickly find images without having to leave the program.

Go to Tools then Research.


Then from the drop down menu, click on Images.


Type in the search term and images will appear below, which you can scroll through.


To add it to your slide, just click and drag it across onto the slide.


Centering an image

Once there, sometimes you want to put it in the centre of your slide. You can either drag it around and wait for the red guidelines to show you where the horizontal or vertical centres are (like we saw with the text boxes-see below), or you can select the centering options.

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You can either right click on the image, and then select “Centre on page” and Horizontally or Vertically.


Or you can go to the “Arrange” menu and then select “Centre on page” from there.


Then your image will be centered on the slide.


Image options

When you click on an image, the toolbar changes and four options appear:

Crop, Reset image, Image options, Replace image


Reset image – Returns the image back to the way it looked before it was edited with Slides.

Replace image – This allows you to replace the current image with a different one and which will fill the same space.

Cropping an image

One of the most common edits that are done with images is to crop it. For example, with this mountain photo, I think there’s too much space around the mountain, so I want to get rid of it.

Click on the image, then click on the crop icon on the toolbar. You’ll see a rectangle appear with black lines.


Drag one of the black lines inwards until you have the image framed the way you want it. Be careful, not to drag the blue lines, as those resize the image.


Then press Enter, to get rid of the outer part that you don’t want.


Note, that all edits are non-destructive, which means you can always get the original image back.

Masking images (cookie cutter)

You can also crop an image using a specific shape, this is called masking an image. Click on the little triangle next to “Crop image”, called “Mask image”.


This opens a menu of shapes, arrows, callouts and equations. The first three are probably the only relevant ones here. Click on a shape, for example, here I’ve clicked on the circle.


This will then show the image through that shape, the rest will be changed to the background colour. It’s like putting a piece of card over the top of your image, but the hole in the card is the shape you’ve selected, a bit like a cookie cutter. Note, that the circle with this image, is in fact an ellipse, as the image is taller than it is wide.


Image options

There are also some basic image options allowing you to change a few aspects of your image.

Either click on the image then click on “Image options” from the toolbar or right-click on the image and select “Image options”.


Click on the “No recolour” bar. This gives you the option to add various colour effects to your image.


Here I’ve clicked on the bottom one, “Sepia”, to make the picture look older.


Underneath you also have the options of changing the transparency, brightness and contrast of the image. Just move the sliders.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)