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.

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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.

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Then from the drop down menu, click on Images.

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

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

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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.

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

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Then your image will be centered on the slide.

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Image options

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

Crop, Reset image, Image options, Replace image

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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.

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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.

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

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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

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

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

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eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

  • Join the Google Slides Tips Google Space (for now: personal accounts only)

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


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