Part 2: Introduction to Slides

In this part you will learn about the basic features of Google Slides. 


Getting to know Slides

When you first load up Google Slides you should see a window that is broken into four main areas: The Menu, Slides, Canvas (working area)and Right-side toolbar (starts as Themes).

  • The Menu: The menu will include a number of drop down selections as well as the toolbar. You will likely use the toolbar the most, though the menu is equally useful. When the term Menu is used, it will refer to everything in the image below. 

  • Slides: The slides sections is on the left, and when you first load the app, it should only have one slide. If you right click in the white space you have options like New Slide, Duplicate (copy)and others. 
  • Canvas: The canvas, also know as your working area, is in the center. You can click and drag things as need be, as well as zoom in by going to View -> Zoom and selecting what level you’d like to zoom in or out to. 
  • Right-side Toolbar: The right side toolbar will change, but when you first open the application it will Themes. When you do animation, format of images, and other tasks this toolbar will change. Most of the time you can click the X in the top right to close it and give yourself more room to work with. 

Watch the following video to see a short discussion of the areas introduced above. 


Text boxes and Fonts

Knowing how to choose good fonts and colors is important when creating a presentation. We will talk about this more in the next lesson when we discuss more on design. For now, watch the video below to see how to change fonts and colors within your presentation. 


Shapes, images and wordart

If used effectively, shapes, lines and images can really make your presentation stand out. Inserting these can be done via the toolbar of through the Insert menu at the top of the window. Watch the videos below in order to learn more about these. 


Masking (cropping)

Cropping images mean that you take one image and one shape and block out part of the image using that shape. It means you can “frame” your image with a start or any of the shapes available to you. An example of this is shown in the image below. 

In this case the pink box is the image and we use the black blob shape to crop out the pink part we want. To see how this is done in Slides, watch the following video. 


Animations and transitions

The two ways you can add movement to your presentation are through animations and transitions.

Animations are used within each slide. For example, if you want an image or shape to fly into the screen or fade in or out, then you will use an animation. You can do that by clicking on the object then selecting Insert -> Animation which will bring up the right-hand menu.  Watch the video below to get a good idea of how to do animations. 

Transitions are what happens when the whole slide first appears. The types of transitions are similar to the types of animations available. To add a transition you select the slide you want and then click on Transition on the toolbar. See the video below for a demonstration of how this works. 



To change the theme you can click on the button on the toolbar, which will give you the default ones included with Slides. Alternatively, you can look on websites like Slide Carnival and add them to your Google Drive. To see how to do both of these, watch the video below. 


Frequently asked questions

  • How to delete something?
    • If you’re having trouble deleting something, make sure to first click on the edge of the image, text box, or whatever object you’re concerned with, and then hit the delete button or backspace. You can also right click on the object and select delete from the menu.