Google Slides introduction

Slides is the presentation application for Google’s office suite. It is available through a Web browser on any operating system, and it is has versions for Android devices, Chromebooks, iPhone, and iPad.

It doesn’t have all the features that Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows have, but users can apply themes, insert videos into slides, and apply different animations to objects and text when a slide, as well as have control over slide transitions. Presentations can be shared with others directly on their screens in real-time.

Slides has three main parts. These are also the sections of this Web page:

  • Menus
  • Toolbar
  • Slide sidebar


Slides has 10 menus, nine if the document isn’t in GSLIDES format. Documents in the Microsoft PowerPoint or other format will not have the Add-ons menu to access.


The menu is almost identical to the File menus in Docs and Sheets. Users can create new documents, open them, email them, and make them offline. There are a few items in the menu.

The Import item launches a dialog where users can import individual slides from other presentations.


This menu contains copy, cut, paste, and delete. There is a link that launches a Find and Replace dialog. It has many of the same items as Docs and Sheets.


In the View menu, users can show or hide rules and gridlines. They can open a motion panel and start a presentation.

Presentations also can be started by clicking the Present button in the top, right of the window.


Users can insert images, text boxes, videos, audio files, and more objects and media. Audio files need to be uploaded to Google Drive before they can be selected and inserted. The video item launches a where users can search YouTube, insert the URL of a video, or insert one from Google Drive.

Through this menu, users also can insert a new slide. here are several other ways of adding new slides.


The format menu has items for changing text formatting, change the line spacing, and edit tables and images that have been inserted into a slide. There are several other items in the menu as well.


This menu has items where users can insert a new slide or duplicate one, skip slides. It also has items to edit slides and change how slides transitions.


Through the Arrange menu, users can rotate objects and text boxes, rotate them, group them, and change their alignment. There are other items in the menu too.


The menu contains items for checking spelling, viewing linking objects, and creating notes by speaking them. There are other items as well. Items in this menu aid the user in adding content in slides and improving the content.


Like in Docs and Sheets, this menu is only available in Google formatted documents. The menu will not be present in Microsoft formatted documents. Other types of documents, such as OpenDocument Presentation are converted into a Google format when the are opened for the first time.

Add-ons enhance the capabilities of Google applications. For example, there is an add on for adding an alignment toolbar in a Google Slides presentation. The menu lists the installed add-ons and has a link to add more of them and manage them.


The Help menu has items for teaching users how to use Slides, legal documentation about Google’s office suite, and keyboard shortcuts.


The toolbar below the menus is composed of several icons that never change and icons that appear or disappear based on what objects are selected. Undo, redo, and print are examples of icons that are always part of the toolbar.

Items like Font ant font size appear when a text box appears. Crop appears when an image in a slide is selected. These are examples of object-based menu items.


The sidebar simply contains thumbnails of each slide. The view can be in a vertical list or in a grid of rows with three slides in each.