Google Slides

Google Slides is the “PowerPoint” part of Google Apps. Google Slides can be edited in the browser or in the Slides app on mobile devices.
NOTE: Slides for iOS has arrived! (26 August!) It brings collaborative presentations to iDevices. It is limited in its first version but is a start! Read below for our initial review.

Students choose Google Slides as they can collaboratively build their presentations across devices and share and present them easily. Being able to embed Youtube videos in slides is also a popular feature.

Slides have pretty well all the features you use in PowerPoint including presenter notes and more. There is no need for USB transfers and you have the most up to date version all the time without to-ing and fro-ing.

As with Google docs, Slides have version history and the same sharing and collaboration options. (see below)

Ideas for Learning:

  • Collaborative Presentations: Group presentations can be pulled together really well with users working on the slides they need to work on and keeping an eye on the other slides. Students can then grant permission to the teacher at the end to present or mark the work or submit their work as a PowerPoint of PDF. Content can be pulled together nicely in parallel with use of a Google Drive folder. See the Drive page
  • Embedded Presentations: Slides can be embedded into all sorts of content including websites, Learning Management Systems, Blogs etc. This allows the ability to externally change content collaboratively if need be with better permissions. (see below)

Tips and Tricks

A lot of people loathe powerpoint but that is often due to bad presentations! A bad presentation is a bad presentation no matter what is used. Think about your presentation and how the users will interact with the content. Make it special!
Here is a great presentation on making great presentations!

You Suck At PowerPoint! from Jesse Desjardins – @jessedee

Sharing and Permissions:

Google Docs, Sheets or Slides can be shared as “read”, “comment” or “edit” with individuals, groups, or publicly as well as a file that can be searched for via a unique link. (more info at Google support)
Note: A publicly accessible link will mean that users that are not explicitly invited will show up as anonymous.
Note: if you have Google for your organisation then you get options to share only with folks in your organisation. In this case users need to login and their name shows up as they edit.


Google Sharing Settings: Click image to enlarge.

Version History:

A version history of all changes is kept and users can see who has made each change AND you can revert back to an older version. This is accessed in “File” then “See revision history”
NOTE: this still leaves the errant changes in the history (another reason to remind all web users of digital footprints!)

Converting to Google Slides:

You can convert documents to the corresponding Google Collaborative format when uploading. 
To convert when uploading: go to the setting cog at the top right, choose settings then tick the “Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format” NOTE: after doing this, If you then want to upload a document in its native format then untick this before doing the upload.
Note: this is now easy via the slides app on mobile devices. If you have a .ppt in your drive or open one in your drive then you have the option to convert it to a Google slides format: three dots up top right > share and export > save as Google Slides file > voila!

Google Slides and iPads:

Collaborative presentations are now editable on iDevices! Go to to download the app. We have waited for this app after it was promised. It is good to finally have a way to edit Google Slides and do it collaboratively but it really needs to be better! What is the use of a slideshow without images?

The app allows:
– edits of Google Slides as well as PowerPoint files.
– PowerPoints can also be converted to Google Slides in the app
– Slides can be saved as .pptx files
– the usual sharing and collaboration access can be set in the app.

– There is no adding of  images! (and there does not appear to be a workaround by using the browser version like there is for docs)
– there is no moving or copying and pasting text boxes!
– can’t add links or transitions or  .. .. ….
– default presentations are  16-9 widescreen and they can’t be changed to 4:3 (would be good for iPad screen casts)

If you are editing existing presentations then you can at least edit it collaboratively within the predefined text boxes and editable areas but don’t expect to do much more else yet! The app really needs the ability to add images and truly edit and manipulate text boxes. The other features can come later but these are essential.


Publish to Web:

This gives an option to have a viewable file with no interaction sent as a link OR embedded into a page or Learning Management System or blog or website or .. …. .

Publish to Web options: click to see in more detail

Publish to Web options: click to see in more detail

Embed documents into pages!

Embedding a Google Docs, Sheet or Slide document into a page can be a great way to externally update a page have collaboratively.  Good use cases of this could be for embedding collaborative class notes or a slides document into a page in a learning management system (like Edmodo, Canvas, Schoology, Schoolbox etc etc

– – – -Embedded Slides Document Coming Soon: – – –  –

Other Thoughts:

Chat: There is a feature where you can chat with others working on the file to talk about content and changes that are being made.  This can be very useful but can be annoying when you have a view only file for a big group. It does not appear to be able to be turned off but an alternative for this could be the “publish to web” option talked about in this page.

Comments and Feedback:

We would love to hear your ideas and experiences or maybe something from this page that has helped.

Also Check out:

Further overviews and ideas for use:
– Google Drive
– Google Docs
– Google Sheets
– Google Forms
– Google Shortener

– Google “Blogger”
– Google Sites
Return to #GoogleGold MENU page

Page History:
20 July 2014 Page Created by Rolfe Kolbe @rolfek
29 August 2014 Updates in relation to iOS app info