The Beginner's Guide to Google Slides: User Interface Intro

Google Slides is the presentation design software inside the G Suite. Some call it PowerPoint’s younger brother, but it might actually have a few tricks up its sleeve. Let’s check it out!

If you’re a presentation geek, you probably know already about Google Slides. It’s free, it’s online, and it’s the favorite thing of all Internet people – fast and simple!

It’s a great tool if you need a smooth online way to do immediate and simultaneous work on presentations with your colleagues. Clean and simple design options, direct chat, and an easy option to use “early version” slides.

You can make a presentation from scratch, create a template, or insert a presentation from PowerPoint. Everything you make is automatically saved on your Google Drive.

Need it offline? There is a solution for that, too!

First step will be to create a Google account (if you still haven’t).

1. Start a new Google Slides presentation

You can go to Slides in different ways – all of them very quick and easy.

Start a new presentation by entering to get to the starting screen of Google Slides.

Related: View the fastest & coolest ways to open a blank presentation in 3 seconds – click here.

Alternatively, you can click the New button in your Google Drive and choose the Google Slides submenu.

You have a choice to start a blank presentation or choose to start with one of the templates.

Surely, the templates can save you time or help you if design is not your passion. However, if you want to make a your presentation stand out, you better start from scratch.

Import an existing presentation created in other apps (for example PowerPoint).

Supported files are:


Converting a presentation from another app creates a copy of your original file into a Google Slides format on your Google Drive. You can then edit it in your browser like any other presentation.

And, oh, by the way… everything you make is automatically saved on your Google Drive. No need for a save button! Every little change is reflected at the spot.

2. Google Slides User Interface

That’s what you’ll see when you open a blank presentation in Google Slides.

On the left side there is a side bar where preview of your slides will appear. At the bottom you can choose between two viewing modes: filmstrip, or a grid of your slides.

On the right side, there are predefined themes you can start with. If you don’t need them, just hit the X in the upper right corner, so you can focus on your own design.

At the top you will see the file name “Untitled presentation“. Click it to enter a name relevant to your document so it’s easier to find among your other Google Slides presentations or Drive.

Beneath are the menu bar and the tools bar. The set of tools will automatically switch when you select a textbox or an image, for example.

The right side of your window is the place where all the additional panels will open – Format options or comment / chat panels, for example.

Speaker’s notes for each slide are at the bottom.

To see the result in a presentation mode, click on the Present button in the upper right corner.

Right next to it, there is a Share button. Google has made sharing very easy – through email or with a direct link to the presentation you can send to anyone, anywhere.

3. Add a New Slide Layout

The very first icon on the left on the tools bar is the one for adding a new slide.

A drop-down menu will open and you can see the other predefined layouts by Google Slides. Select a layout you like to create a new slide in your presentation.

Next Stop - Content Types

So, that’s the Google Slides beginner’s guide. From here on, we will follow up with more articles going deeper into the presentation design capabilities you get with Google’s app. Next step is understanding the Google Slides content types.

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