Friday, December 13, 2019

Google Snacks Volume 9 - Slides: not just for presentations

Most people only use Google Slides for creating slide show presentations, but there is so much more it can do! We will go over how to use layout options for designing, using backgrounds for mark up and templates, creating booklets, and creating custom templates.

The first thing we will cover is changing your page size to make it more print friendly. Start by clicking on File then Page Setup at the bottom of the menu.

Then change the size from the default of Widescreen 16:9 to Custom.

Now you can change your measurements to 8.5"x11" for standard letter size paper.

Next we will go over creating guidelines. Guidelines will help you align elements of your layouts (such as shapes, text boxes, images, etc.) by snapping them to the lines. Click and drag the rulers on the top or left side of the slide to create a guideline.

Using the techniques we just discussed, we now create a booklet for printing on letter size paper. Instead of making your page size 8.5"x11", flip the measurements so the page is horizontal. You can use guides for the margins for both halves of the paper to help keep things nice and neat.

Make sure to print double sided to have the booklet come out correctly. Students are currently unable to do this since they do not have access to a printer that can print double sided.

Backgrounds can have a couple additional uses beyond the obvious. Add a background to a slide to give you an image you can free write or mark up on. Click on Background, then Choose Image on the next window that opens.

You can also use a background as a template for printing, if you are printing on paper that has an image already on it. The example below is just one way you can use backgrounds as a print template.

Custom slide templates have several uses and are easy to set up, but provide a lot of creativity. Start by either finding a basic theme you like that you want to modify, or begin with a blank slate. Click on Slide in the menu bar, then click on Edit Master.

You can now change the layout and style of all the different kinds of slides in a theme. The Master slide at the top of the list is primarily used for changing the text for all slides in the theme.

You can modify every slide in the theme by adding background images or use solid colors as the background. Adding shapes to the master theme makes them part of the background when you use this theme, so you don't accidentally move them when you are creating a presentation. You can also add text box placeholders to make future slides easier to create.

Below is an example of what you can do with this, using the theme I use for Google Snacks.

A few additional examples of what you can do in Slides is shown below. In the first example the page size is set to letter, the image of the ticket is inserted and duplicated, then the text boxes are created and rotated to fit in the image. And yes, our very own Learning in the Loo is created in Google Slides!

Bonus tip! You can double click inside any shape you create and turn it into a text box!

So, how does this apply to the classroom? Create custom Slides templates for different types of lessons, events, or special scenarios such as newsletters. Slide templates can also be used for creating a template for students to use for specific presentations. Use layouts for posters, custom stationary, or tons of other design projects. Show students how to use these methods to create pamphlets, booklets, and other design layouts. The possibilities are endless! (I know, very cliche.)

I hope this helped you get to know a Google feature you didn't already know before. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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