How to Create Presentations with Google Docs

November 8, 2010, By Christian Cawley

If you fancy sampling the entire Google docs suite, the Presentation application is a particularly useful alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint.

Capable of displaying the usual text and images as well as tables, videos and shapes, Presentation will create suitable files for use in PowerPoint; you might also save as PDF format.

Through the browser-based magic of Google docs Presentation, you can break free from Microsoft’s desktop suite and create and edit great presentations.

Create a Google Docs Presentation

You will need a Google account in order to use this browser app – go to to sign-in and get started, or click the Create an account now link to quickly sign up.

In the main Google Docs screen (where over time you will find all of you documents created and edited in Google Docs) choose Create new > Presentation. If you’re planning to use Google Docs Presentation for editing a PowerPoint file you can use the Upload button to browse your computer for he required file.

When starting a new presentation, the app will display an otherwise blank template, with the words “Click to add title” and “Click to add subtitle”. By clicking each of these you can enter your own text, and using the toolbar options choose a different font type and size, apply italics, bold and underlining, different text colours, insert bullet and numbered lists and alter the alignment and justification of the text in your presentation.

Building Your Google Docs Presentation

There are several ways in which you can develop you presentation document, from inserting new slides to applying colour fills and inserting backgrounds.

After completing your title slide, you will need to start inserting new slides. There are two ways of doing this:

·         Go to Slide > New slide…

·         Use the New Slide button at the top of the left-hand pane, where the slides will be previewed.

You will also notice that you can Duplicate and Delete slides using these two menus.

In a new slide, you can insert a new text area by clicking the T icon on your toolbar, or the Insert > Text menu tool. Simply click in these to begin typing, and use the commands listed in the previous section to format the text.

Similarly, images can be inserted, and text areas and the slide itself can be given a color fill using the paint pot tool.

While there is a preview of your slides in the left-hand pane, you can get a full idea of how your presentation will play by using the Start Presentation button on the right – this will run the slides in a new window through which you can see your work so far. You should press F11 in this view to get rid of the browser chrome and view the presentation in full screen mode.

Once completed, you can save your presentation to your computer or share it. To save, go to File > Download as and choose between PDF, PowerPoint or Text.

Similarly, you can share the document by email using the Share menu on the right. Use Share > Email as attachment; here you will need to choose your file format, enter a recipient and a message, and then click Send to distribute the attachment.

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