How to Use Google Presentation with Themes

November 17, 2010, By Christian Cawley

Using Google Docs Presentation is a great way to create quality presentations as either a substitute or replacement for Microsoft PowerPoint.

With it, you can add a variety of looks and styles and with Google Presentation template themes you can introduce a formatted style across the entire presentation.

Following the previous tutorial on Google Presentation this guide looks at how to use both the built-in templates provides as part of the online app, as well as those that can be created by intelligent use of the Insert tool.

Using Google Presentation Template Themes

Whether you’re starting a new presentation or editing an old one, you can breathe new life and an air of uniform quality into it with templates themes. Fifteen are available in total:

  • Blank
  • Bubbles
  • Chalkboard
  • City
  • Gradient White
  • Graph Paper
  • Grass
  • Liquid
  • Gradient Black
  • Pink n’ Pretty
  • Plain Jane
  • Rustic
  • Shelley
  • Sparkling
  • Texturized

On the whole these names act as descriptions – leave your presentation as it is with Blank, or give it a blue fizz with Sparkling!

Using the themes is easy – all you need to do is go to Format > Presentation Settings > Theme and make your choice from the list. You can easily change your mind if you want to try another theme, and if you don’t like any of them, use Edit > Undo to revert your presentation back to how it was.

This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how you can style your Google Docs Presentation, however – there is plenty of scope to impose your own identity onto your presentation using the background and Insert tools.

Styling a Google Presentation Without Themes

If you don’t want to choose from the included themes in Google Presentation, there is unfortunately no way at present to import your own. However what you can do is take advantage of the tools that are available to make it look like you have created your own.

The first way of doing this is to go to Format > Presentation Settings > Change Background here you can choose a suitable background colour for your presentation and apply it either to the current slide or all slides.

In addition to this, you can import images and set them as backgrounds. This sounds more complicated than it is, but requires that you have set the theme to Blank (Format > Presentation Settings > Theme) before proceeding.

Begin by going to Insert > Image and choose an image either from your PC (using the Browse function) or from the web by entering a URL. You can also drag images from other webpages directly onto your presentation to save time.

With  your chosen background image now sitting on your presentation slide, use the placeholders in each corner of the image to stretch it to the edges of the slide if necessary and then right-click and choose Order > Send to Back.

This will send the image to the very back of all of your displayed elements (text boxes, images, etc.) and you can then either repeat this for every slide, or if the slides are empty use the Slide > Duplicate Slide tool to apply the same background across the presentation!

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