Google Slides

Google Slides - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Stephanie Gonzaga
Written by Stephanie GonzagaLast updated November 30, 2016

Need to create a presentation for a class lecture or business meeting? It would be no surprise if Microsoft Powerpoint is the first option that came to mind. It has long been the default presentation software, with few contending apps to challenge its place. But as technology improved and design standards rose, the need and appreciation for better presentations became evident.

A handful of Powerpoint alternatives have emerged over the years, and Google Slides in many ways leads the pack. It is a free online alternative that you can use to create and share your next presentation. It retains the clean and functional design of all of Google Drive’s apps, yet includes tools that change the way presenters engage with their audience. And because it is online, anyone with access can edit or download the presentation with just a click of a button.

The first thing that welcomes you is a gallery of templates to use for your first presentation. You can either use a template or work with a clean slate. All of your saved and uploaded presentations will be displayed below the template gallery, which you can organize and sort through in different ways.

Creating the presentation is where the fun begins. The ”+“ button is the first option on the submenu where a new slide is added to the presentation. You can then choose from a wide variety of themes, layouts, shapes, lines, and transitions to design it. You can also change the background and fonts to fit your preferences. To edit existing content on a slide, you only need to click on the content block.

Sharing is another feature that Google Slides does best. Similar to how you would share Google docs and forms, you only need to click on the blue Share button to have your colleagues view and comment on your presentation. You can also email your presentation so it’s easily retrievable. This is especially useful if you’re working on your presentations on the go. Once a collaborator opens the file, they can edit your presentation in real time.

The comments feature saves you the trouble of collecting feedback on a separate document, since they are displayed on the presentation itself. When you’re ready to present in front of your audience, hit the Present button or the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Enter (Windows) or CMD + Enter (Mac) to start the show.

Because of how similar the interface is, PowerPoint users won’t feel lost looking for the tools they need to create their presentations. The difference is in how Google Slides takes audience engagement to the next level. Since Google Slides is an online solution, there are literally no wires necessary to give your presentation. You can broadcast it via Chromecast, Hangouts, or Airplay—or just take your browser full-screen and show it from your laptop with an HDMI cable.

The Presenter view is another feature that allows you to view speaker notes, monitor the time, and host Q&A sessions with your audience. This makes Q&A manageable and organized so no time is wasted. To accept questions from the audience, click on the Audience Tools tab and hit the gray ”Start new“ button to begin the session. This prompts the app to generate a unique URL where viewers can submit questions for Q&A. You can then present your favorite questions for added discussion.

If you need to save or print a copy of your presentation, Google Slides lets you choose to either print or export as a .pdf or .pptx file. If you intend to turn your presentation into content on your website, you can publish it to the web by either generating a link or embedding your presentation to your website as additional content.

All these features show how Google Slides bridges the gap between creating and sharing presentations. Teachers, students, business leaders, professional speakers, and anyone else can now share their knowledge with their audience with quality design and modern engagement tools, for free.

Google Slides resources:

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Google Slides Features

  • Create, share, and present beautiful presentations online

    • Collaborate and edit presentations with anyone in real time
    • Publish your presentations to the web and embed them in your sites
    • View speaker notes, host Q&A sessions and monitor presentation time with Presenter View
    • iOS and Android apps available

Google Slides Pricing

  • Free for 15GB of storage and all features

    • $1.99/month for 100GB Google Drive storage
    • $9.99/month for 1TB Google Drive storage
    • From $5/month per user Gsuite with custom domain and 30GB storage

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