Tag Archives: google slides

Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Slides

As you use Google Slides a few times, you can speed up your work by using keyboard shortcuts for some of the functions you use often. Here’s a list of some of the common ones for a PC that you might find helpful.

keyboard shortcuts

Action Keyboard Shortcut
Working with a Presentation
Open a presentation CTRL + O
New slide CTRL + M
Print a presentation CTRL + P
Presenting the Show
Present from beginning CTRL + SHIFT + F5
Present from current slide CTRL + F5
Exit the show ESC
Editing Shortcuts Common to Many Apps
Undo CTRL + Z
Redo CTRL + Y
Copy CTRL + C
Cut CTRL + X
Paste CTRL + V
Paste without formatting CTRL + SHIFT + V
Duplicate CTRL + D
Select all CTRL + A
Text Shortcuts Common to Many Apps
Bold text CTRL + B
Italic text CTRL + I
Underline text CTRL + U
Insert a numbered list CTRL + SHIFT + 7
Insert a bulleted list CTRL + SHIFT + 8
Insert a comment CTRL + ALT + M
Insert a link CTRL + K
Increase font size of selected text CTRL + SHIFT + >
Decrease font size of selected text CTRL + SHIFT + <
Working with Objects
Bring object forward CTRL + ↑
Bring object to front CTRL + SHIFT + ↑
Send object backward CTRL + ↓
Send object to back CTRL + SHIFT + ↓
Move to the next object TAB
Duplicate an object Select the object, press CTRL, and drag

If I’ve missed any that you use and find helpful, please let me know. Next, I’ll make a list of keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs.

Explore Tool in G Suite for Education

explore tool

The Explore Tool is in the lower right corner of any Docs, Slides, or Sheets document.

Google Apps for Education recently announced that it will now be known as G Suite for Education. Along with the rebranding, some other updates were made. Most notable for teachers, the Research Tool has been eliminated and replaced by the Explore Tool, which has some benefits and but also a significant shortcoming.

First, the bad news. Gone is the ability to add citations and footnotes directly into a document using the Research Tool. For teachers and students, this is an unfortunate setback. Being able to easily and quickly identify sources is an essential research skill. What used to be an onerous task, was made simple by the Research Tool. One click on Cite automatically inserted a citation and footnote. We hope that Google will reinstate this function soon. In the meantime, in my next post, I’ll include some online citation makers that create a citation with the click of a button!

The good news is that you can still search without leaving the document. Spending less time switching between apps allows students to focus on the assignment and its content.

In Docs, clicking on the Explore Tool offers three options: WEB, IMAGES, and DRIVE.

Enter a topic into the search box. WEB results include a title, URL, and short snippet summarizing the website. Clicking on a link opens a new browser tab.
explore search results

Clicking on IMAGES offers a gallery of pictures related to the search term. To insert an image into the document, simply drag it where it is to be placed. It will, by default, be in line but text wrap can be changed by selecting the image and choosing Wrap text.
explore tool images

Selecting DRIVE looks in your Google Drive for files that include the search term.

If the Explore Tool is opened when there is already text in the document, instant search suggestions are given based on the contents. Google calls this ‘insight’ and it does seem to work quite well.

The Explore Tool is consistent in Sheets and Slides. In Sheets, use the Explore Tool to ask questions about data using words if you do not know how to construct a formula. Formula and formatting suggestions are offered based on the content of the spreadsheet. In Slides, the Explore Tool also offers design suggestions as well as search results.

The research recommendations, design tools, and insight capability of this new tool make it an effective and productive update to G Suite for Education.

Trace a Photo to Make a Cartoon

Not sure how to draw? You can trace images in photographs to create cartoons using Google Slides. Try it!

  1. Create a new presentation in Google Slides. Rename it trace.
    If asked to pick a theme, pick Simple Light. Click OK.
  2. Click Layout. Pick Blank.
  3. Add a picture as a background to lock the image you will trace:
    a. Click Background. Beside Image, click Choose.
    background dialog box
    b. Click Search. Find a simple photograph that you can trace.
  4. Search for an image.

  5. Click the Select line arrow . Pick Curve or Polyline.
  6. Click around the shape of the object to trace it. TIP: Do not click on the same spot twice!
  7. Trace around the object.

    To edit, right click on the shape. Select Edit Points.

  8. Make the other shapes and adjust the object order. Add details to make it look great!
  9. Add shapes to the cartoon.

  10. Click Background. Click Reset to remove it.
  11. Trace a photo.

  12. To save it as a picture, select Download as from the File menu. Pick JPEG.

This is the “Trace a Photo to Make a Cartoon” Extension Activity from the TechnoGallery technology project. Check out the project to see how young students can use digital art tools to create a gallery of fun, original masterpieces.

Do’s and Don’ts of Slide Show Presentations

public speaking
When students share a slide show presentation they have created with the class, prepare them for success with a discussion of effective public speaking strategies. A few basic guidelines can turn a presentation into an engaging, interesting, and compelling learning experience for both the speaker and the audience.


  • Rehearse by yourself, to a friend, or in front of a small group and ask for helpful suggestions.
  • Prearrange for a friend to signal if you are talking too fast or using distracting gestures.
  • Take a breath to relax before beginning.
  • Greet the audience and smile.
  • Use a clear voice.
  • Speak loudly enough for others to hear.
  • Change the pace and vary your tone.
  • Speak in an upbeat and energetic manner, indicating your enthusiasm in the topic.
  • Let the audience know they can ask questions at the end to encourage them to listen carefully.
  • Add information that is not on the slide: extra details, personal anecdotes, or examples.
  • Make eye contact with a variety of people in the audience.
  • Pause occasionally.
  • Be confident! You are the expert on the topic!


  • Read the information on the slide or speaker notes to the audience.
  • Use distracting gestures such as twirling hair, pacing, or fidgeting.
  • Turn your back to the audience and look at the screen.
  • Maintain focus on only one member of the audience or at the back of the room.
  • Speak in a dull voice or monotone.
  • Talk for too long – try to fit in the time limit you are given.
  • Start sentences with “So…” or repeatedly say “You know” and “Like”.

Competence in public speaking is a valuable asset. It can contribute to success in relationships, school, and careers. Give your students a head start by helping them build this essential skill.