10+ Time-Saving Google Slides Hacks

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POV: You read the blog post about using Google Slides for things other than teaching, but it’s becoming time-consuming to create all the things. Fear not, my friend; I got you covered with 10+ Google Slides hacks that will streamline your creative process! Without further ado, here we go!

1: Create Custom Themes

Google’s standard themes for their slide presentations are nothing short of bleh. They’re okay but can totally be better. Did you know that you can create custom themes in Google Slides? You can even edit one of the themes Google already offers you. 

To do this, simply click the “Slide” menu at the top and click “Edit theme.” This will open the master slide deck, and you can edit all the layouts however you want! One tip I have for creating an awesome theme is to choose a color palette that you like and have some fonts ready to go that you know are easy to read and fun! Some of my favorite Google Fonts are:

  • Raleway
  • Oswald
  • Bitter
  • Bree Serif
  • Poppins
  • Josefin Slap
  • Asap
  • Sue Ellen Francisco

It’s also good to know what color pallets you want to use! My suggestion is to head to Pinterest and just type in the color pallet you’re thinking of! You can also head to Instagram and find colors through the account @awsmcolor. 

2: Third-Party Themes

If creating a custom theme isn’t your jam, no worries! I am personally a big fan of these two websites that offer free or paid themes for Google Slides that are easy to import and edit if you need them! 

The two websites are SlidesMania and SlidesGo. They both have different categories to choose from for different types of presentations that you want to make. As I shared above, they are also editable once they’re imported into your Google Slides presentation.

You don’t have to do much to import these themes. When you find a theme you like, the link will bring you to make a copy of the slide in your Google Drive. You can then edit the theme the same way I mentioned in the last section.

3: Layout Changes

When you’re editing your theme, you can make layout changes. You can also make layout changes when you’re in the middle of editing your slide! Layouts are basically pre-made slides that have text or images pre-placed for you. In the same way that you can edit the theme of the slides, you can edit the layouts. 

When using Google Slides to create lessons, I create layouts based on what I know I need in each lesson. Then I just make a copy of the template I started with, and voila! Every layout I created is there for me already!

4: Master Slides Options

I am going to be totally honest with you – I recently started using the Master Slide layout, and let me tell you – it is a total time saver! 

To put it shortly, I create a slides master at the beginning of the year with the theme that I want my lesson to look like, then I make sure each component of my lesson has its own layout. When editing the master slides, you can name the layouts, so I will create a layout for each component of the lesson and rename it to that component. All I need to do when creating lessons is choose the layout of whatever I want to add! This saves me a ton of time when I am planning lessons. 

To access the slide master, go to the “Slide” menu at the top and click “Edit Theme” (just like I said before!), and you’re in the slide master editor!

5: Hyperlink within the Slide Deck

I mentioned in this post that you can use Google Slides to create an escape room but didn’t quite mention how. Well, hyperlinking within the slide deck is how! 

This is quite tedious and takes some time to set up, but if you don’t want to do that, I am sure you can find an escape room template on TpT that you can use! 

To do this, you’re going to choose the object you want to link and click the “Insert” menu at the top. Then you’re going to start typing “slide” and choose the slide you want the click to go to. That’s it! 

6: Insert Audio into a Slide

Raise your hand if you’re tired of repeating the directions over and over 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️.

Thankfully, you can now insert audio into a slide. This is great for accommodations and even for your own sanity!

To do this, you’re going to want to go to the “Insert” menu again and then click “Insert audio”. Simple as that!

7: Quickly Align Objects on a Slide

If you’re anything like me, the slightest misalignment of objects irks you to the core. Lucky for us, there is a time saving Google Slide hack for this! Align objects quickly by going to the “Arrange” menu at the top and then Algin, Center on Page, or Rotate. With this trick, if you have 3 or more objects selected, you can distribute them evenly. 

Let your perfectionist side rest easy, knowing all the objects are aligned! 

*note: this feature cannot align all the stars to make your lesson go perfectly, sorry!

8: Insert Images from From Google

Say goodbye to the hundreds of separate tabs to find the perfect image for your lesson. Now, you can insert an image from Google right in Google Slides! 

Easy-peasy, all you have to do is go to the “insert” tab at the top, open the “image” menu and click “search the web.” A sidebar will open up with a search bar, and you can now find the perfect image for the slide! 

9: Link Data from Existing Google Sheets

I recently used this feature to let students see how many XP points they have without having to update the information in more than one place. I created a spreadsheet with all the data, then I created a chart. When I copied the chart into the Google Slide, I made sure to link to the spreadsheet, and now the chart stays updated all I have to do is update the spreadsheet, and students see the data being updated regularly!

10: Copy Formatting

Last but not least – one of my FAVORITE Google Slides hacks! I can’t tell you how many hours I spent making sure each image has the same border thickness and color! Or how long I’ve spent making sure the fonts all match and are the same size. No more going back and forth or copying and pasting. All you need is this little paintbrush button, and you’re done!

To use this Google Slides hack, select the object or text box that you want to replicate the format of, click the paint can (next to the print icon on the toolbar), and then click the object that you want to take the same format. Check the GIF below to see what I mean! 

Phew, that was a lot of hacks. I hope the next time you’re creating with Google Slides, you are saving time by trying one of these hacks. 


These 10 Google Slides hacks are going to save you a ton of time when creating with Google Slides. 

1: Create Custom Themes
2: Themes (use slides carnival or slides go)
3: Layout Changes
4: Master Slides Options
5: Hyperlink within the Slide Deck
6: Insert Audio into a Slide
7: Quickly Align Objects on a Slide
8: Insert Images from From Google
9: Link Data from Existing Google Sheets
10: Copy Formatting

If you’ve tried one of these hacks or have more you think I should add to the list, let me know over on Instagram @techaboutmath! 

Thanks for reading!


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Hi, I'm Alexandra!

I am a fourth-grade math teacher turned elementary tech teacher. I help upper elementary math teachers like YOU get organized digitally and engage students with digital tools. When I’m not teaching, you can find me taking long walks with my dog, Frannie, or travelling (especially to Disney World)!