Google Slides has a lot of useful tools for presentation creation and collaboration, but if you want to improve your performance and add extra functionality, add-ons can come in really handy. Add-ons are tools built by third-party developers that enhance functionality to help you create even more impressive slides. Add-ons equal more power! A variety of add-ons are available across G-Suite, including Chrome, Docs and Sheets, but due to our love of presentations, we will turn our attention to Google Slides.

Google Slides add-ons

Add-ons have only been available in Google Slides for a year or so, and so there aren’t hundreds to choose from. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some really robust tools for you to play with. By extending the original functionality of Slides with these add-ons, you can increase your productivity and efficiency. Whether you want direct access to quality images or more advanced editing tools, these new integrated features could help you build slicker presentations. Enjoy!

Are add-ons safe?

Like the apps we download on our mobile phones, most add-ons request several permissions for accessing your G Suite data. When you are installing an add-on it’s likely you will see a message from the provider asking for permissions to do things like ‘View and manage files in your Google Drive’ or ‘View your email address’. Obviously, it is totally up to you whether you grant that permission, but if you’re concerned about third-parties accessing your data it’s worth reading over what is being asked in detail to make sure you are comfortable with it!

How do we install them?

To start, open a presentation, click Add-ons in the menu bar, then scroll down to Get add-ons. This opens the add-ons store, where you can browse featured add-ons or use the search bar in the top right corner to look for something specific. Most add-ons are free to install, although some contain in-app purchases. Once you choose an add-on, click the install button to make the add-on available for use. When you wish to access it, just go back to the Add-ons button on the menu bar and scroll down to the add-on you’ve installed. It’s that simple.

google slides add ons

How do we uninstall them?

If you wish to uninstall an add-on, you just open a presentation and go to the Add-ons menu. Scroll down and click on Manage add-ons. That will open up a list of all add-ons available on your Google Slides. Click the Manage button and choose Remove from the drop-down to remove it from your account. Done!

Our favourite add-ons

As presentation nerds, we at BrightCarbon have tried and tested a lot of the available add-ons for Google Slides. Here we’ve asked our creative team which add-ons they find most useful:

Insert icons for Slides – Joey Dudley

This is a super handy tool which generates attractive, flat, simple icons in any colour you choose. All you need to do is type in a key word, such as clock, to see options that fit the description in a nice high-resolution format with a transparent background. My job would take twice as long if I didn’t have this add-on, as it would mean creating every icon from scratch! The only drawback for me is that although they have an extensive library, there isn’t much style variety as there are only two very similar icon sets to choose from. Insert icons also exists for Google Docs and Google Sheets!

Slides Toolbox – Samuel Edwards

I use Slides Toolbox often, especially on busy slides, as it allows me to do batch editing operations, cutting down the clicks on repetitive tasks. For instance, instead of having to individually delete various shapes, I can automate the process with a single click. Slides Toolbox has a lot of nifty tools, and the ones I use the most are: sort text (alphabetical, length, random, etc.), letter casing (upper case, lower case, title case, etc.), and set font and size. I can also export slides, which saves each slide as an individual image (jpg, png and svg).

PowerPoint has similar add-ins to boost productivity, here’s one we reviewed earlier this year.

CloudConvertAndy Clarke

CloudConvert is an online file conversion tool that supports more than 200 different formats. It isn’t technically an add-on, but it’s so useful I had to include it on my list. This is a resource many people using Drive may not be aware they already have, but which they will not want to live without once they’ve tried it. There is no need to go to the add-on store, just right click on the Google Drive file you want to convert and click CloudConvert. This is definitely the tool I use most, as it allows me to convert different file types, for example a PDF to a JPEG or an SVG file to an EMF, which means that I can simply upload an image from Adobe Illustrator and put it into Slides. As a result, I can then edit the illustration or icon I’ve uploaded within Google Slides, helping me be a lot more productive!

Unsplash – Ally Bowman

As a designer I know how using powerful, high-quality imagery can change the look and feel of a presentation. Unsplash gives you access to a robust library of high-definition photographs that are completely free for personal and professional use, with no attribution required. I’ve previously used the Unsplash website to access impactful nature shots, but their add-on for Slides is even handier! It’s ideal if you are working to a tight deadline and need to access quality stock images with just one click. There is a range of other stock photo add-ons available for Slides, but I personally prefer Unsplash because, aside from being free, it runs a lot smoother than similar apps, with less glitches throughout. If you prefer to look at photo options full-screen when searching, then the website may be a better option for you, as with the add-on you can see images only as thumbnails.

We’ve also reviewed a similar stock photo add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint.

Easy Accents – Cecilia Croasdell

Easy Accents allows users to insert language accents from a sidebar into their presentations. This is a very simple and straightforward add-on, but if you often write in different languages, as I regularly do, this saves a lot of time. Typically, for those with keyboards that aren’t set up for using accents, the process can be quite drawn out. In order to add one, you would have to go to the menu bar, click on “insert”, then “special characters”, and only then search for the accent you want. With this add-on, once you open the tab on the right-hand side of your slide and choose the language you want, you simply click on the accented letter you need. By having the accents sidebar open and handy at all times, you can increase your productivity considerably. This add-on is also available to use in Google Docs.

Sorc’d for Slides – Natty Moore

Sorc’d is a handy tool for storing and organising snippets of information – like quotes or references – from around the web to use later in presentations. Sorc’d works initially as a Chrome extension, helping users save information from web-pages to their personal Sorc’d library. Then, using the Sorc’d add-on for Google Slides, a user can transfer snippets saved in his or her library directly into a presentation. There is also a Sorc’d add-on for other G Suite programs, so it’s easy to transfer snippets to Google Docs and Sheets too. I often discover interesting and useful things whilst browsing the web, but when I want to use them later I forget where I found them! Sorc’d helps solve this problem by giving me a way to quickly store handy info from web pages and record the address for future reference.

 

If you want to continue to hack your productivity in Google Slides, then you’ll want to download our keyboard shortcut list at this link here. If you want to turbo-charge your productivity, then why not invite us to run live advanced Google Slides training for your organisation, online or in-person?

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Written by

Cecilia Croasdell

Senior consultant

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Sep 2021

Although Google Slides is an incredibly simple and intuitive tool for building presentations, its animation limitations mean that slides can lack oomph. An easy way to bring movement and dynamism to your slides is by adding audio or video. In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to…

  1. Image of Scott Scott says:

    You should try the simplebooklet for slides and docs. Turns your presentation deck or document pages into landing pages/microsites. Pretty effective for presenting your content online.

  2. Image of Dina Dina says:

    I’m looking for an add-on thar will show a video of me, while I present the presentation from distance.

    • Image of Rick Castellini Rick Castellini says:

      Hello Dina. Not an add-on that I know of for that purpose, but you could use a product like Camtasia or something similar to do just what you are asking. Good luck!

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hello Dina,
      one option could be to livestream on https://www.youtube.com/livestreaming (it takes 24H to activate the account if you never used this service before) and embed the video of your streaming into your presentation (on every single slide). We tested it quickly for you and the video is delayed a little bit during the streaming and also when you move from another slide to the other it will take a couple of seconds for the player to start broadcast your live image again.
      I hope this helps!

  3. Image of Christina L Wilson Christina L Wilson says:

    I’m looking for a way to auto-grade drag and drop activities from a Google Slide.

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hi Christina. Could you please clarify this point? I am not 100% sure what is being requested. If you could you provide some examples then I will be best placed to answer your question. Many thanks!

      • Image of David Kiernan David Kiernan says:

        Hi Cecilia, like Cristina I’m looking for an auto checked drag and drop activity. For example, there are 3 heading (maybe in a table) that say Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom. Then there are different textboxes that say things like oven, toilet, toaster, bed, wardrobe etc and you have to drag the items to the room you find them in. Then their is a check answers button or something that will auto grade under what heading the items were placed. Is some kind of auto check add-on/system available?

  4. Image of Dani Dani says:

    I wanna make a slide bout my fam

  5. Image of Damien Damien says:

    Is there an add-on that allows text boxes on different slides to link, Similar to text boxes within Adobe Indesign?

    It would be great if you had 2 linking text boxes and added content that overran one box would flow into the other!

    • Image of Andy Clarke Andy Clarke says:

      Hi Damien, as far as I am aware there is nothing like this currently available. Hopefully one day in the future!

      Thanks

  6. Image of Constantia Bertelli Constantia Bertelli says:

    This add-on is a great example of how much can be added to Google Slides. Each one is going to work a little differently, but the key here is that you know they exist and that they add functionality to Google Slides. Make sure to spend some time exploring and checking out all of the add-ons that are available to extend Slides.

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      I am glad you found this helpful, Constantia! I am sure there must be many more new add-ons since I wrote this. Thank you for the feedback!

  7. Image of Felicia Ramos Felicia Ramos says:

    Hello!
    I hope you’re well. Thank you for the awesome list and information.
    I was wondering if there is a way to have more animate options. I got here by thinking that it might be available via an add-on, but I don’t seem to have any luck finding one that’ll d that. Do you know how to help me?

  8. Image of Diana Diana says:

    Is there an add on that has a google slides pen. I need a pen to use during presentation mode. I’m recording lessons and need to be able how to show kindergarteners how to write a letter.

    • Image of Amy Amy says:

      Take a look at Web Paint. It is a google extension, not a slides add-on. It works like annotation in Zoom, where you will have to erase the annotation before going to the next slide. However, you can take screen shots if you need to keep what you have done. I’ve also used Screencastify (which has annotation features) and then added the video file to my slides.

    • Image of Tiffanie Halison Tiffanie Halison says:

      I need this answer badly. Im a kindergarten teacher as well

  9. Image of Abi Abi says:

    Hey! I am trying to create a Bitmoji and i was wondering if there was something that i could use to add a realistic bed that my Bitmoji could sit on.

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hi Abi. I am afraid you can’t create a bitmoji on Slides. Sorry this wasn’t more helpful. Many thanks.

  10. Image of Tiffanie Halison Tiffanie Halison says:

    How are you able to draw on google slides in presentation mode?

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hi Tiffany, I am afraid you can’t draw on Google Slides in present mode. Sorry we couldn’t be more helpful. Many thanks!

  11. Image of Andy Andy says:

    Hi Cecilia, thanks for this superb article, there are very interesting add-ons shared! Just as a quick note, we have built a cool Super Add-on called SlidesPro that aims to be the ideal companion to users who want to build pro slides quickly. In simple terms, it helps you with daily tasks, like alignments, colours, sizing but also offers a wide range of wizards that empower you to insert icons, GIFs, images, Stickers, YouTube videos and more. And all of it from one single sidebar. We would be delighted if you would have a look at it and let us know your expert opinion :).

    Thanks again!

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hi Andy. Thank you for your comment. We will write an updated version of this article soon so we will make sure to check it out. Many thanks!

  12. Image of Clayton James Clayton James says:

    Are there any other Google slides GIF apps you can try? The link to this one doesn’t work.

    • Image of Cecilia Croasdell Cecilia Croasdell says:

      Hi Clayton. Unfortunately that add-on has been taken off the air since we wrote this article. We’ve had a quick look through the other GIF add-ons available but I’m afraid none of them really achieve what you’re trying to do. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful this time. We intend to write an updated version of this article, testing out the latest add-ons.

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