Google Slides is a versatile tool that you can use to create all sorts of documents – not just presentations. Slides’ visual layout makes it quick and easy to develop reports, handbooks, and even interactive documents. When you’re making a document like this, unlike with a presentation, you’ll probably need to include a fair amount of text. This is a handy list of techniques showing you how to format text in Google Slides for quick visual wins!

How to add a hanging indent in Google Slides

If you’re creating a more formal document, you may find you need to use a hanging indent in Google Slides. A hanging indent is when each line of text – except for the first line of a new paragraph – is indented (pushed to the right). You’ll have seen them in bibliographies, works cited, references pages, scripts, dictionary entries, and footnotes. Because hanging indents are typically found in official documents, including them in your work can add a splash of sophistication and polish – if you do it correctly. So, if you’ve always wondered how to create a hanging indent in Google Slides, today is your lucky day!

Making a hanging indent in Google Slides is a quick and easy process. First, highlight the text you want to add the hanging indent to. When you do this, a ruler should appear along the top of the slide.

If the ruler doesn’t appear when you select the text, click View in the toolbar, then Show ruler.

How to format text in Google Slides, click view in the ribbon then show ruler

On the ruler you’ll see two small blue arrows; one on the far left and one on the far right. The one on the left is the one we’re concerned with. To make a hanging indent, drag the left-hand side arrow to the right. A dial will appear next to the arrow to show you how far you’ve moved the text. Half an inch (or 0.5 on the dial) is the standard for a hanging indent. Once you’ve done this, all your text will shift to the right.

The final stage is to drag the small blue rectangle that sits above the blue arrow back to where it was originally. Doing this will not change the position of the blue arrow below it. This brings the first line of each section of text back to it’s original position, leaving all secondary lines of text with a hanging indent.

How to add a hanging indent in Google Slides finished example

If a line is indented and you want it to stick out, simply put your cursor at the beginning of the line and hit Enter.

Note: When you create a hanging indent, it doesn’t have to apply to all the text in the text box you’re working in. To indent a specific section, just select that section before following the steps listed above!

How to wrap text in Google Slides

At BrightCarbon, we believe that visuals are crucial to conveying messages effectively. While visual elements should be the main focus for presentations, you can also add them into documents to help break up large sections of text. When you do, it’s important to layout your slides clearly so that your text sits nicely around your images. Wrapped text is text that is programmed to sit around your image, rather than over or under it, meaning your slides are legible to your audience and quick to edit.

If you’re confused about how to wrap text in Google Slides that’s because there is no option to “wrap text” in Google Slides. However, because all your text needs to be in a text box or a shape, it’s very easy to position your text neatly around an image. Once you’ve put an image on your slide, simply click on the text box/shape with your text in it and resize it to fit around your image. This gives the same effect as wrapping text in a word document.

How to wrap text in google slides finished example

Speaking of word documents, wrapping text around images in Google Docs is also a simple process. When you paste an image into a document, it will automatically be set In line with your text, which makes it rigid and difficult to move around. To change this, just click on the image and select Wrap text in the pop up menu.

How to wrap text in google Docs, click the wrap text button

Now you can move the image around anywhere on the page, and the text fit itself neatly around the image.

If you want a bigger or smaller margin of white space between the image and the text that sits around it, click the image, then click the Wrap text icon again. Now you can see a drop-down menu listing different margin sizes. The larger the margin size, the further the text will sit from your image.

How to add bullet points to Google Slides

At BrightCarbon we counsel against using bullet points – we’ve even written several articles complaining about them! However, we understand that they can be useful if you are making a report or a handbook.

To add bullet points in Google Slides, write your list of text and hit Enter between each of the lines. Then select the list and select the Bulleted list icon on the right of the document ribbon.

How to format text in Google Slides click Bulleted List

This will add bullet points to each line of text. If you’re working at speed, a quick shortcut for adding bullet points to Google Slides is to select the text then press and hold down Ctrl+Shift+8 (for PC) or Cmd+Shift+8 (for Mac). If you want to know more about how to format text in Google Slides at speed, see this blog post for Google Slides keyboard shortcuts.

You can also indent bullet points. You might want to do this if you’re adding sub-sections in your bullet point list. To do this, just put your cursor at the start of the line after a bullet point, and hit Tab. This will indent the line. You can keep hitting tab multiple times to indent the line further and further across the slide.

How to format text in Google Slides indented bullet points

As the bullet point is indented forwards, the design changes. You can adjust this by selecting the text and clicking the drop-down menu next to the Bulleted list in the ribbon. You can pick from several alternative design options.

Learning how to format text in Google Slides will help make your work look professional and polished and will definitely save you lots of time and frustration! For more advice on creating beautiful presentations in Google Slides, see our blog posts on making the most of Google Slides animation features and which fonts you should use in your next deck!

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Written by

Rory MacLean

Communication consultant

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