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By way of the Google Docs Blog a couple of weeks ago, I learned about the new Google Docs presentations that is being rolled out softly to different users.  It’s not radically different, but I did want to try it out for myself.  From the blog post, I learned you can go and set yourself up for the new presentations ahead of everyone else.  How awesome is that?  Here’s how to do it directly from their blog post:

Click on the gear icon in your document list, and select Document settings. Then, from the editing tab, check the box to “Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor.”

Here a some screen shots to help you locate those. First, the Document settings are located way over to the right under the gear:

Then the Editing tab and check box:

In addition to leveraging the new interface (the one with the black bar), the new Google Docs presentations also includes transitions, animations, new themes, drawings, and better tables.  The Google Docs Blog describes the features like this:

  • Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

I also noticed in using the new presentations that the transition from Google Docs to Powerpoint was much smoother than before.  The template in Google Docs transitioned easier into the master slides in Powerpoint, so there was considerably less clean-up than in other presentations that I had exported out.  So, when I went to edit the master slides, the changes were applied to all my slides.  I was also able to change the theme and the changes were applied to all of the text on the slides, which had not been the case before. You can find out more about the new Google Docs presentations by checking out the getting started page in Google’s Help Center.

I hope you’ll give the new Google Docs presentations a try and let me know how it goes.  Plus, if you find things that work for you (or those that don’t) please let me know.

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About Michael M Grant

Dr. Michael M. Grant is a passionate professor, researcher, and consultant. He works with faculty members, schools and universities, and districts to integrate technology meaningfully and improve teaching and learning. When 140 characters just won't work, then he blogs here at He has a beautiful wife and three equally beautiful daughters, who will change the world.

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