6 Google Slides Tools For Creating Printables

by Jul 6, 2020Creating Printables

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Ever considered using Google Slides to create a printable?

I know I didn’t when I first started blogging but then one day I saw another blogger mention it as a tool they use! So I thought I would go and check it out. I mean I already was using PowerPoint for printables at this point…why not Google Slides.

The reality is that this is a great option for many bloggers who don’t want to pay for Microsoft Office Suite. And yes, I understand that to use Microsoft Office it will only cost about $100 but that money could be spent on a different program.

 As a blogger, you are figuring out what to spend your money on and what to save. The initial costs can be overwhelming. Especially with all the voices online showing you different ways to blog.

google slides tools for printables

Each voice recommends a different tool and with each recommendation, the cost of those tools will start to add up.

I love Google Drive and all the programs available with it. I use the four main ones (Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Forms) all the time.

And one of the best parts about Google Drive is that the program has similar features as Microsoft Office! How suite is that (pun intended…get it…like Microsoft Office Suite)!

But what makes Google Slides so great for creating printables?

One of my favorite programs to make printables in PowerPoint. Their alignment tool and ability to customize is fantastic. 

Luckily, Google Slides has many of the same features as PowerPoint. Not everything, but quite a bit.

I did a quick little comparison between the two programs to see if I could create a similar printables. And, the results were that I could!

I took a mom blog printable that I made awhile go with PowerPoint and recreated it with Google Slides. It did not take a long time to create either. Somewhere between 5-10 minutes.

And they both look relatively similar! Take a look at the two printables and see how comparable they are.

google slides tools for printables
google slides tools for printables

I personally love to use PowerPoint to create fantastic printables but I realize that not everyone has the budget for those programs. I mean, while it is only $100 a year, that same amount goes towards a ton of other blogging programs that are only $100 a year. 

The number of $100 a year programs starts to add up. But thankfully we have Google Slides that is the lovely price of free to solve that problem. 

Need a few more reasons why you should use Google Slides to make printables?

I’ll give you four:

  1. Can get access to your printable file anywhere. On your phone, tablet, or desktop.
  2. You can work on it offline.
  3. Many of the same features as PowerPoint.
  4. You can share the printable with the Share link.

 The best part is that if you try and end up not liking Google Slides, then you didn’t lose any money with it.

I Wasn’t impressed with Google Slides at first.

This is what my unimpressed expression typically looks like (see the gif below) and that was the look I first gave Google Slides. I want to say I’m sorry Google for doubting you.

But that was because I didn’t take the time to learn what it was capable of. How did I do this? Two methods…lots of tutorials and trying to replicate printables I made in PowerPoint.

Hopefully, this blog can help save you from having to do that.

And in general, I don’t have the time. I’m a mom to two toddlers and was working a full-time job. 

I made the time to see if I could create a new look and learned that I could.

So to make your life a little easier, I am sharing with you 5 of the incredible tools I use for making printables with Google Slides!

Let’s jump into the 6 Google Slides Tools.

Tool #1: Transparent Background 

So I know that this might seem like a lame tool to start off with but in reality, it is a powerful one. With it, you can create a simple good-looking mockup (or preview display) of your product.

In general, a mockup is basically showing your audience an idea of what they will be getting when they give their email or purchase the product. 

Why should you use a mock-up for your printable?

I can give one good reason and that is having a mockup associated with your opt-in will give you a bigger chance of people subscribing compared to not having it.

And that’s because people like to see what they are downloading. 

By creating your mockup with a transparent background, you now have the ability to insert it anywhere you want on your website without having a background color to worry about. 

To utilize this tool, all you need is to follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Background button in the toolbar.
  2. Open the menu for Color and select Transparent.
  3. Finally, click the Done button to make it official.
google slides tools for printables

And that’s it. Easy as 1-2-3! In fact, it is much easy to make the background transparent in Google Slides than PowerPoint. With PowerPoint, you might need to do a little research before figuring it out.

Tool #2: Drop Shadow

This is another tool for your printable mockups. The drop shadow basically adds a shadow around the image you selected.

What makes this a great printables tool? The answer is that when you are creating a mockup, it adds a definitive outline to it and will allow your printable image to stand out. Especially if you a printable with many images.

What is cool about this Google Slides tool is that you can customize your drop shadow. From the color of the drop shadow to the intensity of the blur (or shadow).

Before I show you how to do it, take a look at the photos below to see the difference of a mockup with and without a drop shadow.

Mockup with a drop shadow.

google slides tools for printables

Mockup without a drop shadow.

google slides tools for printables

As you can see the one with the drop shadow stands out and actually looks like printed pages. Whereas the image without a drop shadow, you have a hard time defining the edges of each page.

Yes, you could make your entire printable a color but that isn’t the best idea. When creating a printable, you want to make it printer-friendly. A person is less likely to use your printable if they worry about using all their printer ink.

Another solution would be to change the background of your printable. And this could work partially work. You would need to consider how your opt-in section works as a whole with color.

But before you take this action, take a look at the image below. Note how some of the printable borders blend into the white areas on the other pages. This becomes a bigger problem as you add more pages to your printable.

google slides tools for printables

That is why the drop shadow is an incredible printables tool in Google Slides.

And you don’t have to limit this feature for mockups. It can easily be used for text boxes or shapes. Remember to take the time to play around with the tools available. You have a good chance of uncovering a brilliant design.

4 easy steps to create a mockup on Google Slides:

  1. Select the images you want to add a drop shadow to.
  2. Click Format options in the top toolbar.
  3. Check the drop shadow box in the view pane.
  4. Adjust the color, transparency, angle, distance, or blur radius.
google slides tools for printables
google slides tools for printables

And voila…your image is looking good. It’s the little details that make a difference between someone clicking to download your opt-in or skipping it.

Tool #3: Checklist Bullet Icon

Checklists are one of the universal printables that can be used as a stand-alone opt-in or part of a bundle. Seriously it doesn’t matter what you are blogging about I am willing to be you can find a way to integrate a checklist into your niche.

With this tool creating a checklist is easier than you can imagine. You can get it done in less than five minutes (assuming you know what you want on the checklist).

The best reason to use a checklist is that they are a printable specifically aimed to help your audience solve their problems.  A checklist’s whole purpose is to make sure you don’t forget important details.

Creating a checklist in Google Slides is much easier and will save you quite a bit of time compared to Canva. Canva doesn’t have the best alignment and spacing tools compared to Google Slides.

Psst…if you want a tool to make alignment and spacing easier in Canva, then get the Canva Alignment Tool I created in my Printables Kickstart Toolkit. Plus you can use it on any design tool of your choice.

printables kickstart toolkit

It can be exhausting trying to get every element in the perfect position and not look like one part is off. Especially if you are a little bit of a perfectionist like me.

All you need to do is insert a text box and then add a bulleted list. Choose the hollowed square bulleted list that looks like a checkbox.   

google slides tools for printables

From there you make your list! To give some extra spice, try adding shapes, or even the table feature.

Tool #4: Alignment

This is probably my favorite Google Slides printable tool! This one tool allows me to evenly line and space each element in my printable.

Canva is one of my favorite design programs but it is so difficult to get perfect alignment and spacing. That is why I will do my checklists in Google Slides!

The best part about this tool…you don’t have to do anything to activate it. The alignment feature is a natural part of Google Slides and will automatically appear when you are moving elements.

Tool #5: Diagrams

This is such a nifty tool that is comparable to PowerPoint’s SmartArt. I love the SmartArt feature in PowerPoint and the fact that Google made their own version is awesome! 

What makes this Google Slides printable tool so powerful is that within moments you can have a professional-looking design that adds depth.

Printables need to be visually appealing and diagrams could be the answer to that problem.

Below are the six types of diagrams that are available on Google Slides.

google slides tools for printables
google slides tools for printables

To add a diagram in Google Slides follow these four simple steps:

  1. Click Insert in the toolbar and then select Diagram
  2. A right-pane will appear with the options available. Look through the diagram options decide which one you want to use.
  3. Before clicking your diagram of choice, make sure you choose the correct number of steps and colors you want it to be. Those are located at the top of the diagram view pane.
  4. Click the diagram of your choice and it will appear in your slide.

All that is left is for you to add your text. Now you have a smart-looking element to your printable that looks like you hired a professional to create it.

3 Ideas to help inspire how you can use diagrams in your printables.
  1. A timeline to illustrate essential steps. For example, a bedtime routine to help your baby sleep through the night.
  2. A cycle to the relationship between topics. An example would be discussing how to save money in various areas of your home budget.
  3. Hierarchy to compare differences between topics. For example, a comparison between 2-3 programs to show the pros and cons of each.

That’s the tip of the iceberg. A fantastic skill of any blogger is the ability to look at one element or tool and imagine a new way to use it. An example would be using Google Slides to create a printable.

I bet there was a point where you thought Google Slides and PowerPoint was only good for giving presentations. I know that is what I thought for quite a while.

Hot Tip:

If these diagrams that come with Google Slides don’t tickle your fancy, then you’re in luck. A quick Google search will find you some free templates and create your own diagram library.

A word of caution. These diagram/infographic designs were created for the standard presentation page format. I would set the page format to be 11 inches for width and 8.5 inches for the length. This will give you the least distortion.

Another option is to copy and paste the diagram into

You still might need to do some adjusting on your end but once you have set the diagram up it will be easy to use in the future.

The two websites that I have downloaded free templates are PresentationGo.com and SlideModel.com. There are so many templates to choose from, that you might want to set a timer for yourself in case you get lost in looking at the designs.

Below are some examples that you can find online for free.

google slides tools for printables

Also a final word of advice. Some of the websites like PresentationGo will automatically make a copy of their template for you, whereas with others you will need to make the copy yourself.

Tool #6: Add-Ons

The name pretty much indicates what it is. You can add on applications or programs to make your Google Slides more powerful. For example, the first add-on I ever added is called “Flaticon” and it gave me access to thousands of icons. 

This printable tool is great because you can make Google Slides more powerful. 

In Google Slides, I am only able to use the limited selection that comes with it but with Flaticon I have way more to choose from. I’m not forced to pick an icon that doesn’t fit my vision.

There are plenty of other types of add-ons and it all depends on your preference. As easy as it is to install an add-on, the same goes for removing it. 

So you are not stuck with it if you end up not liking it. The ease of adding and removing elements like add-ons on Google Slides makes it a great graphic design tool to use.

google slides tools for printables
google slides tools for printables
google slides tools for printables

To help you find add-ons that help to make great printables, take a look at this great list. While the blog post is focused on presentations, the list can also work for printables.

Does Google Slides Sound Like A Useful Design Tool?

If you said yes, then you are not alone. I think so too and I have been using Google Slides for awhile now!

While having one graphic design tool that you love is good for you, as a creator it is important to try new programs. It allows you to expand your business and abilities and potentially create a product you were unable to make previously.

My biggest recommendation to those who like to create and love to try new styles is to not use one singular program. I recommend using at least three graphic design tools that have different strengths and weaknesses from one another. 

That might seem like more than you need but not every program is created equal. It would be nice to have an all-in-one program but I personally believe it is to our advantage that we have a variety to choose from. 

You can experiment and try new ideas in each program. And through that, you can create a printable that will catch your reader’s eyes!

 I love to create checklists in PowerPoint or Google Slides. It is so easy and looks incredible as well. Whereas with Canva, I love how easy it is to make worksheets. 

Before You Head Out…Are You Ready To Give Google Slides A Try?

Does this look like a tool that you can use to add a new element or aspect to your printables? Please tell me about it in the comments below and if you have created a printable in Google Slides include a picture! I would love to see your design.

Happy Days – 

the printables blog

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