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Google Slides and images news

Among the reasons I’ve been reluctant to build more of my presentations in Google Slides was, frankly, that working with images in Google Slides was a painful process.

But then, collaborating anywhere else is a painful process.

This morning I got a sweet little surprise when I began a new preso.

The little note said:

Now you can crop, mask, and add borders to images without leaving Slides. Just select an image and you’ll see this functionality appear in the toolbar, Format menu, and context menu.

The familiar  Crop button. now appears in your WYSIWYG editor.

This Google’s animation demonstrates the cropping process.

Hansueli Krapf, Aerial View of the Crop Circle in Diessenhofen, Attribution ShareAlike 3.0

It’s called masking, but who knew?
Google also shared directions for fitting an image into a specific shape, a.k.a., a mask.
  1. Open your presentation.
  2. Select an image.
  3. Click the dropdown arrow next to the Crop button.
  4. Hover over any of the following categories and select a mask: Your shape will appear. You can resize it by dragging and dropping the blue handles.
    1. Shapes
    2. Arrows
    3. Callouts
    4. Equation

Hansueli Krapf, Aerial View of the Crop Circle in Diessenhofen, Attribution ShareAlike 3.0

Borders of various line weights and colors may be added after cropping or masking.

And there’s more . . .

The Google Slides Insert pull-down menu now allows for the easy addition of shapes, callouts, arrows and equations, as well as some limited Word art, slide animations and transitions.

Nope, the tools are still not nearly as robust as those you find on other presentation platforms, but this is a serious move forward.






Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Google slides has not been used much here at school, for exactly the reasons you described. Why use this less robust, harder to use platform when another more user friendly one is available? However, the powers that be really want us to migrate to a Google school, so thanks so much, Joyce, for the tutorial on the improvements in Google slides.

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