Create a free Google Slides template

  1. Work with custom templates in the free version of Google Slides
  2. What You Need to Create a Google Slides Template
  3. Alternative method
  4. Create a template folder
  5. Add Templates
  6. Using your custom templates

Work with custom templates in the free version of Google Slides

If you use the paid version of G-Suite, you know that it contains all the tools you need to manage the default and custom templates in the toolbox. However, if you use the free version of Google tools, the template manager is not as flexible and powerful. In fact, you cannot use your own custom templates. However, with a little work, you can use those custom templates you’ve created with, say, LibreOffice or MS Office. Although you will find many possible templates in the slide template gallery (such as photo albums, wedding albums, portfolios, general presentations, reference book, party invitation, etc.), these templates are still somewhat limited. With a little time and creativity, you can add your own slide templates.

What You Need to Create a Google Slides Template

You only need a few things. The first is a Google account. You’ll also need a few templates to work with. They can be created in a locally installed application of your choice (for example, libreoffice MS office or Keynote from Apple † Unlike working with Google Docs and Google Sheets, you can’t just copy and paste the contents of an in-place custom presentation into a Google Slides file. Instead, you must download a supported format. Since Google Slides does not support the MS Office file format, you must save these files with a specific extension (more on that later). If you don’t have software like LibreOffice, you’re out of luck. Instead, you can change one of the free templates at Google Slides Template Libraries † To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open one of the templates from the Google Slides template gallery.

  2. Edit the template according to your needs.

  3. To rename a template, click current name (top left corner) and enter new name

  4. Close the file.

After opening the slide template, modify it to suit your needs (but don’t add any content to the template – just change the design). When you’re done making changes to the template, click name in the upper left corner and give the new template an appropriate name (for example, WORKFLOW TEMPLATE or PROJECT TEMPLATE). After you make changes, the new template will be saved to My Drive.

Alternative method

If you click the “+” button on Google Drive and then click “Google Slides”, you will see an entry labeled “From Template”. In the paid version of G-Suite you can upload your own template with this. In the free version, however, this serves as a link to the Google Slides Template Gallery. Clicking on this link will take you to the Gallery where you can select one of the templates. By opening the template this way, you don’t have to go to the slide template gallery first. When you open a slide in this way, the file is saved in your current workbook. So before we do that, let’s create a folder to hold the new slides in.

Create a template folder

Since we can’t add new templates to the Slide Template Gallery, we want to create a new folder for our custom templates. To do this, open Google Drive and click † In the drop-down menu, click folder † Name the folder in the pop-up window that appears SLIDE TEMPLATES and press TO CREATE † Now you have a folder to put your presentation templates in. Double click to open this folder.

Add Templates

There are two ways to do this:

  • Change one of the default templates in the Slide Master Gallery.

  • Load one of your locally created custom templates.

To add a modified template from the template gallery, click and then click Google Slides From template † Then follow these steps:

  1. Customize the template to suit your needs.

  2. Give the template a suitable name

  3. Close the template.

Follow these steps to add a locally created custom template:

  1. Create a new custom template in the locally installed application.

  2. When you’re done, click File Save as (or enter) ctrl Shift A).

  3. Select ODF presentation (.odp) as the file format.

  4. Give your presentation template a name appropriate for its use.

  5. Go to folder SLIDESHOW on Google Drive.

  6. Click and then click File upload

  7. Locate the newly created presentation file and upload it to the folder.

Using your custom templates

Now that you’ve created or uploaded your new templates, you can’t just open them and add content. If you do this, these templates will no longer be templates, but regular presentation files. Do the following instead:

  1. Go to folder SLIDE TEMPLATES

  2. Right-click on the template you want to work with.

  3. Click Make a copy † This will make a copy of the template you want to use. The new spreadsheet will appear in the SLIDES TEMPLATES folder and the file name will begin with To copy

  4. Right click on the file name and select rename † Give your presentation a unique name and you can open it and add content. Since you have made a copy of the original presentation template, the template is still intact and can be copied as many times as needed.

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