Google Slides Chapter 3: Slide Structure


Section 3.1: Slide Themes

Google Slides gives you the ability to place a “Theme” template on the slide. Many of these designs are accessible, but you need to ask the following questions when choosing one.

  1. Does the design have a background and text with a strong color contrast ratio?

  2. Is the background distracting?

  3. Is the font readable?

If you can find a design that does not have any of those issues, it will be fine to use. To add a Slide Design,

  1. Open a blank presentation in Google Slides.

  2. Go to the Main Tool Bar.

    The Main tool bar in Google Slides.
  3. Click the “Theme” button. The Themes side panel will open up to the right. Choose a theme for your project. Click the Yellow Import Theme button.

    Theme button in Google Slides

This theme is not accessible because it has a distracting background. There is also text that has a low color contrast ratio.

This slide has a much more simple look and the text has a strong color contrast ratio.

As a general rule, create any slide for your Google Slides project with the prebuilt slide designs. By creating your own designs, you are risking the slide to look out of order, less organized, and less aesthetically pleasing. By using the prebuilt designs, the presentation will be easier to read, and understand.

Section 3.2: Slide Layout

When you create a slide, you want the reading order to remain consistent. To do this, you want to choose slides that have a similar layout. You want the title to be at the top, so it will be read first. Then any text you have would go under the title and read second. Finally, any photos you have on your slide will be to the right or under the text to be read last. Some slides are built for the photo to be at the top or the title on the bottom. We do not use them because screen readers will read the title first. This mix up could make people who use screen readers have a harder time reading the slide.

Section 3.3: Slide Titles

Each slide needs to have an accurate, and informative title. The slide title informs the readers on what the slide is about. It is also a good idea to put the title at the top of the slide. This will allow readers to see the title before anything else. Also keep in mind that every slide should have its own name. Try not to have the same name repeat on multiple slides throughout your presentation.

Section 3.4: Slide Numbers

Numbering your slides is very important because it can help your readers navigate your slideshow from slide to slide. If each slide was numbered, then they would have an easier time knowing which slide they are on. Screen readers automatically read slide numbers to the reader if the numbers are made by using the Insert Tab. Be sure to not create the slide numbers manually. This may cause the screen reader to read the content out of order. One other important thing to do is make sure the font size of the numbers are over 18, and that it is easy to see. To create your slide numbers,

  1. Select the Insert Tab.

  2. Click Page Numbers, then change the font and font size to a readable font and size 18.

Section 3.5: Headers and Footers

Headers and Footers should be added by creating a new text box. This way, the user can just press the tab button to access it. Just be sure to follow our Reading Order rules in Chapter 4 of our series to make the screen reader read them first. To create a new text box,

  1. Go to the Main Tool Bar.

  2. Click the Text Box button. Then click on your slide and drag to make your text box the size you want.

Section 3.6: Footnotes

Any footnotes made in your presentation will be read by a screen reader. However, there is no way to go from a superscript to its relevant footnote. This means that your title will be read first, then the content of the slide, and finally your footnotes. If you use multiple footnotes in one slide, then a person using a screen reader may have a hard time knowing the footnotes purpose. However, they do have the ability to reread the slide when it is finished. So the information can still reach them, albeit after a little time. To create a footnote,

  1. Type in your information or data.

  2. Type the number of the note (like 1, 2, etc.) in superscript next to the relevant text in the slide body. Click the Format tab. Then in the text dropdown menu, click Superscript.

  3. Click the Textbox button in the Main Tool bar and create your text box in the bottom left corner.

  4. Type in the number for your footnote, then text for your footnote.

Section 3.7: Columns

Google Slides does not have a way to create columns within a text box. The best thing you can do for making columns is to select a slide design that has two text boxes for your content.

Section 3.8: Superscripts and Subscripts

Superscripts and subscripts should be avoided because screen readers will read them as regular text. The best way to write the information with superscripts or subscripts is to write down the words completely.

Section 3.9: Specifying the Language

You can choose from more than 100 languages in Google for your project. To manually change the language,

  1. Click the File Tab.

  2. Click Language and select the language you are using. Google Slides gives you several languages to choose from.

Section 3.10: Specify the Language of Parts

Google Slides allows you to have two languages in a slide. Keep in mind that a spell checker will only work for one language at a time. To avoid any issues, you need to specify the language used to Google. That way it will know which language is being used and can check it accordingly.