This just got real! Slides is the latest G Suite family member to get Add-ons integrated into the core system. Add-ons have been around in Sheets and Docs for a few years now and they help to add functionality to the app. They also increase productivity and save you time by bringing 3rd party functionality into the Slides environment. This means you will not have to navigate away from Slides in order to use these new tools.
To find these new bits you need to look out for the Add-ons menu in the toolbar for Slides. It may be there already or it will be in the next couple of weeks. Click on Add-ons → Get Add-ons to open the Add-ons Store. There are category filters and a search box for you to explore.
Some of the most well-known or most useful Add-ons for Education include EasyBib, Revision Assistant and HelloSign for Docs; Doctopus, Autocrat and PowerTools for Sheets; and docAppender, Advanced Summary by Awesome Table, and Form Publisher. Each of these and the hundreds of other Add-ons are created by people who see a need for some new features in G Suite but don’t want to wait around for Google Engineers to write the code.
Slides is starting off with a handful of Add-ons but that number will grow very quickly now that it’s out there in the wild. Most of the initial Slides Add-ons are focused on quality design, presentation and access to assets such as high-quality images, graphics, and image editing. I have been using Unsplash Photos for copyright free images for a while and love it. Now you can search right from within Slides so you can bypass their site and work more efficiently. Adobe Stock has premium images available as well.
The Noun Project brings its Icons libraries to Slides as well. A basic popular set of icons is available for free or you can get a subscription to access thousands of more icons. Are you using a design thinking process with your students? Now they can use Balsamiq Wireframes to create prototypes quickly and efficiently. Charts and diagrams from Lucidchart now are integrated as well. And edit images with Shutterstock Editor and have access to a powerful set of image manipulation tools.
With easier access to high-quality images and assets, we should see an increase in the quality of presentations that we are subjected to, right??!
I am sure it won’t take too long for the education-focused Add-ons to start popping into Slides. Add-ons to facilitate assessment are very popular in the other G Suite tools and Slides will be no different. Pear Deck for Google Slides makes it easy to create new formative assessment questions and widgets right from within the Slides app.
I’m excited to see what else develops in Add-ons for Slides. Remember that Add-ons can be created by any developer. So what functionality do you want to see added to Slides? Tweet your Add-on ideas.
Regional Director, IMEAA
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