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How to use the Google Slides toolbar



Redesigned Presenter toolbar in Google Slides

When presenting a slideshow, the last thing you need to worry about is how to control it. The Google Slides presenter toolbar lets you focus on your presentation, not the navigation.

Google listened to users and updated the Presenter Toolbar in Spring 2021

. With this new version, presenters can enjoy a low-profile toolbar with simple buttons on hand to control the show. In addition, this small toolbar offers other useful functions in its small package. Let’s see what’s in it.

Start the slideshow

As a refresher, you can start your Google Slides presentation in a number of different ways.

After opening your slideshow, click View> Present from the menu or use the Present drop-down in the top right corner and choose ‘Present from scratch’.

Click Present, present from the beginning

With your slideshow ready to use, move your cursor to the lower left corner of the screen and you will see the presenter toolbar.

Features of the Google Presenter toolbar

The Presenter Toolbar is transparent, but gets brighter when you place your cursor on it. This ensures a beautiful, subtle look during your presentation.

Google Slides Presenter toolbar

Use the two arrows to move forward or backward one slide at a time. Clicking the slide number in the center will take you to a specific slide in the presentation. This gives you complete control over the show.

Select slide

On the right side of the toolbar you have the overflow menu (three dots). The features in this area allow you to do even more with your presentation. Here we will mention a few notable ones.

Open your speaker notes

If you want to use the speaker notes feature for topics of conversation during your presentation, you can access it by selecting “Open Speaker Notes” from the menu. You will get a separate window that you can control and close when you are done.

Speaker Notes window

Turn on the laser pointer

With the built-in red laser pointer, marking parts of a slide is a breeze. Click on “Turn on the laser pointer” in the menu. You can click it again to turn off the laser pointer or use the “L” key on your keyboard for a quick shortcut.

Click Enable Laser Pointer

Turn on Auto-Play

If you prefer to play your slideshow on its own, select “Auto-Play” from the overflow menu. You will see a pop-out list of time intervals for each slide. Pick one and watch the show play automatically.

Choose AutoPlay in Google Slides

You can also click “Loop” to play your slideshow continuously. When the presentation reaches the last slide, it will restart from the beginning.

More options for slideshows

At the bottom of the overflow menu is an option “More”. If you select this, you can do things like start a Q&A with your audience, download your slideshow as a PDF or PowerPoint file, or print the presentation.

Presenter toolbar More options

You can also choose “Keyboard Shortcuts” to open a separate window. You’ll see all the handy Google Slides shortcuts you can use while presenting your slideshow.


With the Google Slides presenter toolbar, you have everything you need and more for a successful presentation. But if you need more help, check out our beginner’s guide to Google Slides for some great tips!




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