Creating Interactive Google Presentations

by Eric Curts


Google Slides is program used for creating online multimedia slideshow presentations, similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. Normally a slideshow is designed to be viewed sequentially, one slide followed by the next in order. However, Google Slides allows you to put links in slides that can link to any other slide in the presentation, regardless of order. By using links to other slides, a presentation can be created that is non-linear, in which the user can choose which slides to view.

One example use for this is to create a quiz for review purposes. One slide could ask a question and list possible answers. Each answer would be a link to another slide where the user is told if they chose the correct answer or not. Helpful feedback could be included on the slides for the wrong answers to assist the user.

Another possible use would be to create an interactive story, similar to a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. One slide could tell a portion of the story, and then offer several story options at the bottom. These links would branch off to different slides to tell alternate storylines as chosen by the reader.

Another example would be to create a Jeopardy game where the dollar amounts on the Jeopardy board link to different slides with the questions, which then link to slides with the answers. For a sample Jeopardy game as well as templates for 5-topic and 6-topic games, click below:

Naming Slides

When you create an interactive slideshow, you will need to create links to specific slides. This will be much easier if you name each slide in a consistent manner.

The name for a slide comes from the Title portion of a slide. When creating a slide, choose one of the following three layouts: Title and Body, Title and Two Columns, or Title Only.

Each of these layouts gives you a title box at the top of the slide. Whatever you type in the title section will be the name for that slide.

As an example, if you are making a quiz, the slides might be named like:

Inserting Links

Before you can insert a link to another slide, you need to have the other slide(s) created to link to. So, first, go ahead and make the source slide and the destination slide (or slides) that will branch off of it. Once you have the slides made, you can insert a link to another slide as follows:

  1. Highlight the text, or select the object, that will be the link.
  2. Click the Insert link button in the toolbar, or click Insert then Link.
  3. This will open a pop-up window.
  4. In the Link box click Slides in this presentation.
  5. This will give you a drop down list of all the slides.
  6. Scroll through the list and choose the slide you wish to link to.
  7. Click Apply when done.
  8. The text or slide object will now be hyperlinked to the slide you have chosen.

If you need to change the link later, simply click on the linked text or object, and then click Change to re-open the link window where you can make whatever adjustments to the link as needed.

If you need to remove a link entirely, simply click on the linked text or object, and then click Remove.

Avoiding Unintended Advancement

By default, if a user clicks anywhere on a slide, that tells Google Presentations to move them to the next slide. Normally that is what you want to happen, but not if you are making an interactive quiz or story. Instead you only want the user to move to the slides you have linked, and to only do so by clicking the specific links you have inserted.

To avoid unintended advancement, you need to make sure everything else on the slide is actually linked back to the slide itself:

  1. Click on an object on the slide, such as the title box, main text box, an image, etc.
  2. Click the Insert link button in the toolbar, or click Insert then Link.
  3. This will open a pop-up window.
  4. In the Link box click Slides in this presentation.
  5. This will give you a drop down list of all the slides.
  6. Scroll through the slide names and select the slide you are already on.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. The slide object will now be hyperlinked back to the same slide itself, so if the user clicks on the item, they will stay on the slide instead of advancing.
  9. Repeat for each item on the slide.

Besides clicking on items on the slide, users can also click on the background of the slide to advance. To avoid this you will need to insert a rectangular shape that covers the entire slide, link it to the same slide itself, and then move it to the back behind all the text and other objects:

  1. Click Insert in the top menu bar, then choose Shape, then Shapes, then pick the rectangle shape.
  2. Click and drag a rectangular shape as big as the entire slide.
  3. Make the shape link to the same slide you are on (as described above).
  4. Feel free to change the color of the rectangle as desired, since it will serve as your new background. Simply click the Fill Color button (looks like a paint can) in the top tool bar to change the color.
  5. Finally, move the rectangle behind all the text and objects by right clicking on the shape, choosing Order, and then Send to Back.

Duplicating Slides

Because there is a lot of work that needs to be done to each slide to insert all the links, it is not wise to create each slide from scratch. Rather, it would be most efficient to create a few complete slides, and then duplicate them as needed. You can then change the links that need adjusted, and edit the text for the slide, but will not have to repeat the entire process of inserting links for every slide you make.

To duplicate a slide, simply right-click on the slide thumbnail, and then choose Duplicate slide.


For examples of interactive presentations, as well as help guides, videos, and other useful resources on the topic, go to:

View some of my other Google help guides:

© 2012-2014 - Eric Curts - - - - @ericcurts

This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 United States license.  For more information about this license see (In short, you can copy, distribute, and adapt this work as long as you give proper attribution and do not charge for it.)