Redesigned Presenter Toolbar in Google Slides

When you’re presenting a slideshow, the last thing you should worry about is how to control it. With the Google Slides presenter toolbar, you can concentrate on your presentation, not the navigation.

Google listened to users and updated the presenter toolbar in the Spring of 2021. This new version allows presenters to enjoy an unobtrusive toolbar with simple buttons on hand to control the show. Plus, this tiny toolbar offers other helpful features in its small package. Let’s see what’s inside.

Start the Slideshow

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

After opening your slideshow, click View > Present from the menu, or use the Present drop-down in the upper-right corner and choose “Present From Beginning.”

With your slideshow ready to go, move your cursor to the bottom-left corner of the screen, and you’ll see the presenter toolbar display.

Google Slides Presenter Toolbar Features

The presenter toolbar is transparent but brightens up when you place your cursor over it. This offers a nice, subtle appearance throughout your presentation.

Google Slides Presenter Toolbar

The two arrows let you advance forward or move back one slide at a time. If you click the slide number in the center, you can jump to a particular slide in the presentation. This puts you in complete control of 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’ll point out a few notable ones.

Open Your Speaker Notes

If you like to use the speaker note feature for talking points during your presentation, you can open them by selecting “Open Speaker Notes” in the menu. You’ll get a separate window that you can control and close when you finish with it.

Speaker Notes window

Turn on the Laser Pointer

With the built-in red laser pointer, highlighting parts of a slide is a breeze. Click “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.

Enable Auto-Play

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

Choose AutoPlay in Google Slides

You can also hit “Loop” for the continuous playing of your slideshow. When the presentation reaches the last slide, it will restart from the beginning.

More Slideshow Options

At the bottom of the overflow menu is a “More” option. When you select this, you can do things like beginning a Q&A with your audience, downloading your slideshow as a PDF or PowerPoint file, or printing the presentation.

Presenter Toolbar More options

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

With the Google Slides presenter toolbar, you’ll have everything you need and more for a successful presentation. But if you’d like additional help, take a look at our beginner’s guide to Google Slides for some great tips!

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
Read Full Bio »