How to Use Google Slides Offline (When the Internet is Down)
You’ve got a Google Slides presentation you need to create or update soon. But you know that you’ll be traveling and you’re not sure whether you’ll have Internet access. Fortunately, if you’ve got Chrome you can use Google Slides offline, even without an Internet connection. You can also use Google Slides offline when working in a cafe that doesn’t offer free WiFi.
Or, using Google Slides offline could be useful if you know that your power company has scheduled a brownout. Simply use the instructions in this tutorial to prepare to work offline during the length of the brownout.
In fact, many Google tools are available for use offline. To learn how to use several other Google tools offline, review these Envato Tuts+ tutorials:
In this tutorial, however, our focus is on Google Slides.
You’ll learn how to use Google Slides offline.
We’ll also give you some tips on how to avoid potential problems that
may occur when you work on your presentation offline.
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In this 2 minute screencast, learn how to set up Google Slides for offline use.
Continue reading for a written tutorial walkthrough, as well as ways to prevent potential offline issues before they occur:
1. Set Your Google Slides Up for Going Offline
It’s easy to get Google Slides ready for using offline. Here
are three simple steps to get you started:
Step 1. Make Sure Chrome is Up-to-date
Before you go offline, make sure that you’re working with an
updated version of Chrome.
Open your Chrome browser. If you’re not logged in, sign into
your Google account. The browser looks like this:
the menu icon (it looks like three vertical dots) in the upper right corner and
select Help > About Google Chrome.
The About Chrome screen displays:
This screen shows you which version of Google Chrome you’re
using. It also tells you whether your version is up to date.
Note: You can also view this
screen by selecting the About Chrome
option on the Settings drop-down
If your version of Chrome is current, you don’t need to do
anything else. If it needs to be updated, do so now. Relaunch your Chrome
browser when the update is complete. This should happen automatically.
Click the Slides
home icon in the upper left corner. The Google Slides home screen opens:
Click the Main menu
icon (it looks like three horizontal lines) in the upper left corner. Then
click the Settings menu option. The Settings dialog box appears:
You’re now ready to take your computer offline.
Once your computer is offline, access Google Drive again by typing https://drive.google.com/in the browser Address field. Even though your computer is offline, Google Drive
Double-click on the file you want to work on from within
Google Slides to open it. You’re now ready to work in your file even though your
computer is offline.
Notice that there is a little lightning symbol next to the
title of your presentation. That symbol indicates that you’re offline.
Note: If you’ve shared
the file, others who have access to it won’t see your changes until you go back
Step 2. Create or Edit Google Slides
Let’s make some changes to the file while we’re
offline and see what happens. First, I’m going to add a new slide after the
slide with the timeline. To do this I click on the + symbol in the upper left
corner and select the type of slide I want to add:
The new slide is added:
The new slide is added:
Continue to make changes to the slide presentation
while you’re offline. For example, let’s change the title of the presentation:
Note: You won’t be able
to make changes that require an Internet connection. For example, you won’t be
able to insert video or images from the Internet.
3. Going Back Online
When you’re done working offline, you’ll want to make sure
your presentation is updated on your Google Drive.
Open your Google Drive and double-click on the presentation
you updated while offline. The changes you made offline are automatically
applied when you open the presentation.
4. Avoid Google Slides Offline Problems
These are some problems you could run into if you’re working
offline. Here’s a description of each potential problem and what to do if you run into
Problem 1. Working Offline With More Than One Google Account
You can’t set up more than one Google account associated with Gmail to work
offline. If you try to do so, you’ll get an error message:
To get around this limitation, use the Google People feature. Create a new user and
associate the new user with a non-Gmail email account. For detailed instructions on how to do
this, refer to the tutorial How
to Use Google Docs When You’re Offline.
Problem 2. Another Person Updates the Presentation While You’re Offline
The synch feature works well. But if the Google Slides
presentation has more than one author, someone else could edit the presentation while you’re
When you come back online and synch your presentation, the
changes you made while offline are merged with the changes that the other
author made. The version you created while offline can’t be separated from the version that has the other author’s changes.
If this happens you’ve got several options.
Use the revision history to revert to an older
version of the Google Slides presentation before you went offline. However, you’ll lose your
offline edits if you restore an older version.
Rename the presentation before you go offline.
(The Rename option isn’t available
while you’re offline.) However, the renamed version won’t synch with the
original presentation. You’ll have to transfer the edits you made while you were offline manually.
Tell the other authors that you’ll be working on
the presentation offline. Ask them to refrain from making changes. Be sure to
notify them when you’re back online.
Problem 3. What You Can’t Do Offline
As I mention earlier, you can’t use any functions that
require the Internet while you’re offline. That includes:
Using the spell check feature
Printing the presentation
Publishing to the web feature
Downloading the file
Adding someone to the file
Inserting material such as online images or
Using many add-ons
You can easily tell when a function is unavailable, because
it’ll be greyed out on the menu.
While there’s really no way to make the unavailable features
available while you’re offline, you can work around this limitation with
careful planning. For example, if you need to use the spell check feature make
a note to yourself to run it as soon as the Google Slides presentation is back online.
5. Export Your Google Slides Presentation and Go Offline
There’s another way to go offline with your Google Slides
presentation. Export your presentation to another presentation tool. Work on your presentation
offline in a tool that allows you to work offline. For example, many versions of Microsoft PowerPoint
allow you to work offline.
To use this method of working offline, you’ll need to know
how to export presentation files from Google Slides. Then, when you’ve got
Internet access again, you import the slides presentation back into Google
Learn how to export your Google Slides presentation to PowerPoint in this
Caution: I don’t
recommend importing/exporting your presentation file to another format to work offline because
you may lose access to some features of your presentation. For example,
animations and transitions are often lost during import and export because they work differently in different packages. And the process for inserting an
audio file is different between PowerPoint and Google Slides. Plus, there could
be font and formatting differences. And these are just a few of the issues you
Conclusion + More Helpful Presentation Resources
If you’ll be traveling or even if you think you might lose
your Internet connectivity, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Being offline
doesn’t need to mean that can’t work on your Google Slides presentation. You
can learn how to use Google Slides offline.
In this tutorial, we’ve shown you what you need to know so
that you can work in Google Slides offline. Learn more about how to make presentations in Google Slides in our comprehensive series or grab our Free eBook.
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