It was Columbus Day when I found myself exploring the Google “Explore” tool in Slides. Not unlike the famous explorer, this tool has been a bit controversial, as many people are upset that it replaced the “Research” tool that had become invaluable in both Google Slides and Google Docs. (Although you can still research using Explore, the citation feature is gone.)
How is “Explore” different? Once you turn it on (using the “Tools” menu at the top of Slides), “Explore” opens a pane on the right side of your screen where it displays layout options based on what you have typed on your slide. If you are like me, and completely devoid of any kind of design ability, this new function will seem so magical that you will lose any interest in what you were trying to present and spend all of your productive time adding new things to your slide to see what “Explore” recommends for you with each change.
I showed the feature to my high school daughter, and she spent 10 minutes redesigning a slide with her name on it. Hopefully her teacher will appreciate all of the time invested on this extremely important portion of her presentation…
During my daughter’s exploration of “Explore,” she found out that you can combine a Slides Theme with a suggested “Explore” layout – which pretty much guaranteed the rest of the evening would be just as unproductive.
Although I find the suggestions to be somewhat limited in “Explore,” they are certainly better than any I could imagine. In addition, it is extremely more time-efficient to click on a recommendation and have your slide change automatically instead of having to highlight, change text, move things around, crop, and re-size.
Since my post about Google Slides templates is one of my most popular of all-time, I have a feeling that some of you may be interested in trying out Google “Explore.” If you do, I would love to hear your thoughts on it! Good? Bad? Or, like most of us, somewhere in-between?