How To Add Drop Shadows in Google Slides

Drop Shadows effects are powerful tools for presentation design. They make elements stand out tridimensionally from the scene and can help animate a flat design. In our article about drop shadows in PowerPoint, you can see more suggestions about the proper usage of shadows in presentation design. Today, we will learn how to apply drop shadows in a Google Slides Template.

Our first step is to open an empty Google Slides file. After entering the Google Slides site, we click on the plus icon at the bottom-right corner.

opening a new blank google slide presentation

A new blank presentation file is created. 

blank slide to start drop shadows in google slides tutorial

For this tutorial’s purpose, we will delete the placeholder text areas and place a vertical-format image, which shall have the drop shadow effect.

image loaded for drop shadow in google slides

Next, we ought to locate the Format Options. Right-click the picture, and click on Format Options. This shall open a new panel on the right side.

locating format options in google slides

This Format Options panel has multiple options to work. The options displayed depend on whether you work with an image/graph or if you apply drop shadows to text in Google Slides.

format options opened in google slides

Select Drop Shadow, and open the options for it. The first thing you’ll notice is you have these options:

  • Color
  • Transparency
  • Angle
  • Distance
  • Blur Radius

Color is usually left in the default value. Transparency, Angle, and Distance are important sliders since they control the behavior of the shadow effect. Overall, try to work with Transparency values between 70-80% unless your project requires unique settings. The angle cannot be entered via number, just moving the slider – which is really uncomfortable. 

Blur Radius controls how blurred the shadow effect is – and as a rule, try to stick to the default value.

using the drop shadows in google slides options

Altering these values will generate different shadow effects. Remember that you can stack multiple images together and apply a drop shadow to each one, so each image’s effect should be subtle. Legibility should be the primary concern when working with text shadows or shadows effects, so don’t abuse the transparency and distance sliders.

final effect of drop shadows in google slides

This is how our slide looks right now: a light shadow effect and the placeholder areas on the right side. Although it may seem simple, this is one of the most versatile tools available in Google Slides. Below, you can appreciate how professional presentation design applies the drop shadow effects for quality results.

presentation design with shadow effects

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