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2 Ways to “Lock Down” a Google Slides Presentation

If you have created a Google Slides document with lots of internal links (like an escape room or a formative assessment) that you’re going to share with students, you will probably want to “lock down” that slideshow so that students cannot just click from slide to slide to slide. Instead, you will probably want that slideshow to function more like a website. In this blog post, I’m going to show you two easy “hacks” to do just that.

(You will probably want to do both of these hacks together.)

Hack #1: “Skip Slide”

The first thing you can do is activate the “Skip Slide” functionality for all slides BUT your first one.

To do this:

  1. Open up your Google Slides document.
  2. Click in one of the slide “thumbnails” on the left hand side of the screen. You will know that the thumbnail is selected when there is yellow background AND an orange border around the thumbnail. [image 1]
Click one one of the slide thumbnails
  1. Click Command (or Control) A to select ALL the thumbnails. (Or go to the “Edit” menu and choose “Select All.”
  2. Right click on one of the selected thumbnails, and chose “Skip Slides.” 
Skip slides selected

Now, you will notice that ALL of the slide thumbnails have the “skipped” icon, and you will see a little “this slide is skipped while presenting” message pop up when you are working on the slide.

Slide skipped icon

Our last step is to “un-skip” the slide you want your audience to start on, usually the first one. (If you don’t do this, then Google will treat all the slides normally and your audience will be able to click through all the slides.) Right-click on the thumbnail of the slide you want to un-skip, and re-select “Skip Slide” to turn skipping OFF for that slide. 

Un-skip slide

Now that most of the slides are skipped, when your viewers try to “arrow through” the slides, they will remain on the first slide, as all the other slides are skipped.

Hack #2: Alter the URL

The second “hack” involves hiding the tool bar at the bottom of the slide when in presentation mode. This will keep your audience from selecting different slides or navigating through the presentation using the tool/navigation bar.

To do this:

  1.  Pull up the “share” options for your Google slide show by clicking on the “Share” button. 
Share button

2.  In the “Get link” area, click “Change to anyone with the link.” Then click the “copy link” button to copy your share link to the clipboard, and click “Done.”

Change to anyone with the link
copy link
  1. Paste this link somewhere that you will be able to edit it. (I usually just use the “speaker notes” area for one for of the slides in the slideshow.
  2. Highlight everything in the link starting from the word “edit” on. (Part of the address is blacked out in the image below, but yours will just be text.)
highlight from edit on
  1.  Replace what you have highlighted with the following text:
    This will create a share link for the slideshow in which the navigation tool bar is hidden.  Now you can share your newly-modified slideshow link via email or in any other way that you like!
Got questions about this?  Feel free to ask in the comments.

And, if you are interested, the Escape Room activity featured in these screenshots is available for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers.  (Click HERE to view or purchase.)

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  1. Hello
    I have a question. Is it also possible to hide the google slide navigation bar, when it you have placed your google slide into a google site?

    1. Yes! I should probably make a video on this myself, but here is a great tutorial from another teacher that explains the process: https://youtu.be/kofR2_FNaV8 (Basically, you have to “publish the slides to the web” and then add “&rm=minimal” at a specific spot in the embed code before adding it into Google Sites.)

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