Google Slides - Creating an Add On

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NOTE: This page is a daughter page of: Google Slides, and is related to: JavaScript

This demos a Google Slides Add On I call "Acknowledgement Slide Generator" which inserts new slide then a grid of images and text boxes.

Background and Instructions

This is similar to instructions from the Google Slides Quickstart (Translate)... and then the rest I figured out from the Slides API.

Warning: The code works, but I never managed to actually get this published, because the documentation for that was nasty. I work at Google and I couldn't figure it out. Similar to this is my page: JavaScript - Generating Image Boxes from a Text Area.

What the thing looks like after run


  1. Create a new Google Presentation.
  2. From within your new presentation, select the menu item Tools > Script editor. If you are presented with a welcome screen, click Blank Project.
  3. Delete any code in the script editor and rename to You may be prompted to give a project name first (call it "Acknowledgement Slide Generator").
  4. Create a new file by selecting the menu item File > New > HTML file. Name this file sidebar.html.
  5. Replace any code in these two files with the following content, respectively:

Google Slides Add On - Acknowledgement Slide Generator


    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
      .logo { vertical-align: middle; }
      ul { list-style-type: none; padding: 0; }
      h4 { margin: 0; }
       * Runs generator (in
      function runGenerator() {
        this.disabled = true;  // Disable buttons, etc, until done.
        var numPeople = parseInt(document.getElementById("txt-num-people").value);
        var picWidth = parseInt(document.getElementById("txt-pic-width").value);
        var picHeight = parseInt(document.getElementById("txt-pic-height").value);
        var maxCols = parseInt(document.getElementById("txt-max-cols").value);
            .addAcknowledgmentSlide(numPeople, picWidth, picHeight, maxCols);

        this.disabled = false;  // Re-enable buttons.

    <form class="sidebar branding-below">
      Number people: <input type="number" name="txt-num-people" id="txt-num-people"
                            min="1" max="30" value="4">
      Picture size:  <input type="number" name="txt-pic-width" id="txt-pic-width"
                            min="10" max="300" value="100" step="5" style="width:60px"> x 
                     <input type="number" name="txt-pic-height" id="txt-pic-height"
                            min="10" max="300" value="100" step="5" style="width:60px">
      Max columns:   <input type="number" name="txt-max-cols" id="txt-max-cols"\
                            min="1" max="30" value="6"><br>

      <div class="block" id="button-bar">
        <button class="blue" id="run-generator" onclick="runGenerator()">Generate</button>
      <h5 class="error" id="txt-feedback"></h5>
    <div class="sidebar bottom">
      <img alt="Add-on logo" class="logo"
        src="" width="27" height="27">
      <span class="gray branding-text">Ack Generator</span>


 * @OnlyCurrentDoc Limits the script to only accessing the current presentation.
 * CREDIT: Andrew Noske. 2019.
 * SOURCE: .

 * Create an Open "Acknowledgement Generator" menu item.
 * @param {Event} event The open event.
function onOpen(event) {
      .addItem('Open', 'showSidebar')

 * Open the Add-on upon install.
 * @param {Event} event The install event.
function onInstall(event) {

 * Opens a sidebar in the document containing the add-on's user interface.
function showSidebar() {
  var ui = HtmlService
      .setTitle('Acknowledgement Slide Generator');

 * Insert a new blank slide at the start of the current presentation
 * with a title that says "Acknowledgements".
function insertTitleSlideAtStart() {
  var presentation = SlidesApp.getActivePresentation();
  var slide = presentation.insertSlide(0, SlidesApp.PredefinedLayout.BLANK);

  var SLIDE_WIDTH = SlidesApp.getActivePresentation().getPageWidth();
  var titleText = slide.insertTextBox("Acknowledgements", 10, 10, SLIDE_WIDTH - 20, 50);

 * Inserts a new "Acknowledgement Slide at the start of the presentation.
 * This slide has the given number of profile images and text,
 * evently spaced in a grid.
 * @param {number} numPeople The number of profiles to create.
 * @param {number} picWidth The width of each picture in pixels.
 * @param {number} picHeight The height of each picture in pixels.
 * @param {number} maxColumns The maximum number of columns to show. If numPeople
 *     is more than this it will start adding rows.
 * @return {number} The number of profiles created.
function addAcknowledgmentSlide(numPeople, picWidth, picHeight, maxColumns) {
  // Insert new slide to start of presentation.
  // Get first slide:
  var slideDeck = SlidesApp.getActivePresentation();
  var slide = slideDeck.getSlides()[0];
  // Slide dimensions:
  var SLIDE_WIDTH = slideDeck.getPageWidth();
  var SLIDE_HEIGHT = slideDeck.getPageHeight();
  var SLIDE_TOP_BANNER = 60;  // Bedause we already added a title that says "Acknowledgements".
  // Profile dimensions:
  var profileNameHeight = 30;
  var profileCommentHeight = 20;
  var profileHeight = picHeight + profileNameHeight + profileCommentHeight;

  var profileNameYOffset = picHeight;
  var profileCommentYOffset = profileNameYOffset + profileNameHeight;

  // Determine number of rows/columns and spacing between boxes:
  var cols = (numPeople > maxColumns) ? maxColumns : numPeople;
  var rows = Math.ceil(numPeople / maxColumns);
  var xSpacing = (SLIDE_WIDTH - (cols * picWidth)) / (cols + 1);
  var ySpacing = ((SLIDE_HEIGHT - SLIDE_TOP_BANNER) - (rows * profileHeight)) / (rows + 1);
  console.log('cols=' + cols + ' * rows=' + rows);  // DO NOT SUBMIT.
  console.log('xSpacing=' + xSpacing + ' * ySpacing=' + ySpacing);  // DO NOT SUBMIT.
  // For each person:
  for(var i = 0; i < numPeople; i++) {
    var rowIdx = Math.floor(i / maxColumns);
    var colIdx = i - (rowIdx * maxColumns);
    var x = (colIdx * picWidth) + ((colIdx + 1) * xSpacing);
    var y = (rowIdx * profileHeight) + ((rowIdx + 1) * ySpacing) + SLIDE_TOP_BANNER;
    console.log(' ' +  i + ':  x,y=' + x + ',' + y);  // DO NOT SUBMIT.

    // Add placeholder image:
    var img = slide.insertImage(
        x, y, picWidth, picHeight);

    // Add text box for name:
    var nameBox = slide.insertTextBox(
        "First Last",
        x, y + profileNameYOffset, picWidth, profileNameHeight);

    // Add text box for comment or email. 
    var commentBox = slide.insertTextBox(
        x, y + profileCommentYOffset, picWidth, profileCommentHeight);

  return numPeople;

 * Test function you can run in without opening the menu.
function testAddAcknowledgmentSlide() {
  var numPeople = 4;
  var picWidth = 100;
  var picHeight = 100;
  var maxColumns = 6;
  addAcknowledgmentSlide(numPeople, picWidth, picHeight, maxColumns);

  • Save the project:
    • Select the menu item File > Save all. Name your new script "Acknowledgement Slide Generator" and click OK. The script's name is shown to end users in several places, including the authorization dialog.
    • Select the menu item File > Managed versions save as a first version.
  • Try it out:
    • Switch back to your presentation and reload the page.

After a few seconds, a "Acknowledgement Generator" sub-menu appears under the Add-ons menu. Click Add-ons > Acknowledgement Generator > Start.

    • A dialog box indicates that the script requires authorization. Click Continue. A second dialog box requests authorization for specific Google services. Click Allow.
    • A sidebar appears. To test it, type some text into your presentation, then select it, and click the blue Generate button. To replace the text in the presentation, click Insert.
  • Publish:
    • If you were developing a real add-on, the last step would be to publish it for other people to find and install.


  • Google Slides - official site, where you can create your own slides.