Random Slides Sheets Add on

Create a Random Slideshow

If you have a list (in a spreadsheet of course) that you would like to create a Google Slides presentation out of, I have coded an Add-on that will randomly choose a subset of your list and send them to a Google Slides. Directions are at the bottom.



Notice below that in the version history, the previous version’s 4 slides are different than the current 4 slides. Every 30 minutes the Add-on script deletes the old slides and replaces them with new slides randomly chosen from the list in the spreadsheet.
Version history to show randomization


Changing Slideshow

I used the File menu to choose “Publish to the Web.” Every 30 minutes the slides in this presentation will change to a new 4 slides chosen from the list. Note that because this is a published slide show the updated slides would not appear until the page is refreshed. If you are viewing the edit view of the Slides the slides would change magically before your eyes every 30 minutes.

Publish Your Quotes

If you have a list of

  • favorite inspirational quotes
  • ideas shared from students
  • study tips
  • spiral questions
  • writing prompts

paste the list into the spreadsheet template. Run the Random Slides Add-on. You will be able to choose how many of the quotes or questions you want to push to the Google Slides. The list will be randomized and a slide for each quote in the subset will be created. Use the File menu to choose “Publish to the web.”
Publish to the web


Embedding the slides into a website allows for the information to be accessed independently. When using in class simply clicking the Present button is probably the best way to utilize the Google Slides presentation. Obtaining the embed code allows you to put it on your website (including Google Sites) to show a rotating set of slides with your content presented.

You will want to switch to the Embed tab. Notice the different embed options before you copy the embed code. Slide size: The embeded presentation above is the small size, different from the default of medium. Auto-advance slides: The default is 3 seconds but you can choose to increase or decrease how long until the slide changes. I suggest checking the two checkboxes to “Start slideshow as soon as the player loads” and “Restart the slideshow after the last slide.” This creates an automated slideshow that loops.
Embed and check the two checkboxes


Make a Copy of the Template

Use the link alicekeeler.com/randomslides to create a copy of the template. The code is bound to the spreadsheet. Thus, in order to see the Add-on in the Add-on menu you will need to use the spreadsheet template.

Add-on Menu

Use the Add-on menu to choose “Random Slides.” Choose “Setup” from the pop out menu.
Add on menu random slides setup

You will need to authorize the Add-on script. If you see a button that says “Back to safety” that only means that Google has not reviewed my code and is not vouching for me. Click on the link that says “Advanced” and then the one at the bottom that will indicate that it is (unsafe). It is safe, I personally coded it. I do not have access to any of your files or information. 

This will create a new Google Slides presentation and place the link in the spreadsheet.

Paste Your List

Paste or type your list of quotes into column A. You can add to this list anytime.
paste list into column A

Sort Randomly

Using the Add-on menu you can randomly sort the list.

Add-on Menu -> Create Presentation

Use the Add-on menu to go back to “Random Slides” and choose “Create Presentation.” This will prompt a pop up to ask how many slides you want in the presentation? Remember the list will refresh every 30 minutes! The previous slides will be deleted and a new set will be added every 30 minutes. For this reason I recommend keeping the number small.
Create presentation

Link to the Presentation

The presentation is of course in your Google Drive. You can also use the link in cell A1 to open up the Google Slides so you can see your slides you created.

Getting Fancy

By default the slides are plain. You can make them fancier by going to the View menu and choosing “Master.” The code adds a slide using the “Section header” layout. If you design this layout all of the newly created slides will follow that formatting. On my sample slides, I used a gradient background, changed the font size, and changed the font color. You can add an image you would like.
design the section header layout


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