One of the huge drawbacks of using Google Docs and Slides on the iPad has been the inability to insert images and tables into documents and presentations. Yesterday, Google announced that they have added this capability.
Functionality is a little different depending upon whether you are using Docs or Slides.
Inserting a photo or table into either app follows the same routine. To insert, just tap the + key and select “Image” or “Table.” If you select Image, you will have the option of using a photo from your camera roll or taking a picture using your iPad. In Docs, you can increase the size of your photo, but do not appear to be able to shrink the photo to smaller than the original. To move your photo to another part of your Doc, you will need to Cut-and-Paste rather than drag and drop.
In Slides, there appears to be no limit on the size to which a picture can be enlarged or shrunk. Slides also allows you to crop an image. Simply double-click on the image and drag the small black bars to adjust the portion of the photo you would like to use. If you change your mind, just double-click the photo again and your original, uncropped, image will appear so you can change where your picture is cropped.
Selecting the Add / Table option in either app will prompt you to use the up and down arrows to select the number of columns and rows you would like for your table. Tap once when the keyboard is minimized to activate a basic table menu that includes adding and deleting rows or columns. Using the formatting icon in the upper right corner of the app screen will also allow you to add columns and rows and to set column width and row height.
In Slides, you have greater creative power over your tables. Unlike in Docs, you can easily move your table to different parts of your slide and shrink/enlarge with a simple flick of the finger. In addition to the options provided in the Doc app, in Slides you can use the basic menu accessed by tapping the table to evenly distribute rows and columns or merge/divide cells. Select multiple cells in a row or column and use the formatting icon to add a fill color, or change the border color, weight, or style.
While these options are not yet perfect, Google has come a long way in making the use of Docs and Slides a great option for the iPad in the classroom.
For assistance in using any of the iPad apps or introducing them in your classroom, please contact your building Instructional Technology Specialist or me via email or the “Book Now” link in the sidebar.