Create PDF Workbooks in Google Slides

Have you ever marveled at all those beautiful PDF workbooks you see around? Have you ever wondered how to make one yourself? To help you with that, I've prepared three super easy tutorials. For this one you will only need your Google account – yep, you heard me right – no design software needed! Let's go!

One of the best ways to share your knowledge and create exciting learning experience for your tribe, is through PDF ebooks and worksheets. In this tutorial I will teach you how to create PDF workbooks in Google Slides.

You'll still need plenty of design skills to make them beautiful, practical, and fun – there is no doubt about that – but you won't necessarily need a design app. So, if you don't feel comfortable using Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, you'll loooove this post. Keep readin'!

This is a three part series.  I chose to start with Google Slides, because it will give a lot of creative non-designers the opportunity to make beautiful PDFs, without having to navigate through the maze of graphic software functions. Next time we'll go through the Illustrator process and compare the two.

When you think of exporting a file to PDF, you probably think of word processors, such as Word or Google Docs. And they're perfectly fine, as long as you have only words on the screen. But if you'd like to play with images, graphics, columns, etc. you should think more of apps like Google Slides or PowerPoint.

Let's see what we can do with Google Slides, shall we?



The first thing you should do, when creating any kind of publication, is to plan it out on paper:

  • Outline your content.
  • Gather all your images.
  • Sketch out the pages.

Ready? OK, we can start creating your workbook now!

Open Google Slides:

  • Go to Google Slides > Start a new presentation.
  • Select and remove everything from your canvas.
  • Close the themes bar + drag the notes panel down.
Create PDF Workbooks in Google Slides

Let's do something pretty with this blank canvas of yours now:

  • Go to File > Page Setup..
  • Pick 'Custom' from the dropdown menu.
  • Set the size of your workbook (mine is A5 size – it fits perfectly in my Filofax)
Create PDF Workbooks in Google Slides
  • Change the name of your document.
  • Add as many pages as you need.
  • Change the background - you can pick a solid colour or upload an image.
Create PDF Workbooks in Google Slides

Add your text box and text:

  • Select the shape tool and hold Shift to draw a rectangle.
  • Change the colour of the rectangle and set the border colour to transparent.
  • Use the right click menu to center the shapes on your canvas.
  • Add your title + don't forget to play with ALL those pretty Google fonts!
Create PDF Workbooks in Google Slides

This is your cover + a beautiful beginning. Now, go ahead, use the Google Slides tools and create you pretty workbook pages.

Create PDF Workbooks in Google Slides

Once your workbook is ready, export it to PDF:

  • Go to File > Download as > PDF Document
Create PDF Workbooks in Google Slides



And this is it! The beginning and the end, I mean. Everything in between is up to you. I gave you a tool, now see what you can do with it! You can do a lot with Google Slides – you can go all colour wild or embrace minimalism – it's totally up to you, your branding, and your style.



Do you know an easier way to do it? If yes, do share, if you please!



♥ Lin