Google Slides App: Troubleshooting and Optimizing Your Presentations With ScreenCloud

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by Santino Scibelli
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This article will go through troubleshooting, frequently asked questions, and best practices for using Google Slides with ScreenCloud. As one of our most popular apps, we want to provide you with helpful tips on how to fully optimize your experience using your presentations with our Google Slides app.

1. Review our Google Slides app guide

2. Check out our free Google Slide templates and creatives

3. Upload images and content directly into your presentation

4. Avoid using embedded videos, animations (.GIF), or special effects/transitions

5. Make sure your Google Slides are using a widescreen 16:9 ratio

6. Remove any unwanted slides versus setting them to skip

7. Use the Google Slides app in a playlist

8. Try to use a maximum of 10 slides for your presentation

9. Common error messages

10. Frequently asked questions

 

 1. Review our Google Slides app guide

You can review step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Google Slides app with ScreenCloud here. This will help you get started on using the app and answer any frequently asked questions.

 

2. Check out our free Google Slide templates

Google Slides is a versatile app that gives you the ability to be unique and creative. You can control how to position your approach to content across your digital screens. Our team has put together a directory of Google Slide templates to help spark inspiration for ways to showcase menus, teams, and more. You can view ScreenCloud's free Google Slide templates here.

 

3. Upload images and content directly into your presentation

One of the key features of Google Slides is that it is easy to simply copy and paste an image or piece of content you find from a webpage directly into your presentation. The challenge using this method though is that webpages from external websites can move content, change servers, run into errors, and could shut down over time. This can affect how your images or content you've copied from a webpage work in your presentation, as it can cause errors or images/content can become unable to display over time.

We recommend saving any image or content from an existing source and uploading it directly into your Google Slide presentation. This way the content is managed from your Google Drive account and no longer relies on the existing source to use it.

Please note, the use case of background images can tend to cause problems with slide optimization and playback over time. We recommend limiting the use of or removing background images from your slides completely while using the Google Slides app with ScreenCloud.

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4. Avoid using embedded videos, animations (.GIF), or special effects/transitions

ScreenCloud's Google Slide app currently does not support the following:

  • Embedded videos to autoplay
  • Animation images (.GIF)
  • Special effects and transitions between slides

While you can have this content in your presentation, the Google Slides app will not be able to load this content properly. We recommend removing any embedded videos, opting to upload the video you'd like to use as an MP4 file directly into ScreenCloud, or by using our YouTube or Vimeo app for streaming video.

We also advise removing any animations (.GIF) from your presentation as ScreenCloud currently does not support these file types. Any special effects or transitions you can keep in your slides, though they will not appear while using the Google Slides app and avoid using them.

 

5. Make sure your Google Slides are using a widescreen 16:9 ratio

Most televisions support a 16:9 screen ratio, and we recommend that you use your Google Slides app in a full-screen zone layout. At most, you can use the app in full-screen with a ticker-tape layout below, though the app is not optimized for use in small zone spaces or limited dimensions. In consideration of this, we recommend that you always use your Google Slides formatted in a widescreen 16:9 ratio.

You can double-check this by performing the following steps:

5.1. While viewing your Google Slide presentation, click on "File" in the upper left-hand corner.

5.2. Navigate to "Page setup" and click here.

5.3. Check that your page setup is on "Widescreen 16:9".

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6. Remove any unwanted slides instead of setting them to skip

Google Slides provides you with a feature to set any slide to "skip" during a presentation, instead of removing it. You can identify if a slide is set to skip if it has a slashed eye icon over the slide file, you can right-click the slide in order to check this option on or off:

Screen_Shot_2019-03-22_at_5.12.30_PM.png

 

We recommend to instead use the "Save to keep" option by right-clicking on the slide for any unwanted slides. This will save the slide file to your drive for reference at a later date to use in a presentation, then you can delete the slide from your presentation. This can help you better organize your presentation, while also ensuring that using the ScreenCloud Google Slide's app is able to run best in case there are any challenges with the API (Application Programming Interface) which powers the app.

 

7. Use the Google Slides app in a playlist

Each time the Google Slides app is loaded, it pulls data from Google to update the content on your screens. We recommend one of the best ways to use your slides is in a playlist. Using the Google Slides app in a playlist will cause a quick refresh rate after the duration you've set is finished. For example, if you set Google Slides in a playlist with other apps that runs for a total of two-minutes then the slides will automatically refresh the content each time the playlist cycles.

Please note, the ScreenCloud player refreshes every twenty-four hours so the slides will always pick up new changes once this timeframe is reached if not used in a playlist. You can also manually refresh your screens to display your changes as well. 

 

 

8. Try to use a maximum of 10 slides for your presentation

Larger presentations can be used for the Google Slides app but it's best recommended to use a maximum of at least 10 slides for your presentations to both help your content run as consistently and most optimized as possible for digital signage.

 

9. Common error messages

"Sorry, we couldn't access your Google Slides account. Please edit this app in Studio, then click "Sign in" and log into an account with "Edit" access to the presentation given, then Save."

This error message is received when a user needs to re-login and authenticate the Google account connected with their Google Slides app. This can usually happen during an account migration, for example, if you're moving from the old ScreenCloud Signage (2015) to the new ScreenCloud Studio (2019) platform. Google requires you to re-authenticate the log in of your account for security purposes.

 

"Sorry, it looks like your Google Slides presentation has no valid slides to display. Please contact support if this is not as expected."

This error message usually occurs when there are no slides in the Google Slides presentation, or our site is unable to fetch or load slide images from Google. Please note, If a specific slide is unable to fetch or load properly after three attempts then ScreenCloud's service no longer attempts to load the slide and removes it from your presentation. 

If a slide is unable to load, it will display the message "Image failed to load" and the app will try to render the slides again every fifteen minutes. This process runs in the background automatically to refresh your screens and reload your slides. 

 

"Please enter the URL to a Google Slides presentation."

This error occurs when a Google Slides URL is not copied and pasted while setting up your app instance in ScreenCloud. You may see this error message when you click the "Preview" option for your Google Slides app but have not set up a URL or presentation for the app instance. 

 

"Sorry, it looks like the Google account given does not have permission to view this presentation."

This error occurs when a user doesn't have permission to view the presentation. Access to the presentation itself may have been revoked from the Google account owner, or they have logged in with an account that has no access to the presentation. For example, if you copy and paste the Google Slide URL presentation into a browser you would see an error message from Google directly informing you of access restrictions. We'd recommend connecting with the presentation owner, or ensuring you're using the correct Google account which hosts the presentation is being logged into if you're the owner. 

 

"Sorry, we couldn't get your Google Slides presentation. Please ensure you are logged in and the link to the presentation is correct. If it still doesn't work, contact support for help."

If your presentation errors do not apply to any of the following reviewed above, please reach out to support@screencloud.com for additional assistance. We also recommend connecting with your admin or owner of the Google Slide presentation, or Google support directly as well for reference of issues or troubleshooting an issue with your Google Drive account.

 

10. Frequently asked questions

My presentation is set to "Public" and is not displaying on ScreenCloud, why?

ScreenCloud Studio encrypts your login information while using the Google Slides app. The app works by requiring you log in with a Google account that is connected to a private presentation. If you've set up the Google Slides app with a URL which was set to "Publish to the web" or otherwise embed the URL, then the instance will fail to load. For example, these public URLs usually include "/e/" in the string, such as https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vReB90xRL9YwfWrRmhCQvUFS4g_960I4XjEdfBLjuTw4LT82Pdr-Cp6Z9-H5xFJiD9_n-9bXx0Ag1c1/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000.

We recommend and advise to simply log into your Google account, then copy/paste the URL that is available directly from your browser while viewing the presentation. You can follow these instructions by viewing ScreenCloud's Google Slides App Guide here

 

I'm using the "Set to Screen" feature and my presentation isn't updating automatically, why? 

Using the "Set to Screen" feature with the Google Slides app will then keep the app set to your screen(s) for 24 hours a day. Because of this, the app will be unable to pick up any new updates made to the presentation as there's no ability for the app to properly refresh. We recommend if you're looking for more frequent updates to add the Google Slides up into a channel or playlist - this allows you to set the duration of the app. For example, you can create a playlist with only Google Slides and set the duration to "6 hours". This means the app will have the ability to refresh every 6 hours and pick up new changes made to the presentation while cycling through the playlist.

 

Who do videos or animations not play from my presentation?

ScreenCloud displays an image of your slide(s) running. Currently, videos, animation, or gifs are not supported by the Google Slides app.

 

Why can't I set a duration for each image in the app?

When you add the Google Slides app to a channel or playlist, you can set the total duration of the app. Google Slides will then automatically calculate how long to play each slide based on the total duration divided by the number of slides. For example, if you have five slides and entered "1:00" which represents one-minute in a channel or playlist, each slide would play for 20 seconds totaling the set duration. 

 

Why doesn't my slides update with new data even after refresh?

Only users with editing or administrative access to a Google Slide presentation can create an app instance in ScreenCloud that will pick up new changes to existing slides in a presentation. This is a security measure to disallow users without editing access from the Google account with access to make changes to or send updates to your screens. Users, however, may delete or add new slides and these changes should be picked up after an automatic refresh of the app.

Only users with edit access to a presentation can create an app that will pick up new changes to existing slides in a presentation. Users however may delete or add new slides and these changes should be picked up after refreshing the app.

 

Why am I missing some of my slides in the presentation?

There are a few reasons why a slide in the presentation could fail to load your slides, such as:

  • ScreenCloud was unable to load the slide from Google, and we don't have a valid URL to display.
  • The slide has continuously failed to load and has been removed from display.
  • We recommend reviewing how many slides have been removed in your console. 

Please note, after three failed attempts to get your slide from Google, we will no longer try to fetch the slide. This indicates an error with your presentation and common fixes for this are to make sure you have editing/admin access to the presentation or to try refreshing your Google Slides app manually. 

 

If you have any additional questions on ScreenCloud's Google Slides app, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@screencloud.com or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.

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