Quick Tips: Google Slides Tranparency and MacOS Airplay


Spent the day working on presentations, so learned a few easy things:
First is that when you use Google Slides, it’s really good for collaboration but quite different from Mac PowerPoint for graphics.
Buy yourself a subscription to Noun Project. This is a great set of icons that you can load. Goto Google Slides and then add the Noun Project add-on, this let’s you browse the library directly from your web browser. Beware that on least on Safari, there is a bug in typing text searches, the text box seems to lock up on certain keys. You can type an e sometimes for instance. So you have to copy and paste the text in.
Then when you are laying things out, if you need a text box that is transparent, it seems as if this doesn’t exist. It does though, you have to click on the Shapes fill icon and there is slider on the far right that sets transparency. This is actually the last set of hexadecimal digits, so you have three 16 bit characters and then 16 bits worth of transparency.
Also beware that when you create new text, it does not use the default fonts in the master, you have to manually shift all the fonts to the master layout.
If you want to get nice graphics, then using unsplash.com is pretty awesome, they have some great art there. It is a little tricky though because you cannot just insert image and choose by URL, you have to download the images first and then upload them. Be nice and make sure to hit copy for the attribution so the folks who donated the stuff get some credit 🙂
Next, if you are playing tunes, you might want the sound on your MacOS to appear on Airplay devices like an Airport Express. This has gotten much better. I used to have a third party tool to do this, but now MacOS does this natively. From within iTunes, you can click on the little radar icon and then select multiple outputs. This let’s you play from your headphone and then any or all the AirPlay devices that you have. You can even set the volume individual for balancing.
If you are outside of iTunes though, then things vary by application. The System wide facility let’s you direct your output to one (but not multiple devices). This means that if you have an iMovie for instance, if you use QuickTime Player you can only send the audio to one output or to an AppleTV. But if you just want to play audio (say from a music video that you made), then you will need to import it into iTunes.
Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

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