Layout your document in Google Slides
I like to use Google Slides to create simple print layouts of things (mainly due to the collaboration options available). It is a cheap and effective print layout tool. But once I create my layout in Google Slides I want to then move the document to Word so I can perform a mail merge for printing and mailing out to a group of people. For this example I am working with Google Slides sized at 5.5″x8.5″ since I am creating a newsletter booklet using folded standard 8.5″x11″ paper. The Google Slides document can be found at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ozejUE52qj_0KxkWv1UCT349vRvIC7-_ROJEWpR3uXo/edit?usp=sharing for reference.
Converting from Google Slides to Word
Once I have my print layout set in Google Slides, then export from Google Slides to PowerPoint format. Then in PowerPoint (2013), I used File/Export/Create Handouts (in Microsoft Word) and simply used the ‘Blank lines below slides’ setting. Now you are probably saying “the slides are imported too small in my Word document…” Yep, this is where you need to do a little bit of work.
Resizing and working with your slides in Word
The first thing to do is change the document page size in your Word document to match the size of your PowerPoint slides. In my case I set the Word document page size to 5.5″x8.5″ (I will not get into margins, but if you set the margins to 0 then you may have issues printing since most printers do not want you printing full bleed). Next you need to delete all those blank lines that were created when the ‘handout’ layout was created in Word since you don’t need those. Next right-click on a slide and set the ‘Borders and Shading’ option to none and then right-click again to choose ‘Format Object’ and set the size of the slide to 8.5″ height and 5.5″ wide. This is the trickery you have to do to get the slides back to their original size since they are initially imported into Word in ‘thumbnail’ size. You may have to move the slides around, delete the blank spaces between the slides, and change the margin sliders in Word to get the slides centered on each page.
Trick to using MailMerge over top your slides in Word
Now you can use the MailMerge function in Word to add mailing addresses from Excel (if you so choose), without the need for plug-ins for converting PowerPoint to Word. The first thing I found was that Word treats your slides as images so you can’t simply add mail merge fields over the slides. The easiest way I found was to draw a text box using Insert/Text Box/Draw Text Box. This will allow you to place your mail merge fields into the text box overlaying your slides and allow you to rotate the text box so your address fields can be oriented 90 degrees as I needed to do for my example.