How to Change Layer Order in Google Slides: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the layer order in Google Slides is a simple process. It involves selecting the object you want to move and then using the “Arrange” menu to send it backward or bring it forward. The layer order can greatly impact the visual appeal and clarity of your slides, so it’s an important skill to master.

After you complete the action of changing the layer order in Google Slides, you will notice that the visual hierarchy of your slide’s content will be adjusted. The items you want to emphasize can be brought to the foreground, while less important elements can be sent to the background, creating a more organized and professional-looking presentation.


Have you ever found yourself in the middle of designing a Google Slides presentation, only to realize that the images and text aren’t layered the way you want them to be? Maybe a critical graph is hiding behind a photo, or a shape is obscuring your key points. You need to change the layer order, but you’re not quite sure how. Fear not, fellow presenter! Layering objects is a crucial part of creating a visually compelling presentation, and it’s not as complex as it may seem.

The ability to change the layer order in Google Slides is essential for anyone who wants to create polished and professional presentations. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or just someone who likes to organize information in a visually appealing way, mastering this skill will help you communicate your ideas more effectively. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to tweak your slides to perfection by adjusting the layer order.

Step by Step Tutorial on Changing Layer Order in Google Slides

Before we start, it’s good to know that the steps below will help you rearrange the elements on your slides so that they are stacked in the correct order, making your presentation look clean and well-designed.

Step 1: Select the Object

Click on the object you want to move in the layer order.

Selecting the object is the first and most crucial step. Make sure you click on the right element, as sometimes objects can overlap, making it tricky to select the correct one. If you’re finding it hard to select an item, try zooming in or temporarily moving other objects out of the way.

Step 2: Open the Arrange Menu

Go to the “Arrange” menu at the top of the screen.

The “Arrange” menu is where all the magic happens. It’s from here that you can control the layering of the objects on your slide. Make sure you’re not clicking on the “Format” or “Tools” menus, as they won’t give you the options you need for this task.

Step 3: Choose “Order”

Hover over “Order” to see the layering options available.

Once you’re in the “Arrange” menu, hovering over “Order” will reveal a new set of options. These include “Bring to front”, “Bring forward”, “Send backward”, and “Send to back”. Each of these options serves a different purpose, so make sure you choose the right one for your needs.

Step 4: Send Backward or Bring Forward

Select “Send backward” to move the object behind another object, or “Bring forward” to move it in front of another object.

When you select “Send backward” or “Bring forward”, your selected object will move one layer up or down. If you want to move the object multiple layers, you might have to repeat this step several times. Alternatively, you can use “Send to back” or “Bring to front” to move the object to the very back or front.


Improved Visual HierarchyBy changing the layer order, you can create a more organized and visually clear slide.
Enhanced FocusYou can highlight the most important parts of your slide by bringing them to the forefront.
Increased Design FlexibilityWith layering control, you can create complex designs that were not possible before.


Can be Time-ConsumingAdjusting the layer order can be a bit time-consuming if you have a lot of objects on your slide.
Potential for ConfusionIf not done carefully, changing layer order can lead to confusion and disrupt the flow of information.
Limited by Slide SpaceThere’s only so much space on a slide, so overly complex layering can make a slide look cluttered.

Additional Information

When working with layered objects in Google Slides, there are a few additional tips to keep in mind. For one, remember that text boxes can also be layered just like images and shapes. This can be particularly useful when you want to place text over a picture or a shape to create a label or a caption. Also, if you’re dealing with a lot of objects, consider grouping items that belong together. This can simplify the layering process because you’ll be moving fewer items.

Another helpful feature is the “Selection pane,” which is not directly available in Google Slides but can be accessed through Google Workspace Add-ons such as “Slido” or “Pear Deck”. These add-ons can give you a list view of all objects on the slide, making it much easier to select and rearrange them.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with layering. Sometimes, the best way to learn is by doing. Try out different arrangements to see what looks best and don’t hesitate to undo changes that don’t work out. Remember, the “Undo” button is your friend!


  1. Select the object you want to rearrange.
  2. Go to the “Arrange” menu.
  3. Hover over “Order”.
  4. Choose “Send Backward” or “Bring Forward” depending on the desired layer change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the “Arrange” menu is greyed out?

This usually means that you haven’t selected an object on your slide. Click on the element you want to move and try again.

Can I select multiple objects at once?

Yes, you can. Hold down the Shift key and click on the objects you want to select.

Is there a shortcut to send an object to the back or front?

While Google Slides lacks direct keyboard shortcuts for these actions, using the “Arrange” menu is quick and simple.

Can I change the layer order of objects within a group?

No, you cannot change the layer order of objects within a group. You need to ungroup them first, rearrange, and then regroup if needed.

How can I tell which layer an object is on?

It’s a bit tricky to know the exact layer, but a general rule of thumb is that objects added last will be on top of objects added first.


Mastering the layer order in Google Slides can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your presentations. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, taking the time to arrange your slides’ elements can help you communicate your message more clearly and ensure your presentation stands out.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to play around with different configurations to see what works best for you. And who knows, you might just find a newfound appreciation for the art of slide design!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy