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Alice Keeler

Countdown in Google Slides with a Slides Timer

Slides Timer is a super easy way to add a Google Slides Countdown timer. If you need a timer for your Google Slides while you are presenting check out this easy way to add it to your slides. It also has a Google Slides Count UP timer
Countdown in Google Slides with a Slides Timer

How can you have a timer in Google Slides™? I can not tell you how many times I am asked this. I usually suggest to people to just do a timer in another tab… but that really isn’t what they wanted! NOW you can use Slides Timer for a Slides countdown timer. 

Please, consider buying the developer a coffee. Encourage this former educator, ClayCodes, to keep making cool tools for us!

Install Slides Timer

Slides Timer allows to to add a simple text box to any slide to create a countdown timer.

Google Slides™ is a popular tool for educators and presenters, but one feature it’s historically lacked is an integrated timer. That’s where Clay Codes comes in, a former educator who has developed an innovative solution called “Slides Timer”. This tool has transformed the way we use Google Slides, especially in classroom and presentation settings.

Any Google Slides

Slides Timer makes it insanely easy to add a timer to any Google Slides. This works while you are in presentation mode.

Simply add a textbox.

Click on “Slideshow” to start the timer.

Add a Textbox

In any textbox, add the shortcode <<1:00>>

less than, less than, time, greater than, greater than. Thus, <<3:00>> puts a 3 minute timer on a slide. <<1:24>> is one minute and 24 seconds.


is a 2 minute Count DOWN timer

Let the Extension Do the Work

How do you use the extension? It just works. You never need to click on the Chrome Extension. You just need to have it installed. It starts to work when you are using Google Slides while presenting. It is that easy!

Note: this does not work when using “Publish to the web.”

countdown timer in Google Slides with slides timer

Buy Clay a Coffee

If you are using Slides Timer and would like to thank Clay, consider buying him a coffee. If you click on the Chrome Extension icon, which is likely hidden under the puzzle piece in the extension shelf, you will see the button to thank Clay. This also displays helpful tips.

Slides Countdown Timer

The default is a Slides countdown timer. <<4:00>> will start at 4 minutes and count DOWN to zero.

Each Slide Can Have a Slides Timer

You can add a timer to each slide. Let’s say you are trying to pace out your presentation and that you want to spend about 1 minute on each slide. However, you want to include class discussion in your presentation. Post a prompt on a slide and indicate how long the students have to talk about the prompt with their partner or group.

The timer on each slide does not start until you are presenting that slide. If slide 5 has a 3 minute timer, the 3 minutes will not start until you are looking at slide 5.

Count UP Timer

While the most common application during a Google Slides presentation is a count DOWN timer, you may also want a Google Slides Count UP timer.

Simply add a plus sign to the time.

<<1:00+>> starts at 1 minute and counts UP!

What Time Is It?

If you are doing a Google Meet or Zoom and it is being recorded you may want to display the date or the time on the slides.

<<date>> shows the current date on the slide.

It is also helpful to be able to display the current time. Add <<time>> to a textbox in the upper right hand corner to display the time, including seconds, while presenting your Google Slides.

Auto Advance to the Next Slide

“You have 5 minutes to research this item and then we are moving on.”

You very likely might want to move onto the next slide after a certain amount of time.

<<5:00-+>> will go to the next slide after 5 minutes

Adding a minus after the time indicates count DOWN. Putting a plus sign after the minus says to advance to the next slide. If you want to go to the previous slide use <<5:00–>>

Enhancing Teaching with Slides Timer: Practical Examples

Slides Timer is not just a tool; it’s a facilitator for dynamic and engaging teaching. Here are some practical examples of how educators can use a countdown timer to enhance their teaching methods:

Interactive Classroom Discussions

Imagine you’re discussing a complex topic like climate change. Set a timer for each slide to ensure that all aspects of the topic are covered within the allotted time. For instance, set `<<3:00>>` on a slide posing a question about greenhouse gases, giving students three minutes to discuss. This method encourages participation and keeps the class on track.

Group Activities with Slides Timer

During group activities, timing is crucial. Let’s say students are working on a group project about historical events. On each slide detailing a specific event, add a timer, like `<<5:00>>`, to regulate the time spent on each aspect of the project. This helps maintain a steady pace and ensures equal attention to all parts of the project.

Pacing Presentations

When students are giving presentations, time management can be a challenge. Teach them to use the extension for their own presentations. They can add `<<1:00>>` to each of their slides, training them to succinctly convey their message and adhere to time constraints, a vital skill in both academic and professional settings.

Timed Quizzes and Tests

Conduct timed quizzes in class. Each question can be on a separate slide with a timer, like `<<2:00>>`, giving students a fixed time to answer. This not only adds an element of challenge but also prepares students for time-managed exams.

Break Time Management

For younger students, incorporate break or activity times into your presentation. Set a `<<10:00>>` timer for a mid-class break or a physical activity session. This helps in maintaining a healthy balance of learning and leisure, keeping students engaged and refreshed.

Reflection and Feedback Sessions

At the end of a lesson, use a timer to allocate time for reflection or feedback. A slide with `<<2:00>>` can prompt students to think about what they’ve learned or to provide feedback on the session. This encourages students to consolidate their learning and gives them a voice in the classroom.

Remote Teaching Applications

For educators teaching remotely, Slides Timer can be a lifesaver. Use `<<date>>` and `<<time>>` shortcodes to display the current date and time, ensuring students are aware of the session’s timing. This feature is especially helpful in recorded sessions, providing a reference point for students watching the session asynchronously.

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