Top 6 Software Alternatives To Powerpoint For Creating Presentations
In this day and age, when it comes to creating digital presentations, people usually think of one name first: Microsoft Powerpoint. The software’s popularity is well-deserved because the software really does what it’s supposed to do, and there was a point in time when it was literally the only option available to a lot of people.
However, those days are long gone and there are many alternatives available, along with reasons on why one might not want to use Powerpoint. These reasons include portability, price, features, and of course just plain old preference. So if you’re one of these individuals who need an alternative to Powerpoint, here are 6 that you should consider first:
#1 Google Drive – Slides
With Google being as ubiquitous as Microsoft these days, it’s a given that you already have a gMail account. That same account gives you access to their cloud storage service Google Drive, as well as an entire suite of browser-based office software, which includes the appropriately named Google Slides.
Google Slides is basically their equivalent to Powerpoint, with the main differences being that it is completely free. Another of its strengths is portability. Being browser-based, you will be able to access your slides anywhere you are as long as you have an Internet connection and a modern browser that supports Google’s services. For offline viewing, Google Slides also supports exporting to PDF and PPTX images.
#2 LibreOffice Impress
Like Google Slide, LibreOffice Impress is a great Powerpoint alternative if you don’t want to spend a single penny. It’s completely free, and unlike Slides, it’s not a web app. To cover the lost portability due to not being web-based, LibreOffice Impress has been ported to all major operating systems – you’ll be able to run it whether you’re on Windows, OSX, or Linux.
Since it’s open source, you can expect the updates to this slide authoring tool to come fast and frequent, but that’s a double edged sword: new features and fixes are frequently introduced, but the same goes for bugs. So you have to be diligent and monitor updates instead of just blindly updating everytime a new version comes along.
As for features and support, LibreOffice Impress is specifically designed to replace PowerPoint, which means it can do everything that Microsoft’s software can. While LibreOffice has its own file format, it can import and export PDF and PPTX files, so you don’t have to worry about cross-platform compatibility.
#3 Apple KeyNote
While Microsoft Office has an OSX and iOS version, they are not free. Apple users who are tight on a budget should instead go for Apple’s own slide authoring tool, Keynote. It’s free for anyone who recently purchased a new Mac or iOS device, and is as polished and feature-rich as you’d expect from a software developed by Apple. It also integrates really well across all Apple devices, making it actually a better choice than Office Powerpoint if you have several i-Devices in use.
The only downside to Keynote is that it’s not really ideal if you alternate between a Windows and Apple device. Keynote’s native format is .key, which is proprietary and not supported on Windows. There are no third party viewers either. Keynote supports exporting to Powerpoint format, but it’s not 100% accurate because some transition effects may look differently when used on a Windows-based PC.
Prezi is a presentation tool that has the ability to take advantage of spatial coherence between slides, by offering the ability to zoom out and zoom in on slides during presentation. It comes in both a desktop and web-based flavor, and has been around for several years now. It can export to pdf format, but it is best to export to .exe or Prezi’s own .prz format if you don’t want to lose the zooming ability.
The downside to Prezi is that the free version will add a watermark on your presentations. You’ll have to shell out money for the subscription-based license otherwise. Bearing this in mind, it is a great alternative if you don’t mind the watermark. Otherwise, your money is better spent elsewhere.
SlideSnack is a slightly new alternative, and is geared towards people who need a fast, free, and basic alternative to Powerpoint. It’s web-based, but can do all the basic things that other slide authoring tools offers. The unique feature is the ability to create a presentation with voice narration, called a “slidecast.” You can upload powerpoint, keynote, and word files or create one from scratch. The outputcan be downloaded as video or uploaded to Youtube. There’s also an option to embed presentations on your website.
Last but not the least is SlideRocket. This slide authoring tool is marketed as a high end alternative to Powerpoint, which is to say that it costs more than the other alternatives in this list. It does all the things that Powerpoint can do, but what really elevates it to premium status is the powerful version and privacy control. In a way, it works much like a team management software, as you can share the powerpoint with other people and set access levels.