Many consider Microsoft PowerPoint to be the standard presentation software, but recently several companies have launched their own presentation tools and apps – which are gaining more and more popularity among presenters at all levels. Whether you’re looking for design features Microsoft hasn’t thought about yet, or simply interested in what’s different about the newcomers to the field, here’s our list of five decent alternatives to PowerPoint.
Launched in 2009, Prezi has been widely accepted because of its unique interface. To use this cloud-based tool, you randomly place text, videos, images and other bits of information on a huge board. Next you indicate a sequence from one of your items to the next, then to the next and so on. Finally, you add zoom effects, and you have a complete animated presentation. Unlike PowerPoint, you won’t be flipping slides as you present. Prezi simply zooms in on and then away from first your items, one after the other, following your pre-designated sequence.
Prezi offers a free version, but to gain more control and and access to more features, you’ll want to upgrade to one of their paid plans.
Google Slides looks almost exactly like PowerPoint, but offers a feature that many users find priceless: real-time collaboration. This means you can create, evolve and revise a presentation together with colleagues, even from remote locations. The app’s privacy settings also make it easy for users to share presentations broadly, or with specific networks. Google Slides automatically saves your work in the cloud, and is compatible with PowerPoint.
Like the other Google Drive apps, Google Slides is absolutely free. Once you’ve established a Gmail account, you can automatically access it. Google also recently launched a standalone mobile version of Slides, so you can edit your presentations offline and while on the move.
Keynote is essentially the Mac user’s version of PowerPoint, though it does offer some great transitions, effects and other features which set it apart from it’s Microsoft cousin. If you’re an avid Apple fan, you’ll find Keynote ideally convenient since it’s integrated with iOS devices. That means you can edit your presentations on mobile devices, and even use your iPhone or iPad as a remote control when presenting.
Keynote 6.0 is free for those who purchased a Mac notebook on or after October 1, 2013.
Haiku Deck is a web and mobile presentation app which highlights use of beautiful images as backgrounds. Once you’ve entered the content for each slide, Haiku Deck will automatically generate high-quality images based on your text, and select the optimum background colors and text placement in each slide. If you connect your Haiku Deck account with your accounts on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and other platforms, it will also use your own photos in the presentations it generates. There are pre-designed charts to select from, but the options here are still limited, compared with other presentation software.
Web and mobile apps are free, but the full standard subscription rate for Haiku Deck Zuru is $60 per year.
Powtoon #Slides is popular for its easy-to-create, easy-to-edit animated characters, scenes, graphics and videos. You’re free to choose designs from editable templates, or you can start from scratch using Powtoon’s characters, image holders, action buttons and other features. Once you’ve finished designing and adding content to your presentation, you can adjust transitions for an even more astounding effect.
Powtoon offers a free account, but all the animated videos and presentations you create with it will include Powtoon’s logo. To remove their mark, or if you want to take advantage of the app’s cooler features (more animation templates, more royalty-free music, etc.), you’ll need to upgrade to their pro or business plan.
With the increasing number of software options launched in the past few years, you have a rich field of options for creating presentations. If you’re using a PowerPoint alternative that isn’t listed here, please tell us about by leaving a comment below.