Microsoft PowerPoint has been a staple of the office suite since its release back in 1987 for Macintosh computers. Even today, it is still one of the most popular presentation software out there. The improvements in the Microsoft Office Suite still makes PowerPoint the go-to presentation app for most people. However, there are alternatives out there which offer a different experience.
One of the draws behind Microsoft PowerPoint is the entire office suite. Just like its presentation application, the entire software family has become a staple of office processing for decades. The birth of Office 365 makes it ahead of most competition. However, there are high-quality alternatives for those wanting a different solution.
LibreOffice is the best office suite solution that can easily go toe-to-toe with MS Office. It's presentation software, Impress, is a good alternative to PowerPoint. It can even save presentations in .ppt/.pptx which eliminates the issue of incompatibility. Another solution is WPS Suite which comes with a presentation application very reminiscent of PowerPoint in terms of interface. For Mac users, iWork Keynote is a robust solution.
All three alternatives have mobile versions, web versions (LibreOffice Online is still upcoming), and works in both Microsoft PCs and Mac devices (only Keynote web works in PCs). WPS and LibreOffice are even available in Linux. Lastly, these solutions are free (or have free versions).
Office 365 took note of Google's efforts in making office apps available to the cloud. It is now easier to use PowerPoint offline and online. However, there are far superior web-based solutions available.
Google Slides and Zoho Show will let you create high-quality presentations right at your browser. Yes, it can match PowerPoint online with what it can do. Both solutions are available whenever you are connected to the Internet. It is even possible to create presentations using their respective mobile applications (available in both Android and iOS devices).
Like most office web solutions, they come free when you register for a Google Account or a Zoho Account.
Canva is a simple yet elegant tool which allows the creation of elegant presentations. It is not only a presentation tool but a photo editing tool for both digital and printed graphic materials. It includes templates and layouts for presentations. The free account comes with more than enough images, icons, shapes, and fonts to use for a presentation. It is easy to export projects into PDF, JPG, and PNG.
The drawback of using Canva is the inability to add animations and videos. For that, you can use Slides and SlideDog. Both are dedicated presentation applications which combine images, videos, animations, and other dynamic elements to create beautiful presentations. Slides is available as a web application. On the other hand, SlideDog is downloadable which allows you to work offline.
Moving beyond the traditional slide presentations are video and animated presentations. Creating videos and animations are not as intimidating as it used to be. Powtoon, Moovly, and Wideo make it easy to create dynamic presentations.
Using these tools feel familiar. While the timeline section is a new addition, the interface of the tools is very similar PowerPoint. They feature user-friendly drag-and-drop functions. There are also options to customize animated elements which are also beginner-friendly.
With these tools, it is quite easy to shift from traditional presentations to hands-free visual aids. You can even integrate your own voice recording for a truly focused presentation.
If you are looking beyond the typical slides and videos or just looking into unique solutions, Prezi, Sozi, Evernote Presentation Mode, and Beautiful.ai are perfect tools.
Prezi and Sozi are quite similar in introducing a new way to present ideas and concepts. Both use zoom, spacial relationship, and stories to create a much more compelling visual aid. Prezi features a much more concrete flow while Sozi is pretty much a blank canvas. Your imagination is the only limit.
On the other hand, if you are already an Evernote user, you do not need to find third-party apps to create presentations. It works with all notes right away. Basic layout customizations are also available to better personalize the presentation. Evernote Presentation Mode eliminates the need to create a separate presentation saving you valuable time.
Beautiful.ai is a new player in the industry and introduces an entirely new way of creating a presentation. Its smart templates go beyond the simple layout and style variations found in PowerPoint. Each smart template comes with its own layout, presentation flow, animation, and more. It adapts as you fine-tune your content. Beautiful.ai promises to take care of everything which allows you to focus on your content. It is great for professional and data-driven presentations.
Microsoft Sway is great if you are looking for an alternative to PowerPoint without straying away from the Microsoft Office family of software. It was introduced back in 2015 as another way of creating visually striking content. Unlike PowerPoint, Sway focuses on storylines, ideas, and concepts. Its goal is to create a better way to present onscreen rather than to an audience. But, it does make a great tool for presentation as well. Much similar to Beautiful.ai, the focus is on adding content and creating a coherent flow of thought. Sway takes care of most of the visual and dynamic elements.
The myriad options for Microsoft PowerPoint alternatives allow you to choose the perfect tool for your needs. Whether you are a beginner or a power-user, there are applications available for you to create compelling presentations beyond the staple MS Office Suite.
Allan Jay is a web developer who loves to read and watch tech reviews, especially cutting-edge technologies. He likes exploring and taking photos of the places he visited.