Microsoft PowerPoint carved out a niche for itself in the sphere of presentation. However, many people now see PowerPoint as outdated and expensive, especially given that the platform hasn't really evolved with the times. As more people look for ways to engage audiences with narrative storytelling over boring slide presentations, they seek alternatives to PowerPoint that let them have greater control over their presentations. After all, shouldn’t we all be looking for cost-effective solutions as we choose value over dogma? Then look no further than these great alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint.
1. Google Slides
Google Slides helps you tell stories that matter while enabling synchronization. It's an incredible PowerPoint alternative that costs absolutely nothing to use.
You can create easy-to-use visual presentations on Google Slides with its simple user interface. The PowerPoint-like design makes it a breezy transition for experienced PowerPoint users, but it's also easy to navigate through the menus if you are new to making presentations.
With Google Slides, you have complete control over the page size and formatting. Although the text options are limited, there are many other standout design features included. You can choose from the preformatted slide themes or import your own backgrounds, then add slide transitions or object animations to enhance your presentation.
You're free to work from anywhere, as Google syncs all of your work to Google Drive, and you can gain access to your presentations from any device. Easily share presentations on the Web through the custom link or via email. You can even set the presentation up to allow multiple users editing privileges that sync in real time, which means you never have to worry about which version is the most recent.
The best part? Google Slides is a completely free-to-use app – all you need is a Google account.
If you want something a little less traditional than PowerPoint, Prezi is a great option. Many claim Prezi is more engaging and persuasive.
Prezi takes a completely different approach to digital presentations. For instance, you can build a complete presentation structure on a single canvas, zooming in and out as you emphasize and de-emphasize facts. This way, you are controlling and guiding what your audience sees.
Unlike most other presentation software tools, Prezi gives you the option to make video presentations, interactive reports, infographics, and more.
Prezi is cloud-based presentation software, so you can access your presentations across many platforms. You can try Prezi for free, but it is extremely limited. For instance, you won't be able to download your work or save it as a PDF. You can, however, create a presentation from scratch and use your laptop to quickly present it to your team. If you need more, you'll have to upgrade. Prezi has three different pricing tiers for individuals: Standard ($5/mo), Plus ($15/mo), and Premium ($59/mo).
3. LibreOffice Impress
LibreOffice Impress is a part of the LibreOffice suite, an open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. When considering alternatives to PowerPoint, LibreOffice Impress is right up there with Google Slides, as it lets you open and save files in PowerPoint format or convert them to the OpenOffice extension.
On the surface, LibreOffice looks very similar to PowerPoint. It offers many of the same tools, and even the menu options and ribbon appear very similar to the well-known Microsoft product.
Format text, add images, set slide transitions and more with LibreOffice. You can also select from different aspect ratios, which can be important when using a different projector. Best of all, LibreOffice Impress is free to use!
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Keynote, Apple’s alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint, offers a sleek, sophisticated approach to presentation design. Keynote users agree that it’s intuitive and easy to use.
You can create beautiful presentations in Keynote without wasting time surfing for unique templates. This presentation tool has many eye-popping templates to choose from and offers most of the same features as PowerPoint, making it a great alternative.
Unlike PowerPoint, though, Keynote provides much more control over the text, images, and objects you insert into your presentations. Furthermore, you can save completed presentations in a variety of formats or export the files into images or a PDF.
The only drawback to Keynote is its exclusivity, as it's only available on Apple devices. However, it is native to macOS, meaning it is free for Mac users who need presentation software.
If you only have a little time on your hands to design eye-popping PowerPoint slides, then Slidebean will be a good fit for you!
With Slidebean, you only input content, while the software helps you design and format your content. You can also choose from hundreds of preformatted templates or start your own presentation from scratch.
Once in the design platform, everything is fairly straightforward. After the software preformats slides for you, click the text boxes to input your data. After you've typed everything in, click the AI tool to have it format everything for you or move objects manually.
Sidebean does offer a free, basic version of their Web-based presentation tool. However, if you decide to upgrade to use some of the more advanced features, it will cost $299/year for the all-access version.
If you design social media graphics, you may have already heard of Canva, a highly recommended app in terms of entry-level graphic design. Even e-learning platforms like Skillshare offer classes that utilize Canva for social media marketing. However, this Web-based design suite isn't just for creating social media posts – it can also be used to create presentations.
Within the "Presentation" section of Canva, you have the option to select different types of presentations, including widescreen (16:9), fullscreen (4:3), mobile-friendly, or game-like presentations. Then choose from the hundreds of predesigned templates or create your own presentation from scratch.
As far as the interface goes, the presentation creator works similarly to the rest of the Canva platform. You can add images or graphics, format text, and even insert audio or video. Furthermore, you can add animations, slide transitions, and even set the presentation to run automatically with timed slides.
Since Canva is Web-based, you can present your creations from anywhere as long as there's an Internet connection. Unfortunately, Canva does not let you download your presentations as PowerPoint files – only image files or PDFs.
Canva does offer a free version with some limitations. If you decide you need more than that, upgrade to the Pro plan for $12.99/month.
Like Slidebean, Beautiful.ai is an alternative to PowerPoint that is designed to make your presentation design process take minutes, not hours.
Unlike most presentation programs, Beautiful.ai is a tool that streamlines your design process. Set all of the formatting upfront, then put in your text while the tool helps you determine the best design. It adjusts your design in real time as you add elements to each slide so that you don't have to ever worry about making everything fit.
Of course, Beautiful.ai's primary goal is to help you create outstanding, appealing presentations that capture your target audience's attention. Unfortunately, all of this comes at a premium. Beautiful.ai doesn't offer anything more than a 14-day free trial. After that, pricing starts at $12/month (billed annually).
8. Zoho Show
Zoho is a leader in software solutions, and their PowerPoint alternative, Zoho Show, is no different.
Zoho Show is a Web-based alternative to PowerPoint that lets you create stunning presentations your way. Its setup is much the same as PowerPoint itself, and it offers all of the same features.
Unlike PowerPoint, Zoho Show lets you import a variety of file types, including .PPT, .PPTX, .PPS, .PPSX, .ODP and .SXI. Also, the embed options are much more robust with Zoho Show – you can even add tweets, YouTube videos, and images directly from Flickr.
Zoho Show is free to use, but you can upgrade to a more advanced plan for as little as $3/month.
Also read: 10 Free Microsoft SharePoint Alternatives
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I open .ppt files in any programs besides PowerPoint?
Several of the PowerPoint alternatives listed in this article, such as Google Slides, Keynote, LibreOffice Impress, and Zoho Show, will open PowerPoint files (.ppt) files and allow you to edit them. However, you may run into formatting issues that you have to correct.
Do any PowerPoint alternatives work on mobile devices?
Is there a way to use PowerPoint for free?
Although Microsoft Office requires a subscription, you can use Office online or on your mobile device for free. There are also other workarounds that grant you free access to Microsoft Office.
Image credit: Canva Studio via Pexels. All screenshots by Megan Glosson.
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