Check Out These Free PowerPoint Alternatives

Category: Software

If you need to prepare a presentation, you probably want to supplement it with visual aids. The standard for creating graphic presentations – usually slideshows – is the Microsoft Office PowerPoint application. Many business users are familiar with PowerPoint, and they either love it or hate it. But there are alternatives to PowerPoint. Here are some of the most popular ones for Windows and other platforms...

Free Software for Presentations and Slideshows

Lots of people are looking for alternatives to Microsoft's Powerpoint software. Some think the learning curve is a bit steep. Others don't have the cash for a copy of PowerPoint, and are looking for free software to create PowerPoint-compatible presentations. Maybe you're a cross-platform user, who needs to share files across Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile environments. Or perhaps you're looking for something that's entirely web-based. Here are five free or low-cost alternatives to PowerPoint.

Microsoft excels at obfuscation. In addition to the expensive Office desktop suites (Office Home & Student, Office Home & Business, Office for Mac, and Office Professional), they also have Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal, which are cloud based pay-as-you-go products. But there is also Office Online -- free online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They have somewhat limited functionality compared with the products listed above, but they do have the basics. A cynical person might think they are designed to funnel users into their paid equivalents.

Impress is the presentation module of the free LibreOffice productivity suite (and its relative, OpenOffice). Impress matches PowerPoint's feature set most closely of all the alternatives noted here, but extends its drawing and graphics capabilities considerably. Like other presentation packages, Impress comes with templates and clip art. It also supports multiple monitors, runs on Windows, Mac or Linux, and can exchange files with PowerPoint.

Free Powerpoint alternatives

LibreOffice is widely touted as the premier free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. In addition to Impress, it has Writer, Calc, Draw and Base modules, which provide much of the same functionality as Office. If you're interested in other free office software, see my related article Microsoft Office Alternatives for a list of software packages that offer free or low-cost word processing, spreadsheet and presentation capability.

Google Slides is compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint, but easier and more fun to use. It offers fonts, themes, embedded video, transitions, tables, and more. You can create and edit presentations online and optionally collaborate with other users. Slides is available as a web application, and a mobile app for Android or iOS.

Prezi is an online powerpoint alternative, which eschews the series-of-slides paradigm in favor of its Zooming User Interface. All of your presentation's elements are created on a single digital canvas. Clicking on an item zooms in on it. Prezi aims to help people who aren’t designers create "engaging, persuasive, and memorable presentations," by drawing from easily customized charts, graphics, and themes. To some, the novel presentation format is disorienting and detracts from a presentation. Others feel it lends excitement to an otherwise boring slideshow. Prezi claims to have scientific proof that Prezi is 25.3% more effective than PowerPoint.

There are several ways to use Prezi. The Basic version is free, and gives you online storage for the presentations you create. But... all your presentations will be public, meaning anyone can see them. You can try the Standard version (free for 14 days, then $7/month) which lets you control who sees your presentations. The Plus and Premium versions offer more advanced features and cost more.

Visme is another popular alternative to Powerpoint, used by more than 1.7 million people. Visme promises to
translate boring data into stunning visual formats. It offers collaboration features, analytics and allows users to easily share their presentations online. The free Basic version lets you create up to 5 public projects with a limited set of templates, and provides 100 MB of online storage. Like Prezi, there are paid versions that offer privacy controls, additional templates and advanced presentation features.

Are you a PowerPoint diehard, or do you prefer one of the PowerPoint alternatives mentioned here? Do you know of another free or cheap PowerPoint option? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Check Out These Free PowerPoint Alternatives"

Posted by:

Jeremy Smee
17 Jun 2019

Ashampoo Office 2018 has essentially all the features and capability of MS Office. Price is $44 Canadian.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2019

WPS Office 2019 is similar to MS Office and LibreOffice. It has a spreadsheet program, word processor and presentation program.

Posted by:

17 Jun 2019

PP4M >> Pretty Pictures for Management
PowerPoint presentation HAD to become a love affair to keep the management at bay. These weekly schedule/cost snapshots were simple graphs/charts with lots of colors (no red) allowing us to skip the meetings and get on w/the projects.

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