6 Free alternatives to PowerPoint & why I still use PowerPoint
Why do I still use PowerPoint when there are plenty of free alternatives to PowerPoint?
This is a question which I have asked myself for the last few years. Coming into the new year I always look at my budget and see what I can cut out. Always without fail I have asked myself the question “Do I really need to be paying for MS Office”. Especially since I only use limited programs from the overall package. I use PowerPoint and I have the odd file stored to OneDrive. I use Google Docs instead of MS Word. Google Drive is used for all my storage needs, all my email is routed through Gmail. In another word I do not need MS Office.
Once I come to this realisation and I always do, I always open Chrome and Google PowerPoint alternatives. I then spend the following days researching all the alternatives, concentrating on the free ones.
Within an hour of sitting down at my laptop I will have a list as long as my arm full of alternatives to PowerPoint.
On this list I will usually find the same culprits popping up, and I don’t mean culprit in a bad way. These PowerPoint alternatives are great in their own way. Some you may have heard of, some you may not have. Tools such as –
Prezi is such a good tool. You can use it to create beautifully stunning presentations. And the best part about Prezi is that you can believe it works because it has been created by science. Visit the ‘Why Prezi’ page and read more about the science behind Prezi.
Prezi is really good when it comes to presenting in a nonlinear way. You can hop all around the place without having to keep skipping slides. Going back and forth.
You can get a limited version of Prezi for free but they also offer paid for plans. Stating at as little as £7 a month. But if you go for the premium package you will end of getting analytics and full training and support. I really like the analytics behind Prezi. It allows you to see who is checking out your slides and if they are sharing them and then what is the open rate of their shares.
There is only one word to describe PowToon and that is ‘animation’. When you want to make an awesome presentation, PowToon makes it so easy. Colours, characters and fancy swirls. They have it all. And everything is stored on the cloud too. You do not need a computer to work with PowToon
Like all others on this list there is a limited free version for creating videos and presentations but to unlock the best features you will need to be a member. At $19 a month it is a little pricier compared to some of the other options on this list
Simple, beautiful, fun. These are the 3 words that Haiku Deck has been built upon. And the team at Haiku Deck want you to follow those simple rules when you build your slide decks. As we have discussed before you want to keep your presentations simple. Never over crowd your slides with too many words.
Use beautiful imagery. You can check out our article ‘Why you should be using graphics and images in PowerPoint’, this will give you the perfect idea as to what Haiku Deck are talking about.
And finally, they want you to have fun when you are making a presentation. And who doesn’t like that.
The only problem I have with Haiku Deck is that it is Web based and you can get an app for iPad and iPhone. Me being an Android fan boy, that doesn’t sit very well with me?.
LibreOffice is not just a presentation tool it is a whole office suite. It is a great competitor to Microsoft Office, and it is free. But we are not here to talk about MS Office and LibreOffice. We are here to talk about free alternatives to PowerPoint. LibreOffice does have a separate presentation tool called Impress.
Impress is more like PowerPoint then most others on this list. Instead of trying to cater for a specific niche like previous ones in this list. Impress tries to beat PowerPoint at being PowerPoint. If you want a fuller program for the same price as a fresh breath then this is great.
Google has created an office suit that rivals MS Office. I am a big fan of what Google offers. Docs, Sheets and Slides are all very good at what they do. As they are web based they do lack some features that desktop software will have.
Google slides is awesome. It is really easy to use, really intuitive and it is free. There is no need to ever make a payment. And most importantly Google Slides does not take away storage from Google Drive. This means that as long as you are using Google’s own software. You will have unlimited storage. That in itself is a reason alone to use Google Slides.
Another great feature of using Google slides is the support for Chrome cast. There has been plenty of times when I need to get my presentation onto a screen quickly. Or if you do not feel like carrying a laptop around with you. Chrome cast really helps with both of these.
Keynote was always free with the purchase of an Apple computer. So, it had a one up on MS Office. However recently Apple have allowed creators on windows to use Keynote via iWork for iCloud. In short this is a web based program if you are on Windows. You can also access it on iPhones and iPads. Giving you access no matter where you are.
Keynote is a great option if you are running a Mac, if not it is still OK to use. It offers a lot of features that PowerPoint offers and looks visually stunning like most other Apple products.
Why I still use PowerPoint
You may wonder why it is worth paying £7.99 a month for MS Office. Especially when there are so many alternatives out there. I have only touched on six of them. This list could have been as long as my arm.
So why do I still pay for it then. One simple reason. It has trumped every other presentation software for the past 30 years, hands down. Nothing can come close to the features that MS PowerPoint offer. And that is not my opinion, that is fact.
Before I tell you why I use PowerPoint. I want to point out that I do use others on the list above. I love using Google Slides. It is very easy to use and it works great with Google Drive. But PowerPoint offers so much more. There are features on PowerPoint that I have been using since day which are not available on online platforms. I even believe that MS PowerPoint online is not very good. In fact, I feel that PowerPoint online is so bad that I couldn’t even include it in this list.
Adding new features all the time
Recently announced and added to PowerPoint 2016 is 3D models. You are able to rotate and models 360 degrees so you can show your audience every angle. Zoom, Screen-recordings and actions. These are all features that some of the above will do. But not all at once. These features are spread across multiple platforms where as PowerPoint has them all built in. Using Slide master could not be easier within PowerPoint. It is more difficult in all the others.
Yes, you should be careful when using animations and transitions but PowerPoint has them all. They will always have what you need when you need it.
PowerPoint can read and recognise nearly all file formats. You can import vector graphic artwork and it works. Create awesome graphics in Adobe Illustrator and insert them into PowerPoint.
You have hundreds of thousands of themes and templates to work with, never will you ever be short when it comes to how you want your presentation to look.
And that is why, folks, I use PowerPoint. It has everything that the free versions off but it also has so much more.
To conclude this week’s article, I would like to say thank you for getting this far.
It is all up to what you want to get out of your presentation.
If you only ever worry about putting words on a slide, then use any pieces of software from the list above. If you want to make beautiful presentations with the world’s best presentation software, then use PowerPoint.
And that is that everybody. Have a good day and I will see you soon.