Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides

What is better: Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides

What is better: Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides

Microsoft has been fighting with somebody for as long as I can remember. It was Apple for a very long time. Google is another name that comes to mind. And one that leads us onto this post. Microsoft PowerPoint or Google slides. Which one should you choose. Aside from sounding like something from Pokémon, this is a serious question.

Recently we published an article ‘6 free alternatives to PowerPoint’, in this article we mentioned Google slides. Today we are going to take it one step further and directly compare and compete the two against each other.

Before we get into the main content, I would like to say that I use both PowerPoint and Slides. I mainly use PowerPoint, but I am no stranger to Slides. I feel that I can compare the too. Also, these are my opinions of the software. You may find one or the other better. At the end of the day it is all down to personal choice.

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Price

Before we start looking comparing these two, I would like to address one of the biggest issues. And that is price. Microsoft charge for PowerPoint via Office 365. Google do not charge for Slides. There is no way of getting around this unless you download it illegally. And that is something I never recommend doing. Ever!

You can pay £7.99 for an Office 365 subscription. Or if you wish you can buy Office for a set fee. I would always suggest Office 365 as you have the peace of mind that all your office programs are up to date and secure.

Google Slides on the other hand is free. To use it all you need is to sign up for a Google account. Then accept the terms and conditions. Easy as pie.

Winner: Google Slides

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Ease of use

Both tools are very similar when it comes to using them. They have a lot of the same functions. They are just laid out differently. While the general layout is the same. You have toolbar to the top, slide box to the left, and notes to the bottom. While main work area takes up most of the screen. It is the toolbars that are what make each their own.

Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint relies on the Ribbon. The toolbar across the top of the software. It is from here that you will be able to edit text, insert shapes and play with animations and transitions. The ribbon is relatively straight forward to understand. Every item has a clear picture. If you are not sure what something is then you can just hoover your mouse pointer over it and it will show a mini pop up explaining what it is. One of the biggest benefits of the ribbon is that Microsoft have used the ribbon across all the Office program. You will see the same ribbon in Word, Outlook, Publisher and PowerPoint. There will be a few differences depending on the software, but it is all relatively the same. Meaning if you can use one, you can use the other.

powerpoint ribbon

Google Slides

Google slides has a mini ribbon, but it relies more on a drop-down menu system. Like Microsoft, Google does use the same style system across all their apps. I find that it is little more confusing to find what you need as you need to search the drop-down menus. Along with the drop-down menus there is a mini ribbon. This shows the most popular commands such as print, undo, re-do and format painter. Microsoft allow you to edit the ribbon whereas google do not. This would be a nice feature as there are plenty of tools that I use quickly and would like to add them to the shortcuts tab.

slides ribbon

Winner: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Cross compatibility

Cross compatibility is important for the times that we work in. Now more then ever the world is connected but also disjointed. Some people will work with Slides, while others work with PowerPoint. It is important that we are able to work with each other with as little effort as possible.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft do not like working with other office suites. If you want to open a presentation in PowerPoint it has to be saved to one of the PowerPoint extensions. This can be a nuisance when you have one person that works with Slides another that uses Keynote. You need to find a way of converting the presentation to a PowerPoint file.

Google Slides

On the other end of the scale you have Google slides. Slides will pretty much work with anything. When opening it you need to right click and then open with Google Slides. What makes slides even better is the fact that you can save a presentation as a PowerPoint from within Slides save menu. So, if you are using Google Slides, make sure you save it as the right file for the PowerPoint user.

Winner: Google Slides

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Master editing

Slide master is a tool that is used to help build themes/templates within presentation software. They allow for items such as placeholders and logos to be used and locked into place.

Microsoft PowerPoint

When you open PowerPoint’s master slide view you will be given a new tab on the ribbon. From here you will have a set of tools that are specific to master view. Along with these tools you will also have access to the normal ribbon tabs. This allows you to add shapes, set text format and colour themes. There are a lot more editing functions within PowerPoint compared to Slides.

Google Slides

Accessing Google Slides master view is relatively easy. Like PowerPoint, you can edit most pieces of the slide and create a theme. There are few options missing that PowerPoint offer such as changing the colour theme and object effects. It is easy to access and to use. If you are familiar with the software, then using the master view will not be any hassle.

Winner: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Working with shapes

Shapes are great. You can use them to make all kinds of different shapes. You can wrap them around text to make them look pretty. And you can use them to create a background scene. Or a theme/template.

Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint has a host of shapes that you can work with. From squares to ovals and stars to waves. Two features which I love are the ‘Edit Shape’ and ‘Merge Shapes’ tools. You are now able to create a square and then pull one side of it off in another direction. This then gives you the power to create custom shapes from a simple base. Merge shapes allows you to merge shapes in different ways. Options include subtract, combine and intersect. I have found that I am using this feature more and more to do graphical work.

Google slides

Google slides offers a lot of shapes that PowerPoint does. But you do not have the same editing options as PowerPoint. The formatting options include the basics such as changing shape size, colour etc. If you want to go deeper into graphic creation you will need to use a third part tool or PowerPoint.

Winner: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Animations and Transitions

Animations and transitions are a tricky thing to deal with. Some people over use them so much that normal people have come to hate PowerPoint. Death by PowerPoint originated from people who decided that a presentation should include text flying all over the screen.

Microsoft PowerPoint

There are a lot of animations and transitions that can be used for your presentation. We all know they all shouldn’t be used but it is nice to have the option. You have the bog-standard transitions that just push or wipe the slide in, or you can go for something fancy like curtains opening. However, very recently Microsoft introduced a feature called Morph to the transitions tab. Morph allows you to add content and then let PowerPoint worry about the moving of objects. It is great. We published a video tutorial on how to use morph. Take a look. There are also plenty of animations to choose from.

Google Slides

PowerPoint really trumps Sides in this area. Yes, you can get the standard animations and transitions and some people would argue that that is great as there is less to make a bad presentation. But where it really matters is with Morph. Slides just does not have a feature that is like this. You need to create all the fancy slides and movements which can be time consuming.

Winner: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Add-ins

Add-ins are those little things that you can add on to software to make it better. Or to add features that you feel that you may need. Both software offer add-ins. And it is clear who does it better.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft has only recently gone down the route of add-ins. You can get these add-ins from the Microsoft Store under the insert tab on the ribbon. In my honest opinion, they are not very good. There is a limited selection, and most are not designed for everyday use. There are some companies that create add-ons and then sell them, and you must download and add them yourself. But the add-ons you get from the store are just too limited to be useful.

Google Slides

Google has always pretty much been open source. From Drive apps to Android. And people have used that advantage to create add-ins for Slides. There are plenty to choose from. You can add assessments, you can add in progress bars. Yes, some of these are easy to create in PowerPoint but why would you when they have already been created for you.

Winner: Google Slides

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Presenting

The last thing that I want to look at is how each of these present. The most important thing that a presentation software is meant to do is present. Not only that but how easy is it to set the presentation up.

Microsoft PowerPoint

There is no doubt about it. PowerPoint makes it easy to present something as long as you have all the equipment set up. On the ribbon you will see a tab labelled ‘Slide Show’. From here you can set up your presentation in numerous ways. You can set if you want to present from the beginning or the current slide. Set what monitor you want to use, if you have more than one. You can also set whether you want to show audio controls and user timings.

But if you are all ready and just want to present then press the F5 button. You will be brought straight to presentation view with the first slide loaded. PowerPoint can present online, and it seems to work OK. But it does work best when it is a plug and play set up.

Google Slides

Slides is just as simple to use but you’re a little bit more limited in what you can do and what you can set up. You cannot press F5 to start a presentation as this would just refresh a page. Remember you are in a web browser. There is always the option of pressing Ctrl+F5. You still have access to presenter view and notes, which is a handy tool. Especially if you are using dual screens. Other than that, you are pretty much limited.

Winner: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides: Conclusion

The final scores

PowerPoint

Slides

Price

0

1

Ease of use

1

0

Cross compatibility

0

1

Slide master editing

1

0

Working with shapes

1

0

Animations & transitions

1

0

Add-ins

0

1

Presenting

1

0

5

3

 

Overall winner: Microsoft PowerPoint

There we have it. Microsoft is clearly a better piece of software. In my opinion that is. If you do not agree that is fine. Put a comment below if you do not and we can have a friendly debate as to why I am right and you are wrong ?.

If you would like to reach out to us, you can always get us on Facebook or Twitter. We always respond so come have a chat.

Till next time,

David

Microsoft UK IE

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