The Best Free Microsoft PowerPoint Alternatives
Sarah ChaneyReview Geek
Whether you’re in search of a PowerPoint alternative that’ll make an A+ worthy school project or a business presentation that your colleagues will think you spent weeks on, there’s an option for you here.
Making presentations throughout life is almost inescapable. Microsoft PowerPoint has long been the go-to, but it’s not free, and it might not even be the best option out there. There are quite a few free alternatives that can help you create a stunning presentation.
It’s worth noting, too, that if the main reason you’re searching for a PowerPoint alternative is because of price, Microsoft hosts a free online version. Microsoft also offers Office Sway, another great free alternative to PowerPoint.
And if you’re looking for free Microsoft Word or Excel alternatives, we’ve got you covered with some great options there, too.
What to Look for In a Microsoft PowerPoint Alternative:
There are quite a few PowerPoint alternatives, but they’re not all created equally. With so many options out there, it’s hard to figure out which one you should use. Here’s everything you should consider when picking your free PowerPoint alternative.
- An Intuitive Interface: PowerPoint is super straightforward, so it makes sense that an ideal alternative would be just as easy to use, if not easier. The creation process from start to finish should feel intuitive, and essential tools should be readily accessible and not hidden behind a bunch of menus. You should also be able to access the program from anywhere, regardless of which platform you’re using.
- Wide Array of Templates: Unless you prefer to always create your presentations from scratch, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of templates to choose from. And make sure you check for presentation templates you’d likely be making, not just the sheer number of available templates.
- Collaborative Features: If you frequently create presentations as part of a team, you’ll want to choose a presentation service that allows your team to easily collaborate and work on the presentation at the same time. Even if you’re the only one doing the creating, you should see if the service will allow you to share your work with others and either view it or make suggestions.
- Advanced Features: PowerPoint may be one of the most widely used presentation services, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. Many free alternatives often come with features that PowerPoint doesn’t have, like a greater library of animations or other interactive pieces or the ability to create a powerful visual brand story alongside a presentation.
Best Cloud-Based: Google Slides
Google Slides is one of the easiest PowerPoint alternatives to use, especially if you already have a Google account. When starting a new project in Slides, you’ll be directed to either start a blank presentation or choose from the template library. There aren’t a ton of templates to choose from, but all the basics are covered.
Once you’ve started creating, the controls are easy to get the hang of. In fact, the toolbar and commands are pretty similar to what’s in Microsoft PowerPoint. And because it’s cloud-based, you can use Google Slides from anywhere as long as you’re online and able to log into your Google account. You can even work on a slideshow offline if you enable that feature before you go offline.
Plus, it’s great for the whole team to use all at once. As long as you’ve shared a presentation with someone or vice versa, you can both have Google Slides open and make edits collaboratively from anywhere.
Best for Apple Users: Keynote
If you have a Mac, Keynote is most likely already installed on your device. This free Microsoft PowerPoint alternative from Apple has everything you need to create beautiful presentations. There are loads of convenient templates, and everything is shared and saved automatically over iCloud Drive.
Just like PowerPoint, Keynote is user-friendly and an excellent choice for both beginners and pros. Apple is known for being a bit shinier than Microsoft when it comes to design, so it’s no surprise that Keynote has an elegant, streamlined user interface.
Keynote makes it easy to incorporate videos into your presentations. Gone are the days where you struggle to make a video play automatically or fight with its position on the slide. Furthermore, if you need to record any voiceovers, Keynote lets you record, edit, and hear your audio from the slide you’re working on.
One of the best features of this alternative is its companion iOS app, which allows you to continue working on your presentation wherever you are. There’s even an outline mode for iPhone and iPad that allows you quickly mark down ideas and move things around; then, you can either design straight from the app or wait until you’re able to sit down at your computer or laptop.
Best All-In-One Office Option: WPS Office Free
WPS Office gives you an excellent PowerPoint alternative, as well as alternatives for other Microsoft Office products. Although you can create a basic PowerPoint with the free version, WPS Office does offer a Premium version that costs $29.99 per year. With the Premium version, you won’t see ads, and you’ll get more cloud storage, exclusive templates, and other benefits.
But if all you’re after is a simple presentation for work or school, there’s plenty to experiment with within the free version. If you’re also interested in alternatives to Word or Excel, WPS Office is the best free all-in-one package.
What’s most awesome about WPS Office is that all of their services are together. When you open WPS Office, you’ll see the home screen with all the applications you can use. If you want to work on a presentation, but you also want a word document open for taking notes, you can have them both open on separate tabs within the same program. Having everything incorporated into one main window is so much easier than opening up two separate documents.
There’s a WPS Office mobile app (Android/iOS) that you can use when you’re out and about, and all your work syncs up to the WPS Cloud. So when you get home, you’re good to resume right where you left off. And the user interface is easy to get the hang of across all platforms, though of course, working on your phone will always be more difficult than working on a tablet or a computer.
Best Interactive: Prezi
Prezi is hands down one of the best interactive presentation alternatives out there. It’s not your standard slide presentation format; instead, you create a big picture visual and build out your presentation from there.
For example, imagine that a presentation’s title slide is a big bulletin board with five sticky notes on it, stuck around the presentation’s title in the center of the board. Your first descriptive slide could zoom into a corner of a sticky note, creating an abstract background that you can put text, images, or any other elements on, just like a normal presentation.
If you’re not able to picture the interactive and creative qualities Prezi has to offer, there are plenty of public presentations you can explore and even use as inspiration for your own presentation. And even though it might seem intimidating to make a presentation with multiple moving parts, Prezi’s user interface is intuitive, helping you along the way. And wow, does it make a good impression!
Most Full-Featured: LibreOffice Impress
LibreOffice is another great free alternative to Microsoft Office products, including PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Unlike WPS Office, LibreOffice does not show ads or have a paid Premium version. Everything LibreOffice offers is 100% free. However, where WPS Office allows for multiple people to collaborate simultaneously, LibreOffice limits it to one user per document at a time.
If you’re used to the controls and menus of Microsoft PowerPoint, using LibreOffice Impress for simple presentations will be a breeze. You can, of course, create professional-looking slides, and there are a ton of templates to choose from. There are some awesome animations to liven up your presentation with little effort on your part. Then, you can choose whether your slide show requires a manual click to the next slide or make it an automatic process; if you make it automatic, you can rehearse the timing of each slide to make sure it’s a smooth presentation.
Though if you want to dabble with some of the more advanced features, there will be a slight learning curve. And that learning curve doesn’t necessarily come from things being difficult; instead, there’s just a lot to learn when it comes to all of the available features. For example, you can create 2D and 3D images from text or build 3D scenes; these features are awesome but will definitely take some time to learn!
Best for Visual Branding: Canva
Canva is great for creating beautiful presentations, but it can do so much more. It allows you to create stationery templates, social media post images, logos, videos, flyers, and more. There are multiple templates to choose from in each category, so you’ll never have to build something from the ground up unless you want to.
If you want a platform that can create presentations and help you with your marketing and visual brand efforts, Canva is an awesome pick. The menus are helpful, and the interface is designed well so you never feel like you’re scrambling to find something.
Although there are plenty of resources available for free, you can upgrade to Canva Pro for $12.99 per month if you wanted extra features. A few of those features include being able to resize your documents while editing, exclusive templates and elements, an extra 95GB of cloud storage, and an instant background remover for photos.
Another Visual Branding Option: Visme
Visme, like Canva, offers way more than just the ability to create awesome presentations. Visme shines more as a business-focused PowerPoint alternative, offering up amazing charts, graphs, and even infographic blocks that you can animate. Canva does have infographic templates you can build off of, but Visme has individual blocks you can use to build your own custom infographic.
Visme and Canva also differ in their approach to presentation templates. Canva gives you different templates to choose from with a title slide and section slides, much like Microsoft PowerPoint; Visme, on the other hand, shows you presentation cards and lets you build a custom presentation. So if you know you’ll need a slide with a four-step process visual or a break slide in the middle of the presentation, there’s a template for it, and it’ll align with the color scheme you’ve already picked out.
Both Visme and Canva are great for marketing efforts, but Visme is a little easier for beginners because you have templates within templates. Instead of having to search for elements in Canva and create your own four-step visual slide, there’s already one ready to go in Visme.
Like Canva, Visme also has an upgraded version, but this one costs $15 per month when billed annually, or $25 per month when billed monthly. With the upgrade, you’ll have access to additional templates, more storage, the ability to have more projects, and the Visme watermark won’t be displayed on your projects.Continue Reading