The 4 Best Free Alternatives To Microsoft PowerPoint

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0 ppt intro   The 4 Best Free Alternatives To Microsoft PowerPointDo you create a lot of presentations? If you do, you’re probably a master at PowerPoint, or Keynote if you own a Mac. Microsoft PowerPoint is the standard for slide presentation software and lays the blueprint from which all other applications are created. But what if you’re looking for something new or different?

In this article, I’m going to show you the 4 best, free Powerpoint alternatives to PowerPoint. If you’re looking for a new way to present your material without getting too far away from PowerPoint’s concept, you’ll find these apps useful. If you want to escape PowerPoint’s grasp once and for all, we can help you with that as well.

1. Google Docs Presentation

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My favorite alternative when it comes to replacing Microsoft applications is usually Google. You may already be familiar with Google Docs, but did you know you can create presentations with the web-based app? Just click on the Create new drop down menu and select Presentation to get started.

2 ppt google2   The 4 Best Free Alternatives To Microsoft PowerPoint

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As you might imagine, this online free PowerPoint alternative is very simple to use. You can change the theme and background of your presentation, insert text boxes, images, and videos, import slides, and all that good stuff. And since you’re using Google Docs, you can share your presentation with others and work on it collaboratively.

2. SlideRocket

3 ppt sliderocket   The 4 Best Free Alternatives To Microsoft PowerPoint

SlideRocket is a higher end model of a collaborative, web-based presentation application. While this is a premium app, they do offer a nice free option, which gives you 250 MB of storage (15 MB file size), up to 5 multi-seat accounts, shared folders, items, and libraries, and the ability to import from Powerpoint and export to PDF.

We covered SlideRocket in an article 2 years ago and it has only got better since then. It has a beautiful user interface and a lot of great features, including the ability to add themes, layouts, shapes, charts, tables, pictures, audio, video, and Flash animations. You can also integrate content from sites like Flickr and YouTube, as well as utilize plug-ins.

To get a glimpse of SlideRocket, check out this short video:

3. 280 Slides

4 ppt 280slides1   The 4 Best Free Alternatives To Microsoft PowerPoint

280 Slides is another very easy to use presentation creation app. Last covered back in March of ’09, 280 Slides offers a host of great features, like the ability to upload your existing PowerPoint presentations and import them into 280 Slides, preventing you from having to start over.

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Other great features include autosave and recovery, storing presentations online, downloading them in the PowerPoint 2007 format, adding photos and movies from Flickr and YouTube, posting to SlideShare and embedding, and running them straight from your browser.

4. Prezi

6 ppt prezi   The 4 Best Free Alternatives To Microsoft PowerPoint

Prezi, if you haven’t heard of it by now, is one of those really cool free Powerpoint alternative presentation applications that is very different from how PowerPoint and the rest function. What makes it significantly different is the fact that it doesn’t invoke the traditional slide-by-slide rules of a normal presentation. Rather, each presentation you create is a flowing, motion-based depiction filled with your creativity.

I’m not going to spend much time going over Prezi’s features because Simon did a fantastic job of that already in his article on Prezi back in February of this year. If you would like to view the official Prezi introduction video, however, have at it:

Conclusion

Are you over PowerPoint yet? I wasn’t lying when I said there were some good free PowerPoint alternative apps out there. Explore these and you will find a bunch of great features and ways of presenting your material to others. The sharing abilities and integration with other services and file types give you a diverse set of options when deciding which tool would be best for the job.

Another cool app that might be worth investigating from our directory is Spresent.

What do you think of these presentation apps? What apps are you using?

Image Credit: archerix

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47 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Elmer P

I’m a little disappointed that these are all web apps. What about desktop programs like OpenOffice.org‘s Impress that is an actual replacement for Power Point?

Reply

Elmer P

I’m a little disappointed that these are all web apps. What about desktop programs like OpenOffice.org’s Impress that is an actual replacement for Power Point?

Steve Campbell

Sorry to disappoint Elmer but honestly all of the best apps that are being created these days are web apps. People like accessing their files from the cloud simply because they don’t have to save anything on their hard drives and they can access their files anywhere.

LawryM

Sorry to disappoint you Steve but I know that while most people DO like the convenience of the cloud but they DO NOT trust it for serious confidential information. Generally when a presentation is resorted to it contains information only for a select audience. Any lack of security either real or only suspected is intolerable. Sadly the cloud is mostly for fun not for serious activity.

Yukev

Soory to disapoint you LawryM but you are wrong.

Steve Campbell

I’m loving this debate! So you’re saying that due to the contents of a lot of presentations they are best left for offline usage?

I could see that, but in my experience, a lot of times presentations and sometimes other important documents at work are emailed around internally. In that case, email is far less secure than the applications displayed here.

I think we’re transitioning to the cloud with all forms of applications and there is definitely a need for enhanced security. Cloud applications like Mint.com and BankSimple.com, for instance, handle very confidential financial information and promise a high level of security when accessing the site.

BruceG

I wonder what percentage of PowerPoint users prefer and use the Windows Live version over the desktop version? I’d say it would be pretty small for exactly the reasons LawryM mentioned.

thenonhacker

I am suspicious about Lifehacker conveniently omitting PowerPoint Office Web App, which is better than Google Presentations.

You can try it either:
http://office.live.com/
http://www.docs.com/ (Facebook App)

wanderinwoodsman

Excluding OO Presentation was a major flaw to this article and causes me to question its value. Presentation is a great package. We use it for our church presentation each Sunday since I am a major fan of open software. We have not tried anything fancy but for our needs it is fantastic.

Steve Campbell

Ah, so looks like everyone likes OO Presentation. Open Office is pretty much the de facto best alternative to MS Office in general, right? I should have included a line stating that. Good catch, I hope you liked the article otherwise!

Reply

Hardc0l2e

Yeah the topic is Power Point Alternative not just web apps but also native application that can be installed in your system, so ooImpress must be in the list.

Steve Campbell

You’re right, I didn’t mean to exclude desktop applications I just didn’t find any that I thought were better than PowerPoint. Will look into ooImpress though, thanks for sharing!

Reply

tickman

Unfortunately sometimes there just aren’t any viable alternatives to PowerPoint because if you are giving a presentation at a conference, they are always set up with PowerPoint and most of the time you don’t use your own computer.
If you are using your own computer for a presentation, I would definitely want a desktop application because the internet isn’t always available or a network connection can’t always be relied upon. I like to minimize the things that can go wrong, because they often do.

Reply

Anonymous

Unfortunately sometimes there just aren’t any viable alternatives to PowerPoint because if you are giving a presentation at a conference, they are always set up with PowerPoint and most of the time you don’t use your own computer.
If you are using your own computer for a presentation, I would definitely want a desktop application because the internet isn’t always available or a network connection can’t always be relied upon. I like to minimize the things that can go wrong, because they often do.

Steve Campbell

You bring up a good point. A few of the programs mentioned above do support exporting your presentations in powerpoint format which is a good touch, especially if you’re presenting on someone else’s computer or you are in a situation where you have to use powerpoint.

ozmark

If you really want to keep it simple, use S5. All you need is a browser on Linux/Mac/Win. Who needs PP?

meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/
meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/s5-intro.html

mountaintop57

Keep in mind, that with Google Docs at least, you can save it back as a PowerPoint when it is complete (or as you go, for back up…)

Anonymous

The problem (that I have seen way too often) is when you change formats, there is a good chance that the presentation won’t work or look as you originally created it to. I’ve seen this going from a newer version of Powerpoint to an older one and from a Mac version of Powerpoint to a Windows one, so I don’t think I would want to risk converting from one program to another. Not when problems with a presentation are distracting to the presenter and to the audience.

Reply

thenonhacker

I am suspicious about Lifehacker conveniently omitting PowerPoint Office Web App, which is better than Google Presentations.

You can try it either:
http://office.live.com/
http://www.docs.com/ (Facebook App)

Reply

seenu

according to my view title should have been ‘Best cloud power point Applications’

Steve Campbell

Best free alternatives isn’t working for you seenu? Do you know of a great free desktop application that you would like to share?

ozmark

Wow, what a smug author. You’ve already been told – Oo Impress.

Steve Campbell

lol I’m sorry! geez…

Juan Napoli

Steve, you should be happy of so rich interaction in your forum, being defensive about the article is just not appropriate, as no matter how much effort you can put in an article to cover all aspects of the mentioned topic, you will always lack in some area of knowledge that others can improve. Luckily the community is out there enriching the article with their comments, improving it as a vital source of information that is really a reference point for many hunters in the web.

Steve Campbell

Juan, I assure you that I am happy for every comment that I get and I make an attempt to respond to everybody with the utmost respect. I love you guys!

I was merely asking seenu a question, and it was taken out of context I guess, but that’s ok. Looking forward to interacting with you all again in the future!

Reply

Steve Campbell

Thanks for sharing those Saikat. I didn’t realize how many people out there were looking for a good desktop alternative to PowerPoint. :)

Reply

Steve Campbell

I’m loving this debate! So you’re saying that due to the contents of a lot of presentations they are best left for offline usage?

I could see that, but in my experience, a lot of times presentations and sometimes other important documents at work are emailed around internally. In that case, email is far less secure than the applications displayed here.

I think we’re transitioning to the cloud with all forms of applications and there is definitely a need for enhanced security. Cloud applications like Mint.com and BankSimple.com, for instance, handle very confidential financial information and promise a high level of security when accessing the site.

Reply

Saikat Basu

How about these two desktop alternatives –

IBM Lotus Symphony
KPresenter

Has anyone given these a try? Would love to know your opinions.

Steve Campbell

Thanks for sharing those Saikat. I didn’t realize how many people out there were looking for a good desktop alternative to PowerPoint. :)

Reply

Saikat Basu

How about these two desktop alternatives –

IBM Lotus Symphony
KPresenter

Has anyone given these a try? Would love to know your opinions.

Reply

Karim

How about LaTeX/Beamer?

Most powerfull presentation maker… and FREE

Reply

ozmark

If you really want to keep it simple, use S5. All you need is a browser on Linux/Mac/Win. Who needs PP?

meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/
meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/s5-…

Reply

Karim

How about LaTeX/Beamer?

Most powerfull presentation maker… and FREE

Steve Campbell

Awesome, I’ll have a look. Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Michael Real

I am using Google Docs as an alternative for Powerpoint. It works almost the same except that you must be connected to the internet to be able to work. Google Docs can also be used using a desktop.

Reply

Spor Haber

SlideRocket seems very nice but didnt try it

Reply

Steve Campbell

Juan, I assure you that I am happy for every comment that I get and I make an attempt to respond to everybody with the utmost respect. I love you guys!

I was merely asking seenu a question, and it was taken out of context I guess, but that’s ok. Looking forward to interacting with you all again in the future!

Reply

Ellen

Prezi has a desktop application, though not entirely free. http://prezi.com/desktop/downl

Reply

Preot Vasile Filat

Great! Thank you! It will help me in preparation for my sermons and Bible lessons. May God bless you with the gift of eternal life in Jesus.

Reply

Mguerra79

Hi guys! This conversation is going pretty well, but, in the topic, it seems that all of you forgot one free alternative, from Adobe, inside Acrobat. You register for an account there, obviously, although it is the same as for Adobe.com, if you have one, and then you can access Acrobat.com and use either Buzzword (MS Word) or Presentation (Powerpoint similar) or even Table (Excell similar).
You can even have some sort of Flex app for the desktop applications, I mean, Acrobat provides some sort of special app/link to access the Acrobat site and your account easily from your desktop. Inside you find either some other Acrobat functionalities like sharing a file with a direct link, storage capacity up to 1GB, 100MB files… and so on, and so on… I am no Adobe affiliated but this is very nice. I use it all the time.
Now, adding to the discussion, the title, indeed, is not very complete, since this alternatives are all just web-based, and there are, like it was mentioned earlier, some offline ones, like OpenOffice, that I find very good too, despite, in the end, all of this are «cr*ppy» because I am a graphic designer and InDesign is a very good tool to do this, ehehehhe! Ok, I admit, like I said before, for a fast presentation any of this is fairly good, and, of course, not free, Keynote, from Apple…
Nice post and nice comments!
Cheers from Portugal!
Márcio Guerra

Reply

Mguerra79

Hi guys! This conversation is going pretty well, but, in the topic, it seems that all of you forgot one free alternative, from Adobe, inside Acrobat. You register for an account there, obviously, although it is the same as for Adobe.com, if you have one, and then you can access Acrobat.com and use either Buzzword (MS Word) or Presentation (Powerpoint similar) or even Table (Excell similar).
You can even have some sort of Flex app for the desktop applications, I mean, Acrobat provides some sort of special app/link to access the Acrobat site and your account easily from your desktop. Inside you find either some other Acrobat functionalities like sharing a file with a direct link, storage capacity up to 1GB, 100MB files… and so on, and so on… I am no Adobe affiliated but this is very nice. I use it all the time.
Now, adding to the discussion, the title, indeed, is not very complete, since this alternatives are all just web-based, and there are, like it was mentioned earlier, some offline ones, like OpenOffice, that I find very good too, despite, in the end, all of this are «cr*ppy» because I am a graphic designer and InDesign is a very good tool to do this, ehehehhe! Ok, I admit, like I said before, for a fast presentation any of this is fairly good, and, of course, not free, Keynote, from Apple…
Nice post and nice comments!
Cheers from Portugal!
Márcio Guerra

Reply

Hefesto

sorry to disappoint all the people disappointed here, but I’m disappointed to see how disappointed people disappoint each other.

I’m disappointed with myself for not disappointing me about disappointing all the disappointed people here. (how disappointing!)

Reply

Anonymous

sorry to disappoint all the people disappointed here, but I’m disappointed to see how disappointed people disappoint each other.

I’m disappointed with myself for not disappointing me about disappointing all the disappointed people here. (how disappointing!)

Reply

Jl

Has Steve use Google Presentation extensively and regularly to recommend it at the top of his list? Two times, I am stuck with Presentation files, that I am not able to export offline due to the software error. Google can’t solve the problem. Google Presentation also has other issues such as font size reverting to earlier setting after it is changed and GooleApps has flashed the message that the document is saved.

Reply

Gabrielle Dolan

I am having a case of de je vu with all these new software packages. It reminds me when PowerPoint first came out and replaced transperencies and the overhead projector (anyone remember them?). It is not the software that created boring presentations it is the content. What we say, what we DON’T say and how we say it. If anyone is interested we have just made available a FREE eBook called ‘Eliminate Death by PowerPoint’ that is getting some pretty good reviews. You can download it for free from our website http://www.onethousandandone.c
Hope you find it valuable…if you do we would love your feedback. Gabrielle Dolan

Reply

Gabrielle Dolan

I am having a case of de je vu with all these new software packages. It reminds me when PowerPoint first came out and replaced transperencies and the overhead projector (anyone remember them?). It is not the software that created boring presentations it is the content. What we say, what we DON’T say and how we say it. If anyone is interested we have just made available a FREE eBook called ‘Eliminate Death by PowerPoint’ that is getting some pretty good reviews. You can download it for free from our website http://www.onethousandandone.com.au/
Hope you find it valuable…if you do we would love your feedback. Gabrielle Dolan

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