Better Than PowerPoint: 3 Online Tools For Creating Gorgeous Presentations
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alternative to powerpointWhether it be for school, your professional life, or pretty much any other reason, presentations are some of the most useful tools for organizing and conveying information to others. Everyone creates them on a regular basis, including any kids you may have!

Microsoft Office’s PowerPoint is the most commonly used application for this task, but it’s not the only tool which can get the job done. In fact, some alternatives to PowerPoint might even be better, depending on which features you desire the most. Did I also mention that these tools are openly available on the web and entirely free? Plus you aren’t even required to be connected to the Internet when it’s presentation time!

Google Presentation

alternative to powerpoint
If you commonly use Google‘s online applications such as Gmail, you’ll definitely find a lot of use in Google Presentations. A part of the Google Drive suite of office applications, Google Presentation is meant to be an online PowerPoint replacement with a Google twist. While it may not be quite as feature-rich as the latest version of PowerPoint, it does offer some very nice advantages over PowerPoint. Such advantages include the ability to access the application (as well as any Google Presentation files thanks to Google Drive) from anywhere in the world, on any computer or mobile device, with a simple Internet connection.

Additionally, Google Presentations makes it very easy to embed special items such as YouTube videos directly into your presentation, so you won’t ever have to click on a link to awkwardly open a browser ever again. You can also export your Google Presentation file into a PowerPoint file, PDF file, and many more. Finally, Google Presentations maintains the status quo by including all of PowerPoint’s core features, such as slides, transitions, offline presentation, and more.


powerpoint alternative
My next choice is called Prezi. This online application completely abandons the norms set by PowerPoint’s massive presence, and creates an entirely new form of presentation. With Prezi, you’re given a single canvas which has infinite width and length. You are then free to put on it whatever you’d like, from text boxes to pictures to videos. Either while you’re working on the presentation or after you finish filling the canvas with your material, you can add something called “frames”.

Frames are what Prezi will focus on during the presentation, and are the equivalent of a slide in PowerPoint. In other words, Prezi will zoom in on the canvas to the exact frame that you created. Whenever you switch frames in Prezi, the application smoothly moves over from one frame to the other. Therefore, Prezi’s advantages are that it is modern and visually appealing, with its unique presentation style, color themes, and more. Prezi is free so long as you keep your presentations public; otherwise, you’ll have to pay a fee to set it as private.


alternative to powerpoint
If most of your presentations are simply a bunch of pictures that you want to show to friends and family, then PhotoSnack is the way to go. This service makes it extremely easy to create picture slideshows with just a few clicks. You can add pictures to the presentation from multiple sources, including your computer, Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket, flickr, SmugMug, and Instagram. Music may also be added to your presentation if you would like. You can then choose from different templates, and share with whomsoever you’d like! The presentations are shown using HTML5 instead of Flash, so as long as your recipients are running a modern browser, they should be good to go!


Hopefully with these tools, you can easily create a presentation exactly how you want it. All three of these tools have their own strengths and excel at specific purposes, but by using a combination of the three, you should be well prepared for presentation creation without using PowerPoint.

What do you use to create your presentations? What features of applications do you value the most? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: Michael Porter

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  1. Geoff R.
    January 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Good article. I've done many presentations at the Business and College level and these tips always have worked for me. or
    Also, there are numerous sources for presentations. I personally like Google Drive as of late. But, check out Powtoon, movenote, and projeqt. These are pretty good using the latest technology.

  2. Damien Garcia
    December 14, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I think Sliderocket for google is probably the best for me! its so sleek! Everyone should check it out.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:09 am

      I'll definitely take a look! It didn't show up whenever I was looking around for solutions.

  3. Brenden Barlow
    December 14, 2012 at 7:34 am

    i think ill FINALLY try prezi the next presentation i have to make, i many people like it.

  4. Lily Kerns
    December 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    prezi is a fascinating program and its results can be stunning. However, there seems to be an inordinate number of problem requests, many of which apparently go unanswered. some of this is becasue it is being used worldwide by students with little experience in computers. some of it, however, is simply becasue their tutorials and assistance have lagged behind the program's capabilities.
    a great program but don't be surprised ifyou encounter frustrations unless you make full use of their tutorials and don't get held up by references to the old interface.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:08 am

      Thanks for the tips, Lily!

  5. Dee Wheat
    December 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    How did I miss this the first time? I have a friend who will kiss my toes for this info LOL....or cut my yard free for six weeks!

  6. JM @ ClassLink
    December 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    While PP are great, these other alternatives give you a wider room to play around and get creative with your presentation. I'd recommend Prezi since it's quite user-friendly and anybody can start work to impress colleagues, classmates or your students.

  7. Moha
    December 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I recommend Prezi..used it for like one year!!

  8. David Etter
    December 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Prezi is an awesome tool. It looks daunting at first, but once you figure out and organize your talk/presentation, it all falls together nicely!

  9. Mac Witty
    December 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Prezi is nice but you need to know how to handle it right - it is easy to zoom in and out and then your audience get seasick. There are some good advice (and complain) in their forum about it.

  10. David Faulkner
    December 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Haiku Deck for iPad is very effective in a simple and stripped-down way.

  11. Dave Faulkner
    December 9, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Haiku Deck for iPad is another very interesting tool - simple, stripped down and effective.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:07 am

      Thanks, Dave! If only it weren't limited to the iPad...

  12. Catherine McCrum
    December 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    "by using a combination of the three"
    I whole heartily agree that each program has its limitations, but great presentations can be made by using them (or others) in combination. Enjoyed the mini-reviews of each.

  13. Ron Lister
    December 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I like the idea of being able to pull up a presentation from any computer any where in the world with google presentation. I'll have to mess around with it and check it out the prezi sounds interesting, Photosnack might be something I could use on the fly with my inspections, definatly have to check these out. Thanks for sharing.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:06 am

      No problem, Ron! I'm glad you like these choices!

  14. Andy Whitmore
    December 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    My issue with Google's thing is I haven't seen it do dual monitor support, and Prezi's free version for other people (non-student) has a glaring logo. I also have crashed Prezi once on a computer for an important meeting... Both are good for light weight stuff (excluding that google can only be used with single monitor support (having the main thing up in your browser and displaying on a screen so you can see your notes and no one else can...)

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:06 am

      I'm sure Google will be working on that eventually. They constantly push out updates to the Google Docs suite.

  15. shin
    December 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    If I use google presentation and embed a youtube video, will I still need to connect to the internet to see the video?

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:05 am

      Yes, because it just embeds the player, but you still need internet to play it. Exporting the presentation to .ppt or .pptx won't help either because there will simply be a thumbnail placeholder where you had the embedded YouTube video.

  16. Ritwick Saikia
    December 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Google Presentations is always handy but Prezi has changed the way I do presentations and it's all thanks to MakeUseOf that I got to know about this superb online tool. Thank you guys.

  17. Venkateswara Swamy Swarna
    December 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Not heard of Prezi. So, thanks for the information. Will check it out.

  18. Mark Alsisto
    December 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    still prefer PP

    • Vinh
      December 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      It certainly is still my number one choice if I need to work offline. It is much quicker than Google Presentation too.

  19. Vinh
    December 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Prezi looks mighty impressive, but I doubt I will have enough creativity to make a worthwhile presentation. As for Google Presentation, I absolutely love it. It makes group presentations so much easier since everyone can edit the same file at the same time.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:03 am

      I have to agree, you need to have a good idea to make a Prezi presentation look great. I've been using Google Presentation solely because it works, it's available everywhere, and I like to keep things pretty simple. And yes, the real-time collaboration is a life-saver.

  20. Tzvi Harris
    December 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I seem to be having trouble logging in.
    In any case, I wanted to add that Google Presentation and Prezi (and I'm pretty sure Photosnack too) are easy to embed in websites. A very useful feature if you have a presentation to fix or update regularly. Means you can update without changing anything in the website.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 5:01 am

      It definitely is!

  21. Junil Maharjan
    December 9, 2012 at 4:23 am

    This is a great article and quite useful. Thanks.

  22. Douglas Mutay
    December 9, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Thanks for the article. I have been used Google tool for awhile but I have never heard about Prezi. It has a very good attribute and I will definitely test it. Good one. N

  23. Ashwin Ramesh
    December 9, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Prezi is pretty good. I've been using it for quite a while now. The presentations are way different from the usual ones. Plus if you are a student, you get to sign up and use their Edu option, and you can create private presentations :)

    • Suhail
      December 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      you are right 100%.
      How are you, long time no see.

    • Suhail
      December 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      monash is using it.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 4:57 am

      Thanks for letting me know! Somehow I didn't see that students could create private presentations.

  24. Rajaa Chowdhury
    December 9, 2012 at 1:17 am

    What about SlideRocket, one of the best in business : . Available for both web and mobile form and also as a Chrome plugin.

    • Danny Stieben
      December 31, 2012 at 4:54 am

      Thanks for letting me know about SlideRocket! I'll definitely check it out!

    December 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    very nice presentations. . . .

  26. Avish Kansakar
    December 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    will give one of these a try next semester :P

  27. Javier Vega
    December 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I've used Prezi for more than a year, it's student register option is very useful, and the presentations themselves are quite different from Powerpoint, just when i changed i was so used to ppt that my Prezi presentation were like ppt's, but Prezi has the tools to make them really unique, i recommend it myself, nice article.

    • J
      December 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      I like Prezi presentations but the big drawback is to be dependant on an internet connection. I found an alternative called Sozi which is doing quite a great job. Requires to be a bit familiar with Inkscape :

  28. Félix S. De Jesús
    December 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Keynote is so good, but only for mac :(
    Another PPT alternative.

  29. Alex Gunyon
    December 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I like Google Presentations no master slide function, which is hand if you want to create a template for company logos. You can just use set up your base slides and duplicate though, so it's not too bad.

  30. ?????????? ???????
    December 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    nice article

    • Giggity Goebbels
      December 10, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Lol your neme is funny

    • Giggity Goebbels
      December 10, 2012 at 5:37 am