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Top-11 slide design services

by Ha Nguyen about a year ago in product review
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More than PowerPoint

In this article, we’ll go through different services and see which ones are cut for classic presentations and which ones provide additional features such as adding media or interactive modules for communication.

A successful presentation nowadays is only imaginable together with decent software with a variety of tools. There are loads of services for slide deck creation, so the main question is how to select the service that works for you. Check out our top-11 slide deck software list and learn to choose the one that suits you best given all your goals and preferences.

1. PowerPoint

One of the most popular services for slide design. Comes as a part of the Microsoft Office 365 pack.

Pros:

  • a familiar interface for those who use other Microsoft software
  • includes a manual and a help system
  • various skins
  • automation (e.g. copying style and forming templates based on 2-3 slides)
  • compatible with many file formats such as .pdf, .xps, .mp4, .wmv, .odp, .jpg, .png, .gif etc.

Cons:

  • excessive functionality (a lot of “odd” features ignored by regular users)
  • complex collaborative editing mode: the document has to be saved to OneDrive so that other people can edit

Platforms: Windows, web-version

A part of a paid Microsoft Office pack

2. Keynote

An automated slide design software for Mac. Comes as a part of iWork by Apple.

Pros:

  • only consists of basic editorial tools (contrary to PowerPoint)
  • templates library
  • supports export to PDF, QuickTime, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, HTML (with JPEG images) and PowerPoint.
  • user-friendliness & minimalistic design
  • collaborative editing
  • synchronization via external cloud drive

Cons:

  • for iOS/macOS only
  • a risk of distortion if converted to .pptx

Platforms: macOS, web

Comes free of charge with Mac or may be purchased in Mac App

3. Google Slides

A simplified online analog of PowerPoint or Keynote. A part of Google Drive office pack.

Pros:

  • covers all basic slide design features
  • easy collaborative edition mode
  • an interactive Q&A module (via link)

Cons:

  • scarce functionality
  • offline access only via Google Slides
  • compatible with few file formats

Platforms: web, Chrome

Free

4. Prezi

Innovative software for visual storytelling. Alternative interface with its very own feature - flash presentations — presentations with the use of interactive tools such animation and various sound effects.

Pros:

  • an innovative approach to slide design: canvas instead of slides
  • viewing the deck as a whole thing or zooming its’ parts in&out
  • compatible with every platform
  • online presenting
  • collaborative editing mode

Cons:

  • doesn’t work for any type of reports official presentations
  • Platforms: Prezi.com.

    Free on Prezi.com + paid license

    5. OpenOffice Impress

    Slide design software within OpenOffice.org pack. This software is known to be a free analogue of PowerPoint.

    Pros:

    • provides the same functionality as PowerPoint
    • exports presentations to PDF-files & Adobe Flash (so they can be viewed on every device with a Flash Player)

    Cons:

  • less fancy and user-friendly than its paid counterpart
  • Platforms: OpenOffice.org

    Free

    Apart from installable software, we have put together some online services:

    6. Zoho Show

    A part of Zoho Office Suite online office pack.

    Pros:

    • doesn’t require installation and setup
    • considerable tools library
    • real-time display demonstration mode
    • may be converted to PDF format or to one of Microsoft Office or OpenOffice formats
    • Collaborative mode

    Cons:

    • Internet-based only / only works online
    • limited skins options

    Platforms: Zoho.com

    Free. Requires to sign up

    7. Piktochart

    A great fit for presenting annual reports with massive numeric data, marketing research, business plans, etc. which also provides an opportunity to create infographics and animation apart from slide decks.

    Pros:

    • a user-friendly interface despite wide functionality
    • various charts, tables, diagrams and pop-ups
    • considerable templates library

    Cons:

    • Internet-based only / only works online
    • English version only

    Platforms: Piktochart.com

    Free

    8. Slides

    Online service with an HTML export option.

    Pros:

    • simple interface
    • service manual provided
    • synchronisation with Dropbox, Google Analytics
    • sharing to social media

    Cons:

    • 12 fonts only
    • doesn’t support multimedia

    Platforms: Slides.com

    Free

    9. Canva

    A free service for online slide design with a built-in photo editor. Allows creating presentations directly in a web browser and works for various design concepts.

    Pros:

    • a nice and user-friendly interface
    • various tools
    • a great many free templates

    Cons:

    • scarce functionality
    • paid templates & visual elements are considerably better than the free ones

    Platforms: Canva.com

    A paid service (limited version is available free of charge)

    10. HAIKU DECK

    A “quick fix” presentation software that is a perfect fit for creating a slide deck from scratch in less than 30 minutes thanks to its user-friendly interface.

    Pros:

    • simple functionality clear for everyone

    Cons:

    • limited options for more complex slide decks

    Platforms: Haikudeck.com

    Free

    11. POWTOON

    A slide design service with video presentations. A perfect fit for impressing the audience.

    Pros:

    • convenient user-friendly interface
    • various sound effects & animated templates

    Cons:

    • Internet-based only / only works online
    • a non-removable watermark on the slides if using the free version

    Platforms: Powtoon.com

    A paid service (limited version is available free of charge)

    Summary

    Now you see that no matter what your goal is — a huge presentation with many slides, diagrams, animation, and quality design or just a simple but well-structured deck, — you can find proper software cut out just for what you want to present at this very moment. We hope this article helps to do your very best slide design.

    Want to learn how to make awesome presentations? Check out my online course PowerPoint 101

    product review

    About the author

    Ha Nguyen

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