Best Free Presentation Software: A One-Stop Guide

Date2January 18, 2019 categoryTools and Tech

Why take time to find the best free presentation software for you? If presentations are part of your work, there’s more to life than PowerPoint! You choose from a range of free (and paid) options with more features than you might expect.

Let’s explore some stand-out options…

 

Best Free Presentation Software: Some Recommendations

 

When you need to explain complex information at, say, a meeting or interview it goes without saying that visuals can be the best way to get your point across.

Presentation software is the tool you’ll be likely to use to make this happen.

The good news? The options available to you are a lot more varied and powerful than you might expect…

 

1. Microsoft PowerPoint

 

presentation software

One of the reasons of PowerPoint’s popularity is the fact that it has been around for more than 31 years, making it one of the oldest presentation software options around.

But that doesn’t mean it is out of touch, as Microsoft keeps PowerPoint updated with a host of ever-improving features.

 

 

Pros:

  • Its popularity is considered a great advantage because that gives it an edge over other presentation software when it comes to usability and tutorials.
  • Compatibility with Mac OS and Windows.
  • Smooth integration of graphics, animations, graphs and pictures, it can also export presentations to YouTube.
  • Can handle many different text formats.

Cons:

  • Usually sold in Microsoft Office packages which are expensive, even the standalone program costs more than most presentation software.
  • Its popularity became a double-edged sword, it may not be as innovative as other presentation software and it has become overused over the time, meaning a PowerPoint presentation may appear ‘generic’.

 

2. Keynote

 

presentation software

Pros:

  • Keynote is considered one of the best options on the Mac OS, for those who are used to Mac applications it is very easy and simple to use.
  • Has templates with standard built-in layouts.
  • Excellent handling of graphics and animations.
  • Stylish, smooth and has a lot of design features thanks to  Adobe integration.
  • Ability to save and export Keynote presentations as YouTube videos and QuickTime slideshows.

 

Cons:

  • Only available on Mac OS.
  • Steeper learning curve if the user isn’t familiar with Mac applications.
  • Compatibility issues as presentations cannot be opened in Windows and sometimes even older versions of Keynote.
  • Exporting the presentations to PowerPoint can be messy.
  • Does not support Visual Basic.

 

3. Prezi

presentation software

Pros:

  • Great for story-based presentations as it has non-linear storytelling capabilities.
  • Integration of imported multimedia and vectors is handled smoothly.
  • Its special group design and distributions capabilities help team-based presentations.
  • Adds motion to the presenter’s message.

 

 

 

 

Cons:

  • Heavily dependent on being connected to the internet, any disconnection or poor wifi causes issues for the presentation.
  • Zoom function can be helpful but lead to pixelated images.
  • Not the best option for freedom in designing as the colour palette and fonts are limited and shapes cannot be easily controlled.
  • Can be time-consuming to adapt to using Prezi.

 

4. ClearSlide

 

presentation software

Pros:

  • Customised for companies
  • Wide scope of features for marketing and sales purposes.
  • Ability to upload different file forms such.
  • Incorporation of other platforms including Salesforce.
  • Customisation of many features to tailor to different business needs.
  • Free trial.

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to be use at first
  • Large number of irrelevant features

 

5. SlideDog

 

presentation softwareOne of the most appealing and creative presentation software options thanks to its ability to integrate and combine different multimedia platforms such as PowerPoint, PDF, images, videos and graphics.

 

 

 

 

Pros

  • Remote access to presentations from any internet-connected device.
  • Live-streaming of presentations by sharing the slides in real-time.
  • Has a free version.
  • 30-day money back guarantee.

Cons:

  • The presentation software itself may seem a bit dull or basic to some

 

6. Google Slides

 

presentation software

When you are dependent on Google’s applications, it only makes sense to make the switch from powerpoint or any other presentation software to Google slides. But there will be collateral damage during this switch.

 

 

Pros:

  • Completely free.
  • Accessible anywhere on any Google-supporting platform.
  • Zero installation, software is online and doesn’t require any installation.
  • Similar and familiar designs to Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
  • With the advantage of Google’s sharing methods it opens up a wide scope of quick-sharing capabilities.
  • Real time collaboration thanks to its cloud-based operating system.
  • Gives the users an ability to simultaneously edit the slides from others presentations 
  • Ability to transform Powerpoint Presentations into Google Slides.
  • Ability to integrate slides into websites (useful for live-sharing slides with your viewers).

Cons:

  • The ease and minimalism of the design is certainly a good point, but professional presentation software users may find Google Slides lacking an edge.
  • The price of minimalism has been to remove a large number of features.
  • You need to be constantly connected to the internet since cloud-based presentation software requires internet all the time to be able to create and edit the slides.
  • A Google account is required.
  • No annotations or 3D effects.
  • Transitions, animations and music adjustments are limited.
  • Loss of some transitions and animations when you try to port the slides into PowerPoint.
  • Limited customisation of text boxes and object alignment.

 

 

7. Slidebean

 

presentation software

With Slidebean it feels like content just needs to be ‘dropped in’ as a range of ready-made templates are available to help make your finished presentation look great.

 

     Pros

  • Almost no learning curve.
  • Even with the existing slides, you have a variety of elements you can insert to personalise including images, charts, GIFs and much more.
  • Web-based, so all your progress and work is saved online.
  • Can export to PDF for a monthly fee.
  • Mobile version.

Cons

  • Can cost a lot to fully enjoy all the feature: for example, to export to an editable PowerPoint file or to fully use all the templates.
  • The curation of the images can be a bit irrelevant to your search at times.
  • Lack of support can be an issue to the free users, premium users who are willing to pay can have a dedicated presentation designer review their slide-decks.

 

 

8. Visme

 

presentation software

What’s great about Visme? The inclusion of many different tools that can help you create much more than presentations. You’ll find tools for banner ads, digital presentations, infographics; social media images and more.

Pros

  • Variety of options and wide range of templates, even the free version contains from 15 to 20 templates for infographics alone; thousands of free images, background types, shapes, vector icons, graphs and charts.
  • Gives a preview of your slides in the sidebar with options to duplicate, delete or add.
  • Images, videos, to animation, audio and third-party content like polls, quizzes, and forms are just a click away.
  • Offers five different formats to view your saved work offline such as PDF. The best option is HTML if you have any animations in your file.
  • Visme has the option to add a password to your presentation.

Cons

  • Free version can be limited as you won’t be able to save your work.
  • Premium upgrade is needed to perform function like save as HTML or use all the templates.

 

 

9. Canva

 

presentation software

One of the cheapest options – especially for annual billing.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based so presentations can been seen on any device with apps for Android users and iPhone users for editing capabilities.
  • Protected unless shared, with option to share on social media like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Extremely easy to use.

Cons

  • Lacks a lot of options, such as animations.
  • Even though it’s well protected you can’t add a password to your shared links.
  • Cannot be downloaded as HTML, even in the premium version.
  • No option for major editing on all the slides which can sometimes double work time.
  • Offers a huge library of free images, some photos are available for $1, but many users complained there is no efficient way to search for required images without having to scroll down through all of them until you find what you are looking for.

 

Good luck!

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