8 free PowerPoint alternatives for presentations: a guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Finding a suitable PowerPoint alternative can aid in your presentation development abilities. Navigating a layout that feels easy and intuitive to use can help transform presentation making into an enjoyable and productive process. PowerPoint may be the popular choice for companies that already have Microsoft Office, but for many, finding an alternative is necessary. In this article, we share some of the free PowerPoint alternatives you may want to learn more about and give some suggestions on choosing the best one for your needs.

Related: How to take your presentation skills to the next level

8 free PowerPoint alternatives

There are many uses for presentations and how you create yours may depend on your personal preference as well as the industry you work in and the goal of your presentation. For example, in data-heavy industries such as finance, a more creative option may not be ideal. If you need to showcase a series of designs that are all linked to the same project, there's likely a presentation tool that would be best for that. Here are some PowerPoint alternatives to consider for your next presentation:

1. Prezi

Prezi is a creative PowerPoint alternative. Instead of scrolling through individual slides, you can create a single canvas onto which you place everything you want to display. When you present, you move through the canvas linearly, with quick navigation enabled through specialised paths.

Prezi is best for creative styles of presentation, where the aesthetic is more or just as important as the data. This makes it a good choice for design-based industries such as fashion and music. It offers a useful format for presenting more abstract ideas, so if you're looking for a fresh approach to presentation creation, it could be suitable. It's a piece of software that facilitates collaborative editing and promotes an animated approach to presentation creation.

2. Canva

Canva's free plan comes with more than 8,000 templates, which makes it a good choice for time-sensitive presentation making. While other platforms like Prezi may offer more room for creativity, for beginners or last-minute presentations, access to so many templates can help you create rapid yet professional-looking presentations.

Canva is cloud-based and supports editing by multiple parties, although only one party can edit the presentation at a time. This makes it well suited to collaborative projects if you can take turns inputting ideas into the presentation. It's optimised for online sharing, features an impressive array of design ideas and lets you search through a library of images online.

3. Visme

Visme offers a cloud-based drop and design dashboard which is suitable for both experts and beginners. Being cloud-based also means your work automatically saves and you can access it from any computer if you have your login details. You can also create a shared log-in so clients, team members or managers can see your presentation and contribute if necessary.

Visme comes with a wide variety of templates and tools to help you display content in an accessible way. You can also integrate quick links into blog posts and web content, making it a useful tool for digital marketers and content creators. It's user friendly, allowing beginners to create relatively advanced interactive presentations, it features a good selection of stock imagery and it's very easy to align both the font and colour schemes with that of your brand.

4. LibreOffice Impress

LibreOffice is an open-source alternative to Microsoft Office, with a PowerPoint alternative called Impress. It offers most of the same functions, but it doesn't have built-in collaboration facilitation like those in OneDrive. It has an array of free templates and there is no limit to the variety of fonts. You can import and edit different kinds of files from various sources, meaning you can easily work with people who use different software. As a direct free replacement alternative to PowerPoint, it's one of the most closely related alternatives.

5. Zoho Show

Zoho Show is part of an online set of applications called Workplace Bundle. It offers a more traditional style of creating presentations with PowerPoint compatibility, which means you can edit PowerPoint files on computers without Microsoft Office and collaborate with team members who use Microsoft Office. Multiple users can edit presentations at the same time, making it useful for group projects. The variety of templates might be limiting for some individuals, but it depends on how creative you need to be.

Related: How to end a presentation effectively: a step-by-step guide

6. WPS Office

WPS Office offers a close alternative to PowerPoint, without the cost. You can easily import PowerPoint files and edit them, making it a convenient tool for teams to collaborate with, and there are many useful templates to choose between. It isn't web-based, which means you don't need an active internet connection to continue creating and editing presentations. You can also embed videos and objects, which may be useful in creating animated slides that engage your presentation audience. The combination of offline capability, the varied import capability and the wide variety of templates make it an excellent choice.

7. Xtensio

Xtensio is a presentation creation program optimised for businesses. It's useful for creating reports and it's intuitive, so you may find that it doesn't take long to learn how to use the features. Xtensio offers a wide variety of professional-looking templates, which significantly speeds up the slide making process. The free version is useful for individuals who are making reports one user at a time, as it doesn't support multi-user editing. As a free alternative to PowerPoint, it's a close analogue with many similar features.

8. Renderforest

Renderforest is a presentation creator that exclusively supports video presentation making. You do so in three simple steps, which include editing the slides, customising the colour and selecting the music. Video presentations are better suited to some industries than others, but for creatives and content creators, it can be an attractive option that can enhance their presentations.

Once you've made your video, you can either share it via a link you embed within your online content or download it as an MP4 file. The free plan is feature-rich, but you have to pay for higher video quality, videos that are longer than three minutes and access to more songs. Renderforest features an intuitive design with handy video tutorials to help you get started and offers an engaging alternative to the standard presentation approach of fixed slides.

Tips for choosing alternative presentation software

With so many alternatives for presentation software, it's important to perform research to discover which tool is best for your needs. Here are some tips you can follow to do so:

Evaluate the paid version

As you're researching more about presentation tools, look at the paid version of any you think sound promising. You may find that there are additional features that are worth the cost, even with a limited budget. Examples of add-ons include shared editing and access to more templates.

Related: How to start a presentation and keep the audience interested

Decide between web-based and desktop

There are advantages to both web-based and desktop presentation tools. Using a web-based tool often offers easier collaboration and should autosave presentations as you create them. Desktop versions can have more features, facilitate offline editing and don't tend to lag with poor internet connection.

Some tools, such as PowerPoint itself, offer both options. When picking your presentation software, think about what features you need more. If you're going to be working in teams a lot, you may consider choosing an option that makes collaborating easy. If you're likely to be working in locations without steady internet access, consider using a desktop-based alternative.

Related: How to improve public speaking skills to communicate effectively

Ask for input

If you're using the presentation software to collaborate with team members, it's important to ask others for their input on the tool you select. Consider giving them some time to test multiple options to find one that they like the most. You may collect anonymous votes to see which software is most popular among the team or start a group discussion about which tool would work best. You can regularly ask for feedback, too, in case there's the need to switch to a different tool later.

Even if you are only using presentations as a way to provide a report to your manager or senior leaders, you can still ask them what they think about your options. They may find one tool easier to view or more attractive to read. Consider how others may receive your presentations so you can use that knowledge to make a decision.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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