5 Best Free PowerPoint Alternatives to Level Up Your Presentations

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Many established companies have the Microsoft Office suite already installed on their workers’ computers, so invariably MS PowerPoint is a standard choice for executives, researchers, managers, and basically anyone involved in producing knowledge assets.

As a standard industry tool, PowerPoint’s popularity is due to its wide-ranging and familiar features that make it easy to create visually striking presentations.

Having said that, PowerPoint isn’t for everyone. Small companies may not already have Microsoft Office because of the costs, and freelancers don’t necessarily have the budget for proprietary software.

Then there’s the fact that some professionals, such as project managers, won’t use all the features of MS PowerPoint. Instead, they need an easy-to-use solution that helps them present the project scope and budget to their teams so that the kickoff and close-out meetings are successful.

Small businesses that don’t make well-informed software purchase decisions—factoring in total cost, features offered, and usability—will be stuck with a solution that’s needlessly expensive and/or too complex to serve their business purposes.

Exploring alternative software products will give SMBs a better understanding of the market—in this case presentation software—which is necessary for finding the right solution

In this report, we look at the top five most recommended free PowerPoint alternatives based on Capterra user ratings. To be listed in this report, the products had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer the core PowerPoint features such as premade templates, ability to create slides/images, document management, and publishing.
  • Must have a “forever free” version.
  • Must have more than 20 reviews on Capterra.

PowerPoint Alternatives Comparison Chart

After analyzing the features and ensuring that each tool offers a free version, we also looked at user recommendation scores, as given by Capterra users. This helped us narrow down the list to these five free alternatives to PowerPoint, which are listed alphabetically below.

Best 5 free PowerPoint alternatives (in alphabetical order)

1. Canva

Canva presentation template

Ready-to-use presentation template in Canva (Source)

Create presentations quickly with minimalist templates. Canva suits users that are new to creating presentations. Its free plan comes with 8,000+ templates so that even beginners can create professional-looking slides.

The solution’s minimalist features are great for newbies who need an easy-to-use tool. However, experts will miss certain PowerPoint features such as “transitions,” which allow users to customize the flow from one slide to the next.

What Capterra reviewers like about the system

  • Users like the large collection of ready-to-use layouts, which make creating slides quick and easy.
  • Versatile use cases allow users to create presentations, letterheads, e-books, brochures, and infographics.
  • The user-friendly design and beginner video tutorials help users quickly get up-to-speed on using the tool.

Improvements customers want

  • Make it easier to add elements (shapes/charts), as users say they have to scroll for a while to find one they like.
  • Improve the ability to label and tag images so that users can quickly search the images they upload.
  • Add advanced design options such as text cutouts, circular templates, and 3D text.

Pricing

There are two paid plans: Canva for Work (starts at $12.95 per team member per month) and Canva Enterprise (custom pricing). These two paid plans include functionalities such as unlimited photo folders and storage, and team administrative controls, which are not offered in the free plan.

2. Google Slides

Google Slides presentation

Starting a presentation in Google Slides (Source)

Design presentations with real-time collaboration. Google Slides offers built-in collaboration features that allow users to work with multiple collaborators. The tool can be accessed on a browser or iOS or Android native applications. It lets you edit presentations on your phone and then wirelessly broadcast them using Chromecast or Apple Airplay.

What Capterra reviewers like about the system

  • The real-time collaboration features allow multiple users to create, edit, and review presentations.
  • Users like the version control functionality that helps them retrieve previous versions and track changes across multiple documents.
  • Integration with G Suite makes it seamless for users to add YouTube videos and Google Photos to their presentations.

Improvements customers want

  • Add more templates and graphic elements to create more visually appealing presentations.
  • Include better transition and animation effects, such as 3D and reflections that allow users to build interactive presentations.
  • The software should include more styles, bullet points, and fonts that offer greater design flexibility.

Pricing

Google Slides is free to use as long as you have a Gmail account. Businesses can also purchase G Suite starting at $5 per user per month if they need a custom email with the company domain name and advanced data security protection.

3. Prezi

Creating slides in Prezi

Creating zoom in and zoom out slides in Prezi (Source)

Build engaging presentations that foster discussions. Prezi lets users zoom in and out of slides rather than viewing them one after the other, like in PowerPoint. This is a useful functionality if you want to emphasize key topics in your presentations, such as a particular stat or quote.

The latest version of Prezi allows up to 10 users to collaborate in real time. This makes the tool ideal for freelancers, as they can insert placeholder comments to indicate the required changes.

What Capterra reviewers like about the system

  • The dynamic designing tool allows users to build visually appealing presentations with slides that can zoom in and out.
  • Users like the collaboration features, which make it easy to work with multiple stakeholders on a single presentation, without any of the hassles of version control.
  • The tool uses analytics to improve future presentations. It offers insights to help users understand which slides were most viewed and which ones were skipped.

Improvements customers want

  • Offer a more intuitive interface so that new users don’t have to spend a long time learning how the tool works.
  • Improve performance to eliminate issues such as slow loading of transitions and system crashes while editing images.
  • Increase user control over presentation functionality, so that they’re not overwhelmed and dizzy while zooming in and out of the slides.

Pricing

Prezi starts at $15 per month for the Tier 1 plan and increases to $59 per month for the Tier 2 plan, and there’s a custom price plan for businesses with large teams. The basic plan is free, allowing you to create presentations on a browser-based tool. However, it lacks features such as privacy control, offline access, and analytics.

4. Renderforest

Renderforest design dashboard

Editing a slide in Renderforest (Source)

Build and broadcast video presentations. Renderforest is the only product in this list that is exclusively a video presentation maker. The tool has a simplified workflow that lets you create video presentations in three steps: edit the slide, customize the colors, and select the music.

It allows users to publish the video directly on Facebook or YouTube, share the link on various social networks, or download the video as an MP4 file.

What Capterra reviewers like about the system

  • The easy-to-use and intuitive features allow users to quickly build video presentations.
  • The wide variety of video templates help users build HD-quality presentations.
  • Users like the video tutorials that help novice users get up-to-speed on creating video presentations.

Improvements customers want

  • Allow users to add music to each slide separately instead of using a single song for the entire presentation.
  • Decrease the time it takes for videos to render.
  • Simplify the pricing so users can exactly calculate and track how much they’ll have to pay.

Pricing

Renderforest offers two types of pricing: subscription-based or pay per export, i.e., pay for a single video download.

The subscription plans start at $15 per month, and the basic pay per export plans start at $9.99. However, the pricing changes based on the number of high quality (HD 720) videos, the duration of the video, number of musical tracks, and data storage.

In the free plan, you can create unlimited video presentations but will have to pay for branding, higher video quality, storage space over 500 MB, videos of more than three minutes, and music tracks.

5. Visme: Drag-and-drop design dashboards for beginners

Visme design dashboard

Design dashboard in Visme (Source)

Visme offers drag-and-drop design dashboards that make it possible to create presentations quickly. It offers access to content assets such as 6,000+ icons and charts.

The tool is cloud-based, and it autogenerates a shareable URL, so that users don’t have to first upload the presentation to a cloud storage app such as OneDrive—as is the case with PowerPoint.

What Capterra reviewers like about the system

  • Reviewers say the user-friendly interface makes it simple for novice users to start creating interactive presentations.
  • They like the ready-to-use templates, clip art, and stock photos, all of which are useful for creating presentations quickly.
  • Users also like the ability to design presentations using custom fonts and color palettes that adhere to their specific branding.

Improvements customers want

  • Offer mobile applications so that users can access the tool from their iOS and Android devices.
  • Improve performance in certain areas, such as creating a smoother visual editor that does not lag or crash.
  • Increase file storage limits as users with many files and documents must store them locally, as of now.

Pricing

The tool offers a variety of plans for individuals, businesses, and educational institutions. The Tier 1 business plan starts at $22 per month, which includes features such as privacy controls and 10 GB storage that aren’t available in the free plan.

Which PowerPoint alternative is best for your small business?

If you don’t have a lot of time or resources to create presentations, then Canva could be the ideal solution. Its large template library can help you quickly create presentations, infographics, social media posts, e-books and more.

For dispersed teams, consisting of freelancers and telecommuters, Google Slides is a popular choice, as it comes with real-time collaboration features.

On the other hand, Prezi is designed for SMBs that need especially creative presentations. Opt for it if you need a dynamic designing tool that lets you create presentations and analyze the impact on your audience.

If you’re a small business that’s looking to create video presentations then Renderforest is the option to choose.

Finally, if your team doesn’t have the expertise to create presentations and you require an easy-to-use solution, then Visme is a good choice.

Want to know more about alternatives to MS PowerPoint? Check out our presentation software directory, where you can compare products on their features, pricing, average ratings and much more.

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Pritam Tamang

Pritam is a Content Analyst at Capterra and Software Advice. He writes technology research reports centered around small business project management. His areas of interest are SaaS technologies, content marketing and agile/lean thinking.

Comments

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Would love to put Sutori into the mix. It’s a free tool being used by teachers and students as an alternative to Powerpoint/Google Slides.

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My favorite tool is Prezi. However, there are some other tools too that are completely free and let you make interactive presentation. Found some of them here too: https://www.webemployed.com/free-tools-create-online-presentations/

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Hypersay – platform for interactive presentations based on PowerPoint files and Google Slides, with the audience involved. Keep your audience engaged with polls, questions, private notes and live slide sharing. Store, enrich & deliver presentations from your cloud. Fight #deathbypowerpoint
Check out https://hypersay.com/

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Congratulations on your post, it is very complete. We don’t know if you have used http://www.genial.ly before but it is a very useful tool to create animated and interactive content very easily. We think it will be very interesting for you to take in consideration Genially in your next articles.
Kind regards

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Nice article! especially liked the used of chromecast for wireless presentation!

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Don’t forget Glisser. We’re not an ‘alternative’ per se, but we work with all of the above solutions to live-share slides, and add interactive elements including voting, Q&A, a Twitter feed, etc.

Check out http://www.glisser.com and our Capterra reviews.

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