Best Free Alternatives to PowerPoint in 2020
Digital presentations are an essential part of today’s learning and working. Unfortunately, one of the best cross-platform apps for presentations, PowerPoint, is rather expensive. If you know that you don’t need hundreds of its features, take a look at less complex free solutions. Read on, and you will find the best apps for making sleek presentations on a zero budget.
1. Prezi – Stylish Online Toolbox
If you are accustomed to the traditional PowerPoint workflow, Prezi will look somewhat weird to you at first. This web app doesn’t let you create slides. Instead, you can pour your thoughts onto a large blank canvas. Every block that you create has a position so that you can seamlessly switch from one to another. Your viewers will feel like flying around the canvas, which feels incredibly entertaining.
Although the whole process looks quite complicated from the side, you will see how simple it is. Everything works similarly to PowerPoint, but you have to add animated transitions between the parts of the canvas. You will learn how to use it a couple of minutes if you have at least minimal PowerPoints experience.
On the other hand, Prezi is not very useful for the visualization of complex data that requires strict formatting. If your work with finance or other important corporate data, you’d better read further. If you look for a more creative and informal way to present information, Prezi might be the best choice.
2. Canva – Unique Semi-automatic Designs
Similarly to Prezi, Canva lets you unleash your creativity online, but it offers even more than that. The core workflow of the app is inspired by the PowerPoint interface, so it’s easy to navigate and edit slides. Due to the integrated database of vector arts, shapes, and over 1 million stock images, you can come up with unique designs for nearly any purpose. Standard tools, such as tables, diagrams, and lists, are also available.
Another great feature of Canva is the library of templates. There are sleek ready-made designs for any purpose. It means that you can just select the template, type your text, change the color theme of elements, insert images, and go. That’s perhaps the easiest way to make good-looking presentations. Moreover, you can access the app online from any computer and share access to documents with your teammates. Still, it’s impossible to collaborate simultaneously.
The big flaw of both Canva and Prezi is the absence of PPTX format support. It means that you can’t import PowerPoint documents to the apps as well as export docs to edit in other apps. In Canva, you can only export ready-made slides to common image formats, including PNG and JPEG, which looks like a way out.
3. Libre Office – A Freeware PowerPoint
LibreOffice suite is a full-fledged alternative to Microsoft Office and one of its biggest rivals. Almost all features of the bundle are a mirror reflexion of PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. The only disadvantage of the Libre Office’s PowerPoint implementation is that you can’t collaborate on documents with other users online. It doesn’t have a proprietary cloud solution, either. Fortunately, collaboration is pretty useless in most cases, and it’s easy to backup your documents in a free Google Drive account.
What makes it better than PowerPoint aside from the price, is export features. You can edit not only PPTX but also Keynote documents from MacOS computers. Moreover, the library of fonts is not limited to proprietary solutions so that you can expand it. The template library is very similar to what PowerPoint offers, but the looks provided are mostly different. All in all, it’s a high-quality replication of Microsoft Office with a few differences and completely free.
4. Google Slides – Free Cross-platform Tool
Google Slides is provided as a part of the Google Suite. Similarly to Libre Office, it’s a free alternative for Microsoft Office. It offers a bit fewer features than both apps, but has all the essentials. You can insert video, audio, graphs, diagrams, and add transitions or internal animation to slides. However, when it comes to templates, the choice is quite limited and plain. You can solve the problem by adding freeware templates from the web or creating them using your own concepts.
You’d expect Google to provide collaboration tools in its office suite, and they really do that. It’s currently the best online system for the simultaneous editing of documents. You can easily share access to files using Gmail addresses of users, chat while working, and track actions of every user chronologically.
As for the downsides, you can face loading delays is your slides include media files. Besides, exporting to PowerPoint leaves much t be desired. Converted presentations usually have messed formatting, fonts, and styles, so don’t forget to fix them before performing.
5. WPS Office Free – Offline PP Substitute
WPS Office is based on the same idea as Libre Office, but it doesn’t have any export/import issues. You can seamlessly create and edit PPTX documents and open them on any computer or mobile device, using PowerPoint or any other compatible piece of software. The app has nearly the same interface and workflow as PP and offers the same creative opportunities. There are hundreds of transitions, animations, visual effects, and sharp templates. The only disadvantage of the service is the ads. You can switch them off by purchasing the paid subscription, but they’re actually not too annoying.
As you can see, free software can be more than enough for basic demonstration tasks. Independently from your choice, the best tool is creative thinking. Take a look at examples of successful presentations. They will give you an idea of what a professional demo should look like. What apps do you use to make your regular presentations? Did you find them on our list? Join the discussion in the comments and share the article with your friends and subscribers.