Learn about these different tools, as well as why you might want to choose one over the other.
Let's start with PowerPoint. every year, PowerPoint's been around since 1987 I have to admit, I used to hate it. they weren't as smooth as they were in my favorite program, Keynote. But in the last few years, PowerPoint has really stepped their game up. They introduced a whole bunch of new things like morph, which I use all the time, and they introduced features like zoom and support for 3D models. And the biggest win for PowerPoint is that it works for both Mac and PC platforms. So what doesn't PowerPoint do well? Well, it's still a little bit clunky, quite honestly. hunting for that feature I'm looking for. And for Mac users like me, the Mac version of PowerPoint is a little bit limited versus the PC version of PowerPoint. Removing image backgrounds, something I need to do often, is almost impossible to do well. Now, collaboration features are there but it's still not the best in the world. Now, there's a few other nits but I can honestly say right now that I'm pretty happy with PowerPoint. All right, so to recap, PowerPoint is best for business people, just about everybody, and just about everything. It's well-rounded and yeah, thumbs up from me. All right, let's move on to Keynote. Released in 2003, Keynote started as a program made just for Steve Jobs to present his ideas at Macworld. Now what does Keynote do well? Well, it makes my most mundane slides look amazing and polished and everything is super-easy to do. Animations are smooth and things are laid out logically and everything's pretty much easy to find. It handles video, vector files, and complex animations with ease and is generally pretty bulletproof. And it works well in the Apple ecosystem, works on iPhones and iPads too, and you can even use your iPhone as a remote to control your presentations. Now, removing backgrounds from images is super-easy in Keynote and that's one of my favorite features. Now, what does Keynote not do well? Well, the biggest issue I'd say is that it's Mac-only. And that's not a huge issue for a Mac user like me but I can't share files with somebody on a PC unless I convert it to a PowerPoint file and most clients want their decks in PowerPoint, not Keynote. Collaboration features are getting better but it's still a little bit clunky. Other than that, I still love, love Keynote. All right, so what is it best for? Professional presentation designers, hands down. And graphic designers. And when you want your deck to look the best I would always go to Keynote. Lastly, let's move on to Google Slides. Slides is the newcomer, officially coming to us in 2012. Now, it's web-based and it makes sharing things super-easy. All right, so what does it do well? Well, it makes sharing and presenting decks anywhere a breeze, like I just said. Another great thing that you can do is import an existing PowerPoint deck and edit it right within Slides. And it plays really well with the rest Since it's web-based, both Mac and PC users can use it on any browser. So what can't it do well? It's not great for animations and it's not best when you're trying to make fine, little adjustments. It can be super-glitchy. I've been using it for years and I can't still figure out what my slides are jumping around when I'm trying to make these little, crucial adjustments. I literally curse out loud every time I use Google Slides. Every time. Since it's web-based, your font choices are limited as well. But you know what? Slides isn't trying to be PowerPoint or Keynote. It stays in its lane and it does what it does pretty well. So what is it best for? Well, it's best for businesses and it's best for collaboration and it's best for when it doesn't have to look the best. Now, this is my high-level overview of the strengths and weaknesses of these programs. Your mileage may vary. But if you're using just PowerPoint or just Keynote, give one of these other programs a shot. It will make you a more rounded designer and you'll be adding another weapon to your arsenal. Well, that's it for this week but join me next week for Presentation Tips Weekly.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
- Building standout layouts with PowerPoint Designer
- Creating engaging animations in PowerPoint and Keynote
- Using the hyperlinking feature in PowerPoint
- Using 3D models in PowerPoint
- Working with logos
- Choosing the best stock photos for your presentations