Which one should you use?

The slideshow is essential for presenting anything in an immersive way. Regardless of your profession, you may need to use slideshows for presentations. PowerPoint and Slides are the two most popular slideshow maker software.

Although some people still prefer PowerPoint, modern individuals are somewhat polarized towards Slides as there is an increase in demand for cloud-based applications. This article will help you understand which slideshow maker is right for you by comparing the essential features of these two apps.

What is Microsoft Powerpoint?

PowerPoint is a slide show maker from Microsoft. The tech giant originally released this software in 1990. PowerPoint was primarily a Windows-based tool. However, Microsoft launched the web version of PowerPoint 2013 in 2014 after seeing a significant increase from its cloud-based competitor, Google Slides.

The tool is available as a standalone app for various devices like Windows, iOS, Android, etc. Over 500 million people use PowerPoint, producing 300 million presentations every day.

What is Google Slides?

This is a free slideshow maker that comes with Google Workspace. Slides was the first cloud-based presentation builder, and for this reason, it has gained immense popularity since 2006. You can experience teamwork effortlessly on a single presentation while Google stands by. focuses on better collaboration in the workplace with Slides.

Slides remains a truly cloud-based application that runs on web browsers. However, if you use it in the Chrome browser, you can enable offline editing. You will also find the tool for your Android or iOS devices.

Comparison settings

From creating vector art to online advertising videos, slides and PowerPoint have a vivid use depending on the creativity level of users. In the following sections, you’ll see how Slides and PowerPoint fit into the core functionality:

1. Cost of use

Illustration of the cost of deployment

PowerPoint comes with a Microsoft 365 subscription, which costs $ 69.99 per year or $ 6.99 per month for one person. The other benefits are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Outlook, 1TB OneDrive storage, etc. You can try PowerPoint free for 30 days.

On the contrary, Google Slides is a free tool. Whether you use it for personal or business purposes, there are no restrictions. All you need is a Google account and a compatible web browser on a PC or the smartphone app for mobile. The free user license would be Slides’ most important value proposition.

2. Ease of access

An illustration of PC and Mobile for accessibility

PowerPoint offers two versions, the desktop and the web. However, the web version comes with minimal functionality compared to the desktop version. Therefore, most of the users rely on the desktop version for complex and professional presentations.

But that requires you to stick to one device. If you need to open your slideshows from another device, you need to use a flash drive or upload the PPT file to OneDrive cloud storage.

The Google Slides presentation is highly portable. When you change your device, all you need to do is sign in to your Google Account, where the slideshow is available. Google Drive will sync your files to the new device, and you can easily edit or present your slideshows.

3. Online and offline use

An image showing wifi online and offline

PowerPoint is a powerful slideshow maker when using standalone software on a PC. The web version of PowerPoint lacks many features, such as the inability to open large files (> 2 GB) or PowerPoint add-ins.

Standalone PowerPoint also requires a better PC setup for smooth performance. Microsoft suggests at least 1.6 GHz of processing power, 4 GB of RAM, and 4 GB of free hard drive space to run the tool.

Google Slides, however, doesn’t require a powerful PC as it runs on the Chrome browser. You will need a strong internet connection to create high quality presentations. You can set up offline editing and presentation, but this is only possible on Chrome browsers.

4. Remote collaboration

Collaborative PowerPoint work is not as interactive as Google Slides. This is because you have to prepare a lot before your team can start a collaboration. These preparations include uploading a copy to OneDrive, sharing links via email, setting up SharePoint sites, and more.

The PC version requires all team members to have PowerPoint 2010 or later versions for collaborative work. You can use PowerPoint online, but you might not get as many features as in the PC version.

Slides became popular in no time thanks to its instant collaboration feature. Everyone on your team can work on the same file while sharing comments and feedback. Google Drive automatically saves all the different versions, and restoring a previous version is a walk in the park.

5. Availability of free models

PowerPoint offers you a large library of editable templates. You will certainly find something in the template library that matches the theme of your presentation. These models are the value-added benefits of a Microsoft 365 subscription.

The slides also have free templates, but the variety is not as robust as PowerPoint. You will only find basic models that you can modify to meet your needs.

6. Special effects and animations

PowerPoint PC Edition offers thousands of effects, 3D content, animations and transitions. Therefore, designers and creative professionals rely on PowerPoint for high-quality presentations with advanced graphics.

The slides provide the basics and essentials, transitions, and animations that will help you give a professional presentation. If you are someone who craves premium content then you will find Slides limited in terms of creative content.

7. Image editing and processing

PowerPoint is a comprehensive image editing and processing tool. In fact, you will find that most people use PowerPoint to edit pictures quickly instead of investing time in PhotoShop. It offers advanced features like background removal, image compression, creation of SmartArt graphics, etc.

The slides also come with basic image editing features, but these are not enough for creating high-end slideshows. Its image editing features are limited to resizing, rotating, adjusting colors, adding transparency, etc.

8. Backup, auto-save and storage

Illustration of saving files and auto-saving or retrieving

PowerPoint editions prior to version 2016 require that you record your slideshows manually. However, the 2016 and later editions come with auto-save and auto-recovery features. The PC software will save the file to a local drive, unless you manually set the default location to OneDrive.

Slides automatically saves any changes you make when creating a slideshow. It also stores a version history of your slideshows in case you need to grab a specific version. It always saves slideshows to your Google Drive account.

Be flexible with your tech stack

You might not want to impose a set of tools on yourself or your team members for everything you do, be it creating and presenting slideshows. Be flexible with these apps, as you might find a client who would only accept PowerPoint presentations on slides or vice versa.

Therefore, be prepared to improvise when it comes to presenting something to an audience. Focus on simple graphics, easy graphics, and less writing to grab the attention of the crowd.


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