Best free presentation software and alternative to PowerPoint of 2023

Make your slides without a fee

The best free presentation software

The best free presentation software provides a simple way to create attention-grabbing presentations as an alternative to subscribing to Microsoft PowerPoint.

While PowerPoint (opens in new tab) is the market leader when it comes to presentation software, some people may be unwilling to subscribe to a Microsoft 365 subscription, especially if they don't expect to need to use it very often.

However, there are plenty of great alternatives available for free that you can use. While these won't have the same level of features as PowerPoint, they still offer a very competent platform to design the presentation you need.

Choosing the best free presentation software can be time consuming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. To help, let’s take a look at five of the best free presentation software options available today.

To make your presentation really shine, consider grabbing a free photo editor too, so your pictures look perfect before you add them to your slides.

Google Apps

Google Workspace : Collaboration + productivity apps (opens in new tab) There are many different presentation software packages but Google Workspace formerly known as G Suite remains the original cloud office software and one of the best business office suites, offering a huge range of features and functionality that rivals can't match, especially when it comes to presentation software. Try it free for 14 days (opens in new tab) .

Best free presentation software and alternative to PowerPoint of 2023 in full

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Prezi turns the traditional approach to presentations on its head. Instead of creating slide after slide, this presentation software gives you a single giant canvas. You can add blocks of text or images, or even create miniature slides. During your presentation, you can seamlessly fly around the canvas and zoom in to look at individual chunks of content.

For how complex Prezi seems, it’s impressively simple to use the platform. The only major divergence from Microsoft PowerPoint is that you need to add animated paths from one part of the canvas to another. The tools for this are fairly straightforward, especially if you’ve ever used an animation or video editing software.

Of course, this type of presentation structure isn’t always ideal. Prezi makes it hard to visualize structured data like financials, which can make it difficult to use in business applications. Some viewers also might not appreciate the fly-around animation style that’s inherent to the presentation software.

Read our full Prezi review .

Canva is perfect for making speedy presentations right in your web browser. This software offers a handful of free layouts to help you get your slideshow started, and it’s easy to customize the templates to fit your needs. There isn’t a huge variety of content elements to add to your presentation, but Canva makes up for this with a searchable library of more than 1 million images you can use.

Your Canva presentations live online, which makes it extremely easy to collaborate. You can invite colleagues to edit your slideshow (although simultaneous editing is not supported) or seamlessly share your finished presentation. However, beware that Canva can’t import presentations from Microsoft Powerpoint or export finished work to a Powerpoint-editable format.

Read our full Canva review .

3. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free alternative to Microsoft Office, and it includes a Powerpoint equivalent called Impress with nearly all of the same functionality. The only big difference you’ll find between the two slideshow creation tools is the LibreOffice lacks some modern features like built-in collaboration and integration with Microsoft OneDrive.

However, Impress does have a few advantages of its own. The software can import files from Keynote, the default presentation software on Mac computers. Plus, there are hundreds of free templates that you can download for free. Even better, there’s no limit on what fonts you can use with Impress, so it’s easy to change the look of your presentation from what Powerpoint typically allows.

On the whole, LibreOffice Impress is about as close as it gets to simply replicating Microsoft Powerpoint for free.

Read our full LibreOffice review .

4. Google Slides

Google Slides is part of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), and it does a nice job of matching a number of PowerPoint’s capabilities. This free presentation software supports embedding videos, creating diagrams, and adding animations to your slides. While the selection of templates is somewhat limited, you can easily import hundreds of additional templates for free or create your own.

Even better, Google Slides supports the collaboration tools (opens in new tab) users have come to expect from Google. Multiple people can work on a slideshow simultaneously, and there’s a built-in group chat so you can keep track of what everyone is doing. It’s also nice that you can play your presentation in presenter mode, which allows you to preview how it will look to your audience and rehearse timing.

The only downside to Google Slides is that bloated slideshows can experience some loading delays. Also beware that while you can move between Slides and Powerpoint, the conversion often messes with the layout of your slides.

Read our full Google Slides review .

5. WPS Office Free

WPS Office Free is a Microsoft Office look-alike that fully support PowerPoint files without any layout issues during import. The WPS Presentation tool has all of the same capabilities of PowerPoint, including tons of animations, slide transitions, content effects, and video embedding. The selection of included presentation templates is also very impressive for a free software.

One of the best things about this presentation software is that the user interface will feel incredibly familiar if you’re coming from Microsoft. All of the tools are displayed in a top ribbon, with your slides shown on the left side of the screen for easy navigation. It’s simple to display your presentation right from WPS Presentation, which means there’s no unexpected troubleshooting when it’s time to show off your work.

There’s not much to dislike about WPS Presentation. However, keep in mind that the software is supported by ads. Some users find the ads annoying, but they’re not overly in the way.

Read our full WPS Office Free review .

How we tested the best free presentation software

To test for the best free presentation software we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a download or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

See how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar .  

Which alternative to PowerPoint is best for you?

When deciding which alternative to PowerPoint to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, free and budget software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require.

We've also featured the best free office software .

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Michael Graw is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. His interests span a wide range from business technology to finance to creative media, with a focus on new technology and emerging trends. Michael's work has been published in TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Business Insider, Fast Company, Salon, and Harvard Business Review. 

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4 Powerful Tools to Improve Your Presentation

Your presentation is your value-add. It is how you are representing yourself and your ideas to the world. There’s no escaping the effort required to create a great presentation. There’s no shortcut (learning the ins and outs of structuring and writing a McKinsey-style presentation can help).

But there are tools that can help.  That can make the process of creating great content easier, more efficient. That can assist you in being the very best you can be.

Here are 4 enterprise-grade presentation tools to assist you with the process of creating a great presentation, so you can focus on the content.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

think-cell belongs to a family of programs called PowerPoint add-ins. PowerPoint add-ins are supplemental programs that add custom commands or custom features to PowerPoint

think-cell is a high-end add-in that focuses on helping create great looking charts and graphs. The company was founded by alumnus of McKinsey and the add-in has been designed from the ground up to help simplify and automate many of the tedious aspects of slide production. Today think-cell is a go-to tool within top consultancies like McKinsey, BCG and Bain and the company has nearly 500,000 users.

You can think of think-cell as a tool to help eliminate some of the complexity and tedium of creating great looking charts in PowerPoint. Making PowerPoint do what you want it to can become complicated once you start trying to create more complex charts and graphs. think-cell helps automate much of the tedium.

How It Works

think-cell offers a wide array of services, though most center around graphing and charting.

think-cell excels at automating the creation of specific graph types that are difficult or time consuming to create normally within Excel or PowerPoint. Graph types such as Waterfalls, Gantts, and Mekkos can be made in minutes. Anyone with a lot of data-heavy visuals will treasure its time-saving properties. A great tool for pitch decks or sales presentations.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

All business charts are created within PowerPoint, using the PowerPoint charting engine. You are not creating images which cannot be edited later. Instead, think-cell charts are PowerPoint charts, and you can leverage all the advantages of creating native PowerPoint charts, such as linking data directly to Excel documents.

One of the real strengths of think-cell is how it automatically deals with labels, visual annotations, and growth calculations – all of which can be difficult to manage normally within PowerPoint. Users only type in their text, and the tool sizes, stylizes, and positions it automatically.

Ultimately though, it is seeing it in action which brings the full power of think-cell to life. Have a look at this video:

Outside of graphing features, the agenda tool effortlessly creates a “table of contents” slide that automatically reflects its location within the slideshow, as well as outlines the slideshow as a whole.

It’s also worth mentioned that think-cell can convert graphs from Microsoft Visio or Microsoft Project to PowerPoint. Moreover, users without think-cell can still edit and modify the values in think-cell charts.

The beauty of think-cell is that it’s a time-saver. Even PowerPoint whizzes (especially?) will admit it makes things easier. If you make a lot of data-driven charts, think-cell is a godsend.

think-cell is not cheap. They purposefully are targeting the corporate market, so you can’t even get a single license – a minimum of 5 is the smallest order size, and that will cost 198 euros per license per year.

If you have a team that spends a lot of time working in PowerPoint, it will be money well spent.

You can try think-cell for free here .

Office Timeline

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Office Timeline is a PowerPoint add-in that specializes in creating timeline and project schedule charts. And they have a free version!

What It Does

Office Timeline focuses on creating Gantt and timeline charts.

Perhaps the strongest advantage Timeline has, aside from its price, is the smooth and professional visuals of its graphs. They certainly don’t look like they came from a free downloadable add-on.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Office Timeline is less about problem solving, and more about shortcuts.

The Timeline Wizard lets you make timelines with ease, in the same fashion as think-cell. Simply plug in the variables, and the add-on does the rest: outlining key milestones, calculating task durations, tracking progress, and calculating percentages of completion. These automatic functions make it a great tool for project managers and other timetable keepers.

Admittedly, Office Timeline is a simple tool and can’t compete with the complexity and richness of MS Project. But that’s part of its appeal. Most timeline projects aren’t involved enough to use a fraction of MS Project’s capabilities; something smaller like Office Timeline is more suited for the average timeline.

Office Timeline does what it says on the tin – it creates timelines. And it works great. True to its pledge, it lets users easily create impressive-looking timelines that go a long way towards organizing tasks and keeping projects on schedule.

It is, however, limited in what it can do. For more advanced features you will have to upgrade to the Plus Edition, which costs $49 for Individual License and $99 for the Business Pack. With the Plus Edition you receive additional templates, milestone and task shapes, flexibility in how you display dates and other enhancements.

Download the free version here .

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

As corporations aim to reduce their office footprints and satisfy employee needs to work when they want and from where they want, the role of knowledge management has intensified. This holds true for employees that create and use presentations as finding the right slide at the right time can provide a huge boost to productivity.

TeamSlide is a slide management solution with a PowerPoint plug-in that enables incredibly easy access to your library of slides. With TeamSlide your organization can share and find slides from within PowerPoint, helping improve collaboration without disrupting your workflows.

Over time, as presentations are built, refined, and rewritten, across organizations, critical slides take on a life of their own. They become living and breathing creatures that evolve over time. They get separated from each other, modified to meet specific requirements and even the templates change over time. Employees need to be able to find the specific slide that meets their requirements and reflects the latest available firm-wide knowledge.

Corporations increasingly need to ensure that their employees are sharing a consistent message when it comes to content and brand. As a result, TeamSlide has developed a slide management solution to support collaboration.

TeamSlide ensures that everyone, regardless of role or department, can quickly access presentation slides without rummaging through archives, flipping through old decks, or emailing requests. It also safeguards against the usage of out-of-date slides, inconsistency in visual style, or last-ditch attempts to hastily recreate slides.

TeamSlide (along with the necessary plug-in) allows you to find and share slides without ever leaving PowerPoint. The TeamSlide pane opens up on the right side of the PowerPoint window, where you can conduct Google-like image searches without losing access to your current presentation. The search reveals preview images of all the matching slides, and inserting a slide into your presentation is as simple as clicking the preview.

Uploading and sharing slides is just as simple – simply right-click any slide for the options. This feature isn’t limited to slides, either; graphics, videos, icons, charts, etc. can all be shared through PowerPoint.

In the background, the TeamSlide server, which can sit in the cloud or on your servers, can be managed through an easy web-browser interface. You can set up libraries and manage user access rights. It has a host of features that help you quickly bring content online, allow you to set the color scheme to match your branding, and enable integration with your content and security systems. Most important, TeamSlide’s functionality allows it work within your knowledge management workflows.

If you work with presentations on a regular basis, TeamSlide can increase productivity and improve output quality.

For teams that work with presentations on a regular basis, a slide management solution can help increase productivity and improve output quality. With better access to your PowerPoint content you may be able to sell more effectively, align branding across your firm, and improve knowledge capture. TeamSlide is a premier slide management offering and may be a good fit for your organization.

TeamSlide costs $12.50 per person per monthly.

Poll Everywhere

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Poll Everywhere is not a PowerPoint plugin but is, instead, a helpful app used for both compiling data before the presentation, and directly engaging the audience during it.

Poll Everywhere is not strictly a presentation tool. Its main function is as a polling app – users can poll large numbers of people (how large depends on the payment plan) and receive feedback in real time. The results are then graphed automatically.

For live business presentations which are presented to large groups, this polling functionality can add a lot to your presentation.

Poll Everywhere allows a presenter to ask their audience a question, collect answers in real-time and graphically show the results of their question in PowerPoint.

The audience literally watches their responses get compiled in real time.

Poll Everywhere collects poll answers in three ways:

You can ask open-ended or multiple-choice questions. You can engage people all over the world, or in the same room. You can customize the style of the graphs.

The benefits to presentations, though, are most interesting. You can, for instance, ask your audience to vote on an issue, even writing-in new choices ‘on-the-fly’. Think of moderating a brainstorming session, where you write in everyone’s ideas and put the issue to a vote, with the entire process displayed cleanly in PowerPoint in real time, culminating in a picture-perfect graph.

For polling alone, there are plenty of other data-collecting tools, including the industry leader Survey Monkey. The reason we are talking about Poll Everywhere instead is because this is about presentation tools, and Poll Everywhere integrates better into PowerPoint. (Survey Monkey only offers PowerPoint exports with a professional plan.)

All you need is the PollEv Presenter add-on, and you can directly integrate your graphs into PowerPoint, even with the free account.

While not applicable to every presentation, Poll Everywhere is nonetheless a powerful tool when the circumstances warrant it. Keeping the audience interested in what you have to say is one of the greatest challenges of a presentation – live polling can be particularly effective.

The free version is somewhat restrictive, as it is limited to 25 responses. Poll Everywhere runs on a tiered, monthly pricing system depending on the number of responses.

Try Poll Everywhere for free here .

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4 Tools Everyone in The PowerPoint Presentation Industry Should Use

It’s only natural to be on a lookout for an easier and faster way to work in the present digital world.

There is always someone who is developing a new tool or app, only because it's now possible for anyone to do that!

When it comes to PowerPoint presentations, there is a new challenge every day. Seeking out-of-the-box tools to find a solution to the problem has become as important as creating the content for the presentation itself. As and when the features of PowerPoint are updated, there are always tools that crop up to further ease the use of a feature.

Can you still remember what your first PowerPoint presentation looked like, or what format it was?

If you asked me, I’d have to think hard.

I never even imagined that it was possible to design on a PowerPoint.

If I had to give a presentation in college, I usually picked the default template and placed my text where ever I wish them to be. It never occurred to me about how my presentation would look to a panel of reviewers or my classmates as long as I had all the right stuff in it.

Chillibreeze opened up a whole new world for me.

Whenever I learned something new about PowerPoint I’d be like “really? Is that possible?”

Using add-in tools to PowerPoint has made work for our PowerPoint designers so much easier and faster.

We have been using ShapeChef for quite some time now, and it has proved to be one of the best tools we have used to date.

ShapeChef is a library tool for icons where you can upload and store all your icons in one place. It can be used with Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 (Including Office 365) for Windows.

You can store all the icons and shapes that you use for your presentation in ShapeChef and access them easily without any hassle.

Download the app and install it to make use of the app. Store all your icons in a folder and upload them in ShapeChef.

Now they are readily available for your use on the sidebar.

Make sure that you label icons and shapes correctly so that you can look them up through the search tab.


Ever since our Presentation Services team started using this tool, it has made us so much more productive. We are faster and better and our customers’ feedback stands testimonial to this.

PowerPoint icons are used extensively for delivering a presentation these days . There is no doubt they are an effective visual form of communication. Marketers love using them to cut their story short.

SlideProof works well with other add-ins and requires minimum system resources.

This tool checks for errors on your slides provide a library where you can store and share templates, shapes, and slides with your team. It also has options to share your presentation via email directly.

The predominant feature of SlideProof is the ‘ Check ’.

Check fixes errors like language, double spacings, an inconsistency of font sizes in a slide, missing punctuations, Splitting and merging of textboxes and tables, and alignment of shapes and much more.

The SlideProof tool has proved to be very useful for the team in Chillibreeze. It saves a lot of time in the quality check of each presentation deck  before we send it back to our customers.

It takes just 5 mins to fix the alignment, spacings, and consistency in all slides rather than manually checking which takes 30 mins to an hour.

There is no escaping from charts even in a presentation.

Your audience likes to see numbers accompanied by charts.

Read more about how to use the new chart types in Office 2016

Default PowerPoint does provide different options for charts but it also proved to be limiting in terms of designs and forms for some of our customers.

Think-cell offers you simple and easy to design charts with the right features like Waterfall, Gantt, Marimekko and Agenda. These functions are available right at the PowerPoint object.

ThinkCell improves your PowerPoint work and such enhances slide creation efficiency and quality.

Out team of PwerPpint graphic designers have been using Thinkcell for a few years now, and it has brought great result and satisfaction to our customers. In fact, one of the first questions prospective customers ask us is “do you guys know to use ThinkCell?”.

When you are familiar with charts, it becomes very easy to use Thinkcell.

Install think-cell and you can access it from the insert tab ribbon in your PowerPoint.


The user guide attached to the tool is extensive and easy to follow. Make sure you take a look before actually starting with ThinkCell.

ThinkCell also offers other essential elements such as a table of content, agenda, and shapes.


Good news to all avid PowerPoint users!

Microsoft has made it possible to add tools into your PowerPoint available in Microsoft 2016 (Including Office 365) for Windows.

All you have to do is go to insert tab. Go to ‘My Add-ins’ tab (see image below).

Microsoft Add-Ins tab

Go to ‘Find more add-ins at the Office Store’ which will be at the bottom of the pop-up.

Shutterstock is now accessible directly from your PowerPoint.

Look up Shutterstock on the search tab click on ‘add’. It will paper on the right side of your PowerPoint.

Just click on the app, and you can search for photographs you want to use for your presentation.

ShutterStock Ribbon

You don’t have to go to your browser anymore to get a Shutterstock photo.

Resource:  10 Easy Tips to Choose the Right Images for Presentations

Use add-in tools to save time in reworking your slides

These are but some of the tools that make our lives easier. They are simple to incorporate and easy to use in our day to day work.

Make sure you pick the best tool that suits your need.

We, at Chillibreeze, have tried and tested out a few tools but I felt that these are the most helpful ones worth mentioning and sharing.

If you already have a subscription with add-ins like Shutterstock or other free stock photos, make sure to make them easily accessible when you are working on your presentation, so you do not have to keep flipping your screen from time to time.

Are there any other PowerPoint tools that consultants use that you would like to share with us here?

Leave us a comment below.

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February 6, 2020 at 6:19 pm

You could also consider IDMB PowerPoint Supercharger which installs to your desktop. It was designed by an ex big 4 consultant and delivers dozens of cool tools to speed up your work. (and perhaps reduce those all-nighters?)


It can automatically clean and tidy your presentation, sort out capitalisation, add TOCs, standardise formating of tables, pictures, kickers and much more.

You can also get a free 30 day trial


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Awesome Presentations

The 6 Best Free PowerPoint Alternatives in 2023

Image of Thomas Dawson

Here we provide a comprehensive rundown of the best free PowerPoint alternatives out there, weighing up their pros and cons, and asking the questions: Is there one presentation tool to rule them all? Is there a free online version of PowerPoint?

What makes good presentation software?

Slide presentations are widely used by academics, team leads, CEOs, and everyone in between to instruct, educate, and inform others. We have all probably sat and listened to someone read through their slides - and often we may have been bored enough to browse social media or reply to a few messages. 

But when looking at good alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint, the software most widely associated with presentations, we are looking for things that do things PowerPoint simply can’t. Perhaps designing themes is easier. Maybe your audience can vote on your slides or submit questions in real-time. All of these unique elements can make one software better than all others. 

What is the best alternative to PowerPoint?

Google slides,

Mentimeter is the alternative to PowerPoint that does all the usual presentation/slide deck work you might expect from a presentation tool and more. A presentation tool, a survey application, and an audience engagement platform. All of this, plus a great design makes creating beautiful slides quick and easy. 

The main benefit of using Mentimeter is connecting with any group or audience and receiving immediate feedback; no more waiting for someone to raise their hand or for someone to volunteer an opinion. Everyone can use their phones to take part and every presenter, team lead, or educator can quickly gather insights from everyone in the room. 

If Google Slides has inherited the Web 1.0 legacy of PowerPoint, it is Mentimeter that is doing something new and pioneering the presentation tool of Web 2.0, where the speaker is no longer the sole focus and emphasis is instead placed on audience participation. To help you get started we even have a series of free professionally designed presentation templates .

Combining easy-to-use and attractive design, a familiar and user-friendly interface, and the added “wow” factor of audience engagement; Mentimeter is the choice for presenters who want to go the extra mile and create the presentations of tomorrow, today. Additionally, Mentimeter is entirely cloud-based so no need to download any apps or software.

Mentimeter features a variety of plans including a free tier that lets all new users get started in a matter of minutes. Even better, Menti offers a PowerPoint integration so you can spruce up all those old and trustworthy PowerPoint presentations of yours!

Google Slides is the one-size-fits-all inheritor of the PowerPoint mantle. If you have used PowerPoint, you’ll already be pretty familiar with Google Slides. There’s nothing fancy, nothing unexpected. It’s just a reliable web-based presentation platform that’s greatest strength lies in the familiarity of its capabilities and the layout of the interface.

The accessibility of a web-based tool (it is free) and Slides’ collaboration capabilities mean that it is a very popular choice for a variety of users. Some drawbacks include that Google Slides is designed to work like traditional presentation slide decks, which give great support for speakers, but give little consideration to the audience and their voice. 

Slides also suffer from the old PowerPoint problem of a daunting blank canvas and a huge array of design options that can be overwhelming for those of us that don’t have a graphic design degree.

As with Google Docs, Drive, and Sheets, Google Slides is of course free for everyone that signs up for a Google account. 

Keynote is the presentation tool that comes preloaded on Apple products such as iMacs and Macbooks. Similar to Google Slides, Keynote provides a pretty familiar interface and set of capabilities that are accessible to anyone familiar with PowerPoint. The aesthetically pleasing, more minimalist user interface is nice to look at, but the stripped-back design makes for a slightly less user-friendly experience. Functions are not as clearly labeled as some of Keynote’s competitors.

The most obvious downside to Keynote is that it is not accessible to everyone, only Apple users, and not being web-based means that using it across devices and in collaboration with others is a challenge. As with Slides, Keynote is built for one-directional communication that allows little room for structured audience interaction.

Apple users pay enough for their tech, so the silicon valley giants have been good enough to kick in their presentation builder for free.

Prezi, like Google Slides, is a web-based presentation tool which means it retains an element of accessibility that is lost with Keynote. Prezi’s great strength is animation. It is not a platform for the creatively faint-hearted. But, if you have the vision and the skills, it is possible to produce visually stunning presentations that will “wow” your audience much more than a standard PowerPoint presentation. 

In the world of presentations delivered through video conferencing platforms, Prezi is an interesting option for creating visually engaging presentations. It also has a function for presenting content laid over the presenter’s video feed, which is pretty innovative.

The downside with Prezi is the need for a high degree of technical skill to create a very good set of slides. Being web-based allows for collaboration, but attempting to do this with less technically capable colleagues can be tricky due to the complexity of creating visuals from scratch. Prezi also does not allow for audience contributions or engagement.

Prezi has three payment tiers and their free version offers a portion of its complete list of features. 

If it’s pre-designed templates you’re looking for, Canva is the presentation tool for you. Most presentation tools, including PowerPoint, now offer templates and design shortcuts to get you started with a good-looking set of slides. Canva takes this feature to the next level thanks to designed templates for seemingly every purpose and theme. This should be a contender for presenters who have the expertise or the time to design their ideal slide deck.

Sometimes the problem with the variety and range provided by Canva is that you can scroll endlessly in search of the perfect template, which sometimes limits how much this convenience can be considered a time-saver. Also, some of the templates are not freely available . . and of course, you can guarantee that they want the ones that you have to pay for.

Canva, like some of the other tools listed here, offers a free tier for users. This allows anyone to get a taste of what Canva has to offer without the full bells and whistles experience. 

If a good presentation is all about how it looks, is a lesser-known presentation platform that may be worth exploring. With sleek and modern-looking templates and automatic formatting, this is the tool for creating slides that convey a sense of professionalism while not being boring. Again, having an eye for these things and some sense of what you want it to look like is helpful, but it is that makes the process as smooth and easy as possible.

Again, like many others, Beautiful a.i only facilitates one-way communication and structured audience interaction, which is the presenter's responsibility, rather than being built into the platform's design. works on a “freemium” model, where you can access limited functionality for free, but to get the most out of the tool, you need to pay a subscription.

Google Slides vs PowerPoint

The vast majority of users will have used and experimented with both of these tools and will be debating which best meets their needs. The thing is, they are one and the same. Those who love Google’s suite of tools will naturally drift towards GS, while those loyal to Microsoft will stick with PowerPoint. 

When it comes to which one is better, we think we should look at one of the alternatives listed above. In this cluttered field of contenders, there is one tool that offers a unique experience. Mentimeter provides a litany of benefits to both the presenter and the audience. Presenters can get instant feedback and establish a connection from the very first slide. 

Audience members and voters can quickly and easily take part in a meeting or class without the need to raise a hand or speak over everyone else. Likewise, gathering actionable insights or improving efficiency and effectiveness has never been easier. 

The familiarity of the user interface, ease of collaboration, level of design skill required, whether you want to engage your audience, and of course cost are all factors worth considering when making your choice. But finding the option that strikes a pleasing balance between all these qualities is probably the ultimate aim.

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NXPowerLite Desktop - $50

The NXPowerLite Desktop software allows you to compress your PowerPoint presentation and other files like images and PDFs. If you have to regularly share presentation files, the plugin can make your shared files much smaller. The plugin attacks file bloat by eliminating excess baggage. It converts graphics into optimized versions that take up less space. When the tool is done, you are left with a smaller file that has the same look and feel as the original.

NXPowerLite Desktop

The latest presentation apps have made it easier than ever to format slides and create professional-looking slideshows without giving off a "this is a template" vibe. Even standard PowerPoint alternatives have updated key features to make it easier than ever to collaborate and create presentations quickly, so you can spend more time prepping for your actual presentation.

If, like me, you've been using Google Slides unquestioningly for years, it's a whole new world out there. The newest crop of online presentation tools go way beyond the classic slideshow experience, with new features to keep your audience's attention, streamline the creation process with AI, and turn slide decks into videos and interactive conversations.

I spent a lot of time testing the top presentation software solutions out there to bring you the best of the best. for AI-powered presentations

Prezi for non-linear, conversational presentations

Powtoon for video presentations

Genially for interactive, presenter-less presentations

Pitch for collaborating with your team on presentations

Zoho Show for a simple presentation app

What makes a great presentation app?

How we evaluate and test apps.

All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog .

When looking for the best presentation apps, I wanted utility players since slideshows are used for just about everything, from pitch decks and product launches to class lectures and church sermons. With that in mind, here's what I was looking for:

Pre-built templates. The best presentation tools should have attractive, professional-looking templates to build presentations in a hurry.

Sharing and collaboration options. More people are working remotely. Whether you plan to share your webinar slides later, or you just want to collaborate with a coworker on a presentation, it should be easy to share files and collaborate in real-time.

Flexibility and customization options. Templates are great, but top presentation apps should enable you to customize just about everything—giving you the flexibility to build exactly what you need.

Affordability. Creating compelling presentations is important, but you shouldn't have to bust your budget to make it happen. With capable free tools on the market, affordability is a top consideration.

Beyond that, we also looked for presentation apps that brought something unique to the table, like video presentations or AI design—features above and beyond what you can get for free from a legacy solution like PowerPoint or Google Slides.

Here's what my testing workflow looked like:

I went through any onboarding or guided tutorials.

I created a new deck, scanning through all available templates, noting how well-designed they are (and which were free versus paid).

I added new slides, deleted slides, edited text and images, and played around with other content types.

I changed presentation design settings like color schemes and background images.

I reviewed and tested the sharing and collaboration options.

I tested out presenter view (when available).

After my first round of testing, I went back into the top performers to test any unique or niche features like AI, brand settings, interactive content, and more. With that, these are the best presentation apps I found—each one really brings something different or radically easy to the table.

Already have slides and want a great way to share them instead? Here are the best apps to share presentations .

The best free presentation software

Canva (Web, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)

Canva, our pick for the best free presentation app

Canva offers one of the most robust free plans of all the presentation apps I tested. The app delays account creation until after you've created your first design, so you can get started building your presentation in seconds. Choose from an almost overwhelming number of beautiful templates (nearly all available for free), including those designed specifically for education or business use cases.

Anyone who's accidentally scrolled too far and been bumped to the next slide will appreciate Canva's editor interface, which eliminates that problem altogether with a smooth scroll that doesn't jump around. Choose from a handful of preset animations to add life to your presentations, or browse the library of audio and video files available to add.

Canva recently added a number of new options for sharing your presentation, including adding collaborators to your team, sharing directly to social media, and even via QR code.

Present directly from Canva and let audience members submit their questions via Canva Live. Once you share a link to invite audience members to your presentation, they can send questions for you to answer. As the presenter, you'll see them pop up in your presenter view window, so you can keep the audience engaged and your presentation clear.

Canva pricing: Free plan available; paid plans start at $119.99/year for up to 5 users and include additional features like Brand Kit and premium templates and stock assets.

The best presentation app for AI-powered presentations (Web, Mac, Windows)

If you're like me, editing granular spacing issues is the absolute worst part of building a presentation. uses artificial intelligence to take a lot of the hassle and granular design requirements out of the presentation process, so you can focus on the content of a presentation without sacrificing professional design. Look at the GIF above as an example: when you drag an element toward a specific area of the slide, it'll automatically drop it into place for you.

The editor is a little different from most presentation apps, but it's still intuitive—and you'll start off with a quick two-minute tutorial. When creating a new slide, scroll through "inspiration slides" to find a layout you like; once you choose, the app will pull the layout and automatically adapt it to match the design of the rest of your presentation.

With 10 themes, several templated slides, over 40 fully-designed templates, and 23 different color palettes to choose from, strikes a perfect balance between automation and customization.

While traditional collaboration features are limited on the free plan, paid plans are reasonably priced and offer sharing and collaboration options that rival collab-focused apps like Google Slides. And speaking of Google, you can connect with Google Drive to save all your presentations there. pricing: Plans start at $12/month for unlimited slides, revision history, viewer analytics, and more. Upgrade to a Team plan for $40/user/month to get extra collaboration and workspace features and custom brand controls.

If you're looking for an AI presentation tool, Slidebean is another great option for startups. The app offers a number of templates; a unique, content-first outline editor; and AI design help that you can toggle on or off for each slide. I didn't include it on the list mainly because of the price: the free plan is quite limited, and the paid all-access plan starts at $29/month.

The best presentation app for conversational presentations

Prezi (Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)

Prezi interface

Struggling to squeeze information into a basic, linear presentation? Give Prezi a try. Unlike nearly all other presentation apps on the market, Prezi Present doesn't restrict the structure of your presentation to a straight line. The editor focuses on topics and subtopics and allows you to arrange them any way you want, so you can create a more conversational flow of information.

With the structural flexibility, you still get all the same customization features you expect from top presentation software, including fully-editable templates.

Plus, Prezi comes with two other apps: Prezi Design and Prezi Video. Prezi Video helps you take remote presentations to a new level. You can record a video where the presentation elements are displayed right over your webcam feed. Record and save the video to share later, or connect with your video conferencing tool of choice (including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and more) to present live.

Prezi pricing: Free 14-day trial and a free plan that includes up to 5 visual projects; paid plans start at $15/month.

The best presentation app for video presentations

Powtoon (Web, iOS, Android)

Powtoon makes it easy to create engaging videos by orienting the editor around a slide deck. Editing a Powtoon feels just like editing a presentation, but by the time you finish, you have a professional video. 

You can edit your slides at any time, and when you hit play, a video plays through your deck—the feel is almost like an animated explainer video. Each slide includes the animations you choose and takes up as much time as is needed based on the content on the slide. Powtoon figures the timing automatically, and you can see in the bottom-right of the editor how much time is used on your current slide versus the total presentation. If you ever want to present as a slide deck, just toggle between Slideshow and Movie.

You'll likely need to subscribe to a paid plan to get the most out of Powtoon—like creating videos longer than three minutes, downloading them as MP4 files, and white-labeling your presentations—but doing so won't break the bank. Plus, you'll unlock tons of templates complete with animations and soundtracks.

One of my favorite Powtoon features is the ability to orient your video: you can choose horizontal orientation (like a normal presentation) or opt for vertical (for mobile) or square (for social media). When your presentation is ready, you can publish straight to YouTube, Wistia, Facebook Ads, and any number of other locations.

Powtoon pricing: Limited free plan available; paid plans start at $20/month and include white-labeling, priority support, additional storage, and more.

The best presentation app for interactive presentations

Genially (Web)

Genially, our pick for the best presentation app for interactive presentations

While many presentation apps are built for presenter-led decks, Genially 's interactive features and animated templates make it easy to build a self-led presentation. A variety of interactive buttons allow you to show viewers additional context on hover, have them skip to any page of your deck, and let them navigate to external links.

This presentation program offers a bunch of searchable templates, including some for business proposals, reports, social media presentations, and more (though most of those are available on premium plans only). Genially also includes Smart blocks —templated blocks of content for elements like data visualizations, image galleries, and more.

My favorite feature is the brand settings. Premium users can set universal branding guidelines that include your logo, color scheme, fonts, images, backgrounds, and more. Think of them like a custom template, created and customized by you, that the whole team can use. Once set, your team can easily create on-brand presentations that automatically apply your brand settings, without even thinking about it.

Plus, Genially supports additional content like training materials, infographics, interactive images, and more—all subject to your brand presets.

Genially pricing: Free plan available with unlimited creations and views and access to templates; paid plans start at $7.49/month and include additional download options, privacy controls, offline viewing, premium templates, and more.

The best presentation app for collaborating with your team

Pitch (Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android)

Pitch, our pick for the best presentation software for collaborating with your team

Need to collaborate on presentations with your team? Pitch is a Google Slides alternative that gets the job done. As far as decks go, Pitch includes all the beautifully-designed templates, customizability, and ease of use you expect from a top-notch presentation tool. But the app really shines when you add your team.

The right-hand sidebar is all about project management and collaboration: you can set and update the status of your deck, assign entire presentations or individual slides to team members, plus comment, react, or add notes. Save custom templates to make future presentations even easier and faster.

You can also invite collaborators from outside your company to work with you on individual decks. And if you opt for a paid plan, Pitch introduces workspace roles, shared private folders, and version history.

The "Go live" feature is a personal favorite—with just a click on the headphones icon in the top right, you can start a live video call. Any team members who open the presentation can hop in and collaborate in real-time. 

Pitch pricing: Free plan offers unlimited presentations, custom templates, and live video collaboration; paid plans start at $8/user/month for additional workspace features, presentation analytics, and more.

The best simple presentation app

Zoho Show (Web, iOS, Android, Chrome)

Zoho Show, our pick for the best simple presentation app

If you're looking for a simple, yet capable presentation app that's a step up from Google Slides, Zoho Show is a great option. It's completely free to use, offers a clean, intuitive editor, and includes a number of templates.

Templates are on the basic side, but they boast a more modern and professional design than much of what Google Slides or PowerPoint offer. And I love that you can set the font and color scheme for the whole template, right from the start.

The app doesn't skimp on collaboration or shareability either. You can invite collaborators via email or shareable link, and comments and version history make it easy to work together on presentations. Once you're ready to share, you can even broadcast your presentation to a remote audience right from within Zoho.

Plus, you can one-click lock slides to prevent any more editing or hide individual slides to customize your presentation for different audiences.

Zoho Show price: Free

What about the old standbys?

You might notice a few major presentation players aren't on our list, including OGs Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, and Google Slides. These apps are perfectly adequate for creating basic presentations, and they're free if you have a Windows or Mac device or a Google account.

I didn't include them on the list because the presentation space has really developed in the last several years, and after testing them out, I found these behemoths haven't kept pace. If they weren't made by Microsoft/Apple/Google, I might not even be mentioning them. They're pretty basic tools, they're behind the curve when it comes to templates (both quantity and design), and they don't offer any uniquely valuable features like AI, robust team collaboration, branding controls, video, and so on.

If you're reading this, you're probably looking for an alternative that allows you to move away from one of the big 3, and as the presentation platforms featured above show, there's a ton to gain—in terms of features, usability, and more—when you do.

This post was originally published in October 2014 and has since been updated with contributions from Danny Schreiber, Matthew Guay, Andrew Kunesh, and Krystina Martinez.

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Kiera Abbamonte

Kiera’s a content writer who helps SaaS and eCommerce companies connect with customers and reach new audiences. Located in Boston, MA, she loves cinnamon coffee and a good baseball game. Catch up with her on Twitter @Kieraabbamonte.

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Why should you care about PowerPoint?

Since its release in 1990, PowerPoint remains the most popular presentation tool among business professionals, with more than 1 billion installations worldwide and a 95% share of the presentation software market.

As a business strategy consultant, I spend a considerable amount of time crafting PowerPoint slides. It’s the foremost way to communicate months – maybe even years – of client deliverables, in a visually clear, concise and accessible way. No matter how many presentations I’ve made, making an engaging PowerPoint presentation with limited time remains a real challenge.

Spending excessive amounts of time in PowerPoint is certainly not limited to consultants. Nielson and the Empower Corporation conducted a detailed office study which found that employees who spend at least 50% of their work time in front of a computer spend an average of seven work hours per week creating PowerPoint presentations. 36% of that time is spent not creating, but formatting slides. That exposes an incredible amount of potential to increase productivity, and this is where PowerPoint add-ins come into play.

What is a PowerPoint add-in?

Despite new versions of Microsoft’s Office suite – released around every three years – PowerPoint’s evolution itself has stagnated. A lack of new features and tools mean the program isn’t developing fast enough to keep users on the cutting edge of presentation solutions. Consequently, a market has opened up for third-party developers to identify the needs of “power users” and create add-in solutions that can keep PowerPoint up to date with fast-paced, tech-driven business environments.

As great as PowerPoint is in some respects, it certainly has some pain points or pitfalls (e.g., how frustrating it can be to try and align objects across different slides). PowerPoint add-ins aim to solve these pain points by extending PowerPoint with additional functions (so-called macros) while leveraging the functionality of the host software (i.e., PowerPoint).

Types of PowerPoint add-ins

Which PowerPoint add-ins should you use?

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking into various tools that can help save me time and become more effective. After hours of research, experimentation, and deliberation, I’ve settled on the following three “essential” add-ins: Think-Cell, BrightSlide, and Templafy .

My goal with this “stack” of add-ins is to address the various shortfalls of PowerPoints' native functionality and to speed up repetitive or cumbersome actions that I often find myself doing. Although I tried to minimize the number of “add-ins” as part of my stack, each add-in included has unique features which address functionality shortfalls of other add-ins, making it impossible to narrow it down to a single “ultimate add-in” (which was admittedly my initial goal).

When researching and deciding amongst which add-ins to use, I tried to leverage free add-ins whenever possible to minimize any potential disruption to my workflow should I lose access to my firms proprietary add-ins (or licenses to additional paid add-ins). Although licenses for the paid add-ins in my productivity stack (namely, Think-Cell and Templafy) are provided to me free of charge by the consulting firm I work for, they provide me with enough value that I would consider purchasing them out of pocket should I ever need to.

In the following sections, I briefly describe the add-ins part of my "stack" as well as the key features I regularly use in my day-to-day work to speed up my workflow.



BrightSlide is the backbone of my “PowerPoint add-in productivity stack”. If I had to pick a single add-in to install, it would be this one. Not only is it an extremely well designed add-in with tons of useful tools aimed at addressing PowerPoints various shortfalls, but best of all it’s completely free. I’ve listed the key features I make use of in this add-in below. For a full description of all of the tools and features it offers, see the official BrightSlide documentation .

Key BrightSlide Features

Cost: $240USD/Year


Think-Cell is a PowerPoint add-on that helps you create advanced charts and slide layouts. It is the most popular PowerPoint charting add-on in the world. It’s used by over 950,000 people at over 23,000 companies, including 8 of the top 10 consulting firms.

Given that it’s quite pricey, I only recommend this add-in out of pocket if your work requires you to use PowerPoint nearly every day.

For PowerPoint power users such as myself, there are three main reasons why I believe Think-Cell is worth the price:

Key Think-Cell Features

Think-Cell integrates seamlessly with PowerPoint. Once you install the Think-Cell plugin, a new section will appear under the “Insert” section of your PowerPoint ribbon. The toolbar looks and behaves just like other native parts of the PowerPoint ribbon. And importantly, there is no lag as you click through the dropdowns and menus.

Cost: N/A (enterprise licensing)


Templafy is a suite of add-ins which consists of three main components:

Key Templafy ProductivityPlus Features

* Only tools that don’t have duplicate functionality with BrightSlide are included below. For a full overview of the tools offered by Templafy’s ProductivityPlus add-in, see the official ProductivityPlus documentation .

Database of PowerPoint Add-Ins

I compiled a list of add-ins that I tested as part of my research and experimentation with various PowerPoint add-ins, along with comments as to why it they didn’t make it into my “PowerPoint add-in stack”. Feel free to consult the list if there are particular features you are looking for, or if you would like to find free alternatives to the paid add-ins that I recommended earlier.

Database of Free Add-Ins

*Note that this list doesn’t include the free add-ins that I personally use which were described earlier on this page.

Database of Premium Add-Ins

*Note that this list doesn’t include the paid add-ins that I personally use which were described earlier on this page.

A Comprehensive Guide to PowerPoint Add-ins

As a business strategy consultant, I spend a considerable amount of time crafting PowerPoint slides. After an extensive amount of research, experimentation, and deliberation, I've settled on the optimal stack of add-ins to improve my overall PowerPoint productivity.

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Finally, a cost-effective think-cell® alternative is here at last!

Tobias Kablitz

The time is here: today we proudly present the think-cell® alternative empower ® for PowerPoint Charts! The newest addition to the empower ® family: Our add-in makes creating sophisticated PowerPoint charts such as Gantt and waterfall charts easy, uniform and efficient.

Get to know the low cost think-cell® alternative

You may be asking yourself why introduce a new product to a market that already has an established solution with think-cell® 1 . The answer is simple: we eagerly listened to what our clients had to say. Repeatedly you told us that think-cell® is good product, however most users only require a fraction of its functions. This would be only a minor issue, if the price tag of the software were not so big. What started out as a tool for strategy consultants is now commonly used by many corporations around the world due to the fact that once a number of users create charts with think-cell®, many of their colleagues will also require this expensive license to be able to edit these charts.

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We have developed a streamlined think-cell® alternative in close cooperation with our innovation partners. Not only is empower ® Charts priced 50% lower, but our chart tool also entices with a modern interface, ease of use, and corporate design compliance. Lead-off clients who have already transitioned to empower ® for PowerPoint Charts confirm that they consider empower ®  to be the leading alternative think-cell® alternative.

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1 think-cell® is a registered trademark of think-cell Software GmbH.

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Presentation Guru

Presentation Guru

The complete guide to the best powerpoint add-ins.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Maurizio La Cava makes presentations every day and makes extensive use of PowerPoint add-ins, so he has put together a list of what he considers to be the best ones, grouped for top functions and discusses them in detail below.

With millions of presentations delivered every day, PowerPoint has become a core tool for anybody who needs to present a project and persuade others to adopt their ideas. If you are a manager, a student or an entrepreneur, there is every chance that you’ve used PowerPoint at least once in the last few days.

PowerPoint is an easy and accessible tool within the Microsoft Office suite. However, PowerPoint users are struggling, and the amount of time wasted on presentations is growing faster than ever.

Creating a presentation takes a long time: you need to structure the story; you need to gather all information; and then the design process starts. You’ll need to visualize concepts on your slides; look for images or icons that are relevant to your message; and then you’ll have to work on the multiple formatting options that PowerPoint offers. This means that, as the bare minimum, you’ll probably have to fix alignments between objects, select a proper font, define a color palette, setup the slide master in PowerPoint , etc.

Those could be easy fixes if you are good with PowerPoint, but what if you are not? Manually creating the layout for slides can take a long time and, moreover, can be quite inaccurate. Imagine spending a lot of time on a presentation, only to produce ineffective slides. Not only will you have wasted your time, but you’ll be wasting the time of people who decided to come to your ineffective presentation, only to fall asleep during your speech.

There are some magic tools that can really improve the quality and the effort input in your presentations. We call these tools PowerPoint add-ins.

What is an add-in?

PowerPoint add-ins are simple and powerful tools that automate crucial parts of your job when working in PowerPoint. If you look on the web, you’ll find an infinite list of PowerPoint add-ins but, honestly, there are many that are not very useful. These are the ones that I think are worth a further look:

powerpoint addins comparison chart

I believe these are the add-ins that can really improve the way you work and make you much faster and more accurate. In this article we will take a look at each of them in more detail.

MLC PowerPoint Addin

The MLC PowerPoint Addin includes 23 time-saving features to use with just 1 click, such as: swapping the positions of shapes, breaking a table into shapes, pasting an object onto all your slides, easily moving an object closer/further from another one, etc.

Swap Shapes

One key function of the MLC PowerPoint Addin is Swap Shapes.

Think for a moment – how would you swap 2 shapes in PowerPoint?

Let’s suppose you have 2 shapes (or pictures) and you want A to take the place of B or vice versa. You take A, you start moving it over B, you send A behind B, then you take B and you’ll probably realize you have lost the position of A. Now you undo (CTRL+Z) , you start again but this time you duplicate A in order to keep the initial position before you move it. Even though you can finally manage to swap the two positions it takes far too many steps for such a simple operation. PowerPoint doesn’t offer a straightforward solution.

However, with just one click, Swap Shapes allows you to swap the position of one object with another. In the following image, I have highlighted two icons that I want to swap.

MLC addin Swap shapes screenshot

Swap Shapes reverses the position of two objects, allowing you to preserve alignments and distributions. All you need to do is select the two shapes, then click the Swap Shapes button. Boom, result. Maximum efficiency in just a few seconds!

MLC powerpoint addin swap shapes function screenshot

Make Same Size

The second key function of the MLC PowerPoint Addin, is Make Same Size. It can be very useful when you have many elements or photos and you want to make them all uniform.

With the usual CTRL+ click , you select the shapes, starting with the one whose size you want to copy:

MLC powerpoint add in make same size function screenshot

Click on the Make same size  button. Magic! All the shapes have been resized, to match the size of the first one you selected.

mlc powerpoint addin make same size function screenshot

Grid Shapes

However, at this point, I noticed that it would be necessary and natural to make another change: to rearrange the shapes in order and make them equidistant from one another.

As you can see, we have 8 elements that could be arranged in 2 rows and 4 columns, so, let’s select them all and click on Grid Shapes .

From here, we can decide the distance between one object and another. I chose 10 mm horizontally and 10 mm vertically:

MLC powerpoint addin grid shapes function screenshot

Now click OK. Look how wonderful it is!

MLC powerpoint addin grid shapes function screenshot

These functions can be applied to images as well. This function could be very useful, for example when making an image grid with your clients’ logos.

Make Same Color

Make Same Size recognizes whether you are trying to resize images or shapes and always delivers the result. There is a second button that works with the same logic but only on the colors. Make Same Color is an extremely simple-to-use function and, at the same time, it is one of the smartest buttons of the MLC PowerPoint Addin. It allows you to change the color of many objects at the same time.

For example, here is a slide with eight shapes in different colors and we want to make them consistent:

MLC powerpoint addin make same colour function screenshot

If you want to standardize the color of your shapes, the first thing to do is CTRL+click  the target color shape first followed by all the others. In this case, I clicked on the orange shape first:

MLC powerpoint addin make same colour function screenshot

Now, with just one click on  Make Same Color:

MLC powerpoint addin make same colour function screenshot

Same Height

One of the most-used functions is Same Height. To work you select both shapes but first select the shape that is the height you want and click on the button Same Height :

MLC powerpoint addin make same height function screenshot

If you also need to set the width, just CTRL + click on the  dark blue shape for example, then on the other one. Now we have two identical shapes!

MLC powerpoint addin make same width function screenshot

The functions above are the most-used ones of the MLC PowerPoint Addin, but let’s look at some of the most recently added functions.

The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds automatically sets the guides in your PowerPoint on a specific, magic position. The Rule of Thirds is, in my opinion, the one golden rule that can revolutionize the appearance and impact of your slides. To find out more check out this guide on how to create an effective presentation in PowerPoint using  the Rule of Thirds .

The best slides are not only made up of elements that you can find on PowerPoint – often you need to go to the web to look for images, icons, vectors and other elements. Every time you leave PowerPoint to scout for a specific object you are wasting time and energy;  and you might end up with a low-quality object that will make your presentation look poor anyway.

This is why the MLC Assets function is useful: a multimedia library where you just need to click on an element, and you’ll get the best quality of it ready to be used on your slides. MLC Assets nowadays works with free, high resolution images. You can get millions of beautiful images for your slides with just one click. Here’s how.

First, click on MLC Assets:

MLC powerpoint addin assets function screenshot

Type in the box what you are looking for and MLC Assets will find you loads of free images you can choose from. For example, I searched Laptop:

MLC powerpoint addin assets function screenshot

Now I just need to click on the image I want and it will appear on the slide:

MLC powerpoint addin assets function screenshot

Thanks to MLC PowerPoint Addin you’ll be able to access millions of high quality images free from copyrights ready to be used on your slides.

You can get images from and from, just select the tab you like the most and proceed or search in both and compare the images to find the best fit for your slide.

MLC powerpoint addin assets function screenshot

It is very useful and smart, isn’t it?

Gantt Chart

A Gantt Chart is used across all industries and organizations in project management. However, it can be quite difficult and time-consuming to create and update a Gantt chart in PowerPoint.

This feature is one of the latest included in the MLC PowerPoint Addin. The aim is to create and update Gantt charts very quickly, without the need to import them from other programs. Moreover, this function is extra useful because once you have created a Gantt chart, every part of it becomes an object of PowerPoint so, anyone can edit it, including those people who do not have the MLC PowerPoint Addin.

When you click on the Gantt Chart button, you can see a lot of options to design your customized chart:

MLC powerpoint addin gantt chart function screenshot

Clicking on the Task tab, you can insert your activities simply by writing the name and the duration of them. You can select the date with a click on the calendar or enter it by writing in the window, respecting the format:

MLC powerpoint addin gantt chart function screenshot

At this point, click OK and the chart will be created:

MLC powerpoint addin gantt chart function screenshot

Furthermore, if you have different categories of activities, you can group them in different colors or change the color of the time band.

At this point, you can also set the milestones that are used to show a specific moment in time, for example, when a delivery is expected:

MLC powerpoint addin gantt chart function screenshot

Add as many milestones as you wish and then click on the OK button. You’ll notice that the milestones will be indicated by a rhombus on top of the time band and a dotted line will show where they intersect the tasks you’ve previously entered:

MLC powerpoint addin gantt chart function screenshot

And the price?

The MLC PowerPoint Addin license includes 23 functions plus all the updates that are constantly released. The cost of the subscription is $US 57.77 a year, including support and the subscription to the official Lean Presentation Design community where you can contribute suggestions for new functions to be developed.

MLC powerpoint addin toolbar screenshot

Consider how much time this addin will save you, then compare the value of the time saved against $US 57.77. How much is your time worth?

Flevy Tools

One of the things that wastes a lot of time at work is definitely creating charts. How do you solve the problem and save time? Flevy Tools is a PowerPoint add-in for creating business charts, commonly used by management consultants. Twelve types of diagrams are supported:

Waterfall Charts

Let me show you how easy it is to create a  Harvey Ball Diagram , for example. When generating a diagram, there is a popup where you can specify the attributes of the diagram (e.g. number of chevrons, number of categories, etc.).

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Once generated, you can further customize the diagram, as the diagram is built using AutoShapes:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

With this process, you can create all the graphs you want and make them usable for your business presentations.

Also worth noting, Flevy hosts a wealth of business frameworks. Business frameworks are in-depth business training guides—the same used by top global consulting firms when they deploy their consulting project teams to Fortune 500 companies.

They used to sell it for $199 but now they are giving this tool away for free for a limited time.

think-cell is the add-in for Microsoft Office if you need to create data-heavy presentations. It seamlessly integrates into PowerPoint and Excel to help you create complex charts and layouts, including Waterfall, Gantt and Marimekko charts, as well as process flows. More than 40 chart types are supported.

Developed in close cooperation with top consulting firms, the software saves you, on average, 70% of your time when working on charts and helps you to create high-quality output consistent with your corporate brand. It is very easy to use, and you will find yourself becoming a pro in just a few hours.

think-cell’s automated linking of charts and Excel data fosters consistency and correctness, and helps you save hours when updating your charts’ numbers. This is useful for FP&A teams that have to create and update recurring financial reports on a regular basis.

You will find the graphs in the Elements section: Pie charts, Waterfall charts and similar graphs have an associated data sheet (except for the Gantt chart) that appears by double-clicking the chart or by clicking the Open Datasheet button:

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Inside the Excel box, you can work normally, modifying cells, adding rows and columns. You can also use formulas and shortcuts as though you’re working on a Excel worksheet. You can do all of this straight in PowerPoint, with no need to even think about Excel!

An interesting functionality of thinkcell is the Waterfall chart, which is used to show positive and negative changes to a value over a period of time. To create a Waterfall Chart, the first step is to go to the PowerPoint ribbon and click on Elements > Build-up Waterfall  icon. This places the chart onto your slide:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Now, a build-up waterfall is inserted.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Open the datasheet to add your values:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

When your data is inserted, you will set an automatic sum of your chart by clicking on a cell and typing e :

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

How simple is that?

Another great advantage is that presentations created using think-cell are 100% compatible with PowerPoint. The think-cell elements appear as regular PowerPoint shapes, such as textboxes and chart objects. This means that coworkers and clients who do not have think-cell installed can still open and easily edit the files you share with them.

think-cell has a target group of medium-large companies, so the minimum number of licenses to purchase is equivalent to 5. At 45€ in total, this corresponds to 189€ per user. The cost includes all updates and technical assistance. They also have advantageous packages as the number of users increases.

Office Timeline

Do you need to create and manage an advanced Gantt chart in PowerPoint while skipping Excel? Then Office Timeline is the add-in you need.

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Office Timeline was specifically developed to provide all the tools you need to design project charts like Gantt diagrams and timelines. Another feature is to load your Excel sheets on PowerPoint and continue to edit them directly from there.

Office Timeline leads you through a user-friendly graphic interface to input the data you need to be displayed, for example, milestones and tasks, and it takes care of visualizing them and recreating a timeline with the use of PowerPoint standard objects. Therefore, you can always edit the objects the same way you would edit a set of common shapes in PowerPoint.

Let’s look at the steps to create a timeline together. The first step is to go to Timeline section and click on New:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Choose the timeline style you prefer, according to your needs:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

In this example, I chose Rounded style:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

The most important part of creating a Gantt chart is when you start setting up your tasks or milestones:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

You can insert the date and the duration of your tasks, as well as customize the color.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

When everything is ready, just click on Create:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

After few seconds, the timeline will appear:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

How much does it cost?

There are two options: the free one and the paid one, which has many more features that increase the productivity of your business presentations. It costs $59 a year and includes all updates and technical assistance.

The Noun Project

The Noun Project is an add-in that aggregates icons and symbols. It is an online symbol library in vector format (SVG) issued with licenses that allow their reuse. An important strength of this project is that new icons are inserted by experts in the field, such as designers, every day.

The Noun Project also includes icons with a social theme, such as global warming and human rights.

To download the add-in, you just need to go to PowerPoint, click on Insert section and click on Get Add-ins Button:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Now search the list of add-ins. When you find it, click the  Add button.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Noun Project will now show on your PowerPoint ribbon:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

There are more or less 100 free icons to use in SVG format:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Before you insert the image on the slide, Noun Project lets you choose the color of the icon and the gradient from its panel but, being SVG files you can always edit them afterwards:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Once it is inserted, you can use the icon to create professional presentations:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

I created this timeline to show how easily you can use this add-in to craft wonderful slides, which will grab your audience’s attention:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

There aren’t many steps to do this and the result will be very professional and effective.

What does it cost?

As I said before, Noun Project gives you 100 free icons, but to unlock the others – over 1 million, according to their website! – you need to pay just $39.99 per year.

You’re preparing one of your slideshows and you have very little time to condense all the information. The last thing you want to do is waste more time looking for the images you need.

Pexels is a very innovative and useful add-in. (But don’t just take my word for it – other contributors to Presentation Guru also recommend Pexels .) You can download it for free, in the same way as we downloaded Noun Project above, and then search for images directly from PowerPoint without having to search for them from the browser.

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Write in the box what are you searching for, e.g. Laptop in my case. Click on your chosen image and it will be added to the slide automatically:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

If you want, Pexels shows you different layouts to enrich your pictures. Flick among the different ones and examine the result:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

At this point, I would like to remind readers that  sometimes, despite the message in your content being clear, that message can get lost when translated into your PowerPoint. To make really good presentations it is worthwhile studying some design basics to ensure that your message can be fully appreciated.

PowerPoint Labs

PowerPoint Labs is an add-in that will make it easier for you to deal with your business slides and make them more impactful.

Fit to Slide

The first feature I have selected for you, called Fit to Slide, is very interesting as it can resize an image with just one click. If you are uploading images and do not want to waste time on resizing the image to the slide, this is the perfect solution. You just need to upload the picture and go to the Resize section:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Click the highlighted button:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

What do you think of this function? It is useful, isn’t it?

Crop to Slide

Have you ever wanted to insert only part of the image onto a slide and thought that to do that you needed to use other programs outside PowerPoint? With PowerPoint Labs it’s much simpler than you think. Let me show you. I have chosen this image but only want to set a part of the photo on the slide. The solution is to cut it out:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Firstly, overlay the chosen picture section exactly on the slide:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Click on Crop  > Crop to Slide  and the picture will be resized:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

I think this will be interesting for those who care about making presentations with a more ‘professionally designed’ style. This function allows the user, once the reference color has been chosen, to outline the complementary color and the gradient:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

In my opinion, the immediate choice of the gradient helps you a lot because in a few seconds, you can create an effective template to apply to the slides and boost your productivity.

How much will this Addin cost?

This is the best bit – it is free!

Power Mockup

Do you need to quickly design the mockup of a website to show the client what it will look like? Or maybe you need to design it to brief your developers?

Designing an entire mockup might require a lot of time, as every window has buttons, bars, labels and many other elements you would need to recreate and organize.

PowerMockup  is a PowerPoint add-in that helps you do just that! It is a prototyping toolkit for PowerPoint. It helps to create wireframes and mockups for websites as well as mobile and desktop applications. To build a prototype, simply select shapes and icons from the PowerMockup library and drag them into a PowerPoint slide. You can then use PowerPoint’s slideshow and animation features to make your prototype interactive.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

PowerMockup enables a right sidebar, where you’ll find plenty of super useful web elements that you can search easily.

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

You just need to drag and drop in your slides.

The PowerMockup library is already quite extensive, but the PowerMockup team is continuously expanding it. You can help it to grow by adding your own shapes and building a custom library of commonly used shapes, which you can share with other users.

It depends on which license you need . There is a trial version available that you can use, but it limits the number of shapes you can use.

If you think PowerMockup is too specific, you might take a look at ShapeChef instead. ShapeChef is a graphic and chart library for PowerPoint that helps you organize your graphics, charts and other assets for easy reuse. The tool integrates a library pane into the PowerPoint window, from which items can be dragged and dropped into a slide:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Adding new items to the library is very simple: select a graphic on a slide and choose Add to ShapeChef  from the context menu:

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

If you are searching for professional PowerPoint graphics and charts for a presentation, ShapeChef can help you with that as well. You can download dozens of ready-to-use graphic collections directly from the ShapeChef server via the tool and add them to your library. Please note however that currently ShapeChef only works with PowerPoint for Windows.

Just as with PowerMockup there are a range of licenses on offer but overall it is less expensive than PowerMockup but also ensures you excellent results.

You can also read Farshad Iqbal’s earlier review of ShapeChef here .

I’ve outlined a selection of add-ins that I think can help you to make your presentations more effective. Each of them has its own peculiarities and its top functions.

There are functions that allow you to create graphs and edit them directly from PowerPoint, avoiding exporting them from Excel. There are some that help with design functions, such as making shapes the same color and size; cutting images and adapt them to the slide with a single click; choosing infinite icons from plugins and then customizing them. If you need to create wireframes and mockups for websites and for mobile applications, you now know how and which add-in to use.

I think these add-ins will make a huge difference to your presentations – and your workload. Do you know any other add-ins worth sharing? Let us know in the comments below sharing an accurate description to enrich the article even more.

Maurizio La Cava

Maurizio La Cava

Latest posts by maurizio la cava ( see all ).

powerpoint efficient elements alternative


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14th February 2019 at 11:25 am

This comparison does not include all the add-ins on the market.

There are a few more, which needs to be added:

1. Efficient Elements, 2. Veodin, 3. “Made in Office”,

Also it is important to mention that Think Cell and “Made in Office” offer a Mac Version. Veodin is currently working on a Mac version.

Could you please update the article.

Thanks, Robert

powerpoint efficient elements alternative

Rosie Hoyland

14th February 2019 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Robert for this update. The article never claimed to include all the add-ins on the market – that would be a very long post indeed! – but the 3 that you highlight are great additions to the list and we would encourage our readers to check them out.

14th February 2019 at 7:59 pm

Thanks Rosie. May I can suggest an article? The MAC market is growing every year. Companies like SAP, Salesforce, Allianz and even Accenture as one of the biggest consulting companies are using more and more MACs. MAC users will also using PowerPoint for MAC. Unfortunately MAC users are looking for the same tools and add-ins that Windows users are using with PowerPoint. Companies like Think-Cell, Videos and Made-in-Office know the need and are working on MAC versions or already have it in their portfolio. But it is hard to find an overview. Would it be possible to find have an article on this amazing page? Thanks Robert

15th February 2019 at 9:03 am

That’s a really good idea, Robert – are you the man to write it?

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15th August 2019 at 7:53 am

Are you looking for writers?

20th August 2019 at 9:18 am

Always interested in writers who can share ideas that will help our readers better themselves as speakers, presenters or presentation designers. If you’re interested in writing, please contact me directly via our Contact Form

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11th April 2019 at 2:45 pm

Hi Robert, You are correct. In this regard I want to add one more addin in this list. ‘DrawingBoard’ it has lots of functionalities with editable icons, shapes, infographics, wire-frames etc.


Free download:

Youtube Videos:

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20th May 2019 at 4:06 pm

Yes I agree with you Robert and here the new one I found which is one of the best I think: Cheers,

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iSlide PowerPoint

24th January 2021 at 9:11 am

Robert, You are so right! Not complete at all, You bring in some good alternatives. but luckily I saw a post of the iSlide add-in as well here below. That is my personal favourite, maybe you should check that one out sometimes!  

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3rd October 2021 at 5:55 pm

Agree, this add-in is actually a mandatory installation after installing Office or WPS. This saves you so much time.. For the record, I’m using the Premium version, as I did not want to look at the free resources only..

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7th July 2019 at 5:54 pm

You are missing the best PowerPoint add-in named iSlide! Try it for free 7 days, just sent a mail to [email protected] . Look at it here: After testing get 20% OFF using the code: DISCOUNT.

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20th January 2020 at 6:33 pm

Check out which is an add-in turns PowerPoint into an audience interaction tool via polls inside your slides

21st January 2020 at 10:31 am

Good tip. We have! Check out for Farshad Iqbal’s review of it.

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Office SuperChargers

6th February 2020 at 5:48 pm

you should also consider IDMB PowerPoint Supercharger which installs to your desktop. It delivers dozens of cool tools to speed up your work. It can automatically clean and tidy your presentation, sort out capitalisation, add TOCs, standardise formating of tables, pictures, kickers and much more. You can also get a free 30 day trial

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Ben Oostdam

5th April 2020 at 11:55 am

I still think that the iSlide Powerpoint add-in is better, faster and more time saving. Please add this to your list! Even 95% of the features is free to use! Get it for free on: and just try it out! It really belongs in this list.

9th April 2020 at 11:48 am

Well you’ve sold it well! I guess we’ll need to take a look now!

18th April 2020 at 9:43 am

Hello, Maurizio and Rosie! Please do look at that iSlide add-in, it’s available for MAC and WPS users as well, in 8 different languages even. You have have a lot of readers, I think they can benefit from it! the iSlide Support Team

21st April 2020 at 4:06 pm

Sounds interesting – I’ll take a look

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22nd August 2020 at 4:36 pm

PowerPointLabs is only available through the 2016 version. I have a 2019 program Can I still use it??

17th September 2020 at 12:38 pm

Hi Phyllis We asked PowerPointLabs directly and they have confirmed that YES – you can use their add-in with Office 2019. There’ll be no stopping you now! Good luck.

Silvia van de Berg

26th August 2020 at 8:00 pm

Hi, nice article, our compliments! We would like you to take a minute to look at our free iSlide PowerPoint add-in. This is an add-in that everybody should use, because of it’s libraries, scrollbars and other features that should always been in PowerPoint. It only needs registration of an email account to get started. In 9 major languages and for Windows and MacOS! Please take a look at our website and contact me if you have any questions that I can help you with. Regards, Silvia van de Berg

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