SLIDESHOWS

Microsoft PowerPoint vs. Google Slides: Which One Should You Be Using? - MUO - MakeUseOf

Nov 4, 2021

Slideshow is essential to present anything in an immersive way. Whatever your profession is, you may have to use slideshows for presentations. PowerPoint and Slides are the two most popular slideshow-making software.

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

What’s Microsoft Powerpoint?

PowerPoint is a slideshow maker from Microsoft. The tech giant initially released this software in 1990. Predominantly, PowerPoint was a Windows PC-based tool. However, Microsoft launched PowerPoint 2013 Web version in 2014 after seeing a significant rise of 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, churning out 300 million presentations each day.

What’s Google Slides?

It’s a free-to-use slideshow maker that comes with Google Workspace. Slides was the first cloud-based presentation maker, and due to that reason, it has gained immense popularity since 2006. You can experience effortless teamwork on one presentation as Google focused on delivering better workplace collaboration through Slides.

Slides remains a truly cloud-based app running on web browsers. However, if you use it in the Chrome browser, then you can activate offline editing. You’ll also find the tool for your Android or iOS devices.

Comparison Parameters

From vector art-making to online advertisement videos, Slides, and PowerPoint have vivid usage depending on users’ creativity level. In the following sections, you’ll see how Slides and PowerPoint fair on basic features:

1. Cost of Usage

Illustration of cost for deployment

PowerPoint comes with a Microsoft 365 subscription, which is $69.99 yearly or $6.99 monthly for one person. Other benefits are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Outlook, 1 TB OneDrive storage, etc. You may try PowerPoint for free for 30 days.

On the contrary, Google Slides is a free tool. Whether you use it for personal or commercial use, there are no restrictions. All you need is a Google account and a compatible web browser on a PC or the smartphone app for mobiles. The free-to-use license is reportedly the most significant value proposition of Slides.

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 features as opposed to the desktop version. Therefore, most users rely on the desktop version for complex and professional presentations.

But, this makes you 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.

Google Slides presentation is highly portable. When you switch devices, all you need to do is sign in to your Google account, in which 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 Offline Usage

An image showing online and offline wifi

PowerPoint is a powerful slideshow maker when you use standalone software on a PC. The web version of PowerPoint lacks many features, like can't open large files (2 GB) or PowerPoint add-ins.

The standalone PowerPoint also requires a better PC configuration for smooth performance. Microsoft suggests at least 1.6 GHz processing power, 4 GB RAM, and 4 GB free hard disk space to run the tool.

Google Slides, however, doesn’t require a powerful PC as it works on the Chrome browser. You'll need a strong internet connection to create high-quality presentations. You may set up offline editing and presenting, but that’s only possible on Chrome browsers.

4. Remote Collaboration

Collaborative work on PowerPoint is not as interactive as Google Slides. It’s because you need to prepare a lot before your team can begin a collaboration. These preparations include uploading a copy on OneDrive, sharing links via email, setting up SharePoint Sites, etc.

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

Slides became popular in no time due to its instant collaboration feature. All of your team members 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-to-Use Templates

PowerPoint offers you a big library of editable templates. You’ll for sure find something in the template library that goes in line with your presentation theme. These templates are the value-added benefits of a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Slides also offer free templates, but the variety is not that robust as PowerPoint. You’ll only find basic templates that you can edit to fit your needs.

6. Special Effects and Animations

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

Slides offer the basic and essential elements, transitions, and animations that’ll help you make a professional presentation. If you’re someone who craves high-end content, then you’ll 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’ll see that most people use PowerPoint to edit pictures quickly instead of investing time in PhotoShop. It offers advanced features like removing background, compressing images, making SmartArt graphics, etc.

Slides also come with basic image editing features, but these are not enough for high-end slideshow making. Its image edit features are limited to resizing, rotating, color adjusting, adding transparency, etc.

8. Backup, Autosave, and Storage

Illustration of saving files and autosave or recovery

PowerPoint's editions older than the 2016 version require you to save your slideshows manually. However, the 2016 and later editions come with AutoSave and AutoRecover features. The PC software will save the file in a local drive, unless you manually set the default location to OneDrive.

Slides automatically saves every change you make while making a slideshow. It also stores a version history of your slideshows in case you need to recover a specific version. It always saves the slideshows in your Google Drive account.

Be Flexible With Your Tech Stack

You may not want to force a set of tools upon yourself or your team members for whatever you do, be it slideshow making and presenting. Be flexible with these apps as you might find a client who would only accept PowerPoint presentations over Slides or vice versa.

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

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About The Author

Tamal Das (189 Articles Published)

Tamal is a freelance writer at MakeUseOf. After gaining substantial experience in technology, finance, and business processes in his previous job in an IT consulting company, he adopted writing as a full-time profession 3 years ago. While not writing about productivity and the latest tech news, he loves to play Splinter Cell and binge-watch Netflix/ Prime Video.

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