PowerPoint, Slides or Keynote? You decide!

Written by: Adrienne Johnston

Not sure if you should be using PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides?

The reality is that all three are good presentation software options, and it’s really based on your Operating system, which office tools suite you use, and your need for collaboration.

PowerPoint Pros

Greatest Market Share

PowerPoint gets a bad rap, but the practical reality is that PowerPoint has the greatest market share. In fact, estimates show PowerPoint has 66%-97% market share. It’s rare for my clients to request a Prezi, Keynote or Slides presentation, so I expect it’s on the higher end.

This creates a huge advantage for using PowerPoint: as the dominant player, more people have had exposure to PowerPoint in school and work, making it easier to collaborate with a wider group of people.

The Most extensive feature set on Windows
PowerPoint and the Office Suite were originally built for Windows and only later developed for Mac. Consequently, Windows users have the added advantage of the richest feature set in PowerPoint. These are features like a built-in icon library and the ability to customize your default font sets.

PowerPoint Cons

PowerPoint on Mac lacks features

As referenced previously, PowerPoint was designed for Windows and the Mac product is not as great on Mac. While it makes massive strides forward with every update, it is still missing basic features: the ability to embed custom fonts in the presentation, ability to customize font sets beyond the default options, and an icon library.

PowerPoint on Mac is slow

In addition, PowerPoint is a little slow on Mac and crashes periodically when in the middle of an autosave. You may also experience issues when editing a file on both Windows and Mac when collaborating with other users.

PowerPoint is Expensive

PowerPoint can be expensive, but if you already have an Office 365 subscription for email, the entire Office Suite, including PowerPoint is included.

Google Slides Pros

Slides is free to use with your Gmail account.

In addition, it’s web-based interface makes it easily accessible to anyone, and ensures consistency between users on Mac or Windows because you’re not reliant on those operating systems and their interoperability.

I am incredibly impressed with Google Slides ability to import/export PowerPoint presentations, which is greatly advantageous if you decide to use migrate to Slides or GSuite at some point. In addition, it makes it far easier to collaborate with others who aren’t using Slides.

My favorite feature of Google Slides is that you can access and embed all the free Google fonts into your presentation, which can really help elevate your design.

The greatest benefit of slides for organizations that use it is that you can collaborate in real time with your colleagues on a presentation.

Google Slides Cons

Of the three, Google Slides is my least favorite interface. While it can accomplish almost anything you need, I find it to be slow and clunky.

It’s little things like you can’t copy/paste transparent pngs into the presentation – you have to save and import them.

Keynote Pros

Of the three, Keynote is the least commonly used. As a Mac user, I must say, Keynote is actually pretty great. It is S-U-P-E-R fast on Mac and I find the layout of tools/features to be the most workflow friendly.

Keynote also does a great job of importing files from PowerPoint. I find the only items have to clean-up on import are images where I applied an alpha mask (set a transparent color) in PowerPoint. You have to reset the mask in Keynote.

Keynote Cons

The only con of Keynote is that almost no one uses it, so it just makes it a pain to work in.

In conclusion, you should use the presentation format that best aligns with your needs.