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Presentation Software

Related software.

5 Best Free Presentation Software Programs

Powerpoint not required.

Using free presentation software to create or edit presentations doesn't have to mean cutting corners on features or using a clunky interface that doesn't work the way it should. There are plenty of free presentation software programs have just as much to offer as Microsoft PowerPoint but you won't have to pay a dime for them.

Many similar features include easy to use slide design and transition effects, tabbed interfaces, spell check, free templates, and much more. You really can create exactly the presentation you want with these free programs.

WPS Office Presentation

WPS Office is a collection of office tools, one of which is a slideshow maker. It works a lot like MS PowerPoint and other full-featured slideshow makers, meaning there are lots of professional tools at your fingerprints.

There are premade templates you can load from directly inside the program, or you can of course start a blank slideshow. Lots of popular file formats are supported, so you can import PDFs, PPTX, POTX, XML, and even PowerPoint addin files. PDF is also supported when exporting, but regular presentation formats are, too, like Microsoft's and WPS' custom formats, plus some video and image file formats.

This program is super smooth, and the overall design and tabbed browsing makes it very modern. It has all the features you'd expect in a great slideshow builder, like transitions, animations, color schemes, Slide Master editor, OCR, and cloud access.

You can use this program as a guest, but if you make a free account, you'll get cloud storage for your files, free templates, and more.

It works with Windows, Linux, and macOS.

OpenOffice Impress

Multi monitor support.

Compatible with all OpenDocument compliant apps.

Open or save in PowerPoint format.

Lacks advanced PowerPoint features.

OpenOffice Impress is chock-full of all the features you need to build a great presentation. A simple wizard can walk you through setting up the initial backgrounds, slide design, and transition effects if you’d rather not start with a blank canvas.

There are extra features that include drawing tools, animation, text effects, and multiple monitor support, plus free templates and extensions, as well as automatic spell check and support for macros.

Overall, if you're looking for a free alternative to PowerPoint, this is the program you should choose. It even supports the popular PPTX and PPS files used in MS PowerPoint.

You can use it on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Integrates multiple files into one presentation.

Live chat and audience feedback functionality.

Screen sharing feature.

Requires monthly subscription.

Additional software required to view external media formats.

SlideDog is a bit different than these other presentation programs because it's built for presenting files rather than building and presenting.

It works by creating a playlist of media like video, images, PDFs, and PowerPoint files. The presenter can easily add all of these files to a playlist and then use SlideDog to display it in front of an audience.

SlideDog is a great way to organize a presentation if you want something more than the normal "slide after slide" look, which is how most presentation software work.

Pro features include watermark removal, dual screen mode, and live sharing with polls.

SlideDog supports Windows 7 and later editions.

SlideDog is free to use but because there's also a SlideDog Pro version, you don't have access to features like using your own background image, looping the slideshow, sharing with a live audience, and controlling your presentation from your phone.

Express Points Presentation Software

Intuitive user interface.

Easy to import PowerPoint presentations.

Lacks many features of similar apps.

Outdated user interface.

Can't save or export as a PowerPoint file.

Express Points Presentation Software has nothing near the exhaustive features that the above programs have, but it can still function well as a presentation program, especially if you've already tried the above and want a fresh look at a different program.

Options and features are organized nicely in this free presentation program and are easy to access while working. Included are templates, text formatting, primary slides, transitions, image effects, and the ability to add audio.

You can insert audio from a microphone directly into a slide, open Microsoft PowerPoint’s PPTX files, and autosave presentation files as often as every minute. It can export to several video file formats or upload directly to YouTube, Facebook, or Flickr (or save to PDF or a project file).

This program works on Windows (XP and newer) and macOS (10.5 through 10.14).

Apple Keynote

Many advanced features.

Compatible with PowerPoint.

Integrated with Apple iCloud.

Easy to use.

Only available for Apple devices.

Limited toolbar controls.

Apple Keynote is a free presentation software app for iOS and Mac users that allows for easy collaboration so the whole team can easily work together on creating that next presentation.

There are themes, slide transitions, object effects, text effects, and a whole handful of other tools in Apple Keynote.

Apple Keynote supports opening and saving to MS PowerPoint formats (PPTX and PPT). You can also export your Keynote presentation to PDF, a movie file, HTML, and an image file format.

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Other Presentation Making Resources

You may also want to consider a free online presentation maker , which will allow you to work on your PowerPoint from anywhere. Since they run in your web browser, you don't have to download anything to your computer to make them work.

If you're only looking to view or present a slideshow, and not make any changes, consider using the free PowerPoint Viewer . It's a really simple program from Microsoft that does just as it seems: it lets you open a presentation file but not do any editing to it.

You can add more interest to your presentation with presentation templates and presentation backgrounds . When you add these items to your presentation, you can make it really unique and relevant for the topic.

You also might want to consider downloading a free alternative to Microsoft Office , many of which include more than just a presentation creator. They not only provide a way to replace PowerPoint with a free tool but also Word, Excel, and Access.

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Best Presentation Software: Ultimate List 2022

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Renderforest Staff

17 Apr 2020

11 min read  

Best Presentation Software: Ultimate List 2022

It’s no secret that presentations are at the heart of every business, work, and educational process. Sharing our knowledge and ideas is often an essential part of what we do. In this situation, knowing how to craft a presentation that won’t put your audience to sleep is critical for success.

And plain slides filled with text and bullet points will no longer do the job! To grab the attention of your audience, you need to shake things up a little.  

Luckily, there are plenty of presentation tools available online. We’ve collected a list of the best presentation software available online in one place to help you make creative and captivating presentations.

Depending on your needs, each of these 40 presentation tools has its advantages and disadvantages. You can use them to connect with your audience in a more effective and visually appealing way. They can serve as a great PowerPoint alternative and spice up the creation process. 

Let’s take a look at each tool separately and find the best presentation software for your project.  

Renderforest Presentation Maker


Free and Paid from $9.9/month, billed annually

Renderforest is an all-in-one branding platform where you can create professional graphic designs directly in your browser. You can go with a variety of presentation templates ranging from personal to business packs. You only need to select a design and modify it with the beginner-friendly editing kit.

Renderforest also offers templates for video presentations — from 3D and whiteboard animations to corporate and educational presentations.

Keynote software by Apple

Keynote by Apple

Free, available only for MacOS

Apple Keynote is the most successful competitor of PowerPoint among MacOS users. This interactive business presentation software allows you to create engaging and dynamic slides, add charts and graphs to them, edit photos, and add effects to sharpen your project. Access your presentations either online with iCloud, with a mobile app, or download a desktop version for Mac.

Microsoft PowerPoint software

Microsoft PowerPoint

Paid from $5.99/month, billed annually

Starting from the 90s, Microsoft PowerPoint was the most commonly used and one of the best presentation software and remains popular among many users up to this day. The presentation software offers creative presentation tools such as 3D icons and models, complex animations, cinematic motions, and more. Create from scratch or use the built-in templates.

You can also access the free online version of the tool right from the browser and create presentations with images, videos, transitions, and animations. Save your slides online, and access them from a computer, phone, or tablet.

Sway Presentation Maker

Free to download, paid version details not provided by the vendor

Sway helps to create presentations and other documentation in minutes by adding your photos, videos, and other multimedia. This presentation tool dynamically adapts to any screen and can be shared or co-edited with a URL. It’s connected to the Microsoft account so the users can easily add files from OneDrive, or turn their Word or OneNote documents into a dynamic Sway.

Focusky presentation software

Free and Paid from $9.9/month

Focusky is an easy and intuitive HTML5 presentation software with a user-friendly interface. You can create stunning presentations and animated videos by using the built-in templates available on the platform, character library, and 5000+ royalty-free vector files. Add pre-designed video backgrounds, charts, special text effects, your voiceover, and many other interactive elements to create an unforgettable presentation.

Express Points by NCH software

Express Points by NCH software

Express Points is a free alternative to Microsoft Office . Choose from multiple templates, edit and customize the slides, add music or other audio files, upload images, easily edit the template elements. The presentation software has an easy-to-use and user-friendly interface, streamlining the creation process.

LibreOffice Impress drawing and diagramming tool

LibreOffice Impress

LibreOffice Impress offers drawing and diagramming tools that will let you easily create a comprehensive presentation. The animations and different effects will help you make it more impressive and memorable. The software also offers an application that gives you access to your Impress presentation from a smartphone or smartwatch.

Prezi customizable presentations

Free and Paid from $5/month

Prezi offers a vast library of interactive presentation templates available for customization. Designed both for individuals and teams, it provides features and tools to maximize the effectiveness of the presentation process. Mind maps, unlimited zooms, interactive and dynamic features, simplicity, and convenience are what make Prezi one of the most popular and successful online presentation tools.

Recommended Reading

Canva presentation maker tool

Free and Paid from $9.95/month, billed annually

Canva is a popular design platform, used by many who seek an online solution for their creative needs. It provides everything to make presentations, social media visuals, infographics, resumes, flyers, business cards, invitations, and many more. You can start the creation process from scratch or choose from a massive number of professionally designed templates, designed for every need. Make presentations using the free version of the platform, choosing from a huge library of images, fonts, icons, charts, and grids, or go with the premium templates. The platform offers a real-time collaboration function, allowing team members to work on the editing process together.

Slidebean presentation templates

Paid from $96/year

SlideBean is an easy-to-use and simple platform that provides professional templates to present your ideas with simple styling features. The platform offers everything you need for a successful creation process – images, icons, fonts, to name a few. Streamline the process with the help of integrated automation features. Choose the templates depending on your field, to simplify the creation even more. You can see insights into how users interact with the slides.

Zoho online presentation maker

Free and Paid from $4/month, billed annually

Zoho Show is a dedicated online presentation tool , simplistic, and easily customizable. From creating and collaborating to broadcasting and publishing, you are sure to find solutions to your every need. Choose from a variety of integrated themes designed to fit all kinds of needs. Make your slides more interactive by adding transitions and animation, using charts, tables, images, videos, and more. The tool is also available on mobile devices . To access your presentations remotely on your smartphone, simply download the app and log in.

Apache OpenOffice Impress multimedia presentations

Apache OpenOffice Impress

Apache OpenOffice Impress is an easy-to-use tool for creating multimedia presentations. Use 2D and 3D elements, drawing tools, effects, and animations to create appealing presentations. The tool supports different view options, including outlines and notes. You can download a template from their Template repository and customize it according to your needs.

Design App by Slidemagic in browser

Design App by Slidemagic

Free and Paid $99/year

With Slidemagic, you can create and share presentations both in your browser and by downloading the desktop app. The presentation software offers ready-made slides for business presentations created by a professional designer. The software also has a shop where you can find paid presentation slides. Once your slides are ready, present them in the browser, or download them in PDF or PPT.

Adobe Spark graphic design tool

Adobe Spark

Free and Paid from $11.99/month

Adobe Spark is a graphic design and presentation tool that will help you design creative and unique presentation slides. Add your images, discover a wide range of layouts, icons, and fonts. Choose between Spark Post, Spark Page, or Spark Video, depending on your project.

myShowcase by Spintouch multi-touch presentations

myShowcase by Spintouch

Contact vendor for pricing

myShowcase helps to create multi-touch presentations which are perfect for different touch screen displays and tables. The best part is that it doesn’t require any coding skills. It’s an easy-to-use tool for repurposing old content and bringing it to life through engaging presentations. Simply upload your media files and customize your presentations.

create presentations

Free and Paid from $16/month

With Venngage online presentation maker , you can create dynamic presentations by using their ready-made templates. Pick a template created by professional designers, customize it by adding your texts, images, videos, charts, icons, and illustrations. Once you finish the customization, present it directly from the site or download it as a PDF or PNG. Some features are limited in the free version.

Google Slides free online presentation maker

Google Slides

Google Slides is a free online presentation tool, and one of the most popular alternatives to Microsoft Word if you want to create PowerPoint presentations. You can create your presentation from scratch or choose one of the ready-made Google Slides templates .

CustomShow presentation builder

Contact vendor for price

CustomShow is design-focused presentation software . Show your presentation online or offline as a PDF, PPT on different devices, or in print. The platform also allows presenting it through Web Meetings. It provides animation tools like charts, graphs, shapes, 3D effects, and others. Collaborate with colleagues and track the performance of your slides.

Visme presentation maker tool

Paid from $14/month, billed annually

Visme is an all-in-one online presentation maker which offers custom, high-quality templates. Pick a template and customize it according to your needs, or create a presentation from scratch. The tool offers 50+ charts and other data visualization tools, 120+ custom fonts, stock images, and vector icons. You can add website links, emails, and pop-ups. When your presentation is ready, share it online, embed on your website, or download it.

MediaShout church presentation software

Paid from $17/month

MediaShout is a church presentation software used in more than 80,000 churches. The features of this tool include auto-creation of song lyrics, 69 versions of the Bible, bilingual slides, different media type support, announcement loops, PowerPoint Playback, design tools, remote control options. The platform offers easy-to-use and accessible tools to simplify the creation process.

EasyWorship software solution for churches


Paid from $15/month, billed annually

EasyWorship is a presentation software solution for churches. They bring everything you need for your church service in one place. Add your announcements, notes, videos, song lyrics to your presentation and easily customize it. It also supports multiple local users for effective and easy collaboration.

viewlet builder video presentation

Viewlet Builder

Paid from $19/month

Viewlet Builder is a video presentation software for creating interactive online demos. The screen-recording tool automatically captures only the critical part of the screen and automatically reacts to any cursor change. The software allows you to replicate exactly how your application or website works, making the demonstration hassle-free and more effective. You can use the software in real-time, showing how your product works, or pre-record your video presentation with live commentary and edit it beforehand.

Proclaim church service presentations

Paid from $24.99/month

Proclaim has specialized features for creating church service presentations. Choose from pre-made service layouts and create your presentation faster with the reusable slides. Collaborate with your team on the cloud in real-time. The features of the presentation software include easy lyric loading, Bible verse animation, different integrations, a collection of free media, and online sharing.

SlideDog Presentation Software

Free and Paid from $99/year

SlideDog is presentation software that lets its users create playlists from presentation files and easily switch between them. You can combine files with different formats, including PDF files, PowerPoint, web pages, etc. The features include real-time sharing, interactive elements, and remote control with various devices to streamline the presentation process.

FlowVella interactive presentations

Free and Paid from $10/month

FlowVella is an app for building interactive presentations on mobile. It provides an easy and intuitive solution for designing professional presentations in minutes. Choose a ready-made template and customize it by adding your texts, images, videos, links. It’s perfect for events, conferences, museums, etc.

Deckset online presentation maker

Paid from $35, one-time

Deckset is presentation software that creates presentations from a text document. Write your presentation text in a document, upload it, edit or add slides, and present. This tool is great for creating presentations on the go if you have your ideas ready but are short of time to design a compelling presentation. Besides, it has an image and video integration, which will make your presentation more engaging and fun.

Camtasia presentation maker

Paid from $249, one-time purchase

Camtasia is a tool for video presentation creation. Use it to record screen movements, customize or edit your videos, import videos from outside sources. Once you finish the editing process, export the video in the format that fits you best. The software is available for both Windows and Mac.

Slides best presentation software

Free and Paid from $5/month, billed annually

Create, share, present with Slides. Designed for both simple and more complex needs, this easy-to-use presentation tool offers advanced editing capabilities. With these advanced customization features, you can view the source code of your presentation, which is HTML, CSS, Javascript, customize the code, download a copy, and present it offline or online. You can easily integrate Google Sheets, Docs, and Drive to the platform and even access your notes directly on mobile devices . The tool also includes valuable analytics for more professional presentations.

Piktochart Presentation Maker

Free and Paid from $24.17/month, billed annually

Piktochart offers over 600 professionally designed templates for creating presentations and other visuals. There’s a wide variety of interactive charts, animated icons, images, videos, and more. Easily edit your presentations, change the fonts and colors, drag and drop the necessary items. Share your creation on different social media platforms, or password-protect it for private use. Some of the features, however, are not available with the free version. 

Haiku Deck Presentation Maker

Paid from $9.9/month, billed annually

Haiku Deck is an easy way to create presentations online that offers creative and unique fonts, layouts, and image filters. The online tool helps to create simple, beautiful, and creative presentations based on expert tips, and comes with a large selection of stock visuals and pre-designed templates. Created presentations can be easily viewed, shared on social media , and embedded on any website.

Joomag Digital Publishing

Free and Paid from $39/month, billed annually

Joomag is an all-in-one digital publishing platform for interactive content creation. Create your presentations with a simple drag-and-drop editor, customize the ready-made template, and add interactive elements. The presentations are optimized for mobile. The platform offers enhanced privacy options, and you have extensive control over who to share your presentation with.

Emaze presentation templates

Paid from $13/month, billed annually

Emaze is a presentation tool that offers templates designed by professionals. Choose one of the 2D or 3D templates, edit to customize the slides by adding your texts and visuals, then share it via email or on social platforms. The platform also offers audience insight analytics. Download your presentation in PDF, MP4, and HTML to present it offline. presentation maker

Free and Paid from $12/month, billed annually is an AI presentation maker you can use to visualize your ideas easily. It offers 50+ beautifully designed customizable templates that are enhanced with presentation design best practices to keep your projects professional and clean. Besides, you can find and add stock images and icons from the image library. saves you time and provides everything necessary for making great presentations.

pitcherific online presentation maker


Pitcherific is an intuitive online presentation tool aimed to help you hone your pitches to perfection. The tool not only provides a large variety of templates for creating effective presentations but also offers guidance on what type of information to add, depending on the type of your presentation or pitch. On each slide, there is also a character count and a timer, showing how much time you will need to present the slide.

Paid from $99/month

SlideCamp helps companies to manage their PowerPoint slides. You can keep all your presentations in one place so that the whole team has access to them. Choose slides from the library, or use the existing slides in your new presentations. The slides are fully customizable and easy to edit. This tool will help you keep the consistency of your company presentations.

genially online presentation maker

Free and Paid from $7.49/month, billed annually

Genially is an online presentation, graphics, and infographics maker tool that allows you to add interactive elements to your presentation. A very interesting feature of Genially is that it allows you to import a variety of content from outer sources – Spotify, YouTube, Google Maps, Amazon – and add them to your presentation. The service also offers a variety of premium templates you can choose from to create presentations that stand out.

Swipe online presentation maker

Free and Paid from $15/month, billed annually

Swipe is an online presentation maker and sharing tool. Upload your presentation or create one on the platform, then share it online with anyone. Make your real-time presentations and let your audience leave feedback. It’s flexible and responsive, works on any device, and you can access it anywhere. After the presentation, ask questions with the help of the in-built polls and share the results with your audience.

Vizzlo presentation tool

Free and Paid from $11/month, billed annually

Vizzlo is an online presentation tool that helps to create charts, graphics, and presentations in minutes. What you need to do is simply pick a chart or graphic, add your data and use it in your presentation. You can share it on social channels, download, or integrate with other tools.

Knovio presentation maker

Paid from $30/month, billed annually

Knovio is a presentation maker and live streaming tool. It can be used for employee onboarding, corporate presentations, events, and educational presentations. Record and share your webinars; make your presentation more engaging with animations, surveys, quizzes, and other tools. The tool helps to catch the attention of your audience by creating an interactive learning experience.

Intuiface interactive content creation platform

Free and Paid from $273/year

Intuiface is an interactive content creation platform and touch presentation maker. Create your project from scratch or use the ready-made templates. Bring your content to life by making it interactive with a wide range of properties and configuration options. Use the in-built assets such as 3D models, maps, YouTube videos, sound effects, etc. After creating your project, present it with a simple URL with different sharing options.

There is no one answer to the question of which presentation tool or software is the best, as it very much depends on what you want to achieve. Whether you’re looking for cloud-based presentation software or a free presentation app, you’ll find it here. Use this list of the best presentation software to explore and find the features you’re looking for.   

Take your time to try out these tools and experiment a little to choose the presentation maker that fits your needs best. Compare the features of different presentation apps and tools. All these tools aim to simplify and improve the presentation creation process and help you get the results you look for.

There are many options available for every need, and you are sure to end up with an engaging and interactive presentation in no time. So, find the best presentation software suitable for your project and start creating!

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Make Stunning Presentations

Transforms the way you create presentations and present it to your audience.

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Chosen by brands large and small

Our presentation software is used by over 18,235,768 marketers, communicators, executives and educators from over 133 countries that include:

presentation software for xp

Create beautiful presentations, faster

Visme is the best presentation software for teams who need real-time collaboration and individuals who need advanced features and customization for interactive presentations. Create beautiful presentations in minutes, not hours.

A collage showing the different presentation templates available in Visme.

“Frequently, members of the lead team need to give presentations and trainings; Visme has allowed us to really increase the quality of the presentations with minimal effort AND we can re-use past presentations as templates for future presentations, which makes it a great little efficiency booster too!”

“I like the sheer volume of quality presentation and design templates we get with Visme. Editing the templates is generally straightforward and we can have a few different people have access to editing them. We can also set different permissions to have some people provide input or approval and others do the actual editing. We can collaborate right within the Visme to make our notes and suggestions as direct as possible.”

Make it bold and beautiful

Design presentation slides with a wide selection of gorgeous templates and pitch decks , millions of free stock images and thousands of icons.

Tap into more than 50 charts & graphs, interactive maps, mind maps, plus multimedia features modern functionalities that other presentation apps and presentation programs don’t offer.

Thousands of easy-to-edit presentation templates, slides and pitch decks

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Record yourself presenting

Once you’ve created your presentation, do more than only share or download it. With Visme’s Presenter Studio, you can record your presentation and share it with your audience.

Living in the past?

Relax. Visme allows you to import and export your Microsoft PowerPoint as editable presentations.

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Graphics, charts, diagrams, data widgets and maps

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Save time and a whole lot of hassle

No more searching for Microsoft Office files in your device, in your G Suite account or in iCloud. Have everything you need in one place, accessible at any time and reuse them in your presentations.

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File Management & Content Blocks

The more you create, the more productive you get. Grow your own media library of icons and even PDFs for future presentations and other formats.

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Slide Library

Create your own slide library or custom content blocks and reuse them in any of your future presentations.

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Create a stunning presentation in 5 minutes

Gain granular control, animate anything, create actionable areas, add videos, voice overs, and music to your presentations., present like a pro or go home.

Deliver your presentation as visually interactive experiences.

Create, edit & present

Access Visme on your favorite browser on your desktop or laptop. No presentation software or plugins to install. Present offline even if you have no internet connection.

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Reach your audience everywhere

Visme presentations are engineered to display across all mobile and tablet devices. Auto responsive presentations will adhere to maximum resolution of any device you present on.

Reach your Audience Everywhere

Stay poised with presenter

Tap into Visme presenter view to access notes and prompts visible only to you while you present to help you maintain focus and stay on prompt.

Stay poised with Presenter

Share or download your presentations

Share your presentation online, make it private or download to present offline

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Share online

Share your presentation online, embed to your website with Visme’s advanced embedding options or post on social media.

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Make it private

Make your presentation private or password protected and not indexable by Google for internal sharing and sensitive information.

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Download your presentation to present offline without internet connection. Download as PowerPoint, PDF, HTML5 and video.

Track, analyze and engage

Learn who is viewing your presentation and for how long, down to the slide level.

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Great for you . Even better for your team!

Visme for presentations is everything you need to collaborate and share beautiful presentations with your team.

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Manage your team

Easily add and track users in your teams for real-time collaboration

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Set document brand guidelines

Lock your document brand colors and set your own chart and graph templates

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Set permissions

Set user permissions or create roles to decide who can view, edit or share your documents

Learn more about how our users are taking advantage of everything Visme has to offer.

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Build Branded Presentations

Build a library of presentations, slides, media assets and brand colors to share with your team.

Build Branded Presentations

Personalize Your Presentations

Present as is or polish content and adjust as needed.

Build Branded Presentations


Share Your Documents

Present live or offline, make it private or use to generate leads and measure results.

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Advanced editing and presentation design features

Hundreds of professional presentation templates for every industry

Available in HD format and can be customized to any desired size

Add your own branded fonts and colors for a consistent feel across all your documents

Tap into 50+ charts, tables, flowcharts or insert your own external content

Presentation notes and presenter mode to present in front of an audience

Quickly and easily download as HTML5 or PowerPoint to present offline

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some of the best presentation software are Visme, Prezi, SlideDog, Haiku Deck, Slidebean, Powtoon and Zoho Show and others like Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote.

While PowerPoint was a great tool, it’s a bit outdated and doesn’t have the capabilities that a modern tool like Visme has. With professionally designed, modern presentation templates, millions of free design assets, easy-to-understand tutorials and more available to you, Visme is the number one PowerPoint alternative available. You can find more PowerPoint alternatives on our blog.

Don't worry – you don't have to start from scratch! Import your PowerPoint presentation into Visme, edit it online and export in PowerPoint, PDF or even embed it on your website.

Visme presentations are responsive on mobile devices, so regardless of if you're viewing your project on an Android or iOS device like an iPhone or iPad, your presentations are still displayed perfectly.

Yes, Visme offers a completely free plan! However, for professionals and businesses who need access to more premium features, there are tiered pricing plans available based on your needs.

Create a free account today and start creating your own presentations, infographics, social media content, professional documents and more.

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Jumpstart your presentation

The all-in-one beautiful interactive presentation maker that will transform the way you create, engage and present with your audience.

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The best presentation software in 2022

These powerpoint alternatives go beyond the basics..

Hero image with logos of the best presentation software

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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The Best Windows XP Software That Still Works

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, but plenty of programs still do. We show you supported browsers, office, and antivirus software for Windows XP.

Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP in 2014, and major software followed suit in the years after. If you're one of the few people still using Windows XP, not only does your operating system no longer receive security updates, but most software don't work on it either.

In case you really need to use Windows XP for some reason, let's take a look at some major categories and see which software still works on the archaic Windows XP. Just keep in mind that we do not recommend using Windows XP unless absolutely necessary.

Note: Some of these apps are offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. In all likelihood, your copy of Windows XP is 32-bit. Thus, you should make sure to avoid any 64-bit downloads on these sites.

Windows XP Browsers

Let's start with one of the most important categories: browsers. We've written an entire piece on the most secure browser to use with Windows XP , so we'll summarize here.

Internet Explorer and Google Chrome have both dropped support for Windows XP, so you should avoid them. Firefox does not support Windows XP anymore, even in its extended support release version. Opera does not offer updates for Windows XP either---the latest version for XP is 36, while on Windows 10 Opera is up to version 70.

The only notable browser that offers its latest version for Windows XP is Maxthon. At the time of writing, Maxthon 5.3.8 is available on both Windows XP and Windows 10. While this doesn't make using Windows XP much safer, it's better than using a browser that hasn't seen updates for years.

Download: Maxthon

Office Suites for Windows XP

Next to browsers, an office suite is probably one of the most important programs you use.

If you want to stick with Microsoft Office, you can't use any modern version on Windows XP. Office 2013 and 2016 only work on Windows 7 and newer, while Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 only work on Windows 10.

The latest Microsoft Office version that works with Windows XP is the 32-bit edition of Office 2010. Support for Office 2010 ends on October 13, 2020, meaning that all Windows XP versions of Office are unsupported after that date.

Office 2007 and earlier are compatible with Windows XP, but Microsoft no longer supports them so we recommend you avoid those.

Microsoft allows you to download Office 2010 if you have a valid product key . If you don't have one, you could purchase an Office license online, but we recommend you put that money towards a computer replacement instead.

LibreOffice, the best free alternative to Microsoft Office, doesn't support Windows XP on its latest versions anymore. You can download archived versions, but those have the same problems as running an outdated copy of Office.

As an alternative, in a supported browser like Maxthon, you can give Office Online a try or use Google Docs for a basic office suite in your browser.

Visit: Office Online | Google Docs

Antivirus for Windows XP

Microsoft's official antivirus, now integrated into Windows 10 as Windows Defender, was known as Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP. Unsurprisingly, the company no longer supports it, so you'll have to install a third-party solution instead.

One of the options that still works with Windows XP is Panda Antivirus. It's a cloud antivirus, which means the company's servers do most of the heavy lifting instead of your PC.

If you don't like Panda, you can also try Avast Free Antivirus, which still offers a version for Windows XP. Avast doesn't offer its newest features in the XP version, but still updates the antivirus definitions.

As a supplement, you should also download Malwarebytes. As of January 2020, Malwarebytes has confirmed continued support for Windows XP. Like Avast, it won't get new features, but receives updated anti-malware definitions.

This features an on-demand scanner to complement the real-time scanning of a dedicated antivirus. Malwarebytes recommends that you avoid outdated operating systems, but it's a good backup option for as long as you're on XP.

Download: Panda Free Antivirus | Avast Free Antivirus | Malwarebytes

Windows XP Backup Software

Nowadays Windows includes solid backup options built-in, but Windows XP's backup solution is pretty bare. You can still use it by visiting Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup . If it's not good enough for you (which is likely), an alternative will better protect your data.

One of the best backup tools for beginners is AOMEI Backupper Standard, which still works on Windows XP. It's free and backs up only to external drives, not cloud locations.

The all-around performer EaseUS Todo Backup Free also works fine on XP. Unfortunately, cloud backup services like Backblaze don't support Windows XP any longer.

Download: AOMEI Backupper Standard | EaseUS Todo Backup Free

Miscellaneous Windows XP Apps

Let's briefly take a look at several other categories of apps that still work on Windows XP.

Audio and Video

For local media, nothing beats VLC Media Player---it plays every kind of audio and video imaginable, and still works on Windows XP.

If you prefer to stream music, Spotify has dropped support for Windows XP, but you can still use the Web Player.

Most other streaming services, like Pandora, have a web player that should work in a supported XP browser like Maxthon.

Download/Access: VLC Media Player

Visit: Spotify Web Player | Pandora

Image Editing

One of the best easy-to-use editors, Paint.NET, no longer supports Windows XP. The latest versions of GIMP, another popular image editor that's open source, don't work on Windows XP either.

Instead of downloading an older version of GIMP, you can try a browser-based solution like Sumo Paint.

While you're at it, you should install the excellent image viewer IrfanView. It's much better than Windows Picture and Fax Viewer and offers tons of extra features. And it works on Windows XP, surprisingly.

Download: IrfanView

Visit: Sumo Paint

Cloud Storage

Dropbox, perhaps the biggest cloud storage platform, does not work at all on Windows XP. Microsoft's own OneDrive service also no longer works on XP. Unfortunately, Google Drive's desktop app (now named Backup and Sync) is a no-go too.

Thus, to interact with your cloud storage, you'll need to sign into the web portals and use them in your browser. It's not ideal, but at least you can still access your files.

Visit: Dropbox | OneDrive | Google Drive

Two of the best file compression and extraction programs , PeaZip and 7-Zip, are still going strong on Windows XP. PeaZip is more aesthetically pleasing, while 7-Zip is a Windows classic.

Adobe Reader only offers version 11 (not the newest Acrobat Reader DC) for Windows XP. This is doable, but most browsers can open PDFs now too, so it's not a big worry.

Windows XP doesn't have the built-in Snipping Tool to take screenshots, so you can install another screenshot tool to take screenshots instead. PicPick still works on Windows XP.

Download: 7-Zip | PeaZip | PicPick

Few Windows XP Software Still Stand

As we mentioned throughout this list, the majority of popular software doesn't work on Windows XP anymore. If you're still running XP, we highly recommend that you migrate to a supported operating system as soon as possible.

These programs could drop support for XP at any time, and using an unsupported OS still isn't safe, even with compatible software.

Image Credit: undrey/ Depositphotos

Best presentation software of 2023

Make perfect slides for speeches and talks

A women doing a presentation on a whiteboard.

The best presentation software makes it simple and easy to create, manage, and share slideshow presentations.

This is important because presentation software is at the heart of business sales, management, and development. The need to share ideas, concepts, working practices, and workflows can be an essential part of a department, and the ability to present these in a simple and understandable way is essential.

However, while presentation software has been traditionally limited to text and images, it has widened its ability to work with different media such as video and audio . 

Therefore it's important for the best presentation software to not simply be easy and simple to use, but also be able to support these additional media so that presentations can be more engaging, lively, and ultimately serve their purpose in educating and updating their intended audience.

There are a lot of different presentation software platforms around, but the range can be confusing. Here we've therefore listed the best presentation software currently on the market, from paid-for, subscription, and even free platforms.

We’ve also rounded up the best project management solutions .

The best office software in the world is: Microsoft 365

The best office software in the world is: Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) There are many different office software suites out there, but Microsoft Office remains the original and best, offering an unsurpassed range of features and functionality that rivals just can't match.

Even better, Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) - previously branded as Office 365 - is a cloud-based solution which means you can use it on any computer, mobile device, or smartphone, without having to worry about compatibility. All your files are saved in the cloud and synced between devices, so you can begin work on a document at home or in the office, then continue working on it on the go.

You can sign up to Microsoft 365 here (opens in new tab) .

1. PowerPoint

Our expert review:

Reasons to buy

For most people, Microsoft's PowerPoint remains the original and best of all the presentation software platforms out there. While other companies have managed to catch up and offer rival products worthy of consideration, the fact is that PowerPoint's familiar interface and ubiquitous availability means it remains a favorite for the majority of people.

On the one hand, it's long been a staple of the hugely popular Microsoft Office suite, meaning that for most users this is going to be the first - and last - presentation software they are going to need to use.

Additionally, Microsoft has made PowerPoint, along with their other office products, available as free apps (with limited functionality) on both iOS and Android for mobile use, meaning it's even harder to avoid them. And this is before we even consider the inclusion of PowerPoint in Microsoft's cloud-based Microsoft 365.

It does everything necessary that you'd expect of presentation software, allowing you to add text and media to a series of slides, to accompany a talk and other presentations. There are easy-to-use templates included to help spice things up a little, but even a general user with little experience of it is likely to find themselves able to use PowerPoint without much trouble at all.

Overall, it's hard to go wrong with PowerPoint, and although Microsoft 365 has a nominal cost, the apps are free to use even if they do have more limited functionality.

Read our full Microsoft PowerPoint review .

2. CustomShow

Reasons to avoid.

Branding says a lot about a business, and it’s something firms need to get right from day one – from a good logo to a suitable font. CustomShow is business presentation software that puts all these elements of branding first.

Using the system, you can design and present customized, branded presentations that reflect your company and the products you offer, featuring the aforementioned logo and custom fonts. As well as this, you get a slide library and analytics to ensure your presentations are a success.

What’s more, you can import presentations into the software, and use it to tweak them further. There’s also integration with SalesForce, and because the platform is cloud-based, you can access your presentations on computers, tablets, and smartphones. 

Considering the focus on branding, this offering could be good for marketing and sales teams, and it's used by major companies such as HBO and CBS Interactive.

3. ClearSlide

Just like CustomShow, ClearSlide has a niche focus for companies. The platform is targeted at firms looking to generate successful marketing campaigns, pushing sales via presentations (and more), not least through a range of analytics and metrics to work for sales and marketing.

With the product, you can upload a range of files, including PowerPoint, Keynote, PDF, and Excel. ClearSlide is integrated with other platforms, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Salesforce.

This system is pretty complex and may offer too many irrelevant features for some businesses, but you can create customized content that reflects your company and the message you’re trying to get out to customers. There are also some good metrics and analysis features, and you can sign up for a free trial before making any decisions.

The real strength of ClearSlide comes from its focus on sales and marketing data, not least being able to track user engagement alongside other metrics.

4. Haiku Deck

Any presentation app will allow you to personalize your slides to at least some extent, but Haiku Deck goes one step further than the competition. It comes with a wide range of themes suited to different needs, and you also get access to 40 million free images from the Creative Commons collection.

When it comes to creating a presentation, you have the option to do so on the web, which means your presentation is accessible across a range of mobile devices as well as desktops. Regardless of the device used, you’re able to select from a variety of different fonts, layouts, and filters to make the perfect presentation.

The great thing about these various customization options is that they’re categorized into different industries and use cases. For instance, you’ll find themes for teaching, cooking, real estate, and startups. Most of the features require you to be online, but hopefully, you’ll have a sturdy net connection wherever you go.

5. SlideDog

It’s all too easy to end up creating a presentation that’s unappealing, and the last thing you want to do is make the audience fall asleep. SlideDog lets you combine almost any type of media to create a rich presentation that’s sure to keep the viewers’ peepers open, avoiding the ‘cookie cutter’ look that makes presentations seem dull.

Marketed as a web-based multimedia presentation tool, it gives you the ability to combine PowerPoint presentations, graphics, PDF files, Prezi presentations, web pages, pictures, videos, and movie clips. You can drag these into custom playlists and display them to your audience with ease.

You’re able to remotely control your presentations and playlists from your smartphone, the web, or a secondary computer, and there’s also the option to share slides in real-time. Audience members can even view your slide from their own devices by clicking a link. That’s a handy feature if you’re looking to create an immersive presentation experience.

SlideDog is probably the cheapest of the presentation software featured, with a free account that will cover the essential features. However, for live sharing and premium support, you need to upgrade.

Read our full SlideDog review .

Prezi is one of the more unique presentation tools. Instead of presenting your graphics and text in a slide-to-slide format, you can create highly visual and interactive presentation canvases with the goal of “emphasizing the relationship between the ideas”.

Presentations can also be tailored to the specific audience, as this is a flexible platform that’s capable of skipping ahead, or veering off into a side topic, without having to flip through all the slides to get to a particular bit.

For business users, there are a variety of handy tools available. By downloading Prezi , you can build and edit presentations with your colleagues in real-time, which is perfect for companies with teams based around the globe.

When you have created a presentation you’re happy with, you can present it live (in HD) and send a direct link to viewers. There are some analysis tools here, too – you can see who’s accessed your presentation, which parts of it, and for how long. The app is available for Mac and Windows devices.

Read our full Prezi review .

Other presentation software to consider

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

Google Slides (opens in new tab)  is part of the Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) office platform intended as an online alternative to Microsoft Office. It may seem a little limited by comparison to PowerPoint, but as it's browser-based that means cross-platform compatibility. Additionally, it allows for collaborative work, and Google Slides really works well here. On top of the fact that it integrates with the rest of the Google Workspace apps, not least Google Drive, and you have a contender. 

Zoho Show (opens in new tab)  is another of the many, many tools and apps that Zoho has made available for business use. It also operates in the cloud so it's accessible to any device with a browser, and it also allows for collaborative work. You can also easily share the link for users to download, or provide a live presentation online. The updated version has a simpler and easier to use interface and comes with a free version and a paid-for one with expanded features.

Evernote (opens in new tab)  is normally thought of as just note-taking software, but it does provide the option to create a presentation you can share online or with an audience. In that regard, it's a little more limited than the other options in not being dedicated presentation software. However, as an easy and handy way to pull together a presentation quickly, it could serve as a backup or last-minute option, especially if Evernote is already being commonly used by you.

LibreOffice Impress (opens in new tab)  is part of the open-source suite offered as a free alternative to Microsoft Office, and comes with a powerful array of tools and editing options for your presentation, not least working with 3D images. It's supported by a large community, so it's easy to find an array of additional templates. If there is a limitation it's that it's software you download and install rather than web-based, but any presentations created should be easily portable to the web if needed.

Adobe Spark (opens in new tab)  does things a bit differently, as rather than just use images it's geared toward video as well. This makes for potentially more powerful multimedia presentations, especially as Adobe also has a big selection of photos and images available for its users. There is a free tier for core features but requires a subscription for custom branding, personalized themes, and support.

Slides (opens in new tab)  comes with a lot of features in an easy-to-use interface, and involves setting up presentations using drag and drop into an existing grid. It's also internet-based so there's no software to download, and it only requires a browser to use and access. 

How we tested the best presentation software

To test for the best 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.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar (opens in new tab) .

Which presentation software is best for you?

When deciding which presentation software 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 for your presentation needs.

We've also featured the best alternatives to Microsoft Office .

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Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.

presentation software for xp

Microsoft PowerPoint

Get it now with a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Device screen showing a presentation open in PowerPoint

Get the PowerPoint mobile app

Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon

Interact naturally using voice, touch, and ink

Easily ink onto a slide, then convert handwritten notes into text and make hand-drawn shapes perfect in seconds.

Nail your next presentation

With Presenter Coach, practice your speech and get recommendations on pacing, word choice, and more through the power of AI.

Mikala standing and talking to a vendor while holding a Surface Pro 6 in Tablet Mode

Be on the same page

Always know where you are in the editing process. With the while you were away feature, track recent changes made by others in your decks.

Task management with PowerPoint and Microsoft 365

See how task management in Microsoft 365 works as an integrated experience that lets you assign, manage, and complete tasks across your favorite apps including PowerPoint.

Ready to create great presentations with Microsoft 365?

See more from microsoft powerpoint.

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Slideshow Maker’s main features

Slideshow with music.

Slideshow with music

Add text to slideshow

Add text to slideshow

Free slideshow maker

Free slideshow maker

Simple & friendly GUI

Simple & friendly GUI

All Windows OS supported

All Windows OS supported

Slideshow software presentation

Slideshow preview

Add transitions, resume slideshow projects, sort slides, choose output resolution, share easily, burn to dvd, how to use the slideshow maker, system requirements, slideshow maker faqs.

It's very simple with Icecream Slideshow Maker. Add some photos, set transitions and timing if necessary, click the Add Audio button on the right to add the music file(s) to the background playlist. Or simply drag and drop them in. Then click the Create button to create your slideshow.

With this program, you can create a slideshow in a minute. Drag and drop files, add music, and click Create. That's it. All the default settings, including random transitions and output resolution, will help you make a cool slideshow in 3 clicks. Otherwise, you can adjust them according to your needs. Install the program and see for yourself.

Simply uncheck the "Scale to fit" option. This will enlarge all the photos so that the blurry bars are hidden.

You can use the free slideshow maker for an unlimited period of time and enjoy all the main features of the program. You can see the list of PRO features on the Upgrade page.


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Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows

Microsoft (Paid)

Avast free antivirus

Excellent slideshow presentation program

Microsoft PowerPoint

Powerpoint is a popular presentation software by Microsoft. You can create PowerPoint presentations for various purposes, such as in business or school settings, and they allow the user to add text, images, animations, and videos to each slide. There are also several different transition effects between slides.

Powerpoint is part of the Microsoft 365 suit and is available for both Windows and Mac OS. It's similar to Google Slides and Apple Keynote but differs because it allows for more detailed animations and videos.

Create and customise presentations

Microsoft Powerpoint is used widely in businesses to present new ideas, concepts, or marketing strategies . Universities also commonly use PowerPoint to aid in the presentation of classes, lectures, and other learning materials . Additionally, many individual users utilise PowerPoint presentations as a way of showcasing their interests or sharing information.

Main features

Powerpoint comes with a number of pre - installed templates , each of which has a different layout and design on each slide. You can use these templates for a number of purposes, but they often include bright colours and flashy graphics that are intended to grab the attention of an audience. They allow for quick customisation with minimal effort by the user.

Every pre-installed template has its own set of transition options so that each slide can appear in whatever manner desired. The number of transition options available is vast, with close to two dozen variations.

Users can also add their own text or images to any slide and incorporate additional multimedia such as video clips , pictures , and audio files into the slides. These objects can be adjusted and moved around the screen to fit the needs of the user.

Powerpoint also has a number of predefined animations that can be added to slides to make them more interesting. These include text or graphic movement, appearance, and shape changes. There are over 50 different animation variations available.

Microsoft Powerpoint also allows for presentations to be put together and designed collaboratively . This is done through the use of cloud storage so that changes made by one user will update all other copies of the presentation.

Presentations can be played back on any device that has Powerpoint installed. This allows for the presentations to be viewed in real-time during business meetings or at conferences, and it also offers a way for teachers and professors to put together student lesson plans.

Accessible for all skill levels

Powerpoint is the most widely used presentation program because it's simple to pick up and use. The range of templates available allows even novice users to be able to create presentations that have flashy graphics while being easy to navigate . At the same time, more experienced users have access to a number of tools that can be used to further customise presentations.

Powerpoint alternatives

There are a number of different presentation software options available that can be used in place of Powerpoint. These examples vary widely in their features and user interface, but they all provide a way for users to put together slideshows that can be shown to an audience.

Google Slides : Google's online presentation software is known for its collaboration features and advanced editing options (like editing charts and adding equations), but it lacks some of the template variety found in Powerpoint. It has a number of templates for common business presentations, but it also allows the use of Google Docs and Google Drive to store files.

Apple Keynote : This Apple software is similar in some ways to Powerpoint because it has a range of built-in templates with simple formatting options. It's less complicated than Google Slides but lacks advanced editing options.

An excellent choice

Powerpoint has a number of useful features that make it easier for users to create the desired presentations. The user interface of Powerpoint is straightforward and easy to understand, with all the tools that are needed for creating a presentation just a click away. The toolbar along the top of the window allows for quick access to all functions available, while each slide can be edited by clicking on it. 

There are also a number of cloud storage options that allow multiple people to work on the same project. Additionally, many of Powerpoint's features can be accessed from other software, such as Microsoft Word . This makes it easy to transfer files back and forth between programs and to use multiple programs together for tasks like business presentations and school assignments.

Microsoft PowerPoint for PC

We don't have any change log information yet for version 2021 of Microsoft PowerPoint. Sometimes publishers take a little while to make this information available, so please check back in a few days to see if it has been updated.

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PowerPoint Viewer lets you view full-featured presentations created in PowerPoint 2010 and previous versions. This viewer also supports opening password-protected Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Y

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Internet Explorer 9 or simply IE9 is the latest version of the Internet Explorer browser by Microsoft. It was introduced to the general public on March 14, 2010. Compared to Internet Explorer 8 which

How to Make Interesting Presentations for Software Projects .

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No matter how good your website or app might be, if you cannot communicate its value to your client or employer, your hard work will be overlooked. Here's a guide on how to create interesting presentations for your next software project.

Know Your Presentation Audience

Don't start by just slapping a bunch of slides together. Instead take a moment and think about who you're going to present to. This might be your boss, a potential client or an interested crowd at a conference. Think about the background knowledge your audience will posses or what it might be missing out on. Reflect on their interests. Most of the time people are not attending presentations just because they like hearing you talk. So figure out what they're looking to get out of your presentation. This might be technical knowledge, inspiration as well as strategical or economical insights.

Besides knowing such on-topic aspects about your audience, it could also come in handy to have some general conditions on your mind. This might include the time your audience is willing to spend with you. Will your listeners be relaxed or are they in a hurry and barely able to attend your presentation? You don't want people to miss your key points because they already had to leave.

Define a Goal for Your Presentation

Now that you know the people you'll be talking to, you can figure out what to give them. What's the message you want to get across? What's the goal you're trying to achieve with your presentation? You might want to get support for your next software project. You'd like to get funding for building a website or app. Maybe you're trying to sell some software you've created. Or maybe you want to show the progress of your software project to your employer or client.

Defining a specific goal for presenting your software makes crafting the actual presentation a lot easier. At every step you can ask yourself whether some slide you're going to show or a certain thing you're going to say is beneficial for reaching that goal - if it's not, throw it out.

Defining Goal and Audience for Your Software Project Presentation

Outline A Story

Creating a story doesn't mean you have to write a screenplay. Instead construct a cohesive outline for your presentation. I like doing this by creating some placeholder slides with certain keywords and topics. Make sure that every part of your presentation fits with the next one so that your listeners won't get lost.

I'm not a book author, but just like design has it's principles, storytelling has some as well. Start with a brief setup explaining what your presentation is all about and foreshadow where the story will be going. It's highly subjective whether a story is good. Relatability is a key factor for liking a story - that's why you researched your audience. Now you can carefully select on which parts you'd like to go into details.

All good stories have a twist. It's still a presentation so there might just not be a real twist to your topic. Still, what I mean by that is don't spill all your beans in the first five minutes. Try to intrigue the audience by leading up to something. That could be the demonstration of your software, some exciting feature or the results of a proof-of-concept trial.

Address obstacles you overcame along the way, but don't make yourself look bad by mentioning every mistake you made - that's not an interesting story, is it?

Slide Design

Don't get me wrong, I know that some people are that good at public speaking, their slides don't matter. Other times you might not even need slides and rather just stand there by yourself or with some other props. However, when presenting software projects, having some slides is usually a good idea because it's pretty difficult to convey designs and technical concepts with words only. Having off-putting slides though might still be worse than having none at all. Here are some tips that can go a long way.

Less Text, More Content

You've probably heard some arbitrary upper limit for bullet points to slap on a slide - like no more than four or five. The problem with this rule is how people apply it: they just move their remaining bullet points to the next slide.

You'll get out of this dilemma, if you stop thinking in bullet points. Instead focus on the goal of your presentation and design slides that'll help you reach it. Below you can see some layouts I like to use.

Layouts for Content-focused Slides

Replace text with graphics wherever possible. People are naturally more receptive for graphical representations. An ad-hoc diagram you create directly on the slide can convey much more than plain bullet points. It does so by the means of boundaries, grouping and connections.

Ad-hoc diagram for conveying technical concepts

When doing these kind of diagrams don't try to fit everything in them. Focus again on what kind of understanding you want to achieve. You can also leverage diagram standards like UML or BPMN, but keep in mind that not everyone knows these notations by heart. Some plain boxes and arrows can go a long way and it's better to have a simple diagram that's helping people instead of a complex one that's not.

If you've developed a website or app, or anything with a user interface really, you've probably got a lot to show. You can also include design iterations describing how you got to your final result. However, don't bore people by showing every single interface (or state of the same interface) there is.

Mockup Showcasing User Interface on Tablet

It can also be illustrative to see a mockup of your project in action - like someone holding a phone with your app open or a laptop showing your website. This will display your product in a professional and realistic look allowing people to easily picture themselves using it.

You'll find mockup resources and templates on graphics marketplaces which you can then assemble using photo editing software like Photoshop.

If you prefer an easier solution that doesn't require you to search for assets and install software, try SceneLab. Just drop your images onto phone, tablet or laptop screens right in your browser. You can choose from an ever-growing collection of professional design templates and adjust them to your needs with custom colors and texts.

Don't be afraid to sacrifice a whole slide to one word or number - the impact will be worth it. This could be the number of users you have, the revenue your app made or how many orders your software processed. You might also put a quote from some famous figure to give your statements more weight - though don't overdo it with that, rule of thumb: one quote max per presentation.

When you're showing images you never want to ask during presentation whether everyone can make out what's on it. Either zoom into the parts you're talking about or slice up the image.

Simple and Consistent

Limit yourself to a few font configurations consisting of font-family, font-size, font-style and color. This will give your presentation a clean look and provide consistency. Also, especially when working with little diagrams like shown above, try to work meaning into your color coding by using the same colors for roughly the same things.

Having a limited set of layouts can also be beneficial because it will allow viewers to know faster where they should be looking.

One thing I also sometimes like to do is picking an icons for each specific topic and use those consistently throughout the presentation. This could be a map when you're talking about how you planned things out or a target when it's about goals reached. If you keep to a handful different icons, you'll make these topics easily recognizable allowing you to spice up what would've otherwise been just text.

Templates & Resources

I often see people creating their presentation with a theme based on a popular movie or show. I'd advise you to refrain from doing so as you probably don't want to get into problems with copyright infringement when your slides or a video of your presentation end up on the web. Rather stay with unlicensed resources and give credit where credit is due.

Just because you think you're not very skilled at design doesn't mean your presentation has to look bad - there are templates for that! SlidesCarnival and Slidesgo are great places for free-to-use presentation templates. They list them by color, style and occasion enabling you to always find something that fits your project. They come with inspiring placeholder slides, pre-defined color schemes and a bunch of icons.

Besides presentation templates you might also find these resources helpful:

Showing your app or website in action or doing a live coding session is somewhat the holy grail of software presentation. They can leave a major impact but might seem a bit daunting. The key here is preparation and some practice. Figure out the conditions for your demo and prepare accordingly:

When all falls apart skip the demonstration or, even better, have a pre-recorded video of it ready to show. This way you won't waste your precious presentation time and the audience's attention span on fixing your demonstration.

Also, for a professional impression, do some cleaning up. Clear your desktop of anything that's not related to the presentation. Close every program you don't need as you probably don't want to have delicate mail notifications during showtime. Hide the bookmarks bar of your browser not only to keep those from prying eyes but also to have more room when showing a website or web app.

Practicing Your Presentation

Practicing your presentation will not only make you more confident, you'll also know roughly how long it's going to take. Therefore don't rush while practicing because it's just practice .

You can write down some speaking notes but don't script your presentation to a point where it feels awkward. It's not the end of the world if you say something differently or forget to say it at all - after all a presentation is a live performance.

It can also be really helpful to have a test audience while practicing. This will make transitioning to a real audience much easier and you get valuable feedback early on. If there's no one available, you could still record yourself using your phone.

Following some basic steps will give you a solid foundation for crafting presentations. Knowing your audience, having a clearly defined goal and proper slides might also reduce stage fright, allowing you to have a good time when presenting your next software project. By having a focus on content, not being afraid to go bold and some consistency your slides will help you communicate your message much better. With a professional presentation template your slides are almost guaranteed to be interesting. Throw a carefully prepared live demonstration and some practice into the mix and you're ready!

Nils Mehlhorn

Nils Mehlhorn

Co-Founder of SceneLab & Software Engineer

presentation software for xp

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Presentation Software

Table of contents, what does presentation software mean, techopedia explains presentation software.

Presentation software is a category of application software that is specifically designed to allow users to create a presentation of ideas by stringing together text, images and audio/video. The presentation tells a story or supports speech or the presentation of information.

Presentation software can be divided into business presentation software and general multimedia authoring software, but most presentation software applications already provide tools that allow users to create both professional-looking business presentations and general multimedia presentations.

Presentation software is also known as a presentation program.

Presentation software is generally used for creating slideshows that display information. The software has three main components:

Before the advent of presentation software, presenters commonly used an easel to hold posters that contained illustrations to support the report or a slide projector to display graphics printed on a transparent plastic film. These methods were inflexible; for example, changing small things in the printed materials used could result in mismatched graphics or illustrations, sometimes requiring redoing the entire thing. With presentation software, not only authoring but also correcting illustrations can be done easily.

Microsoft's PowerPoint and Apple's Keynote are two of the best-known commercial presentation software applications in the market.

Presentation Program

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presentation software for xp

Many schools across the world are being closed to curb the spread of coronavirus. Most students will be asked to shift to online learning, but parents and teachers are beginning to worry about how to guarantee an intuitive and effective e-learning experience.

This is where the XPPen graphics tablet or display comes in. It’s an efficient but affordable teaching tool that integrates the best features of traditional and new teaching media. It helps create a progressive, interactive lecture, just like a traditional blackboard only more versatile. Our tablet allows users to hand-draw images, graphics, and diagrams to create information-rich content for an interactive learning atmosphere, even in a virtual learning environment.

Take home an XPPen graphics tablet or display and start your distance learning program. As long as you have a connected tablet and the right e-learning applications, such as Zoom, Udemy, Ding Talk, WizIQ, XSplit, Twitch, Idroo, and Scribblar, you can enter an interactive online class anytime, anywhere.

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Simultaneous digital inking with an XPPen graphics tablet, compatible with Microsoft Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Present your handwritten content precisely – ideal for your e-learning or distance learning program.

The XPPen battery-free stylus helps ease the wrist pain and stiffness that come with using a traditional mouse during long teaching sessions. No batteries or charging are ever required, and it also comes with all the functionality of a standard mouse and more!

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Teachers can create and explain interactive content visually by writing, editing, and annotating directly in files and sharing their screen in real-time. With this flexibility, the flow of the problem-solving process is presented intuitively and efficiently.

If you are a teacher pursuing further career development and personal fulfillment, you probably want to broadcast your courses to your streaming or online learning platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Bloc, Twitch, Udemy, Khan Academy, and Codecademy. Harness the power of the XPPen tablet or display to make your courses unique, intuitive, and attractive.

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While streaming or broadcasting, teachers can use a stylus and a tablet to mark assignments or presentations, annotate images or files, and draw diagrams and complicated functional equations with ease and on the fly. Through this instant visual communication, they can respond to student reactions to boost students’ comprehension and retention.

Enhance students’ learning experiences on Chromebooks. You can now use Chrome OS on your XPPen graphics tablet, allowing you to effortlessly write and create digitally. You can then share and collaborate with teachers and classmates, creating an interactive class atmosphere (even when learning remotely). The XPPen stylus offers the functionality of a standard mouse, meaning that you can write, edit, draw and navigate on your Chromebook with ease.

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4 x 3-inch working area A versatile, mini-sized tablet that fits in any workspace and is perfect for eLearning.

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7 x 4-inch working area This compact tablet is perfect for small work surfaces, helping you to effectively engage in eLearning courses.

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6 x 4-inch working area This medium-sized tablet is perfect for small work surfaces, enabling you to distance learn effortlessly.

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Star G960S Plus

9 x 6-inch working area This large tablet is ideal for eLearning on medium-sized work surfaces.

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10 x 6.25-inch working area Perfect for medium-sized work surfaces, this expansive tablet can be used to create intuitive and interactive lectures.

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Artist 12 Pro

11.6-inch, fully-laminated, FHD display Digitally draw graphics and complicated equations with ease, this screen is great for dedicated worksapce.

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Ashley W. English teacher

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Min-joon C. Math tutor

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Movavi Slideshow Maker

Flexible: 150+ filters, 100+ transitions, 40+ titles

Personal: use voice-over to tell your unique story

Easy: master in 5 minutes, explore your creativity for hours

The Best Presentation Software

Searching for the best presentation software? There are plenty of options available depending on what you need. The following are some of the best presentation programs available based on the types of features and capabilities you're looking for in the ideal software.

Top free presentation software

Movavi Slideshow Maker uses a combination of simplicity and capability to allow users to create engaging slideshows. The tool includes all the features needed for beginners to get started, and it's also ideal for more experienced presentation creators. Simply upload your photos and videos, add an audio track, and complete your professional-looking presentation. Whether for personal or professional use, you can create the perfect slideshow with this easy-to-use software.

Easy to use with an intuitive design

Plenty of features available for creating top-quality presentations

The free version is limited to 7 days

Software type

Desktop app that's compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.


Allows users to create slideshows in three simple steps

Users can record their own voiceover commentary

Saves slideshows in any file format

Works with both Windows and Mac devices

Visit the CNET site below to see more reviews for this product.

Proceed to the CNET website

Visme makes it easy to create and share interactive presentations and other types of visuals such as infographics. The tool enables users to take any set of data and transform it into engaging visuals. It's a great tool to use for individuals and teams, and it allows you to publish your presentations online, download them locally, or use an embed code to put it on your website. Millions of users love Visme and rely on this presentation software.

High-quality output

Easy to use

Contemporary appealing templates for presentations

Includes branding features

Duplicate images needed for each project

Can take some time to learn how to use it

No offline version

Web-based browser program for computers and tablets.

Data visualization features

Content database for images and more

Video and streaming support

Drag and drop function

Microsoft Office integration

Interface for collaboration with a team

For more information and reviews about this product, visit the Capterra site below.

Proceed to the Capterra website

For one of the quickest ways to piece together a good-looking professional-level presentation on the web or with your iPhone, Haiku Deck is a great option. With a library consisting of over 40 million royalty-free images and thousands of design templates, you'll have everything you need to complete any presentation. You can also export your presentations in PPTX or video format.

Intuitive design makes it easy to use

Plenty of design options and photos

Limited in overall capabilities without many advanced options

Not too much room for customization

Web-based software that's compatible with browsers and iOS using the app.

Controllable via iPhone remote

Compatible with Safari, Chrome, and Firefox browsers

Can export files as PDFs or Powerpoint presentations

Can import and resize images

Private and public notes

For more information and reviews about Haiku Deck, visit the Capterra site below.

If you're looking for a good alternative to Powerpoint that can give you more visualizations and a variety of design options, Prezi is a great presentation software. Prezi allows you to begin with a blank canvas, and from there you can add and change content at any point on the page. Unlike Powerpoint and other tools, it's non-linear in its layout for more free-flowing presentation design. It's also free and web-based, allowing you to access it using any web-enabled computer.

Non-linear layout for free-form control

Free and web-based

Easy for everyone to use, regardless of experience

Non-linear format could lead to motion sickness for some, but simple moves between screens can prevent this problem

Requires some learning to get the hang of it

No local version

Desktop and web-based editor with viewer apps available for both Android and iOS.

Allows users to import Powerpoint presentations

Works with both Windows and Mac computers

iOS viewer app allows streaming on Apple TV devices

Can publish presentations locally, organizationally, or for all audiences on the web

Premium version includes analytics to give you insight on performance with audiences

Check out the review at PCMag below to find out more about Prezi.

Proceed to the PCMag website

As Powerpoint's complement for Apple devices, Keynote is another reliable tool worth considering. If you're familiar with Mac programs and their functions, you should learn how to use Keynote in no time. Plenty of templates and layouts are available, and you can easily include animations in your presentations. Adobe also powers its appealing interface and templates, and you can choose from different formats to save your presentations.

Easy to use for beginners and veteran users alike

A wide variety of designs and templates for presentation themes

Can handle animation

YouTube, Quicktime, and other formatting options

PC users won't have an easy time using this program if they aren't used to Mac programs

Mobile (Android & iOS), desktop, and web-based app requiring an iCloud account to use.

Users can open, save, and edit Powerpoint files and convert Keynote to Powerpoint format, but glitches can occur

Available through iCloud

Can control presentations using iOS device with Keynote remote for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

Remote presentations using Keynote Live and a web-enabled device

Live Collaboration for team projects

For reviews that can help you decide if Keynote is right for you, visit the Macworld site below.

Proceed to the Macworld website

Google Slides

If you have a Google account, you can access Google Slides for free along with its other cloud-based programs. Google Slides comes with plenty of customization options to create a great-looking presentation with every use. You'll find it to be a great tool if you're looking for something free and easy to use. However, like other cloud-based versions of Google software, formatting presentations across programs like Powerpoint can require some tweaks.

Easily accessed via the cloud on Google Drives

Presentations created with the program will look the same across all devices

Web-based only with limited offline capabilities

Importing from Keynote or Powerpoint can yield poor results because of formatting differences

Exporting could also result in unfavorable results using different software

Mobile app on iOS and Android, along with a web-based Chrome App with an offline editor that requires either Chrome OS or the Chrome browser.

Powerpoint-Google Slides conversion, but glitches can occur

Real-time collaboration through comment, chat, and review

Can display on secondary screen using Airplay or Chromecast

Audience interaction feature that allows for live comments and questions

Presenter View can include notes and slide previews using a second window

Remote control via Android or iOS devices

Remote presentations through Google Hangouts

Connect with other Google apps including YouTube

Visit the Capterra site for more reviews and details about Google Slides.

Slidebean is a great user-friendly presentation software that anyone can use, with easy access to all of its resources. It also includes integrated AI that can help with formatting and design by assisting with font choices and slide arrangements. Create high-quality presentations using Slidebean in no time, and you can choose from different sharing options based on privacy preferences.

Easy to use with minimal learning curve

AI integration to make creating presentations even easier

Top-quality production

Some startup bugs

Need to spend money to access many features

Web-based software accessible using web-enabled devices.

AI design feature

Custom templates with custom colors and fonts

Collaboration with team

Audience insight

Branding with company logo

Professional reviews for presentations

Export presentations as PDFs

The G2 site linked below can take you to more reviews for Slidebean.

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Zoho Show is a cloud-based program that enables presentation creation and collaboration, along with broadcasting and publication. Plenty of visuals are available with this software to help you fully customize your presentations, whether you want to include photos, videos, tables, or charts. It also makes it easy to work with your team to collaborate on a small or large project.

Includes many features to customize your presentations

Chrome extension allows easy draft creation at any time

Live broadcasting allows you to showcase a presentation to an audience and engage in live chat and comments

Consumes resources and, subsequently, isn't as fast as Google Slides and other cloud-based programs

Web-based app along with native editor apps for both Android and iOS, with viewer apps available to download for Apple TV and Android TV.

Can import and export both Powerpoints and PDF files, but conversion may not be perfect

Internal, organizational, or public publishing of presentations, with iframe embed codes available to paste on websites

Web-based presentation view and remote capabilities via two browser windows

Android and iOS app for remote presentation creation

Streaming on Chromecast, Android TV, and Apple TV

Chrome extension helps optimize speed and web-based editor control

Visit the link below for additional reviews for Zoho Show.

Proceed to the GetApp website

Bring your presentations to life with CustomShow, which enables you to create engaging content with custom background images and video. You can also broadcast your presentations using the included webinar feature, and you don't even need to be online to give your presentation as you can share them with people to look through on their own. If you make any updates to your library, all linked slides are also updated accordingly.

Easy to create and share presentations with anyone

All changes are updated automatically if library changes

Simple management of presentations and library

No search function in library

Can't open links using mobile devices

A lack of editing features

Web-based software for any web-enabled computer.

Create a personal library combining images, text, video and Adobe Flash content

Updates are automatically shared with all users

Use with browsers, on both Mac and Windows computers

iPad application allows for seamless integration and remote presentations using iPad tablets

Visit the Capterra website to see more reviews for this program.

If you want to incorporate animations in your presentations, Powtoon is an excellent choice of presentation software. You'll find no shortage of images and templates for your presentations, and you can create them in little time. You can keep your presentations engaging through the use of an animated slideshow that plays like a video as opposed to a traditional click-through slideshow, but you can easily switch between both modes.

Many features to customize your presentations

A wide variety of templates

Can share presentations with the public

Offline saving is available

The interface can seem a little disorganized

Can take some time to load another user's presentation

Limited features on the free version, including the inability to download presentations over five minutes long

Web-based software for web-enabled devices.

Offline local presenting

Screen sharing to showcase presentations to others

Communication and content management

Image library

Project templates and planning

Search functionality

Two-factor authentication

Collaboration tools

Visit the link below for additional reviews and information about Powtoon.

Proceed to the Softwarehow website

Formerly known as GoAnimate, Vyond is another tool that's ideal if you want to create animated presentations. You can also collaborate with a team to work on a video project together. Features are also easy to use, regardless of your experience presentation software. The quality of animation and presentations is consistently high, and you can easily customize your presentations using audio files such as voice narration, sound effects, and music.

Very user-friendly and easy to use without any experience

Affordable for many businesses to use

High presentation quality

A bit of a learning curve to get used to the software

Library is limited in terms of character poses, styles, and objects

Cloud-based software accessible using any web-connected device.

Automatic lip-syncing with audio uploaded as MP3 files

Three styles that each come with pre-made templates along with characters and pre-animated assets

Version history allows you to revert to a previous version to track changes or create new videos from an existing custom template

Visit TrustRadius below for more reviews from customers who've used Vyond.

Proceed to the TrustRadius website

Microsoft Powerpoint is one of the most recognizable presentation tools, and there's a reason why millions of users still utilize it today. It's quick and easy to use, with plenty of customization options that give you complete control over your presentations. You'll also see better quality when presenting slides to a large audience compared to other software. Powerpoint isn't likely to go anywhere anytime soon.

Easy to use regardless of experience

Plenty of features with versatile presentation options

Can use it just about anywhere for any kind of presentation

Limited to users with Office 365 subscriptions

Can make it easy to overload slides with information to the point of being overwhelming

Microsoft Office 365 app for Windows and Apple computers.

SmartArt feature allows for creation of high-quality professional diagrams

Many transitions between slides

Animation effects

Slide Master View allows for consistent updating across entire presentations

Project from your devices to large audiences with consistent quality

For additional reviews and details about Powerpoint, visit G2 below.

Unlike other presentation software, Slidedog is specifically intended for presenting existing presentation files as opposed to creating them. You'll want to use Slidedog if you have a presentation but need a professional solution to present it to your audience. It's a great tool to use whether you want to present in front of a live audience or have the audience access the presentation remotely.

Interface is easy to use

Many useful features

Works with most presentation file formats

Organized and sleek design

Can't make changes to presentations

Can take a while to install

Many features are restricted to the paid version

Windows application for desktops and web-based app for any web-enabled device.

Presentation playlist allows for easy arrangement of files and media

Supports all file types without any glitches

Real-time sharing with remote control for playlists from any web-enabled device

Connect with audiences through presentation feedback, polls, and live audience chat

Dual-screen support

Can use for digital signage

To see reviews of this presentation software, visit the G2 site below.

Canva is a great presentation and design software that can make your presentations look great with custom graphic design. Over a million fonts, graphics, and images are available on Canva, and it's accessible for just about any user. You can use Canva to turn a simple idea into a beautiful professional-looking design that helps you get the most from your presentations.

Plenty of pre-made templates available with free and paid versions

Allows for easy collaboration with a team

Very user-friendly interface

Can slow down during use

Limited GIFs and many other feature limitations

Web-based design software accessible with web-enabled computers.

Unlimited folder storage for presentation designs

Team functionalities

Can upload any images

Unlimited storage for all images and other assets

Save templates locally or for your organization

Search functionality in the library

Can export files as GIFs

Compatible with custom fonts

Easy resizing of images and assets to custom dimensions

To learn more about this software and see additional reviews, visit the Techradar website below.

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Frequently asked questions

💯 what is the best program to make a presentation.

The best presentation software will depend on your personal preferences and the specific features you're looking for in a program. However, the following are worth trying and can give you some ideas to help you pinpoint what you want.

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❔ Is there better presentation software than PowerPoint?

If you would rather use presentation software other than PowerPoint if you don't have Microsoft Office, or simply want to try another program, there are plenty of PowerPoint alternatives to try. Take a look at the following list:


💻 What is better than Prezi?

For software similar to Prezi with varying features, you can view a list of alternatives to Prezi in the following list:

🆓 What is the best free presentation software?

If free presentation software is what you need, some of the following options come at no cost to you:

Apple Keynote

Visme (Individual Basic version)

Movavi Slideshow Maker (Trial version)

While Movavi Slideshow Maker isn't entirely free, a free trial version is available to help you create a high-quality presentation and get a feel for the product. Give it a try today.

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Office Suite 2023 Home & Student Premium | Open Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Accounting, and Professional Software for Mac & Windows PC

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Impress is a PowerPoint replica software tool that allows you to create multimedia presentations.

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Home » Library » Technology » Microsoft XPS

Microsoft XPS

XPS is the abbreviation of XML Paper Specification . It is a page description language which can describe a single page or a document containing multiple pages. The description includes all the text and graphics that appear on the page(s). Like other page description languages such as PDF, page elements are defined independently of a particular operating system, printer, or viewing application. The page’s appearance is consistent regardless of the specific printer or viewer used.

XPS files can be recognized by their .xps extension. On a Windows computer, the file icon is a small representation of the content of the first page with the blue XPS glider icon in the lower right corner.

The XPS file thumbnail

XPS is closely linked to the Windows operating system, as it is a part of its underlying graphics architecture since Microsoft Vista. It is probably no coincidence that Apple uses its main competitor, PDF, as the graphics model within OS X. The goal of both technologies is offering WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) when viewing and printing documents.

Within Windows, a language called XAML is used to describe how objects such as text need to appear on-screen. XPS is a subset of this XAML language, specifically geared towards a fixed page format so that text cannot reflow when it is sent to different devices. In previous Microsoft operating systems, a technology called GDI was used. Compared to GDI, XPS is graphically more sophisticated and faster when printing complex objects such as transparencies or blends. There is less need for software vendors to implement their own printing technology to get around limitations (as was often the case with GDI).

What can you do with XPS

XPS can be used as a document sharing format, similar to PDF.

XPS can be used as a printer command language. Printer manufacturers can create XPS compatible printers. Some of these are already available, such as the Xerox WorkCentre 7425 and the Konica Minolta 4695MF. These vendors wisely choose to add support for other languages, such as Postscript or PCL, as well in their devices. This makes sure that the millions of XP, Mac OS X, or Linux users can also use these printers.

How to create XPS files

As with PDF, there are applications such as Windows Office 2016 that can save documents directly as XPS files.

Windows 10 comes with a Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer which can be used to print any document to an XPS file. It is also included in earlier releases, such as Windows 7.

Windows 7 XPS printer icon

In both Vista and Windows XP (with the XPS Essentials Pack installed), it is possible to print to an XPS file. I don’t know why I didn’t get this working on my XP system. On my Windows Vista system it worked fine though.

I am not aware of any tools to create XPS files on a Mac using OS X. You could create a PDF and somehow convert that to an XPS file but this seems like a rather clumsy and time-consuming way of working.

How to view XPS files

Windows 10, 8.1 & 7: These operating systems ship with XPS Viewer. The application is similar to that of Windows Vista, except for some cosmetic changes and added support for digital signatures. The Viewer application can also be used to edit the document properties and add tags. From Windows 8.1 onwards you can also use the Microsoft Reader app to view XPS files. It is the Microsoft equivalent of Adobe Reader and can be used to open PDF as well as XPS and TIFF files. It can be downloaded from the Windows store.

XPS Viewer and Microsoft Reader for Windows

Windows Vista: Doubleclick a .xps file and it will be shown using the XPS Viewer plug-in that is built into Internet Explorer. You can also install the XPS Viewer EP from the XPS Essentials Pack.

Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server: There is a viewer plug-in available for Internet Explorer. You can also download a separate viewer application, called XPS Viewer EP. It is part of the XPS Essentials Pack. There are some other tools around as well, such as the freeware XPS Annotator, but I never tried any of them.

OS X: Mac users can use the NiXPS View application which allows them to view, search and print XPS documents efficiently. This application is actually also available for Windows. Uploading files to Google Docs and opening them in your browser is a solution if you are a Docs user and only occasionally need to view XPS files on your Mac.

How to edit XPS files

XPS is not meant to be used as a file format for intermediate data that still need to be changed. Like with PDF, you’re not supposed to edit XPS files. Unfortunately, it may sometimes still be necessary. Unfortunately I don’t think there are professional XPS Editors any more. In the early days some companies invested in developing XPS tools but the market never got big enough.

XPS compared to PDF

XPS and PDF are similar technologies: they can be used to display, share and print paged documents. There are however a number of differences between both systems.

PDF has the advantage of being an established standard, especially in the graphic arts market. Lots of people know PDF and own the tools to modify and process PDF files. Most workflows can either handle PDF files or use it as their internal file format.

XPS and graphic arts

A lot of designers and agencies are still struggling to deliver proper PDF files to printers. Those printers won’t be in a hurry to promote yet another file format. What might happen however is that corporate customers who want to print office style documents demand that printers support XPS. This means that it is worthwhile to know a bit about the standard.

Converting XPS files to PDF is probably the best way of dealing with the initial demand. If XPS really takes off, it is highly likely that the big workflow vendors add support for it to their systems. Since Global Graphics worked on XPS, their Harlequin RIPs do offer native support for this standard.

Even though XPS supports CMYK, even Microsoft Publisher cannot yet embed CMYK data in an XPS document. Microsoft recommends the use of PDF for data exchange with offset printers .

The history of XPS

Microsoft developed XPS in close cooperation with a number of other companies, most notably Global Graphics. The original code name was ‘Metro’.

Users were first able to created XPS documents when Microsoft Vista was released for corporate use in November 2006. In January 2007 the consumer editions of Vista were made available, making the technology available to a much wider audience. The XPS Essentials Pack, a software bundle that adds support for XPS to Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server, was released in April 2008.

In June of 2007, Microsoft handed over the rights to the XPS specifications to ECMA International , an organization that specializes in developing international information and communication standards. Within Ecma, a technical committee called TC46 worked on OpenXPS, the Open XML Paper Specification. The resulting ECMA-388 specifications were published in June 2009. Since then no further work seems to have been done to update the standard.

Windows 7, which started shipping in October 2009, is the first Microsoft operating system that by default includes full support for creating and viewing XPS files.

Links & stuff

As it became clear XPS wasn’t a runaway success, pages about XPS gradually disappeared off the web. I haven’t found any recent good ones, besides the Wikipedia page .

42 thoughts on “ Microsoft XPS ”

I don’t know what I can do with an Microsoft XPS file.

Actually, you can view, create, edit and convert xps on Window 10: see ‘XPS Editor Pro’ from Microsoft Store.

Hi Guys, how to create a digital signature in *.xps formats? The idea is to add digitial signatures for document approval in test reports for creater and approver. Thank you in advance

The well and most documented pahe I have ever read on the subject. Well done!!!

When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

Here’s an answer for those who said they could not find the files they created. If you “Print” to .xps or to .pdf, you normally get a pop-up window asking you to choose a file name and a location. If you cancel that window, no file is created.

Note that printing to .xps or to .pdf is roughly equivalent to saving as .xps or .pdf.

Once you’ve created a file in .xps or .pdf format, you should be able to find it via Windows Explorer (if on Windows). Word or Excel won’t find it by default, because Word looks for Word files and Excel looks for Excel files.

All complete! Thanks for the comment very considered, and pushing me too to think about all of this more. To achieve me, I come from it from having known violent young men, and what that means. A job like Lorna Rhodes on Excellent Max best parts how different elements violence, mental illness, suffering, institutionalized life, cultural forms come together. Nonetheless in the media, I do think there is the tendency to try to find the simple storyline, and that however serves to explain away too much, both with savagery and mental health.

I printed several docs to xps. But now…I CAN’T FIND THEM. The xps viewer can’t find them, windows search doesn’t find them. This is useless! I don’t want to save my document in that format, but I just want the “printout” to be in that format so i can share it and save paper…that’s the idea, right? So where are the documents? NOTHING in the online or product documentation tells us where to find them.

Save them to your desktop and its super easy to find them. If you cant find them or didnt select a place for them to go, they probably never saved in the first place.

i am MBA student and i should use journals for my final project in any format, i found a lot of xps files ,but i can not copy and paste for paraphrase and use it for my project. please help me thanks

XPS is really nice and simple. In Word all you do is go to Save As – PCF or XPS – Save As Type and you get a clean looking document for free. What is nice is the interchangability. You can insert an XPS doc into a PDF file. You can actually build a XPS doc in Acrobat and just use Adobe as the framework tool with no “sharing” hassles. I just wonder why I waited so long to try it when it was right in front of me.

Old article but I just had a few thoughts.

“XPS on the other hand has the advantage of being ‘free’ since support for it is build into Windows 7, Vista and Office 2007. Even though there are a lot of free PDF viewers, PDF creation or editing tools such as Acrobat Professional cost a lot of money, especially for large organisations that need thousands of copies. ”

XPS isn’t free to use on the Mac or Linux or probably handhelds for that matter. Lots of organizations have plenty of Macs and you’d have to pay just to even view a XPS file. I’m not sure about editing but I bet its expensive.

Also PDF creation is Free on Windows/Mac/Linux. On the Linux/Mac its built-in and on the PC there are tons of Free PDF printers.

Finally you don’t have to use Acrobat Pro, there are lots of cheap alternatives.

Without arguing about the technical merit I wanted just say that as far as cost and availability on multiple platforms its not even a contest. PDF wins by a landslide.

Yes you have to “deploy” it, but beyond that there are plenty of good reason to go with it vs jumping to XPS. I’m sure some companies would find it a good fit but I’d hope it doesn’t become more widespread.

I’m trying to print xps format for a flyer but the result is not as sharp and good when I print in pdf?

Any solution?

I find XPS very much useful than PDF to publish .But Process Viewer Tool is extremely fruitful application, which is only used for the detection and removal of spyware from your system.Also the process viewer tool is very much helpful for analyzes spyware and identifies what each process is doing.

Both have free readers for computers but I see no advantage in using xps other than the preloaded default print on a windows system vs download or online PDF creation.

Editing either costs $$ – NiXPS Edit for Windows $299, Adobe charges similar $$ for Professional. The only true advantage goes to PDF, I can get a free reader for my iPhone … an XPS reader will cost me $5 – Both can be found here if you want to spend the cash. – but to me it isn’t worth the $$. And thats my $0.02

I was searching for how to convert xps to pdf and found . They seem to do a descent job converting to pdf. For those who can’t view xps on their Mac, you may want to give it a try. I don’t see any nasty logo or trial watermarks so I assume it is free.

afaik, to view xps document, you dont have to use windows at all. okular can view and print xps in linux. Beside that, i already use xps in my program to ship should-not-be-altered documents to branches office. Yes, my company do use windows. even now it’s still run windows xp, with office2003, but as long as you already installed dotnet framework 3, you should able to view and print xps document to any printer you have.

Works perfectly — all you have to do is buy a new computer with Windows 7, buy MS Office, and be sure to use Internet Explorer. And be sure all of your customers and clients do the same.

See how easy MicroSchlock makes it for you?

Actually, even microsoft-only shops are having a lot of problems with the bloody things. Go to msdn and search around…the bugs are myriad. Also: Try to find .xps documents you’ve “printed.” You can’t.

all this is great IF, and ONLY IF, You are creating a File and, NOT triin to print from it. .xps may be a better program if, it had the capability to print readily from the file as well as create it. there aren’t any programs out there to help put it in a format that can be printed readily even to college students like myself whom want the security of a program to keep information “locked,” yet ” unlock,” when something goes wrong and it needs to be printed out. any help would be appreciated.

It doesn’t work on Firefox or Chrome, so what does the average Joe do when he gets sent one? You can’t save to a spreadsheet from within IE, so it’s not a heck of a lot of use, unless you want to start up a new development stream in the middle of your day.

Well, I have found one use for it. It generates physical leader characters in place of the logical ones generated by Word in indexes, for example. The text in the displayed XPS file can then be copied and pasted back.

I cannot seem to get the annotations I make on the XPS worksheets to stay there once I save the worksheet. Right now, when I forward the documents to others, they don’t see my annotations. When I go back to find my annotations they have gone. Why is that? Is this function not fully functional yet? Or is it a permissions box that needs to be checked or unchecked?

Desde que se instalo el visor de Microsoft XPS en mi computador al bajar un documento de internet y imprimirlo, no he podido volver a imprimir en mi impresora, pues siempre se abre la ventana de la impresora donde dice que la ubicación del documento es xps port, y me manda aguardar en documentos pero no me imprime ninguan documento. Al notificar a soporte tecnico de microsoft me piden que llame por telefono a microasoft españa y lo mas mas factible es que me cobren por la solución de un problema que se creo por no se que motivo.

Luis, When you installed XPS it probably set XPS as the default printer. Did you try to set the original printer back to default? XPS is a print-to-file printer driver similar to the PDF print driver. Hope this helps.

The worst thing about it for me is that it isn’t editable or annotatable yet. And before anyone says anything about apps that do that…they all suck. And I mean that in the worst way, without any euphemism. NiXPS is way too expensive for anything that it does…which is doesn’t do well or easily. Even if it was user friendly and actually accomplished what it was supposed to, it would only be worth about $20. The guy who created it has some real ego problems, considering the app is about as good as most fourth graders could produce.

i found one way to edit xps dox.

go to cnet and download free “XPS Annotator.”

once u launch it, click file and type in the file name you want to play with.

save it as a jpeg.

then open it in paint and u can do some editing with the brush and text etc.

Hi, I just received the first XPS file I’ve ever seen in prepress. Thanks for this article and all the comments. Extremely helpful, as usual!

And it was good, wasn’t it?

Why does microsoft insist on creating formats that will never be accepted? case in point, WMV format has almost completely been replaced by MP4s and FLVs. Come on Microsoft… get real! oh, and while we are on the topic… Companies who use Windows Mobile will not recreate their software for windows 7 mobile. they will most likely move to the iPhone (as the majority of people own the iPhone or iPod touch!) MORONS!

You’re stoned. WMV is still very much in use and beats the fack out of most other formats for size and quality.

I guess this new XPS might be OK for some, but I still rather use PDF. It is quicker and a whole lot easier than XPS. One thing for sure PDF has always worked on every computer I have owned. I think may-be that MS ought to stick to creating a good operating system like XP and then leave it alone just like Apple has done! For those that think XPS is free you ought to stop and think of how many hours and how much money you spend to keep Vista from crashing as I thought the whole Vista OS was a disaster from the very beginning and it just kept getting worse.

For XPS Tools I already try XPS Annotator. Great XPS Viewer because its not just a viewer (maybe the best XPS Viewer). Provide features to annotate any XPS documents, can convert XPS to an image files, support digital signatures, can adding document properties.

That’s actually not true when you use something like CutePDF. CutePDF is free for the Windows platform – I’ve used it to print hundreds of Visio drawings and all the hyperlinks indeed work, even in OS X Preview.

“Do you think XP/Vista/Office are free?” I’m sure that isn’t what was meant. However a good, sizeable share of offices already use Windows- and Office-based ‘workstations’ (if you call them that). iWork has come a long way, and we are starting to use iWork ’09 here for page layouts, but we have primarily Windows 7-based desktops for employees (we just rolled it all out this week).

I make organisational charts for my company. I find XPS much more useful than PDF to publish these because it retains the hyperlinks I have established in Visio.

That is interesting feedback but it points more to the good support for XPS in Visio than to an actual advantage of the XPS file format. PDF files can also contain hyperlinks but apparently Visio doesn’t support this.

That means Visio is garbage. When I make PDFs on my Mac they retain their hyperlinks. Silly reason to use not to use the most common and easily support format out there. If you are having problems install any of the FREE pdf printers available out there.

Remember that Visio is a Microsoft product, so of course it would work better with xps than with pdf.

“XPS on the other hand has the advantage of being ‘free’ since support for it is build into Vista and Office 2007. Even though there are a lot of free PDF viewers, PDF creation or editing tools such as Acrobat Professional cost a lot of money […]”

Free? Are you high? Do you think XP/Vista/Office are free? There’s already an open standard that works. On a Mac, one can print *anything* to PDF, with no cost other than the base OS.

On a Mac…are you a facking total loser or what?

what do we need a MS suckass, proprietary, non-open, windoz only POS for?

Actually, you can view and even create xps on xp: see ‘microsoft xps viewer’ Or better: “how to open, view or create xps documents in windows xp and windows 2003:

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What Is an XPS File and Why Does Windows Want Me to Print to One?

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times  and Reader's Digest , been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek. Read more...

presentation software for xp

The XPS format is Microsoft’s alternative to PDF. It was introduced in Windows Vista, but never gained much traction. However, modern versions of Windows continue to include better support for XPS files than PDF files.

Once regarded as a possible “PDF killer,” the XPS file format now lives on in Windows seemingly out of sheer inertia. The average person should stay away from XPS files and use PDF files instead.

Note:  If you’re using Windows 10, they’ve finally added built-in support for printing to PDF files , so you will hopefully never need to deal with an XPS format file again. Continue reading the following for posterity and use PDF instead of XPS.

What’s an XPS File?

Think of an XPS file like a PDF (or PostScript) file. An XPS file represents a document with a fixed layout, just as a PDF file does. XPS also includes support for other features that you’d find in PDF, like digital signatures and DRM.

RELATED: How to Print to PDF in Windows: 4 Tips and Tricks

XPS is now technically a standardized, open format – it stands for Open XML Paper Specification. XPS is an open format in the same way “Office Open XML” is an open, standardized format for Microsoft Office documents. Other software companies haven’t jumped to include XPS support.

By default, Windows 8 uses the OXPS file extension for XPS files it generates. OXPS stands for OpenXPS – it’s the standardized version of the original XPS format. It’s actually not compatible with the XPS Viewer included with Windows 7, so you have to convert OXPS files to XPS if you want to view them on Windows 7.

In short, an XPS file is Microsoft’s less-compatible version of a PDF file.

XPS Functionality Included With Windows

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 all include built-in XPS tools. Even Windows 8 has better support for XPS files than it does for PDFs.

While Windows 8 touts better support for PDFs because of its Modern “Reader” app, you will need a third-party app if you want to view PDF files on the desktop or print to PDF files.

When Should You Use XPS Files?

While XPS was regarded as a possible “PDF killer” when it was included with Windows Vista six years ago, it never became very popular. Even though Windows prods its users into printing to XPS files rather than PDF files by including the XPS Document Writer printer, few users seem to create XPS files.

It’s unclear why you’d actually want to create an XPS file instead of a PDF file, unless you need to print a document to a file and can’t install a PDF printer. Microsoft has certainly not been making a case for XPS files being better than PDF files and has been silent on any reason to use them in recent years. In fact, Windows 8’s inclusion of a PDF viewer can be seen as Microsoft taking a step back, introducing support for a competing document format.

While the advantages of printing to XPS files are unclear, the disadvantages are fairly clear. The world has largely standardized on PDF files, while XPS files remain little-used. If you’re trying to send someone a document, you can bet they’ll be familiar with PDF files and will be able to open it. An XPS file may look unfamiliar and the recipient may not be able to open the file. For example, Macs don’t include built-in XPS file support, but they do include built-in PDF support. Many other programs may support PDF files, but won’t support XPS files. There are third-party viewer applications that can read XPS files, but support is nowhere near as common.

In summary, you probably don’t want to use XPS files for your personal documents. XPS seems neglected, like another Microsoft technology introduced around the same time: Silverlight. Silverlight was supposed to be Microsoft’s “Flash killer,” but it’s now being set aside. Just as Silverlight failed to replace Flash, XPS can’t seem to replace PDF.

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