The best free presentation software provides a simple way to create attention-grabbing presentations as an alternative to subscribing to Microsoft PowerPoint.
While PowerPoint (opens in new tab) is the market leader when it comes to presentation software, some people may be unwilling to subscribe to a Microsoft 365 subscription, especially if they don't expect to need to use it very often.
However, there are plenty of great alternatives available for free that you can use. While these won't have the same level of features as PowerPoint, they still offer a very competent platform to design the presentation you need.
Choosing the best free presentation software can be time consuming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. To help, let’s take a look at five of the best free presentation software options available today.
To make your presentation really shine, consider grabbing a free photo editor too, so your pictures look perfect before you add them to your slides.
Google Workspace : Collaboration + productivity apps (opens in new tab)
There are many different presentation software packages but Google Workspace formerly known as G Suite remains the original cloud office software and one of the best business office suites, offering a huge range of features and functionality that rivals can't match, especially when it comes to presentation software.
Try it free for 14 days (opens in new tab).
Best free presentation software and alternative to PowerPoint of 2023 in full
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Prezi turns the traditional approach to presentations on its head. Instead of creating slide after slide, this presentation software gives you a single giant canvas. You can add blocks of text or images, or even create miniature slides. During your presentation, you can seamlessly fly around the canvas and zoom in to look at individual chunks of content.
For how complex Prezi seems, it’s impressively simple to use the platform. The only major divergence from Microsoft PowerPoint is that you need to add animated paths from one part of the canvas to another. The tools for this are fairly straightforward, especially if you’ve ever used an animation or video editing software.
Of course, this type of presentation structure isn’t always ideal. Prezi makes it hard to visualize structured data like financials, which can make it difficult to use in business applications. Some viewers also might not appreciate the fly-around animation style that’s inherent to the presentation software.
Read our full Prezi review.
Canva is perfect for making speedy presentations right in your web browser. This software offers a handful of free layouts to help you get your slideshow started, and it’s easy to customize the templates to fit your needs. There isn’t a huge variety of content elements to add to your presentation, but Canva makes up for this with a searchable library of more than 1 million images you can use.
Your Canva presentations live online, which makes it extremely easy to collaborate. You can invite colleagues to edit your slideshow (although simultaneous editing is not supported) or seamlessly share your finished presentation. However, beware that Canva can’t import presentations from Microsoft Powerpoint or export finished work to a Powerpoint-editable format.
Read our full Canva review.
LibreOffice is a free alternative to Microsoft Office, and it includes a Powerpoint equivalent called Impress with nearly all of the same functionality. The only big difference you’ll find between the two slideshow creation tools is the LibreOffice lacks some modern features like built-in collaboration and integration with Microsoft OneDrive.
However, Impress does have a few advantages of its own. The software can import files from Keynote, the default presentation software on Mac computers. Plus, there are hundreds of free templates that you can download for free. Even better, there’s no limit on what fonts you can use with Impress, so it’s easy to change the look of your presentation from what Powerpoint typically allows.
On the whole, LibreOffice Impress is about as close as it gets to simply replicating Microsoft Powerpoint for free.
Read our full LibreOffice review.
Google Slides is part of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), and it does a nice job of matching a number of PowerPoint’s capabilities. This free presentation software supports embedding videos, creating diagrams, and adding animations to your slides. While the selection of templates is somewhat limited, you can easily import hundreds of additional templates for free or create your own.
Even better, Google Slides supports the collaboration tools (opens in new tab) users have come to expect from Google. Multiple people can work on a slideshow simultaneously, and there’s a built-in group chat so you can keep track of what everyone is doing. It’s also nice that you can play your presentation in presenter mode, which allows you to preview how it will look to your audience and rehearse timing.
The only downside to Google Slides is that bloated slideshows can experience some loading delays. Also beware that while you can move between Slides and Powerpoint, the conversion often messes with the layout of your slides.
Read our full Google Slides review.
WPS Office Free is a Microsoft Office look-alike that fully support PowerPoint files without any layout issues during import. The WPS Presentation tool has all of the same capabilities of PowerPoint, including tons of animations, slide transitions, content effects, and video embedding. The selection of included presentation templates is also very impressive for a free software.
One of the best things about this presentation software is that the user interface will feel incredibly familiar if you’re coming from Microsoft. All of the tools are displayed in a top ribbon, with your slides shown on the left side of the screen for easy navigation. It’s simple to display your presentation right from WPS Presentation, which means there’s no unexpected troubleshooting when it’s time to show off your work.
There’s not much to dislike about WPS Presentation. However, keep in mind that the software is supported by ads. Some users find the ads annoying, but they’re not overly in the way.
Read our full WPS Office Free review.
How we tested the best free presentation software
To test for the best free presentation software we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a download or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.
Which alternative to PowerPoint is best for you?
When deciding which alternative to PowerPoint to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, free and budget software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require.