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Best free presentation software of 2021

Free presentation software being used on a video conference call.
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best free presentation software makes it simple and easy to create attention-grabbing presentations for free.

The best free presentation software

Click the links below to go to the provider's website:

 

1. Prezi

2. Canva

3. LibreOffice

4. Google Slides

5. WPS Office Free

While PowerPoint 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
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.

(Image credit: Prezi)

1. Prezi

Make stylish presentations online, for free

Reasons to buy
+Animated presentations+Easy to use+Allows collaborative editing
Reasons to avoid
-Some trial and error required

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.

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(Image credit: Canva)

2. Canva

Create stylish presentations and share them easily online

Reasons to buy
+Free layouts available+Searchable image library+Seamless online sharing
Reasons to avoid
-Not PowerPoint compatible

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.

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(Image credit: LibreOffice)

3. LibreOffice

Free presentation software that's a dead ringer for PowerPoint

Reasons to buy
+ Most of Powerpoint’s functionality+ Works with Keynote for Mac+ Hundreds of free templates
Reasons to avoid
-No built-in collaboration tools

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.

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(Image credit: Google)

4. Google Slides

Free presentation software for all Google account holders

Reasons to buy
+Supports importing new templates+Built-in chat for collaboration +Presentation mode for rehearing
Reasons to avoid
-Initial template selection limited

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 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.

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(Image credit: WPS)

5. WPS Office Free

An extremely impressive Microsoft Powerpoint alternative

Reasons to buy
+Lots of templates included+Familiar user interface+Plenty of animations
Reasons to avoid
-Ads can be annoying

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.

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