Google Slides and PowerPoint are easily the most popular presentation software programs on the market and the go-to solution when creating presentations for school or work. But which program suits your needs better?
In reality, choosing between the two can be difficult. They’re both exceptional at what they do, but their different features and functionalities can play a big part in what you end up choosing.
Some users prefer the simpler, more collaborative approach that Google Slides brings to the table, while others look to PowerPoint for a wider range of options and templates.
In this Google Slides vs PowerPoint article, we’ve gathered all the essential details for both platforms so you can make an informed decision about your presentation program.
Table of Contents
Google Slides vs PowerPoint: Quick Comparison
|Best Online Performance||✔️|
|Best Offline Performance||✔️|
|Best Collaboration Features||✔️|
|Best Animation and Special Effects||✔️|
|Best Font Selection||✔️|
|Best Template Options||✔️|
|Best Embedding Capabilities||✔️|
|Best Storage and Backup||✔️|
What Is Google Slides?
- Offers real-time collaboration
- Automatically saves changes in the cloud
- No need to install software
- Free to use
- Limited pre-built templates
- Fewer features and functionality
- Restricted file types for exporting
Google Slides is a free presentation software that allows students and professionals to create and edit engaging presentations online. It’s part of the Google Productivity Suite along with other web-based programs like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Forms.
Since Google Slides is web-based, you can access its full features and functionality through your browser. It won’t require installing an app unless you want to view or edit your slides on a smartphone.
Despite its online inclinations, you can still edit your presentations offline. It will automatically save your changes once you connect to the internet again. You can also collaborate with other Google users in real-time, making it a great choice for team-based projects.
However, the program is not without its drawbacks. Simply put, there are fewer features on Google Slides when compared to Microsoft PowerPoint. A good example of this is the limited number of templates available for use and the fewer file types for exporting.
What Is Microsoft PowerPoint?
- More pre-built templates
- Option to insert more multimedia files
- More file types for exporting
- Offers real-time collaboration
- Features may get overwhelming
- Changes aren’t saved automatically
- Licensing options could be costly
Microsoft PowerPoint lets you create and edit professional presentations offline. Unlike Google Slides, this presentation software has a downloadable app under the Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Outlook, and OneDrive.
Besides this, PowerPoint allows you to be more creative with your slides because of its wide range of tools and features. It has more pre-built templates, animations, and options to insert multimedia files.
However, there’s a higher risk of losing your data on PowerPoint since it doesn’t automatically save your edits. Furthermore, unlike the free service offered by Google Slides, you’ll have to purchase PowerPoint to use it, and you’ll need a subscription to access its full features.
Key Similarities and Differences Between Google Slides and PowerPoint
While both programs may seem similar at first glance, there are some stark differences between Google Slides and PowerPoint. Being aware of the more significant ones can help you decide which presentation software to use.
We’ve listed the key differences between Google Slides and PowerPoint below:
Knowing the accessibility of your presentation software is vital when you’re working on multiple devices. Between the two apps, we found Google Slides more accessible and convenient than PowerPoint.
Since Google Slides is cloud-based, it won’t prompt you to install any app on your desktop. Instead, you can create and edit presentations as long as you have access to the internet. It also lets you open and edit your slides from any device with your Google account.
Meanwhile, PowerPoint requires a downloadable app before you can use it, which takes storage space and setup time.
Online and Offline Performance
Comparing the online and offline performance of Google Slides and PowerPoint can help you narrow down which presentation software is best for you.
Google Slides generally works smoothly as long as you have a solid internet connection, though you may encounter some slowdown if your presentation contains large multimedia files like photos, GIFs, audio, or videos. It also has an offline mode that lets you edit your slides without the internet. However, you have to enable this option while online before you can access your presentations offline.
On the other hand, PowerPoint doesn’t require an internet connection to edit slides. This means you’re less likely to encounter glitches when presenting with large photos, audio, or videos. There’s also a web app for PowerPoint if you want to collaborate with others, but this online version only has limited features compared to its desktop counterpart.
Teamwork and collaboration are crucial to finishing your presentation more quickly. And between Google Slides and PowerPoint, the former offers more flexibility in this aspect.
Google Slides allows seamless collaboration with multiple users and it doesn’t have any restriction on the number of individuals working on a presentation simultaneously. Since collaboration is in real-time on Google Slides, changes done by any user are instantly reflected on your presentation. Additionally, if you’re not happy with the recent changes, you can look at the previous version history and restore earlier versions.
Meanwhile, PowerPoint’s collaboration feature tends to be more complicated. You can only collaborate with other users by uploading your slides to Microsoft OneDrive. The other option is to use PowerPoint Online instead. But like Google Slides, you can add multiple collaborators to your presentation via email or by sending them a direct link to the editable file. You can also share it through social media.
Furthermore, PowerPoint will notify you every time there are changes to your slides, making it easy to keep track of your presentation.
Animation and Special Effects
Adding the right animation and transition can make your presentation more engaging. And between Google Slides and PowerPoint, the latter offers more effects for your slides, graphics, and text.
Google Slides has a smaller repository for animations and special effects. You can only use the most basic transitions like fade in and fade out, dissolve, etc.
On the other hand, PowerPoint gives you more options to choose from. You can also personalize these animations by drawing their path or setting their duration.
Browsing images without leaving your presentation can be helpful, especially if you want to see how well a photo matches the theme of your slides.
Luckily, both Google Slides and PowerPoint have this browsing functionality. You can browse images on the right side of your screen without moving to a new tab and leaving your slides.
Besides animations and special effects, using different fonts can help you emphasize important text. It’s also a great way to get your messages across and can have a major impact on the overall aesthetic of your presentation.
Google Slides offers the most common font selection, while PowerPoint uses the fonts installed on your laptop or desktop. However, PowerPoint gives you more freedom to design your presentation over Google Slides.
After all, you can always download new fonts from the web and install them on your laptop or desktop from the web. But be careful because some fonts may not display properly when viewed on another device.
Linking is a great way to navigate your slides or the web more easily. Fortunately, both Google Slides and PowerPoint have this functionality.
You can link images and text to the web or any part of your presentation. You can also add graphs or charts that automatically sync when edited.
Knowing which presentation software has a more diverse roster of pre-designed slides can make it easier to create more engaging presentations. Whether for a business meeting or class activity, you can effortlessly tailor your slides to your audience.
Google Slides has limited templates, most of which are fairly basic. They’re not as stylish as you want them to be, but they can still help you convey your message during your presentation. Each template is also easily customizable. You can drag and drop more shapes, photos, or text on your slides.
Meanwhile, PowerPoint has more templates you can choose from. You can browse through its gallery or download pre-designed slides from online repositories. You can also add custom graphs or charts.
Embedding videos and audio can greatly enhance your presentations and might be a major selling point for some users. So learning which presentation software supports this feature can be a big game-changer.
Google Slides has limited embedding capabilities, given how you can only add audio and videos from YouTube or your Google Drive. But you can upload photos by copying their URL, using your camera, or uploading them on your Google Drive or from your desktop.
On the other hand, PowerPoint lets you embed audio and videos freely. You can also record audio and store them on specific slides. You can even add as many graphics or animations as you want.
The available file types for exporting can influence whether you can edit and view your presentation on a different device or program. And between the two presentation software, PowerPoint has significantly more conversion options than Google Slides.
Google Slides supports limited file types for exporting. It’s only compatible with .pptx, .pdf, .odp, and .txt. It can also export your slides to .jpg, .png, and .svg.
Meanwhile, PowerPoint supports a lot more file types like .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .pot, .potm, .potx, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .pdf, and .odp. It can also export your slides to .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .tiff, .bmp, .wmf, and .mp4.
Storage and Backup
Working on presentations can be stressful and time-consuming. So the last thing you want is for you to lose the changes made to the project due to unforeseen circumstances.
You can easily store your Google Slides on your Google Drive since it has 15GB of storage for free. Your edits also get saved automatically on the cloud, meaning you won’t need to hit save every now and then. Furthermore, there’s also a version history that lets you restore earlier versions of your presentation whenever you like.
In contrast, you can find your PowerPoint files on the local hard drive of your laptop or desktop. You might also need to hit save to keep your edits. But if you want to store your PowerPoint files in the cloud, you can upload them to your Microsoft OneDrive, which has 5GB of storage for free.
Apart from their features and functionality, it’s also important to check the cost of your next presentation software. After all, it shouldn’t just meet your needs, but fit your budget as well.
The best thing about Google Slides is it’s free. You can use its full features on any device without paying a single cent. The only exception is when you’re using a Google Business account.
Meanwhile, PowerPoint is under the Microsoft Office Suite. So you’d need to purchase the software or pay for it monthly. On average, its monthly cost starts at $6.99 and goes higher depending on your needs and the number of users.
Both Google Slides and PowerPoint allow you to add text, photos, videos, audio, etc. to your presentation. But PowerPoint has additional features that make it superior:
- PowerPoint Designer
- Broadcast Live
- Presenter View
With PowerPoint Designer, you’ll automatically get design suggestions for your presentations. You can choose from different layouts that best fit your preferences. On top of this feature, PowerPoint has Broadcast Live, which shares your slides in real-time with your audience. Anyone can view your presentation through the link you provide.
Finally, you get to present more easily with the Presenter View. You can view your speaker notes without the audience seeing them.
When to Use Google Slides vs PowerPoint?
You can use Google Slides or PowerPoint when creating presentations for school or work. But choosing between the two presentation software depends on your experience, internet connection, and presentation needs.
Here’s a more detailed look at when to use Google Slides and PowerPoint:
Level of Experience
Some users prefer using Google Slides because they’re more accustomed to its simplicity and basic features. Meanwhile, long-time users of Microsoft Office apps may be drawn to PowerPoint on account of the similarities with other Office tools and the overall more advanced nature of the program.
Using Google Slides may be a breeze if you have a stable internet connection nearby. But PowerPoint might be the better option when editing your slides offline.
Google Slides is more lightweight than PowerPoint, so it’s a better choice for making quick and simple slides. But if you’re aiming for more technical presentations, then PowerPoint is your best bet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Google’s Version of PowerPoint?
Google Slides is Google’s version of Microsoft PowerPoint. This free presentation software offers similar features and functionality as PowerPoint. However, you have to connect to the internet to create and edit your slides. There are also fewer templates and design options for your presentation.
Is Google Slides Like PowerPoint?
No. But the two do share some similar features. They both let you create and edit engaging presentations for schoolwork and meetings. However, you must be online to save your changes when using Google Slides.
Is Google Slides Easier to Use than PowerPoint?
Whether Google Slides is easier to use than PowerPoint depends on your experience. If you prefer using Microsoft Office apps, then PowerPoint will be more straightforward. But if you’re more comfortable with Google Suite apps, then Google Slides will come more naturally to you.
When deciding between Google Slides vs PowerPoint, you’ll need to consider each program’s features and target audience. It really all boils down to your experience, resources, and needs.
Looking for a simple online presentation solution that’s lightweight and geared more toward collaboration? Then maybe Google Slides is the way to go. But if you’re in the market for something with more bells and whistles and a higher degree of personalization, then PowerPoint might be the better option.
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