Best Presentation Software

PowerPoint vs Keynote: Which is the Best Presentation Software?

A presentation software, also known as a presentation program, is a tool used to display data through a slide show. It allows the user to edit and format the text, add graphics and media, and project the slide show as needed.

Advantages of a Presentation Software

A lot of people use a presentation program because of the following features:

  • Provides a professional-looking presentation that combines text and media
  • Helps summarize facts
  • Appeals to people who learn better through audio or kinesthetics
  • Enables the speaker to talk directly to the audience, instead of focusing on the screen
  • Allows for the printing of handouts to be used by the audience

Head-to-Head: PowerPoint vs. Keynote

Of the many presentation tools in the market, two programs stand out: PowerPoint and Keynote.

If you find yourself torn between these two items, then this comprehensive comparison should help you out:

1. PowerPoint

Originally called Presenter, this presentation software is quite Jurassic as it was first released in 1987. Developed by Dennis Austin and Robert Gaskins initially for Macintosh, it has become a universal tool for most computing systems.

PowerPoint - Best Presentation Software

Key Features

1. Software

This is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite, with files that could be accessed both offline and online.

2. Operating System

Both PC and Mac users can use PowerPoint on their computers.

3. Cost

New PC users can make use of PowerPoint offline only for a limited time. To unlock all the features after the trial period, you will need to pay a subscription fee that runs from $69.99 to $99.99 annually.

If you find the fee expensive, you could always go for the free online PowerPoint tool.

4. User-Friendliness

PowerPoint is very easy to use. The program is intuitive enough for users who are about to make their first slide presentation.

5. Formatting

You can easily format an element by clicking on it. You can choose the Drawing tools tab for text and images, and the Table or Chart tools for, of course, tables and charts. With these options, you could customize your presentation with relative ease.

6. Slide Master Editing

PowerPoint enables you to make changes to your entire file by clicking View – Slide Master. From there, you can choose from different formats. If you want, you can add placeholders, edit the theme color, and even change the background.

7. Shapes

Click on Insert – Shapes and pick the icon you wish to use. Should you wish to ensure exact dimensions, click the shift button as you adjust the shape.

You can also create unique shapes through the Union, Combine, Fragment, Intersect and Subtract options under the Merge Shapes tab.

8. Animations and Transitions

To make your presentation more visually pleasing, you could opt to embellish it with any of PowerPoint’s animations or transitions. Of its 50 effects, there are 4 animation styles available: entrance, emphasis, exit, and motion path.

9. Saving and Exporting

While the usual saving option for PowerPoint files is .PPTX, you don’t have to be limited by this. You can choose from a variety of file formats, which include PDF, MPEG-4, WMV, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and BMP, to name a few.

10. Collaboration

You can have your teammates made some tweaks and edits by saving your file on OneDrive.

2. Keynote

Keynote started as a program for the late Apple founder Steve Jobs. Previously used for Apple events, it was opened for public use in 2003. Keynote is currently on its 10th version, an update that was released just this March 2020.

Keynote - Best Presentation Software

Key Features

1. Software

Keynote is part of the iWork productivity suite.

2. Operating System

Since it is made by Apple iWork, Keynote can only be used by Mac users.

3. Cost

Keynote comes for free with a new Mac purchase. As for ‘old’ users, this could be purchased for a one-time fee of $19.99.

4. User-Friendliness

New users will find it easy to navigate and tinker with the Keynote program.

5. Formatting

Just like PowerPoint, all you need to do is click on the element and hit the Format button. When it comes to text, users have the Style option to change the font face and size, alignment, etc. The Arrange option, on the other hand, enables the user to adjust the position, rotation, etc.

6. Slide Master Editing

By clicking View – Edit Master slides, you can change the layout of your Keynote presentation. Unfortunately, you can’t make global changes as you would do so easily in Powerpoint. You need to make alterations one by one if you want this to happen.

Should you need to add placeholders, all you need to click is Format – Style.

6. Shapes

Shapes (only 15 of them) are available through the same-named menu. You can merge these icons by clicking Format – Shapes and Lines.

7. Animations and Transitions

Click the Animate bar to visualize the Transitions menu. You can then add an effect.

As for Transition, you could choose from Build in, Build out, and Action.

You have the option to preview the effects before applying them to your slide. All in all, there are about 30 animations and 40 transition effects available in Keynote.

8. Saving and Exporting

Unfortunately for Keynote, the only file format available is .keynote. You can also edit .PPT or .PPTX files through this program. Ironically though, PowerPoint can open a lot of file formats, but .keynote is not one of them.

9. Collaboration

More often than not, multiple teams work on one single file. As long as your Keynote is set up with your iCloud drive, you can invite other users to make the necessary adjustments for your slide show.


It goes without saying that PowerPoint is the winner in this head-to-head competition. While both are very user-friendly, PowerPoint wins in terms of formatting, slide master editing, shapes, and saving and exporting. It’s also usable for both PC and Mac users, compared to Keynote which only goes for the latter.

Although PowerPoint upends Keynote in a number of things, the Apple program is better in terms of animations and transitions. If you are looking to make more polished presentations, then you’re better off with the Keynote software.

In summation, PowerPoint is best for many users, especially those who want an easy-to-use program with superb features. After all, most workspaces use the Microsoft Office suite. However, if you use a Mac computer, and are in search of better themes, Keynote will prove to be the best product for you.