Google Slides vs PowerPoint: Which One Is the Best for Presentations

Nicholas Godwin

Most academics, entrepreneurs, executives, team leaders, organizers, and others rely on presentation slides to communicate. No wonder 70 percent of them consider presentation skills critical to career success. People often suffer from the dilemma of choosing the right app — Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint?

Google Slides Power Point Whats Best Lead Image

But what software will help your presentation pop? Well, the answer depends on factors like:

  • You already use a familiar software.
  • You need it for team collaboration.
  • Extending features with Add-ons and Extensions.

And there are lot of such factors that come in to play. Whether you plan to use it internally or presenting materials to the client, the usage highly influences the choice.

Should Popularity Influence Your Choice

1 Google Slides Vs Power Point

When most people think of using a presentation tool, they probably think of Microsoft PowerPoint by default.

And that is quite obvious and makes sense since PowerPoint has been around for more than three decades now. Meanwhile, Google Slides has only been around for a decade. However, it amasses users steadily.

There are some apparent reasons why people use PowerPoint name in tandem with presentations.

  1. It's the only presentation tool they've ever used.
  2. PowerPoint comes with the MS Office package with the other apps.
  3. Widely supported and used.
2 Google Slides Vs Power Point

Google Slides users might argue that they love the tool because it's available on the cloud. But PowerPoint has suddenly caught on with the age of the internet. You can use PowerPoint online, save on OneDrive, and collaborate in real-time. Of course, owning the Office 365 subscription makes it easier.

So it looks like the competition is getting tougher. Amidst this battle for your slides, it is tricky to pick the right app for your usage. Does PowerPoint's dominance mean it's better?

We have the answer you might be looking for. Read on.

Templates and User Interface

3 Google Slides Vs Power Point

Google Slides and PowerPoint have a similar interface. You won't feel completely lost going from one presentation software to the other. However, they have unique templates. For both presentation tools, you'll have to sign in to your respective accounts.

For Google Slides, login to your Google Account. And for PowerPoint, you have two options. You could sign in to your online Microsoft account or use Microsoft Office offline to access PowerPoint.

When you sign in to PowerPoint online, what you'll find it looking like the image below.

4 Google Slides Vs Power Point Power Point Templates

At first glance, you might think Google Slides doesn't have that many templates. But that assumption only holds until you click on the diverging arrows. See the image below.

These templates are also called Google Slides Themes.

Google Slides

Presentation Design Canvas

The presentation document design canvas for both PowerPoint and Google Slides are pretty much the same. So if you're used to PowerPoint and want to give Google Slides, you'll barely feel out of place there.

3 Google Slides Vs Power Point Google Slides Blank
Check out PowerPoint’s design canvas below.

4 Google Slides Vs Power Point Power Point Blank

PowerPoint Online lets you switch between the classic and simplified ribbons. Here's what the classic Ribbon interface looks like — quaint and concise.

6  Google Slides

And here's the simplified ribbon, which looks quite busy.

Presentation 3 Pptx  Microsoft Power Point Online

Adding New Slides

If you want to add new presentation slides to your document, you can do so quite easily. For both tools, go to the top left-hand side of your screen, click on the 'New Slide' to add a fresh slide to your presentation.

Presentation 3 Pptx  Microsoft Power Point Online

Here’s how you add new slides to PowerPoint.

Consulting Proposal  Google Slides

Click the “+” and then choose a new canvas to use.

Presenting Online

Google Slides and PowerPoint lets you design and present your slides instantly. You won't download or export any documents.

How Presenting Online Works in Google Slides

On the Google Slides platform, you can find the online Presentation option by clicking on the Present button.

Consulting Proposal  Google Slides

That action instantly opens your slides in fullscreen, and then you can start presenting. But the instant presentation isn't your only option. You have a couple of customization options too.

You can present to a connected audience, hold Q&A sessions, and still access your speaker notes.

Consulting Proposal  Google Slides

This option is excellent for webinars and other connected presentation settings. You can access this option by clicking on the arrow on the Present button. And then click on Presenter View to access this feature. That feature is probably one thing that makes Google Slides stand out.

Google Slides' Presenter View lets you do a host of things, which includes quickly making a presentation and even managing it smartly. Set, pause, and manage your presentation timer.

Presenter View  Consulting Proposal  Google Slides

Move between slides smoothly. You can see your previous slides, next slides, or jump to specific slides from your drop-down menu.

Presenter View  Consulting Proposal  Google Slides

For live presentations, you can interact with your audience in real-time. So you can host Q&A sessions, polls, and other audience engagement actions.

Presenter View  Consulting Proposal  Google Slides

The Presenter View feature also lets you keep speaker notes.

How Presenting Online Works in PowerPoint

The PowerPoint design isn't web-first. So it's online presentation capabilities are weak. But the tool makes up for this weakness in other ways, like offering the Subtitle feature. Hence, you can speak to a mixed audience without much worry.

But this isn’t a feature I’d explore. I’d rather not outsource language interpretations to a piece of software. They can be incorrect or out of context. Although Google Slides is available in 65 languages, you can't subtitle your documents automatically.

Presentation 5 Pptx  Microsoft Power Point Online

To use the subtitle feature on powerPoint online, make sure you are on the classic ribbon, not the simplified ribbon.

On PowerPoint, you can access the "Play from Beginning" or "Play from Current Slide" feature right on the top navigation bar of the tool. This feature is consistent for PowerPoint across all platforms.

Presentation 5 Pptx  Microsoft Power Point Online

Behavior Across Platforms

Google Slides works on the web but lets you work on offline mode too. Just make sure to switch it to offline mode before going offline.

You can also use this Google tool on the iOS platform, but not on Mac. Albeit, you may download your presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint format if you have the Microsoft Office suite on your Mac.

Summarily, Google Slides works on the web, Android, iOS, PC, and Mac. All Slides' features remain uniform across platforms.

14 Google Slides Vs Power Point Google Slides I Os

Microsoft PowerPoint works differently. Only the Windows PC version has the complete capabilities of PowerPoint. You won't find some PowerPoint features in its Mac, Web, Mobile, Android, or iOS versions.

15 Google Slides Vs Power Point Power Point Slide Features

You can assess all platform-based features of PowerPoint on the Microsoft website. Here are some of the specific features they cover:

  • Audio
  • Object insertion
  • Video
  • Text-formatting
  • Slide Show

PowerPoint Online is free, so you can quickly assess its features and decide if you're better off sticking with it. Or buy the PC version.

Exporting Your Presentation Document

Apart from being 100 percent free, Google Slides downloads to PC and Mac. Albeit, you'll need PowerPoint for Mac.

But you can even boycott PowerPoint by downloading your Slides as a PDF. A PDF reader like Adobe will do the trick.

Consulting Proposal  Google Slides

You can access all of Google Slides' download options by clicking on File > Download > [C].

On the PowerPoint web, you can export your presentation almost as you'd export it on Google Slides.

Presentation 5 Pptx  Microsoft Power Point Online

Go to File > Download As > choose from the available options in B.

Presentation 5 Pptx  Microsoft Power Point Online

Battle of the Spreadsheets

These two presentation tools have their strong points and weak points. The online counterparts of both tools are free to use. So it all boils down to your convenience and requirements. That said, Google Slides has three critical things that PowerPoint lacks.

  • A uniform experience across platforms
  • Near-zero learning curve
  • Free to use across platforms

I love predictability. I want to have the same experience regardless of the platforms I use. So I don’t want to design my slides on my PC only to wind up having difficulties using it on the cloud. And for this reason, I'd declare Google Slides the winner.

Next Up: Now that you know that Google Slides gives you a significant advantage, you might want to extend its functionalities. Learn how to add animations to your Google Slides in the next post below.

Read Next
How to Add Animations in Google Slides
Also See
#powerpoint #Google Slides #presentations #slideshow

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Nicholas Godwin is a technology researcher who helps businesses tell profitable brand stories that their audiences love. He's worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. Nicholas loves tech, food, art, travel, and regularly spends his time in hard-to-reach places (as far as there's an internet connection.)