The Most Reliable Alternatives to PowerPoint for Mac Users
If you’re a Mac user, you already love the sleek hardware design, intuitive UI, and powerful capabilities that Apple devices deliver. Much of the time, you can do whatever you need to do in near real-time and with an impressively small learning curve.
Being a Mac user brings certain drawbacks or frustrations, though: a big one is compatibility.
Many software applications either aren’t available at all for Mac, or the version made for Mac is different or limited in some way compared to the PC version.
The latter is the case with Microsoft PowerPoint: this ubiquitous presentation software is available for Mac, but as with the rest of the Office or Microsoft 365 suite, the Mac version is different. There are a few things the Mac version can do that the PC version can’t, but most of the time it goes the other way.
If you’re frustrated with the limitations or the lack of stability you’re running into with PowerPoint, we have good news: other presentation software for Mac users can be more reliable and even far more feature-rich than PowerPoint. Some are even web-based and offer a free version — something PowerPoint doesn’t match.
The Top Alternatives to PowerPoint
Below, we’ll show you several of the best PowerPoint Mac alternative options, including pros and cons for each. These presentation tools run the gamut from free cloud-based products to high-end professional software suites that make the term “PowerPoint alternative” seem inadequate.
Let’s dive in!
ProPresenter is, by far, the most feature-rich, professional Mac alternative to PowerPoint on the market. It’s built as a truly cross-platform application (Windows and macOS), meaning you get the same feature set and reliability no matter which devices you use (and even if you use both PC and Mac within your AV setup).
ProPresenter includes an advanced, professional-grade slide editor that allows you to create engaging presentations with a finer degree of control than PowerPoint (or anything else listed below). The interface is easy to use and learn, yet deep and robust enough for the most technical professional.
If you need to create presentations, you can do so with greater power and control using ProPresenter. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what ProPresenter can do. ProPresenter can handle rich media, including live video, with ease. It can accept a wide range of inputs (including broadcast quality formats like SDI and NDI) and output an unlimited number of feeds or streams to as many devices as your hardware can handle.
ProPresenter accomplishes this using a unique seven-layer file architecture, giving users control over which layers and which content routes to which outputs. With ProPresenter, you can create unique feeds for as many spaces (say, lobby, overflow, producer view, presenter view, main feed, and livestream) as you need.
Speaking of live streaming, ProPresenter excels here, too, connecting to your preferred livestreaming platforms and acting as the central hub for inputs, stream design, and live outputs.
If you want to exceed your capabilities in PowerPoint or another lesser alternative, ProPresenter is worth serious consideration. It outshines the rest in terms of basic and advanced presentation design and offers numerous other capabilities that expand your toolset.
While ProPresenter costs a little more than PowerPoint, we’re confident it’s a worthwhile investment considering the pro-grade tool capabilities
Keynote may be the first app that comes to mind as an alternative to PowerPoint for Mac: it’s Apple’s vision of what a presentation tool should be, and it’s 100 percent free for anyone who’s recently purchased a Mac, iPad, or iPhone.
This PowerPoint alternative for Mac has a bit of a cult following. The app makes creating attractive, high-impact presentations simple and straightforward, at least once you adapt to the learning curve. The interface is quite different from PowerPoint, so users who are steeped in the PowerPoint UI might need some time to adjust.
Keynote can match most of PowerPoint’s capabilities and features pound for pound, just in an Apple-centric sort of way. But it doesn’t go beyond what PowerPoint can do and lacks the kinds of integrations and collaborative features that Microsoft has been adding in recent years.
The other big drawback to Keynote is its exclusivity. Yes, any Apple device can run a Keynote presentation — but absolutely every other device out there, the ones without that iconic bitten apple on the back, can’t open or run these files natively.
Google Slides is a cloud-based online presentation tool that’s best described as a stripped-down version of PowerPoint. It can do most of the same stuff and nearly as well, but it certainly isn’t going to innovate beyond what other tools do.
On the plus side, it’s 100 percent free, and since it’s a web-based tool, you shouldn’t have any reliability issues using it as a Mac alternative to PowerPoint. Any issues you encounter should vanish entirely if you run it in Chrome.
But on the negative side, if you aren’t happy with the capabilities you have in PowerPoint, Google Slides isn’t going to do any better. It’s arguably on par with PowerPoint (or at least getting close), but we’re not seeing any innovation here. Google seems to take the “make it good enough” approach here rather than attempt to make it amazing.
Canva has made some interesting moves in recent years as the brand tries to escape the pigeonhole it started in. Most people think of it as a place for regular folks to design graphics for Instagram or other uses, but the company wants to be more. As a part of this push, it has launched an online presentation tool that seeks to compete with the PowerPoints and Google Slides of the world.
Canva’s tool allows you to create presentations from templates, apply transition effects, and share or display your completed presentations — all from your web browser. That makes it a reliable PowerPoint alternative for Mac since you won’t have to worry about compatibility.
Unfortunately, as a completely online tool, Canva is dependent on your internet connection. Google Slides has found certain ways to deal with dropped connections or even outages, but Canva won’t help you during an outage. It also carries certain performance demands and can eat a lot of memory bandwidth, just like most browser-based apps.
For basic presentation needs, or for those who want to do a lot of asset creating in the same place they design presentations, Canva is worth a look.
Prezi is the last of the 100 percent web-based apps we’ll cover today. It’s a great platform for those who need to create nonlinear presentations where the presenter can navigate from place to place as needed, rather than progress through a static and unchangeable stack of slides.
Prezi also pivoted hard into video presentations during the pandemic, making it an ideal platform for people and businesses who need to share visual presentations with live presenter video overlays.
The nonlinear aspect of Prezi is both a blessing and a curse: used well, it unlocks all kinds of interactivity and can retain interest in a way that a static slide deck usually doesn’t. But used poorly, it can look cheesy or unprofessional in a hurry.
Like other web-based tools, Prezi is fairly limited in terms of outputs. Prezi isn’t the way to go if you need flexible outputs to multiple devices or feeds.
ProPresenter: The Most Robust Alternative to PowerPoint
If you’re looking for something free or lightweight, you have several options to choose from. But if you’re looking for a deeper, richer, more professional experience than what PowerPoint has to offer, ProPresenter is the only alternative to PowerPoint for Mac that offers such a compelling set of capabilities.
See for yourself today by starting your unrestricted two-week trial. Download now!