Microsoft PowerPoint is a well-known presentation creator. In this respect, it has a lot of features that allow designing decent presentations in practically no time. Having poor graphic design skills is no reason to worry, as there are multiple templates to start with. Some of them come in the installation package but many others can be downloaded from the Internet. Besides, there are themes to customize your presentation a little bit further.
The application’s interface layout is similar to those of other Office products, which means that you feel quite comfortable with it if you have had some experience using Word, for instance. Its modern layout has ribbons instead of toolbars, which have the advantage of adapting to the kind of task you are performing at the moment.
The best way to describe a PowerPoint presentation is as a series of slides. In addition, to make it look more fluid, it is possible to use transitions between your slides. Luckily, there are multiple of these transitions to choose from.
It is great that you can insert any type of contents in your slides. So, besides text boxes, you can also insert photographs, graphs, images and shapes. Fortunately, just like Word, Microsoft PowerPoint comes with various language and proofing tools, which include spellchecking, translation and comments. Older versions only allowed linking to external video and audio files. Now, it is possible to fully embed all types of media contents within the presentation file. What is more, it lets you capture video from the screen.
Another important feature is animations. They are intended to make your presentations livelier and at the same time they serve to limit the amount of data shown in the screen while placing the focus on the most important elements. Animations can be carefully planned by means of a timeline.
It is good that presentations can be played in many ways. So, in addition to the common preview in which you move to the next slide with a click or key stroke, you can also let it flow automatically. For this purpose, it is possible to specify the time each slide will be on screen, and it is possible to record it, which may include intervals, narrations and mouse movement. Likewise, you can use this function for rehearsing intervals while you speak. Additionally, you can create branching presentations by inserting links to specific slides. Fortunately, presentations can be distributed to many other computers through the network.
There are other convenient features you can find in Microsoft PowerPoint. One of them is that you can add automation by inserting VBA code. Another one is the synchronization of presentations by storing them in the Cloud.
In general, Microsoft PowerPoint is a great tool that has inspired many other similar applications. However, there are still a few things I would like to add to my wish list. For instance, I would like to have more freedom in terms of branching presentations instead of creating it as a strip of subsequent slides. Moreover, panning and zooming effects, such as those found in other tools, can contribute to making your presentations a little less predictable. Finally, Microsoft PowerPoint should be purchased as part of the Microsoft Office suite, and its price is not low.
- Supports embedding all types of media contents
- Multiple templates and themes
- Various ways to show a presentation
- Supports planning animations with a timeline
- Automation by VBA code
- Allows syncing presentations
- Not enough freedom in creating branching presentations
- No panning and zooming transition effects