Best presentation software of 2023

Make perfect slides for speeches and talks

A person setting up files to import into Powerpoint.

The best presentation software makes it simple and easy to create, manage, and share slideshow presentations.

Presentation software runs at the heart of business sales, management, and development, so it's important to ensure you have the best presentation software for your needs. This is especially when looking to share ideas, concepts, and workflows, and the ability to present these in a simple and understandable way is essential.

However, while presentation software has been traditionally limited to text and images, it has widened its ability to work with different media such as video and audio . 

Therefore it's important for the best presentation software to not simply be easy and simple to use, but also be able to support additional media so that presentations can be more engaging, lively, and ultimately serve their purpose in educating and updating their intended audience.

Below we've listed the best presentation software currently on the market.

We've also listed the best free presentation software .

The best office software in the world is: Microsoft 365

The best office software in the world is: Microsoft 365 There are many different office software suites out there, but Microsoft Office remains the original and best, offering an unsurpassed range of features and functionality that rivals just can't match.

Even better, Microsoft 365 - previously branded as Office 365 - is a cloud-based solution which means you can use it on any computer, mobile device, or smartphone, without having to worry about compatibility. All your files are saved in the cloud and synced between devices, so you can begin work on a document at home or in the office, then continue working on it on the go.

You can sign up to Microsoft 365 here .

1. PowerPoint

Our expert review:

Reasons to buy

For most people, Microsoft 's PowerPoint remains the original and best of all the presentation software platforms out there. While other companies have managed to catch up and offer rival products worthy of consideration, the fact is that PowerPoint's familiar interface and ubiquitous availability means it remains a favorite for the majority of people.

On the one hand, it's long been a staple of the hugely popular Microsoft Office suite, meaning that for most users this is going to be the first - and last - presentation software they are going to need to use.

Additionally, Microsoft has made PowerPoint, along with their other office products, available as free apps (with limited functionality) on both iOS and Android for mobile use, meaning it's even harder to avoid them. And this is before we even consider the inclusion of PowerPoint in Microsoft's cloud-based Microsoft 365.

It does everything necessary that you'd expect of presentation software, allowing you to add text and media to a series of slides, to accompany a talk and other presentations. There are easy-to-use templates included to help spice things up a little, but even a general user with little experience of it is likely to find themselves able to use PowerPoint without much trouble at all.

Overall, it's hard to go wrong with PowerPoint, and although Microsoft 365 has a nominal cost, the apps are free to use even if they do have more limited functionality.

Read our full Microsoft PowerPoint review .

2. CustomShow

Reasons to avoid.

Branding says a lot about a business, and it’s something firms need to get right from day one – from a good logo to a suitable font. CustomShow is business presentation software that puts all these elements of branding first.

Using the system, you can design and present customized, branded presentations that reflect your company and the products you offer, featuring the aforementioned logo and custom fonts. As well as this, you get a slide library and analytics to ensure your presentations are a success.

What’s more, you can import presentations into the software, and use it to tweak them further. There’s also integration with SalesForce , and because the platform is cloud-based, you can access your presentations on computers, tablets, and smartphones. 

Considering the focus on branding, this offering could be good for marketing and sales teams, and it's used by major companies such as HBO and CBS Interactive.

3. ClearSlide

Just like CustomShow, ClearSlide has a niche focus for companies. The platform is targeted at firms looking to generate successful marketing campaigns, pushing sales via presentations (and more), not least through a range of analytics and metrics to work for sales and marketing.

With the product, you can upload a range of files, including PowerPoint, Keynote, PDF, and Excel. ClearSlide is integrated with other platforms, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Salesforce.

This system is pretty complex and may offer too many irrelevant features for some businesses, but you can create customized content that reflects your company and the message you’re trying to get out to customers. There are also some good metrics and analysis features, and you can sign up for a free trial before making any decisions.

The real strength of ClearSlide comes from its focus on sales and marketing data, not least being able to track user engagement alongside other metrics.

4. Haiku Deck

Any presentation app will allow you to personalize your slides to at least some extent, but Haiku Deck goes one step further than the competition. It comes with a wide range of themes suited to different needs, and you also get access to 40 million free images from the Creative Commons collection.

When it comes to creating a presentation, you have the option to do so on the web, which means your presentation is accessible across a range of mobile devices as well as desktops. Regardless of the device used, you’re able to select from a variety of different fonts, layouts, and filters to make the perfect presentation.

The great thing about these various customization options is that they’re categorized into different industries and use cases. For instance, you’ll find themes for teaching, cooking, real estate, and startups. Most of the features require you to be online, but hopefully, you’ll have a sturdy net connection wherever you go.

5. SlideDog

It’s all too easy to end up creating a presentation that’s unappealing, and the last thing you want to do is make the audience fall asleep. SlideDog lets you combine almost any type of media to create a rich presentation that’s sure to keep the viewers’ peepers open, avoiding the ‘cookie cutter’ look that makes presentations seem dull.

Marketed as a web-based multimedia presentation tool, it gives you the ability to combine PowerPoint presentations, graphics, PDF files, Prezi presentations, web pages, pictures, videos, and movie clips. You can drag these into custom playlists and display them to your audience with ease.

You’re able to remotely control your presentations and playlists from your smartphone, the web, or a secondary computer, and there’s also the option to share slides in real-time. Audience members can even view your slide from their own devices by clicking a link. That’s a handy feature if you’re looking to create an immersive presentation experience.

SlideDog is probably the cheapest of the presentation software featured, with a free account that will cover the essential features. However, for live sharing and premium support, you need to upgrade.

Read our full SlideDog review .

Prezi is one of the more unique presentation tools. Instead of presenting your graphics and text in a slide-to-slide format, you can create highly visual and interactive presentation canvases with the goal of “emphasizing the relationship between the ideas”.

Presentations can also be tailored to the specific audience, as this is a flexible platform that’s capable of skipping ahead, or veering off into a side topic, without having to flip through all the slides to get to a particular bit.

For business users, there are a variety of handy tools available. By downloading Prezi , you can build and edit presentations with your colleagues in real-time, which is perfect for companies with teams based around the globe.

When you have created a presentation you’re happy with, you can present it live (in HD) and send a direct link to viewers. There are some analysis tools here, too – you can see who’s accessed your presentation, which parts of it, and for how long. The app is available for Mac and Windows devices.

Read our full Prezi review .

Other presentation software to consider

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Google Slides  is part of the Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) office platform intended as an online alternative to Microsoft Office. It may seem a little limited by comparison to PowerPoint, but as it's browser-based that means cross-platform compatibility. Additionally, it allows for collaborative work, and Google Slides really works well here. On top of the fact that it integrates with the rest of the Google Workspace apps, not least Google Drive, and you have a contender. 

Zoho Show  is another of the many, many tools and apps that Zoho has made available for business use. It also operates in the cloud so it's accessible to any device with a browser, and it also allows for collaborative work. You can also easily share the link for users to download, or provide a live presentation online. The updated version has a simpler and easier to use interface and comes with a free version and a paid-for one with expanded features.

Evernote  is normally thought of as just note-taking software, but it does provide the option to create a presentation you can share online or with an audience. In that regard, it's a little more limited than the other options in not being dedicated presentation software. However, as an easy and handy way to pull together a presentation quickly, it could serve as a backup or last-minute option, especially if Evernote is already being commonly used by you.

LibreOffice Impress  is part of the open-source suite offered as a free alternative to Microsoft Office, and comes with a powerful array of tools and editing options for your presentation, not least working with 3D images. It's supported by a large community, so it's easy to find an array of additional templates. If there is a limitation it's that it's software you download and install rather than web-based, but any presentations created should be easily portable to the web if needed.

Adobe Spark  does things a bit differently, as rather than just use images it's geared toward video as well. This makes for potentially more powerful multimedia presentations, especially as Adobe also has a big selection of photos and images available for its users. There is a free tier for core features but requires a subscription for custom branding, personalized themes, and support.

Slides  comes with a lot of features in an easy-to-use interface, and involves setting up presentations using drag and drop into an existing grid. It's also internet-based so there's no software to download, and it only requires a browser to use and access. 

Which presentation software is best for you?

When deciding which presentation software to download and use, first consider what your actual needs are, as sometimes free platforms may only provide basic options, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid platform is much more worthwhile. Additionally, free and budget software options can sometimes prove limited when it comes to the variety of tools available, while higher-end software can really cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require for your presentation needs.

How we tested the best presentation software

To test for the best presentation software we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, whether as a download or as an online service. We then tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each software platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar .

We've also featured the best alternatives to Microsoft Office .

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Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan!

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What are Presentation Graphics?

Pre-requisites: Introduction to Computer Graphics

Graphics are defined as any sketch or a drawing or a special network that pictorially represents some meaningful information. Computer Graphics is used where a set of images needs to be manipulated or the creation of the image in the form of pixels and is drawn on the computer. Computer Graphics can be used in digital photography, film, entertainment, electronic gadgets, and all other core technologies which are required. It is a vast subject and area in the field of computer science. Computer Graphics can be used in UI design, rendering, geometric objects, animation, and many more. 

Presentation graphics provides predefined backgrounds and simple page layouts to help in the creation of slides. These slides can be moved automatically within seconds.


Slides mean we have text, graphics, audio clips, video clips, animations, and other effects   Presentation graphics is also known as Presentation Software. The best example of presentation graphics is Microsoft PowerPoint. 

In recent days we have a new presentation tool that is: our Web browser and that is for creating Web pages, like Microsoft’s FrontPage and Adobe’s PageMill. 

Rules to Design Presentation:

  • Keep it simple: Make it simple to understand. It only contains information regarding your topic.
  • Correct Spelling:   We have to be careful with the spelling that we have written.
  • Consistency: There is need to be continuous flow from one slide to another.
  • Don’t put too much on a Slide: Don’t write too much. just give a brief description and important points.
  • Use Fonts Properly: Only you can use two font styles in the presentation.
  • Find Your Equipment: First, you have to be confident with your topic and details about it.


Presentation graphics programs are mainly concerned with the display of graphs and charts but now allow users to attach anything from text to animations. When Compared to other programs like Excel, PowerPoint follows a slideshow format.


In the following areas we can use presentation software:

  • Google Slides
  • Microsoft Office
  • WPS Office 
  • Photo Slideshow with Music


  • Less Cost: The cost is low to use presentation software
  • Logical Ideas: Tables and graphs are used to represent information then a logical order is created to give a clear idea for viewers.
  • Acceptability: By using this busy person can easily get an idea about the topic.


  • Time-taking process. It needs more time to prepare.
  • Data can sometimes be lost.
  • Errors and Mistakes can occur during design.

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What Is Graphics Software?

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Graphics software creates, edits, and manages two-dimensional images. These computer graphics may be clip art, web graphics, logos, headings, backgrounds, digital photos, or other kinds of digital images.

Common Applications

Common graphics editors include Photoshop , Illustrator , Paint Shop Pro, CorelDRAW, The Apple Photos plugins from Macphun, Adobe Lightroom, Digital Image Suite, Canva, and related programs.

In Windows 10, the Paint 3D program is core to the operating system.

Some graphics software offers some limited editing capability but is optimized for display. The Photos program in Windows 10 is a great example, as is the free IrfanView viewer.

What Isn't Graphics Software?

Software that people think of as graphics software, but isn't, include programs that don't directly manipulate individual images. Page layout software such as InDesign , QuarkXpress, and Publisher fall into that category. Likewise, presentation software such as PowerPoint or Apple Keynote aren't graphics programs. In general, home publishing or creative printing software doesn't rise to the occasion, either.

What Are the Types of Graphics Software?

The two main categories of graphics programs are pixel-based image editors and path-based image editors. In a nutshell, an image is either comprised of a series of small dots (pixels) or a series of commands about how to draw an image . You'll know the difference between pixel- and path-based images by zooming on them. If they zoom very close without appearing fuzzy and blotchy, you're working with a path-based image.

Designers sometimes use the term raster graphics to reference pixel-based images and vector graphics to reference path-based images.

What Is Graphics Software Used For?

Some of the common things people use graphics software for include editing and sharing digital photos, creating logos, drawing and modifying clip art, creating digital fine art , creating web graphics, designing advertisements and product packaging, touching up scanned photos, and drawing maps or other diagrams.

There are the unconventional uses as well, such as editing video in Photoshop or 3D drawing in Illustrator.

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The 11 Best Presentation Software to Use in 2023

The ability to effectively share ideas, illustrate a concept, and convince an audience is invaluable whether you’re a student or a C-level executive. These days, the presentation software you use to create presentations is just as important as your public-speaking skills.

On top of that, most companies have transitioned to remote work recently due to the current coronavirus situation, and now need to share their stories online through a virtual conference room with their distributed teams and external audience members.

That’s why we’ve come up with a list of some of the best presentation software available right now, so you can choose a compatible and innovative presentation maker that includes the best presentation tools to suit your specific needs.

Choose the best presentation software by weighing the pros and cons

You’ll see some of the most popular presentation apps: from free to paid subscription platforms, and slideshow applications to full-blown visual design presentation software with interactive features and more.

Each presentation software has its pros and cons, so it’s up to you to figure out which suits your needs best; consider the software learning curve, whether your company is made up of Mac users or Windows users and the software compatibility, if you need an enterprise account or free account, etc.

Let’s dive in!

1. Piktochart

presentation software piktochart, best presentation software

Piktochart is a presentation software that can create a variety of design visuals, from infographics to social media stories.

An area in which Piktochart shines is crafting unique presentations. 

On Piktochart, users can choose from a wide range of professionally-designed presentation templates .

These custom templates include everything from monthly marketing reports to employee onboarding templates.

This broad selection of customizable templates is especially useful for those who don’t have much design experience or know-how but need to create a visually stunning unique presentation in a pinch. 

Piktochart’s presentation maker also makes it easy to edit presentations and include design elements such as lists, timelines, comparisons, graphs, and different types of charts through drag-and-drop tools.

You can even make visual maps and interactive charts to keep your audience engaged throughout your presentation. 

And if your company uses a Piktochart TEAM plan , you can enjoy the platform’s ability to store brand assets , color schemes, and bespoke templates. Here, replicating company-branded visuals is a breeze. 

Piktochart comes with a free version but with certain limitations. Active visuals are capped at five per month and published visuals have a Piktochart watermark.

If you want features such as team template collaboration, project sharing, and annotated commenting, you’ll have to get a Team account. To sum it up:

  • Lots of professionally-designed templates 
  • Good for both design professionals and non-professionals 
  • Easy to store brand assets and bespoke templates for future presentations
  • Access presentation tools from anywhere via a web browser
  • Free presentation app version available
  • Might take some getting used to if you’re used to PowerPoint presentations

Present and collaborate with ease using Piktochart’s presentation templates.

You don’t have to worry about how your presentation will look like. Piktochart’s easy-to-edit templates will take care of the visual aspect for you.

visual content maker, online presentation maker, slideshow online with Piktochart

2. Microsoft PowerPoint

microsoft powerpoint, powerpoint presentation

Microsoft PowerPoint is often the first presentation software that comes to mind.

Once considered the “O.G.” and best presentation software available, it is still widely used and has a familiar interface—which means most users are comfortable with it. 

This presentation app has everything you need to create a presentation: from animated transitions for interactive presentations to pre-installed fonts and graphic elements.

Users can also upload their own fonts, graphics, and images into their finished presentation.

Lastly, it’s available as part of the Microsoft Office software package; and you can work on your presentations via the web and mobile devices, for offline viewing as well as online. 

However, PowerPoint is no longer considered the best presentation software, as it has very few templates to choose from, and these tend to fall quite flat compared to modern apps and software.

It’s easy to fall back into boring slideshow PowerPoint files if you don’t know what you’re doing.

And because most people use PowerPoint, you’re likely using the same template as the next guy. 

As standalone presentation software, PowerPoint is pricey at US$139.99—and accessible through only one device unless you upgrade your package.

And while PowerPoint is primarily a slideshow application and presentation maker, its strengths are limited to this category. 

So if you’re looking for the best presentation software, and bang for your buck for a robust presentation tool, you might want to look elsewhere. 

  • Market leader in slideshow applications to create slides
  • Widely used and familiar interface for the presentation process
  • Reliable and usable on most devices as well as being a desktop app
  • Flat templates
  • Limitations with its standalone-presentation software price

3. Google Slides

google slides, presentation software example

Google Slides is a slideshow application that is very similar to PowerPoint.  But there are three main differences: it’s fully online (while also allowing for offline viewing), collaborative, and free. 

The great thing about Google Slides (besides the fact that it’s completely free for anyone with a Google account) is that you can log on via your browser or through its official app. 

You can access all Google Slides presentations from any device (mobile, tablet, and desktop), and share them with other people so you can collaborate in real-time. 

Google Drive allows all your presentations to live on the cloud, accessible to all marketing and sales teams, with unparalleled ease of use.

And there’s no need to worry about disruptions as all changes are saved as they happen, as long as you have an active internet connection. 

Additionally, anyone familiar with PowerPoint will be comfortable using Google’s iteration and likely be delighted by Google Drive and the slide library available. 

It’s also a lot simpler, so even those new to presentation-making will find it easy to navigate. 

However, some might find Google Slides too simple as it lacks the wealth of features available on PowerPoint. 

These include embedding videos from sources other than YouTube, plus adding audio tracks and sound effects, limiting the ability to create unique interactive presentations. 

Some users also encounter issues with downloading and exporting to different formats, including PowerPoint. 

Some slides may even turn out completely different from the original version. 

All in all, Google Slides is a great option for those who are looking for a free application and only need to create simple presentations. 

  • The free plan supports professional presentations
  • Web-based and collaborative to create presentations
  • Simple and familiar interface for an online presentation software
  • Too simple for advanced presentation making
  • Difficult to export to other formats
  • Limited templates and customization options for interactive content

keynote, keynote presentations

You could say Keynote is Apple’s version of PowerPoint. It’s also a slideshow application—but in typical Apple fashion, it comes with a sleek, minimalist interface and is considered one of the best presentation apps on the market. 

There are 30 different themes to choose from, which serve as templates for those who need a quick fix. And it can do most of what PowerPoint can. 

Keynote’s main perk is that it’s part of the Apple ecosystem. 

That means it has built-in iCloud and Apple Watch support so users can control their presentation from their mobile device or even their wrists with just a click. 

This presentation app comes pre-installed on most Mac devices. Otherwise, you can purchase it from the Apple store for just US$9.99 for mobile and US$19.99 for OS X. 

The big downside is that Keynote is exclusive to Mac OS. 

Non-Apple users can create, upload, and sync their own Keynote presentations through their iCloud Drive, but this presentation app is only truly helpful only for those who use multiple Apple devices. 

And if you’re used to working on PowerPoint, you might find Keynote a bit confusing in the beginning, especially when editing presentations. 

  • Sleek, minimalist interface 
  • Free with most Apple devices
  • No access for PC and Android devices except through iCloud

5. SlideDog

Sliding away from straightforward slideshow applications and other presentation apps, SlideDog is a web-based multimedia presentation tool that lets users combine different types of media to create and edit presentations. 

This includes everything from PowerPoint decks to videos and even PDFs that can all be played side by side without any awkward transitions. 

It’s also extremely easy to customize a SlideDog presentation. 

You just need to upload the files into the SlideDog web browser application, and then drag and drop them according to the order in which you want them to play. 

You can control your presentations and playlists from another device, and audience members can view your slideshow on their devices by clicking a link. 

SlideDog has a free presentation app version that provides all of the basic features. 

However, live sharing and premium support are only available with a Pro account that costs US$99 per year, and not via the free version alone.

While SlideDog is technically considered presentation software, you can’t actually create presentations on it. 

You can simply stitch together different pre-made presentations in various formats into what is essentially a playlist. 

Lastly, SlideDog supports only Windows devices, so Apple and Linux users can’t use it. 

  • Supports a lot of different media
  • Provides live-sharing
  • More dynamic compared to the usual slideshow presentation
  • Only collates media; doesn’t create them

6. Haiku Deck 

haiku deck, presentation software example

Ever come across presentations with size-eight fonts and blocks of indecipherable paragraphs on each slide? 

You can avoid such an unfortunate scenario with Haiku Deck. 

HaikuDeck is a web and mobile application that favors images over text. 

It works by limiting the number of words users can put on each slide, and allowing them to search for images on their platform related to the slide’s main idea. 

This makes it ideal for those who want to simplify their thoughts and let the images do all the talking. 

Users have over 40 million royalty-free photos to choose from, plus dozens of simple slide layouts on the platform itself. 

While this certainly simplifies the process of creating a visually rich presentation, it can be limiting for those who need to include more information into their slides. 

It’s a great option for someone giving a TED Talk, for example.

But for others who need to pass on more facts and figures, having a built-in word limit might be too restrictive.  

  • Simple and easy to use 
  • Access to millions of royalty-free stock images
  • May be too simple for some
  • No Android support
  • Limited features

7. Prezi Business

prezi business, business presentation software

Among the other presentation software on this list, Prezi Business might be one of the most unique presentation tools. 

Rather than offering a regular slideshow format, Prezi looks more like a 3D interactive mind map where viewers jump dynamically from one idea to the next. 

You can zoom in on one “slide” and then zoom out for the next. 

Prezi has over 100 templates to choose from and comes with a very simple interface and a drag-and-drop style of editing. 

It’s compatible with both Mac and PC desktops as well as smartphones. 

It’s also similar to a regular PowerPoint deck in that you can jump back and forth from one “slide” to the next. 

And like SlideDog, you can send viewers the link to the presentation as you’re presenting. 

Also, up to 10 people can work on a Prezi presentation at the same time, one of its main selling points. 

This is great for collaboration, but having so many hands-on deck at once can get messy. 

  • Dynamic and immersive presentations
  • Highly visual
  • Easy to use
  • May not be appropriate for all types of presentations

screenshot of ludus presentation software

In a world of slides and presentations, standing out is the key. Ludus brings the flair of graphic design into the world of presentations.

At its core, Ludus is the bridge between presentation tools and design software. It enables users to infuse their slides with the kind of design elements you’d typically find in advanced design platforms.

Not only can you import assets from design giants like Adobe, but its seamless integration with tools like Unsplash and Giphy makes sourcing visuals a breeze.

It’s a fairly affordable tool for all its features compared to the other paid options in this list, as users pay 12.49 euros monthly (if billed annually).

However, while Ludus’ robust design capabilities can elevate the look of your presentation, those unfamiliar with design tools might find there’s a learning curve.

  • Merges presentation creation with advanced design tools.
  • Seamless integration with popular design platforms and visual databases.
  • Offers a unique edge in presentation aesthetics.
  • Might be a tad overwhelming for non-designers
  • Can have a steeper learning curve for those used to more straightforward platforms

9. Slidebean

screenshot of slidebean presentation software

Crafting a compelling presentation demands not only compelling content but also a design that can captivate your audience. Enter Slidebean.

Slidebean offers an intelligent design solution, using AI to transform raw content into professionally styled presentations. This platform streamlines the design process, allowing you to focus on the message rather than fretting over aesthetics.

The basic plan is free and allows you to create a presentation. But if you want to share or download your presentations, as well as unlock the full suite of features, you’ll need to sign up for the All-Access plan priced at $199 per year.

While it provides a quick and efficient method to produce polished slides, it also offers features for sharing, collaboration, and viewer analytics, adding an edge to your presentation strategy.

However, for professionals who prioritize granular design control, the automated design might feel limiting at times.

  • AI-driven design ensures visually appealing presentations.
  • Features for collaboration and viewer insights.
  • Efficient design process reduces time and effort.
  • Might not offer the detailed design customization some users desire.
  • Automated choices may not always align with specific branding or style preferences.

10. ClearSlide

screenshot of clearslide presentation software

Having great visuals to drive your point home can be the difference between getting a sale across the line or customers walking away. ClearSlide stands out in this area as a presentation tool for businesses laser-focused on boosting their sales and marketing game.

At its core, ClearSlide is all about leveling up business presentations. Whether you’re marketing a new product or tracking client engagement, it’s got tools that cater to every need.

Whether it’s a PowerPoint, a PDF, or something from Google Drive or Dropbox, ClearSlide makes it simple to upload and work with these files.

The unique edge? ClearSlide’s virtual meeting space pops open with just a click. It’s all about seamless, professional presentations without the hassle.

Beyond just slides, the platform dives deep into metrics and analytics, ensuring every presentation is backed by data-driven insights. And the tool is available for $35 per month, which isn’t too pricey for medium-sized businesses.

However, its complexity isn’t for everyone. For some, the variety of features might seem a tad overwhelming, and its focus on metrics might be a bit much for those just wanting a basic presentation tool.

  • Seamless virtual meetings and presentations
  • Integrates with popular platforms
  • Offers insightful analytics for sales and marketing
  • Might feel complex for some users
  • Limited transition and design effects
  • Mobile experience could be better

screenshot of vyond presentation software

Stepping into the world of animation, Vyond, once known as GoAnimate, allows users to turn their narratives into professional animated videos. For those looking to elevate their content without diving deep into animation complexities, Vyond can be the go-to tool.

This platform is more than just drag-and-drop animations. It integrates AI capabilities with Vyond Go, which transforms text prompts into rough-cut videos.

Fancy a quick draft for your upcoming project? This AI assistant is up for the task. And if perfection is your game, take it to Vyond Studio, filled with an array of characters, templates, and backgrounds.

The Essential Plan at $25 per month is suitable for individuals on a budget. However, if you want to export videos at 1080p and above, have collaboration tools, or different export options, you’ll need to sign up for the Professional Plan at $92 per month.

As robust as the tool is, there are still some kinks to iron out. AI voiceovers might still need some tweaks, and detailed color customizations can be a bit tricky, but the tool’s strengths, especially for businesses, are undeniable.

  • Hassle-free video creation for beginners to experts
  • Generous library of pre-made assets
  • AI-powered video and script creation with Vyond Go
  • AI voiceovers might feel a bit robotic
  • Some customization limitations for specific props and scenes

The best presentation software is…

 …completely up to you! 

When it comes to presentation software, the world is your oyster. 

Each of these tools either has a free or trial version for you to check out, so you don’t have to commit just yet. 

When it’s time to choose, consider the following aspects to find the right presentation software for you: 

  • Ease of use. Is it easy for you to understand or will it require lots of training before you can start creating presentations? 
  • Accessibility. Can you access your presentation software from any device or are you limited to carrying your laptop to every presentation? 
  • Real-time collaboration. Can multiple people work on the same project or do you have to keep downloading and emailing drafts? 
  • Create design tools. Can you create presentations with dynamic design elements or are you stuck with the same kind of slide each time? 
  • Template availability. Is this tool only accessible to a design professional or can anyone create stunning presentations through pre-designed and updated templates? 
Piktochart , for example, would be a fantastic presentation software choice among the long list of PowerPoint alternatives for teams looking for a variety of eye-catching designs without requiring much technical know-how. Meanwhile, Microsoft PowerPoint might be the best presentation software for those who are just looking to play it safe. 

Hopefully, this best presentation software list sheds some light on the tools at your disposal. Choose wisely! 

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Robin Geuens is a writer turned SEO specialist. When he's not wondering what Google is up to next he's either reading, taking courses, playing video games, or wondering where to travel to next.

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what is presentation graphics software

Accent Technologies

What is Presentation Software?

Why a great presentation software is crucial to the success of organization.

Any experienced salesperson knows that words can only get you so far. You can articulate the features and benefits of your product or service to perfection. But eventually, the prospect will want to see it for themselves.

This is especially true in the world of software. Where users spend hours navigating apps, sites, and programs as part of their daily responsibilities.

According to research gathered by 3M (known for their invention of the Post-It Note) visuals are processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than text.

Presentations can truly make or break a prospect’s experience with your brand. A great presentation is engaging and conveys value through visuals. And it helps prospects visualize themselves as beneficiaries of your product or service.

What is presentation software?

A presentation software (sometimes called a presentation program) is a digital tool. It utilizes sequences of graphics, text, audio, and video to accompany a spoken presentation. These sequences, often called slides, are consolidated in virtual files called “slide decks.”

Presentation software across the web vary greatly in their capabilities, but they must offer at least three essential features:

  • A text editor with custom formatting
  • A means of inserting, editing, and resizing digital graphic
  • A slideshow system for displaying these visuals sequentially

Some presentation programs, like Microsoft PowerPoint, must be downloaded onto a computer’s hard drive before they can be used. Others, like Google Slides and Prezi, can be accessed from an internet browser.

what is presentation graphics software

Why is a Good Presentation Software Important?

Oftentimes, if a prospect agrees to view a presentation, you’ve at least piqued their interest.

You’ve likely spent some time on the phone or exchanged a few emails. Perhaps the prospect has visited your website a couple times. They’re likely not sold on you and actively forming their opinion of your brand.

This is why it’s imperative that your first presentation is a slam dunk. When a prospect sees you, your brand, and your product on display, you want them to leave excited for the benefits you can offer them.

A great presentation software gives you the tools and functionality you need to create a winning presentation. And create it quickly and easily.

In addition to usability, below are more benefits a good presentation software can bring to your organization.

Consolidation of information

A great slide deck combined with quality content is often one of the best single sources of sales information in your company.

Most sales decks contain a complete pitch all the way from pain point identification to feature/benefit pairings. Testimonials, best practices, and case studies are often scattered throughout.

This means you have a single file you can hand off to new sales reps for training. Or, if you need to pull a testimonial from a happy customer, you can find it in the slide deck. This one-stop shop for valuable sales information is made possible by a good presentation software.

Mobility for reps on the go

If your sales reps are doing a lot of physical site visits, having a mobile sales presentation that they can carry around in their pockets is a whole lot easier than lugging around a laptop. Almost every modern presentation software offers robust mobile functionality.

Having the consolidated information mentioned in the last point available at all times is a powerful asset for the rep doing on-site visits or demos.

For an example of how impactful a mobile presentation can be, check The Real Problem of Humanity as it pertains to technology by Tristan Harris.

Consistency across the team

Most presentation solutions allow for the creation of custom templates. This, combined with a “master slide deck” means that you can ensure greater alignment across your sales reps. This, with a content management platform , means your content is version-controlled and up-to-date. Which is important as its being presented to prospects.

Rapid content personalization

Let’s say you’re about to hop on a presentation call with a prospect. Right before the call, you receive an email from him letting you know his boss will be on the call as well. As it turns out, she’s particularly interested in one specific feature of your product.

With a great presentation tool, you can edit slides immediately (often from your mobile device, if needed). You can also delete, append, or customize information. This allows you to quickly tailor your messaging and visuals to fit the needs of a particular prospect or market segment.

Firsthand feedback from prospects

There are a lot of advantages of making sales presentations a two-way conversation as opposed to a monologue. Even if you can’t meet in person, real-time verbal feedback from prospects is incredibly valuable information.

A good sales rep will listen closely for clues that certain slides are holding the attention of the audience. These are moments that likely deserve to be highlighted or more deeply articulated.

A great presentation software will allow you to add slides, write copy, and format visuals immediately after the prospect hangs up. All while the information is fresh in the presenter’s mind. That way you can elevate their points of interest.

Thus, an easy-to-use presentation software is key to a sales team’s ability to quickly iterate on and improve effective content.

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Getting the Most Out of Your Presentation Software

Vastly more important than your tool of choice is how you use it. Modern presentation software can produce razor-sharp, engaging presentations that convert prospects to sales. But they’re also capable of producing abominations that no prospect should ever see.

Abide by the following guidelines and you’ll be on the right track. Not only to avoid common presentation pitfalls, but also to help your message stick.

Utilize your Notes section

While a more conversational tone is obviously the goal, hitting all the important beats of a sales presentation from memory can be tough. This is where presentation notes come in handy.

Whether it’s a word-for-word script or bullet points, every presentation software offers the ability to write formatted notes associated with your slide decks.

When you present, these notes will be visible to you alone. This is especially useful when delivering presentations remotely over the web. If you’re going to read a word-for-word script, be sure to add some inflection and natural pauses to avoid sounding robotic.

Utilize grids when formatting visuals

Pixelated graphics and misaligned visuals in slide decks can make you look like an amateur. Which is not the message you want to send to your audience.

It’s safe to say that most sales reps are not also trained graphic designers. It’s all the more important that we rely on grids to line up our images in an aesthetically-pleasing way.

All modern presentation tools offer some sort of grid for optimal image placement. Cross-referencing your visuals against the grid takes mere minutes. But it could potentially save you embarrassment and help build credibility with your prospect.

Tell a story

Real-life stories are what captivate and unite humans. It’s been neurologically proven that stories engage more areas of the brain than the parts that store and recall facts. In fact, science shows us that our brains don’t distinguish between hearing a story and actually experiencing it.

That means your prospect will tune out if you’re reciting a laundry list of features and benefits. They’re more likely to stay engaged if you tell a real story of how your product helped a real person.

This also means that when you describe a real-life pain point of someone in a similar position, the odds are high that your prospect will feel that pain. It follows that they’ll also feel a greater urgency for whatever you’re offering.

The Hero’s Journey is a popular storytelling framework that’s been used ever since humans could communicate with drawings on cave walls. Using this template is one of the most effective ways to integrate storytelling into your presentations. So, try making them the hero, not your product.

Keep it simple

Keep the amount of information you give the prospect down to a few important things. Don’t burry the resources they need to see with lots of little insignificant things. Don’t get bogged down in feature explanations. Keep things brief and high-level. If you have to ask yourself if you should cut a section, the answer is yes.

Avoid animations (unless they’re custom)

As a general rule, when animations in presentations are good, they’re really good. When they’re bad, though, they’re really bad. I have seen some beautiful animations done in PowerPoint for large-scale conference presentations. Important note: they were created by a trained graphic designer with weeks of prep time and years of experience.

If you don’t have time or expertise to make your animations great, keep them simple and minimal. Or avoid them altogether. The animation presets in modern presentation tools are guaranteed to make your content look cheap.

The occasional fade-in can be tasteful. But beyond that, it’s probably wise to stay away from any distracting spins, swipes, or bounces.

Rehearse on your target machine

This tip is more about technology than technique. I can’t count how many times I’ve been in the audience of a presentation where the presenter advances to a broken or unformatted slide. “Whoa,” they say. “That’s so weird. That worked on my computer.”

Perhaps you’ve experienced the same thing. It’s definitely not something you want your prospect experiencing as they’re forming their opinion of your brand.

So, if you’re building a presentation on your home PC to transfer to your work laptop, make sure you test it on your work laptop before unveiling to the world. It seems obvious, but it takes mere minutes to troubleshoot and could save you a sale and a stressful situation.

Start with a template

A great way to ensure aesthetic consistency and alignment is a custom template. One that’s designed with your organization’s branding. If you don’t have an in-house designer, there will be an initial investment. But it’s well worth it considering it may be the first impression a prospect gets of your brand. As well as, how many eyeballs will be on your slides over time.

This will help you avoid the distraction of mismatched fonts and colors. But this will also help you ensure that every prospect gets a consistent experience, regardless of the presenter. Nothing is left up to chance.

Almost every modern presentation software has a “New from Template” or equivalent option. These save time during the start of each slide deck as well. Branded templates mean you’re never left wondering if your team has the right content.

Speaking of saving time, Accent Connect keeps all of your presentation decks neatly organized and updated. Your sales reps can access them from any device, anywhere, at any time.

To learn more about how we can help you optimize your presentation workflow and sell more effectively, reach out to our team today for a live demo .

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To that end, you should know that many advertisers pay us a fee if you purchase products after clicking links or calling phone numbers on our website.

The following companies are our partners in Presentation Software:  Prezi , and  mysimpleshow .

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For example, when company ranking is subjective (meaning two companies are very close) our advertising partners may be ranked higher. If you have any specific questions while considering which product or service you may buy, feel free to reach out to us anytime.

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Best Presentation Software Based on In-Depth Reviews

  • 200+ Hours of research
  • 25 Sources used
  • 19 Companies vetted
  • 4 Features reviewed
  • 6 Top Picks

what is presentation graphics software

  • Assess your visual presentation needs
  • Focus on software with multiple design elements
  • Go for software that will visually complement your narrative
  • How we analyzed the best Presentation Software Providers
  • Our Top Picks: Presentation Software Reviews

As our work lives gradually migrate to virtual spaces-with Zoom meetings and video conference calls now becoming the daily norm- we’ve had to spruce up how we communicate, educate, and transmit ideas. Part of reshaping how we communicate involves getting creative about how we can convey ideas and messages with the same enthusiasm as before. Presentation software has everything to do with this. It’s no longer just a visual aid but an integral part of how we virtually communicate our stories and ideas. 

PowerPoint has long reigned supreme in the world of presentation software, and for good reason. PowerPoint is simple and easy to use, and it’s got a host of features that make it convenient for students and professionals looking to share their ideas. Over the past years, however, innovative presentation platforms have emerged that have enriched the way we can present information by offering video creation and animation development tools. 

Presentation software is also increasingly moving towards AI use to create your decks, so that you spend as little time as possible creating visually stunning and informative decks. This software has re-shaped traditional presentation formats and styles, and have widened the range of ways we can use images, text, and video. Point being, presentation software has evolved a lot over the past years. There’s no longer any excuse why your lecture or business proposal decks should look like they’re stuck in the past. With the right presentation software and free image database , you can make your ideas look as stunning as they are.

  • PowerPoint review

PowerPoint Presentation Software

Classic Deck Presentations 

Compatibility : Web-based and desktop-installed app

Design Library : Around 40 different themes with multiple color variations

Free Version : Yes (web-based)

Mobile App : Yes

screenshot microsoft powerpoint

Screenshot, August 2020.

Microsoft’s PowerPoint (PP) needs no introduction. The software is arguably the most well known and ubiquitous of all presentation software on the market. Though it may seem like old news next to all the young and innovative competitors it has had in the past years, PP is still king when it comes to simplicity, ease of use, and reliability. 

PP is now available to use through the web, meaning you can create, edit, share, and present your slides wherever you are and on any device with a supporting app. This ease and mobility put it ahead of many software companies that still lack mobile apps. 

Microsoft has also added AI Design to PP, which works by identifying the most important elements of your images and generating potential theme options that work best with your content. Additionally, PP includes animation features, where you can create animated explainer videos using gifs, as well as animate 3D objects. PP also has a feature called Zoom where, much like in Prezi, you can jump to and from specific sections and portions of your presentation as you present, so that your deck doesn’t have to be strictly linear. Like all other software on this list, you can insert online videos into your presentation in PP for Microsoft 365 or PP 2019 and onwards, but you must be connected to the internet for it to play properly. 

PowerPoint is only available for purchase with Microsoft 365, which includes PP, Word, Excel, and other Microsoft Office programs, plus continuous updates to the Microsoft ecosystem ($69.99/ per year) or with Office Home, which includes all of the above but does not include access to latest updates or cloud storage (one-time payment of $149.99). AI Designer and advanced customer support tools are only included in Microsoft 365. 

  • Prezi review

Prezi Presentation Software

Best for Dynamic Presentations

Design Library :  Hundreds of designer templates offered by Prezi, millions of reusable presentations from other users; more than 500,000 images and 80,000 icons

Free Version : Yes

Mobile App : Yes, but not for editing (only viewing and presenting) 

screenshot of prezi landing page

Screenshot, August 2020.

Next to PowerPoint, Prezi is probably the most well-known presentation software out there. Its spatial format, which allows the presenter and audience to move from idea to idea in a dynamic way, makes it stand out from most presentation software currently available. 

The creative possibilities are endless with Prezi, as they offer millions of usable Prezi presentations to all users. Although there is a bit of a learning curve (especially if you decide to start a presentation from scratch), Prezi offers dozens of video tutorials on Youtube and plenty of  online articles that can help steer you in the right direction. You can also collaborate on a project with up to 10 users, adding comments and feedback as you edit.  

One of the best things about Prezi is that it offers several design and video features not included in other software. For example, you can record videos using a template and fonts to make your presentation more engaging and dynamic. You can also make stunning infographics to complement your presentations with Prezi Design. Finally, the Prezi viewer mobile app will allow you to view your presentation from your phone and use your mobile device as a remote control clicker to manage your deck as you present it.

Prezi offers Free, Standard ($5/mo), Plus ($15/mo), and Premium (for business professionals) plans. They also offer a special plan for students and educators that includes everything on the Plus plan for a reduced price (at $3/ mo). 

  • Google Slides review

Google Slides Presentation Software

Best Fully Free Software

Compatibility : Web-based 

Design Library : 25 templates, but hundreds more available in external sites

Free Version : GoogleSlides is completely free

screenshot google slides

Screenshot, August 2020.

GoogleSlides is probably the most effective and useful free presentation software out there. Not only is this the most useful software for casual presenters who don’t want to spend money on tools they’ll likely never use, but Slide’s portability and shareability make it a great option for students and team members alike. 

Slides is perfect for those who want to make simple, but modern looking presentations in a brief amount of time. Its format is simple and easy to use, mimicking that of Power Point’s. Google also offers articles providing tips on how to better your experience. Its Slide’s mobile app is also great for editing and reviewing content before the start of your presentation. Although its template library may not be as robust as other software, external website libraries such as Slidesgo , offer hundreds of free downloadable templates. You can also easily integrate media such as videos and audio to your Slides presentation. Finally, unlike other paying presentation software, Slides lets you export your final presentation into PowerPoint, PDF, and JPEG formats, so you can download your presentation and present it wherever you are, internet available or not. 

  • Slidebean review

Slidebean Presentation Software

Best For AI Use

Compatibility : Web-based, but offers offline viewing 

Design Library : Dozens of pre-made templates available for five different categories (Businesses, Academics, Sales, PR, and Marketing) 

Mobile App : No 

Screenshot, August 2020.

Slidebean is a web-based software that works through AI so you can build a modern and professional-looking presentation in minutes. Signing up is easy and Slidebean offers a brief tutorial on how to work the system before you begin. With Slidebean, you don’t have to spend hours trying out colors and template formats, to see what works. Slidebean encourages you to focus on your text and ideas, and the AI software will do all the formatting and color coordination for you. If you don’t like the options generated for you, the AI will keep mixing and matching until you find something that works. You can choose from one of the hundreds of pre-made templates or create a custom theme. You can invite collaborators on both private and shareable decks. For premium members, you can also track your viewers behavior while they look at your content. One downside is that you can’t upload existing PowerPoint (PPT) presentations to edit. Paying users can, however, download your presentation into HTML and PPT, so you can view it offline, although this could affect certain design elements in your presentation 

Slidebean has a Free, Starter ($8/mo billed annually), and Premium ($19/mo billed annually) version with different privacy and collabo-sharing settings, as well as design library access settings and access. They also have a Founder’s Edition plan, aimed at entrepreneurs and startups which provides everything on the Premium plan plus design tune-up, proofreading, and direct access to Slidebean’s founders.

  • Genially review

Genially Presentation Software

Best for Students and Educators

Design Library : Hundreds of templates for categories including Corporate and Education 

Screenshot, August 2020.

Genially’s interactive focus on presentations, as well as their considerably reduced prices for educators makes it particularly appealing to students and teachers alike. Genially has several different animation tools and templates. They offer templates for video presentations, interactive games and quizzes, infographics, and interactive image layouts where you can make any image interactive and glean from it a wealth of information, among others. 

With paid versions, you also have the opportunity to import PowerPoint presentations and edit them using Genially features. On the support side, Genially offers articles on how to get started with your software, as well as provide a wide range of YouTube tutorials to help you navigate your presentation maker. 

  • Powtoon review

Powtoon Presentation Software

Best for Video Presentations

Design Library : Hundreds of pre-made video templates in categories that include Education, Marketing, Product and Engineering, Learning and Development, and Digital Management 

Mobile App : Yes, but not for editing

screenshot powtoon

Screenshot, August 2020.

PowToon is a video creation software that will allow you to completely break the mold when it comes to visual presentations.  With PowToon, you get hundreds of pre-made video templates you can manipulate and use to transmit your own ideas, so no advanced knowledge of video editing is needed. PowToon offers pre-designed animation, customizable characters, royalty-free images and soundtracks, and a drag and drop interface so that both beginners and pros alike can take advantage of the software. Of course, you can also create a video from scratch. Powtoon offers a Help Center database with dozens of articles regarding the video editing process. Pro members also get 24/7 priority support as well as the right to download their videos into MP4 format. Both free and paid versions allow users to export videos to different social media channels or content websites.

PowToon currently offers a Free, Pro ($19/mo), Pro+ ($39/mo), and Agency ($99/mo) plan. There are also special prices for students ($ 4/mo and access to Pro content), and teachers ($10/mo unlimited access to all content).

what is presentation graphics software

  • More insight into our methodology

Good presentation software should cover all your basic needs, but it should also offer features that make your presentation stand out from the rest. 

We evaluated multiple companies in the visual presentation field, and tested them to gauge how easy they were to use and how comprehensive the library they offered was. 

We gave preference to companies that offer alternative modes of presentation such as video, animation, and design tools so that your slide deck is more than just a set of static words and images. All our picks also have free versions so you can test them out and decide if upgrading to fancier features is worth it for you. 

Presentation software can include many features, but we focused specifically on the following: 

Design library  - The design library is one of the most important elements of any software. They include templates and color schemes. Some companies offer hundreds of different premade templates you can edit and make your own. They'll also split templates into useful categories such as business, marketing and sales, and education.  

  • AI features - Over the last few years, several companies have moved towards including artificial intelligence features in their software, making it even easier for users to create their own presentations. AI-based software will usually work so that you can focus on getting your ideas on text while the program takes care of formatting the rest. 
  • Collabo-sharing features - Collaboration tools make it so that multiple people can edit your document, whether in real-time or not. Sharing tools allow you to upload your work on different platforms, as well as export the presentation in formats that don’t require an internet connection. 
  • Media integration  - In this digital age, presentations should include text, images, videos, and/or GIFs. Good presentation software will integrate different media in a seamless and coherent way so your presentation will be engaging but also run smoothly. The companies we chose provide different graphic, animation, and video capabilities so that you can craft modern and engaging content.

Presentation software can range from zero to a couple of hundred dollars a year, since most of the paid ones offer subscription plans. Although companies may have several different tiers, they often include special education and business plans that may reduce the cost considerably.  All our companies have at least a free version, and several have free trial versions for premium subscription plans.

  • Compatibility

Compatibility is everything when it comes to presentation software. Even though most software is now offered through web-based apps, this may not necessarily mean it’s the most convenient for everyone. Exporting your presentations to PDF or PowerPoint may be necessary in order to present in places with poor or no internet connection. Not all companies do this, however, so it’s important to keep this in mind before signing up for any one plan. We looked at companies that have both offline and online options.

  • Ease of Use/Educational Material

Some companies have a steeper learning curve than others, but these usually include more advanced graphic design features—such as video editing and animation creation. Regardless of the difficulty, companies should provide users with as much helpful information on different topics as they can. Some companies provide databases with plenty of helpful articles. Others provide video tutorials on how to navigate specific areas of the software. We paid attention to how much of this educational support companies provide to make the process as easy as possible for the user.

  • Helpful information about Presentation Software

Assessing your Presentation Needs

Before picking any one presentation software, it might be a good idea to consider what you're looking to get from it. If you’re a casual or infrequent presenter, chances are that free software will be enough to address your needs. On the other hand, if you’re a frequent presenter tackling several audiences or topics, you probably want software that provides more creative and functional leeway, along with practical analytical tools that will help you improve your presentations in the long run. 

Assessing what you need presentation software for is key in helping you decide whether you should go for a free option, or invest in a pricier but more robust software. Are you an educator? An entrepreneur? Part of company leadership?  Are you working as a graphic designer for a marketing or creative company?  For example, as a burgeoning entrepreneur, you’ll likely want software that offers a vast number of pitch and business presentation templates. If you’re part of a team at work or school, you’ll likely need software that allows you to easily share and collaborate on presentations. Meanwhile, educators and business professionals who need to constantly churn out presentations will likely appreciate AI-based software that takes care of formatting their multiple decks so that they can focus on the information at hand. Moreover, some presentation software will be tailored for specific industries, and will include a wide range of templates and layouts catering to that professional niche, as well as analytic reports on audience engagement and participation. 

The good news is that many presentation software companies now cater to different audiences and lines of work, so that it doesn’t matter if you’re a student or the CEO of a small but growing business, you’ll likely find the templates and collaboration features you need. Nonetheless, how many features you’ll be able to access on your software usually depends on whether you’re a paying user or if you opt for a free version. 

Free vs Paid Software

Many companies offer free versions of their software, so that you don’t need to pay a cent to enjoy unique creative features. However, free versions can be limited— you’ll generally have access to only a few templates, or a set number of projects per month, and won’t be able to enjoy all the available formatting tools that paying users get. 

Free versions can also limit your privacy options. For example, they will allow you to use many of the software’s features, but require you to make your presentation publicly available to anyone on the web. This is likely not an ideal option for anyone who needs to present sensitive or confidential information meant to remain in-house. 

Additionally, using free versions could mean that you’re only able to view and present your information online and through the software company’s platform. Exporting and downloading your presentations is usually restricted to paying users, which could be a problem for those that wish to download and store their work on their computer and/or a USB device. 

It’s important to note that fully free, or open-source, software, such as Google Slides, will often provide a host of features that are not dependent on pay. However, free software won’t be able to provide as wide a diversity of templates and formatting options. They might also lack the power to properly handle different types of media in a single deck, causing your presentation to lag or slow down. Still, for infrequent presenters, open-source software is an excellent and free alternative to make simple and quick presentations. 

Tips for Great Presentations 

It’s easy to get carried away with pumping your decks full of information and unnecessary graphics. However, presentation software shouldn’t eclipse what you have to say with distracting animations and excessive text. Instead, it should complement your ideas and allow you to convey your message in a cogent and powerful way. 

Picking software is just the first step in crafting a fantastic presentation. After that, the fun begins. We talked to our in-house senior graphic designer, Jose “Yuyu” Velez, to determine what goes into making an effective and stellar presentation.

Tip #1 Pick presentation tools that offer versatility and creative leeway 

There are very basic things I should be able to do with presentation software such as import images, export to different formats, add gifs or other video media, etc. Adding transitions is always a plus, as well as having an icon library. Ideally, I should also be able to share a presentation seamlessly with others so that they [collaborators] can edit.

Tip #2 Keep your designs clean and simple

I've always found that keeping the layout as simple as possible helps to avoid the viewer from becoming distracted when presenting. This simplicity translates to a lot of things, like the use of color sparingly, 2-3 bullets per slide (flushed left with images or videos on the right so that it's natural to the viewer), and the use of animation only when necessary.

For example, a simple slide would be a white or very light-colored background, 2-3 bullets on the left, and a contextual image to the right that helps compliment the bullet points.

Tip #3 Keep it fun and eye-catching  

I've found that animation always helps keep the viewer engaged with a presentation, especially the use of gifs to drive the message home.

  Tip #4 Aim for an engaging, but coherent presentation

I've seen a lot of excellent presentations that use humor, gifs, and other types of animations that really kept me engaged. But when you take it home with you and try to watch it alone on your computer most of it doesn't make sense. To avoid this you can do one of the following:

Make sure that the presentation makes sense with or without you presenting it.

Make 2 versions, one to be presented live and the other as a more complete take-home version.

Tip #5: Be mindful about how you use design elements 

Keep text to a minimum : 2 to 3 bullet points should be more than enough on each slide. More than that might be too much for the viewer to process.

Synthesize your information : Most speakers get a 15 to 30 min window for a presentation. I recommend trying to have a max of 1 slide per minute. You should be able to simplify all the information without the need for 100+ slides.

Use color sparingly : Keep the background either very light with black text or very dark with light text. Any other color should be used as an accent to highlight a detail on screen. Too much color can be distracting.

Use videos and animations strategically : Too many videos or animations can slow down the presentation or make the file way too heavy. They should be placed purposefully and sparingly, same as with the colors. Think of them as secret weapons that help to break up the content on the slides so that you have a chance to give the viewer's brain a rest from listening to you while also reading bullet points.

Make people laugh! : Nobody wants to be bored and everyone can use a laugh. Throwing in a joke can help hold your viewers’ attention. This can especially be accomplished with the use of the right gif. Just make sure the joke is in line with what you're presenting.

  • What To Watch Out For With Presentation Software

Picture it, it's zero hour and you’re about to show your bosses that business proposal you’ve been working on for weeks. Your slides are minimalistic and captivating. You’ve got stunning images to drive your point home. And to top it all off, you’ve included a video that captures all your important points in a condensed and appealing way. You plug in your USB stick where you’ve saved your presentation and...a nightmare occurs. Your image and video links are all broken, and the presentation you’ve worked on for weeks is nothing more than a pile of text. Worst of all you can’t make any adjustments because your software is strictly desktop version and you’re miles away from home. The culprit? Compatibility issues.

Software can be desktop installed, web-based, or both. Desktop-installed software allows you to download the editing and presenting tools you need straight to your laptop or desktop computer, without an internet connection. In the last couple of years, presentation software has migrated to web- or cloud-based software, meaning you do all your creating, editing, and presenting through the company’s platform. This is especially great if you want to work on your presentation from multiple devices, such as your tablet or smartphone. The downside to this is that you almost always need an internet connection to work on your presentation, and this may not always be readily available to you. 

It’s important that when you finally settle on a company that fits your design needs, you also check software compatibility. Most presentation software in the market is web-based, meaning you can run it on any computer or device as long as you have a working internet connection. Although this is great for portability and shareability purposes, it may be a problem if you need to present somewhere with poor internet. 

Most of these web-based companies will allow you to export your presentation into PDF, HTML, and sometimes even PPT presentations, so you should always check this feature is included in the plans you opt to choose. However, these features are oftentimes only included in the software’s paid versions. Downloading your presentations into these formats can also sometimes affect elements in your presentation. For example, embedded YouTube videos won’t work without an internet connection, and some templates that are exclusive to a company may not be available if you download them into a PowerPoint format. 

Some software companies like Prezi and PowerPoint, though, will have installable desktop options so that you can create, edit, and present your presentation hassle-free in the event that there’s no internet connection.

  • FAQs about Presentation Software

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15 Best Presentation Software for 2021

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The Best Presentation Software for 2021

On average a presentation takes up to 20 minutes and experts say we make an impression within the first 30 seconds. That is why it’s important to “dress” our great product/idea with an equally exciting design. Most often, presentations are cooked up by non-designers, which creates a specific need – for powerful presentation software, which can help communicate a message beautifully, effectively, and to suit any user’s skill level. We hand-picked 15 of the best presentation software for 2021 , which will help you create presentations online, share them, while shining in your best light. In the meanwhile, check out some useful ideas tips to spice up your presentations .

A web-based presentation tool, which means you can access your presentations wherever you are, with an internet connection. It is known for its animations, cartoons, and infographics, which help the user to create more interactive presentations and explainer-style videos.

Example by Focusky

Best Features:  Very interactive; you can create a unique to your story by combining different “frames” (slides); create your own animations within the presentation Price:  Free, but heavily subscription-based Learning curve:  Very intuitive, nicely organized by categories, but it would require some time to learn the animation controls Available for:  Online Perfect for: Marketing and education

To summarize, this presentation tool is best for marketers and education, where the creator can get the most out of the cool animation and cartoons available. In the last years, there is an increased interest in Powtoon and RenderForest and we expect that more and more people will use them in 2021. No surprise – if you look at our article about Graphic Design Trends in 2022 , everything is moving towards animation, cool 3D-s, cartoons, and illustrations – and these are all things that this software can offer for your presentation.

Prezi is an online presentation software, which resembles a mind map. In comparison, PowerPoint offers a linear way of presenting, whereas Prezi allows you to better show relationships between different elements of your presentation, show details, zoom in and zoom out and show an overall view of your topic. Compared to PowerPoint is more interactive, but with fewer functionalities and a choice of templates.

Example by PreziBase

Best Features:  Interactive presentations and interesting transitions, zoom in/out details Price:  The very basic features are free, but most of the interesting ones are paid, starting from $3/month and reaching up to $59/month. They offer a free trial. Learning curve:  it requires learning and going through a lot of menus and functionalities, similar to PowerPoint Available for:  Online / Limited use for iOS and Android (only viewing, not creating and editing) Perfect for: teachers, businesses, more experienced designers, and specific presentations needs, but not recommended for newbies

Prezi is best in showing relationships between different parts of your presentations. There are some challenges in editing, and viewing across devices and its best features are paid for. We recommend it for quick, mind-map-like presentations without the need for ultra-special design.

3. RenderForest Presentation Maker

RenderForest is an online presentation tool, which is famous for its explainer style and whiteboard animations. The presentation templates often offer various motion/video backgrounds, which helps to grab your audience’s attention. Currently, the company is working on releasing its Graphic Design Software, which will allow users to create printables and beautiful designs for social media. This shows that RenderForest’s team knows the market well and does its best to cater to its needs!

what is presentation graphics software

Example by Renderforest

Best Features:  Video holders with text on shapes, cool transitions Price:  There is a free version, the paid ones start at $20.34 per user/month Learning curve:  Relatively easy to use, the simple interface helps the user Available for:  Online / iOS / Android Perfect for:  Education and business

Although not one of the cheapest solutions, it allows you to create engaging and interactive presentations with lots of cool animations. That makes RenderForest a great choice for more educational and marketing explainer-type videos/presentations.

4. Mentimeter

Mentimeter is a very interesting online presentation software. It allows your audience to engage with your presentation in real-time and you can create polls, ask questions, which are then displayed to your presentation. The answers from the audience remain anonymous so people are even more encouraged to participate.

Example by Mentimeter

Best Features:  Launch live, interactive polls, surveys, quizzes and create things like word clouds in real-time Price:  It has a free version, but the paid plans offer most of the attractive features – the basic plan costs $9.99 per user/month and the more advanced plan is $24.99 per user/month Learning curve:  Easy to use; might need to explain to a less tech-savvy audience how to connect to your presentation Available for:  Online / Android / iOS Perfect for:  Educators, speakers, business and competitions

An excellent choice for educators, speakers, and businesses who want to engage the audience in real-time and display the results immediately. Clean, simple designs, that help you focus on the content.

5. Libre Office Impress

Libre Office is free presentation software, an open-source alternative to PowerPoint. As you can expect from a free product, it offers only the main features of its “big brother”, but it’s a good solution for people used to Microsoft’s productivity suite. The interface is very similar to PowerPoint, which again makes it comfortable to use for a certain audience. Users who need collaboration on presentations, clean interface, and more creative design solutions should steer away from this free presentation software because it will simply not cover their needs.

what is presentation graphics software

Example by Theodoros Bousios

Best Features:  Free, compatible with older versions (Windows XP for example) Price:  Free Learning curve:  It will take some time to go through all the options and to get familiar with the interface; Available for:  Windows / macOS / Linux / Android / iOS. Perfect for:  people who want to use a free product and people with older operation systems

To summarize, Libre is free, compatible with older versions, it can cover your basic needs for a presentation, but the options are too many and available templates too little.

6. Zoho Show

Zoho Show is also an online presentation software, which has a very friendly user interface and great collaboration features. There are many functionalities, which help you create a beautiful design, but require some time and design knowledge to get it right. The premade templates are limited and this presentation software needs an internet connection to be able to edit and present.

what is presentation graphics software

Image by Zoho

Best Features:  Live broadcasting a presentation with live chat and commenting Price:  Zoho Show is free for personal use. For business users, Zoho Show is included in the Zoho Docs enterprise pricing packages – €5 or €8 per user/month Learning curve: Available for:  Online / Android / iOS Perfect for:  non-profits, start-ups, personal use, teachers

To summarize, Zoho offers great collaboration features, but you need a connection to edit and present. It is suitable for quick, non-pretentious presentations, where you need some kind of collaboration.

7. ClearSlide Presenter

ClearSlide is a sales engagement platform, including an online presentation tool. Another online tool – SlideRocket, was acquired by ClearSlide and one of the differences is that ClearSlide is more costly and targeted at larger businesses. It’s a great platform for very specific needs – collaborating between sales and marketing teams, to achieve the company’s goals. It’s clear even by the interface:

what is presentation graphics software

Image by ClearSlide

Best Features: Analytics for costumers’ engagement, video conferencing, screen sharing Price:  They offer a free trial and you can see more about the payment plans here. Learning curve:  Clear and simple interface, but it requires some time to get used to the tools Available for:  Online Perfect for: Sales/business, managers (for coaching); not suitable for newbies, teachers, students

To summarize, ClearSide is perfect for presenting sales pitch , graphics, collaborate in larger teams. It is somehow restrictive for a non-designer because the templates are specific.

8. Piktochart

Piktochart allows you to make infographics, presentations, and printables quickly. Primarily known for its easy customizable infographics, Piktochart also has simple presentation templates and the company is constantly trying to update its library.

Example by Piktochart Knowledge Base

Best Features:  Turning data-heavy content into simple visuals; nice transitions between slides Price:  There is a free version and a paid one, starting at $29 per user/month. They offer a free trial. Learning curve:  It requires time to get used to the options available and to navigate through Available for:  Online Perfect for:  Designers, teachers; it does not offer collaboration options, which might be needed by teams, students, etc.

Compared to other online presentation software is a bit costly and we could still ask a bit more from the presentation templates. We’d recommend it to someone who often uses infographics and wants to use a single platform to combine the infographics with a presentation. But why not check our free infographics as well?

Slides is online presentation software, initially aimed at developers and covering their presentation needs. Thus said, it does not offer offline editing, but you can present offline, after exporting your presentation.

Best Features:  It allows you to use your phone as a remote control; Live Present Mode allows you to control what your audience sees; drop in code, iframes, and SVGs with ease. Price:  Free, with paid plans starting at $7.00/month and $14-$18/month for pro and team packages. They offer a free trial. Learning curve:  friendly interface, but too many functions and options, which might overwhelm the average user and beginner Available for: Online Perfect for:  developers, designers, a little bit too specific for newbies

To summarize, it’s a very cool tool, giving you complete design freedom, but that is also why we do not recommend it to teachers, non-designers, or marketers. Developers and design gurus will love it.

Canva is a web-based solution that started with a mission – to make beautiful designed content available to everyone. The whole platform is organized so that a person without any prior design knowledge can easily create graphs, images, and presentations to impress. Although it is not the best tool for data visualization, it scores high in any other category. Needless to say, it has become a popular choice amongst non-designers.

Image by Iconfinder

Best Features:  Plenty of beautiful templates to choose from and Canva school has plenty of tutorials and tips for free. It offers more free functionalities compared to other competitors. Price:  Free, the offer different subscription plans, starting at $9.95 per user/month Learning curve:  Very easy to use, most of the actions can be performed by drag-and-drop Available for:  Online / iOS / Android Perfect for:  newbies, marketers (who need a unified look across all their social media), non-profits, and teachers

Canva is becoming one of the most popular tools amongst non-designers for creating beautiful unified content. You can create entire presentations, flyers, and other materials with a single drag and drop.

11. Slidebean

Slidebean is the go-to online presentation software for last-minute projects, that look original and professional. Slidebean offers clean and easy-to-use templates and keeps track of your audience’s engagement.

Source Slidebean

Best Features:  It allows you to arrange your content with the help of AI, which saves time creating a beautiful layout. You just pick a template, upload content, and let the AI offer you a nice layout. Premade animations, effects, and alignments are automatically applied to your content and create a cohesive look. Price:  Free, paid versions starting from $8/month Learning curve:  very easy to use since everything is made to fit the premade templates Available for:  Windows / Mac / Android / iOS Perfect for:  financial, academic, pitch, marketing, sales; everything quick with a clear structure

To summarize, if you are in a hurry, Slidebean will offer several layouts for your slides and speed up the process of creation. The platform targets primarily sales, marketing, and financial fields, and the available templates reflect that.

12. Google Slides

Google Slides is part of the G Suite business application. Its popularity has increased in the last years since it’s a web-based platform, allowing you to store, edit, and share your presentation, without the need of installing presentation software on your computer. All you need is a Google account and you are good to go.

Image by G Suite Updates blog

Best Features:  It’s free for personal use, and offers great paid features for business – for example, seamless collaboration and commenting on a presentation, converting other presentations to Google Slides. Some other great features are the wide variety of fonts available (GoogleFonts, not need installing), easy embedding, plus it’s super intuitive and easy to use! Price:   It’s free for individual use. For business use, the price starts at $5/user/month and plans of $10 and $25/user/month, for unlimited cloud storage and extra features Learning curve:  Simple interface, but it will require some time to pick up. Similar to PowerPoint, only a bit lighter. Available for:  Windows / Mac / Online Perfect for:  businesses, freelancers, who need a user-friendly app with elementary features; great for collaborating teams, not so perfect for complex designs and tools, required by big enterprises

Perfect for personal use, well synchronized across different devices, similar to PowerPoint. Maybe you are a teacher and you like GoogleSlides because it is free and easy to use? Well, we’ve gathered some awesome FREE GoogleSlides and PowerPoint templates , specially made for education needs.

If you need something along the lines of PowerPoint but need the option for collaboration – a paid plan for GoogleSlides is your go-to choice.

13. Keynote

Keynote is an Apple product, very similar to Google Slides. All you need to do is create an iCloud account (similar to a Google account) and start using Keynote from there. Running Keynote on Windows also requires an internet connection and a modern browser. The latest version can also import and export PowerPoint formats if needed. All this sends Keynote higher in the list regarding the accessibility and shareability of this presentation software.

what is presentation graphics software

Image by Envato tuts+

Best Features:  Simplicity of design, great drag and drop functions, polished transitions and animations, easy image editing/cropping; works great with multimedia; design templates with better aesthetic than an average slide deck; Price:  Free for macOS and iOS Learning curve:  Pretty easy to use for Mac users, a bit of learning curve for users, having experience with other software. Available for:  Mac / Windows / Online Perfect for:  businesses, marketers, people with not much of a design experience

Bottom line, if you are a Mac user, you love the sleek design and you are looking for cool aesthetics – Keynote is simple to use and free, why not use it?

14. Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a web and mobile-based media creation application, which helps you create social graphics, short videos, and web pages. What is immediately noticeable is the clean, crisp, simple, and modern designs, which focus you on the content. If you are looking for a funky, ornate design – Adobe Spark is not the right pick for you.

Example by Cikeys

Best Features:  Beautiful templates, user-friendly interface, step-by-step creation, you can add audio to your slides (narrating) Price:  There is a free version, the paid on starts at $9.79. The best templates, as with the competitors, are paid. They do not offer a free trial. Learning curve:  Easy to use Available for:  Online / iOS / Android Perfect for:  quick presentations, teachers, basic presentations without jamming them with too much cool stuff.

Adobe Spark eliminates the cluster of design options and leads you step-by-step in creating elegant, simple presentations. Ideal for basic presentations, not the best for sales and marketing.

15. PowerPoint

PowerPoint certainly is a “classic” – it’s has been the most popular tool for creating presentations so far. What first started as a component of the Microsoft Office suite, now has improved shareability and accessibility. It can be used on the web (as part of Office on the web), works with Android, and iOS, and there is a Mobile app, as well as presentation software for mac.

Example by Abris DC

Best Features:  Many people are familiar with the software, a wide variety of templates; improved accessibility across platforms; extensive tools and options Price: If you want to enjoy the full features of PowerPoint, you’ll need to subscribe to Microsoft 365 – they have payment plans for personal or business use. The price for personal use starts at $5.99/month or $59.99/year, and business plans start at $12.50 per user/month with an annual commitment. You can find more information here . The mobile applications are completely free to use, of course with some limitations. You can compare the available features across different platforms  here. Learning curve: Due to the variety of options and the complexity of the menus, it might take some time to master all of its features. Something that could take a lot of time is editing the text, arranging the visuals, and picking the right transitions – overall, is time-consuming. Still, the interface remained easy to navigate over time and if you trust your design sense, you can achieve satisfying results. Available for: Windows / Mac / Online Perfect for: business, medical, accounting and students; creating concise presentations; but not so suitable for teachers, educators, start-ups and marketers who want to create more interactive and story-based presentations.

To this date, PowerPoint is keeping the lead as the most popular tool for creating presentations. Some of the downsides are that sometimes it can be time-consuming to come up with a good design and PP doesn’t offer collaboration tools and compared to other platforms. But we have a solution for at least one of your problems – we’ve selected 31 Modern PowerPoint templates to set the right tone for your presentation. 

We made a quick summary for you…

Ok, not that we’ve looked at the 15 best presentation software for 2021, we decided to go one step further and compare them by price and popularity. Let’s have a look first at the new-comers:

what is presentation graphics software

As you can see, the leaders from the uprising platforms are Canva and Mentimeter, with relatively low prices and with huge success amongst users . Powtoon, Piktochart, and Renderforest are a bit costly , but they are popular since they offer a lot of animation and interactive elements. Hey, but maybe some of the other tools are right for you? We encourage you to go on their websites, contact their support team, and see what they have to offer.

Then, let’s see how the veterans are ranking:

what is presentation graphics software

It’s no surprise that PowerPoint and Google Slides are at the top – people are used to their products, have familiar interfaces, and offer a lot of functionalities at a good price. Although, for quick, unpretentious results, their competitors are a very attractive solution.

Final words

We can conclude that there are many useful tools to help you create beautiful presentations. Some of them are well-known and have been here for a while, while others are uprising… No matter the case, we notice a trend for presentation tools catering not only to the designers’ needs but also to the newbies, marketers, and teachers. That way, enabling everyone to create stunning presentations in no time and share them easily.

We hope this presentation software list shed some light on different options out there and that we helped you evaluate quickly what would work for your situation best.

You may also be interested in these related articles:

  • 12 PowerPoint Presentation Tips To Dramatically Boost Your Efficiency
  • 35 Free Google Slides Infographic Templates to Grab Now
  • 23 Online Collaboration Tools for Your Remote Team

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Bilyana Nikolaeva

Bilyana is an inspiring content writer and illustrator at GraphicMama with years of experience in art and design. When she’s not busy writing for the blog, you will usually see her working hard on new illustrations and graphic resources.

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5 Common Features of Interactive Presentation Software—and 5 Uncommon Ones

what is presentation graphics software

You have an important presentation coming up and the pressure is on. Your boss needs to be impressed, your team needs to be engaged, and you need to convince the board of your vision. How do you do it?

Start off the “wow” experience with relevant, creative storytelling presented via an interactive presentation. Because no matter what you are presenting, you need a stunning slideshow.

5 Common Features of Presentation Software

Traditional presentation software accommodates text, images, and audio in a slide-by-slide format. They tend to restrict creators to:

1. Limited Customization and Standard Templates

You can choose the colors, text sizes, and fonts, but your ability to design new content tends to be limited to what the software already has available. Using templates, slides will appear with text boxes for headings, images, and other suggested content. Although you have the option to choose a theme, the ability to change things up is minimal.

2. Linear Flow

In traditional presentation software, slides show up in a specific way: one at a time, in a fixed order. The flow is predetermined.

3. Features for the Speaker, Not the Audience

Most presentation software is designed to aid a presenter rather than to guide an audience through a content experience.

4. Shareability at a Cost

You will also have a channel of some kind for sharing your presentation with your audience. For example, cloud-based access allows you to display your slides from just about anywhere with an internet connection. But content is unlikely to be displayed in a way that changes based on what kind of device a person is using to view it.

5. No Analytics

Gathering information about how your audience is engaging with your content is difficult at best. Traditional presentation software leaves you in the dark about what your audience cares the most about. And without those analytic tools, it’s nearly impossible to iterate and improve your presentation.

5 Uncommon Features of Presentation Software

With Tiled, you can share your content experiences across multiple platforms, adapted to different devices, and receive actionable insights from real-time analytics. Unlike standard presentations, interactive slides improve engagement, retention, and interaction — both with the content and your brand. Your presentation is no longer a slideshow. Now it’s an interactive presentation — a microapp!

1. Content Library & Design Tool Compatibility

Tiled has a variety of tools for your presentations, rather than limiting you to what is available in a PowerPoint or other slideshow editors. Your designers can create all the assets and content in their favorite design tools, then import them into Tiled or use existing interations like Adobe XD or Sketch .

2. Interactive Scrolling

Think outside the rectangle. With Tiled, you have the ability to scroll through content on the same page, which makes your presentation feel more like a social media display on a touchscreen. Don’t click from slide to slide, just scroll for more. In-page scrolling lets you build multi-dimensional components, including long-form vertical or horizontal infographics or group images that turn into an interactive gallery

3. Interactive Content Flow

To move within or between slides, Tiled uses hotspots, which function as links and let your audience find their own way through your presentation. Hotspots are great for live presentations because they allow your audience to go beyond the typical, predictable layout of information. They allow for a much richer interactive experience. Your presentations can be designed in formats that allow people to find what they need in an appealing way.

4. Device Adaptability

Rather than a one-size-fits-all format, customize your presentations to display differently on different devices. With Tiled, you can create content experiences that are optimized for computers, tablets, and smartphones.

5. Analytics

Where would marketing and sales be without data? Once you’ve created a fully interactive, immersive content experience, optimize your microapps based on engagement data. Gather information about audience engagement, interaction, and contact data — all without ever leaving the microapp. From that, you can draw insights on what is working and what isn’t, and modify for better results. Optimizing your content and experience is another arrow in your modern marketing quiver!

Better Presentations with Tiled

With Tiled, you’re no longer limited to traditional features of presentation software. Check out all the features of Tiled, schedule a demo , and get started creating your first microapp today.

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Best Graphic Design Software of 2023

Table of Contents

  • Best Graphic Design Software
  • Things To Consider When Buying
  • How We Chose

AI developments continue to challenge and change the face of digital art and design, but quality graphic design software is a must for professionals. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics , there are about 270,900 professional graphic designer jobs in America as of 2022, and the industry is expected to maintain a growth rate of 3%. Many other professions and industries also regularly employ the help of graphic design software.

Whether due to ongoing technological advancements, work engagements, or a desire to push the limits of digital creativity, finding the best graphic design software to meet your needs is going to be very specific to your personal and professional needs. We researched the top products available to compile our guide to the options that represent the best on the market.

  • Best Overall: Adobe Photoshop »
  • Best Budget: GIMP »
  • Best for Beginners: Mega Creator »
  • Best for Web Design: Canva »
  • Best for Print Design: Adobe InDesign »
  • Best for AI: »
  • Best for Illustrations: Adobe Illustrator »
  • Best for Animations: Moho Pro »
  • Best for Photo Editing: Adobe Lightroom »

Logo of Photoshop

Best Overall: Adobe Photoshop

A seven-day free trial is available

Excellent lay and mask tools

Create brushes and masks

A vast library of effects to choose from

Helpful tutorials and templates

You cannot simply purchase the product outright

Very pricey compared to many alternatives

First created in 1988 by the Knoll brothers, Adobe Photoshop might be the most enduring and popular graphic design software currently on the market. It provides a wide range of service features for digital painting, image editing, photo color correcting, and more. It’s easy to work across multiple layers to draw a picture from scratch, or to rework and combine images to create a unique piece of art.

Because there are so many possibilities with Adobe Photoshop, and it is very often the product against which many alternatives are tested, it is the best overall graphic design software choice. It can work well for newer designers, provided they are willing to learn how to use the product from tutorials and constant practice, and experienced users can leverage the full range of the innovative technology. While you can use a version of Photoshop called Express on your mobile phone, the most complete version is available through the Adobe Creative Cloud for your computer.

The biggest drawback to Adobe Photoshop is that its full version can no longer be fully purchased and owned. Instead, you must pay a monthly or annual subscription. Plans through Adobe that grant access to the Express version of Photoshop begin at $9.99 per month; for a standalone copy of Photoshop for your desktop, plans start at $20.99 monthly. Though some prefer graphic design software that can be purchased and owned forever, for what Adobe Photoshop can do, many graphic designers feel it is worth the continuous investment.

  • Price Range: $20.99 per month or $239.88 per year
  • Compatibility: Works on Windows and Mac devices
  • Features: Guided editing with AI and automation support for generating unique images
  • Learning Curve: Somewhat steep learning curve, but offers templates and tutorials for beginners
  • Mobile Options: Available on iOS and Android

Logo for GIMP

Best Budget: GIMP

Free to download and use

Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems

Excellent brush, layer, and text-editing tools

Interface can be a little cluttered

It can be slow at times

Large files might cause program crashes

The GNU Image Manipulation Program, better known as GIMP, is perhaps one of the best-known open source software graphic design options on the web, benefiting from its powerful features and the fact that it is free to download and use. With GIMP, you have access to dozens of tools appropriate for recoloring, layering, cutting out, or painting images. The amount of editing options with no associated cost makes GIMP possibly the best graphic design software available for anyone wanting to produce quality work without having to worry about budget constraints.

Though GIMP is a powerful graphic design product, it does have a few drawbacks. First, its interface is notably dated; tabs are loaded independently instead of in a cohesive, single window, as is the case with so many other graphic design products. It’s also hard to overlook that, at times, GIMP can be slow, and huge files may crash without warning.

Still, for the less-than-desirable traits, GIMP is often considered a worthwhile investment for cash-strapped designers and those looking to design graphics without a high price tag.

  • Price range:  Free to download.
  • Compatibility: Works with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
  • Features: Customizable interface, photo enhancement tools, digital retouching, hardware support, multiple file formats
  • Learning curve: It’s somewhat beginner-friendly, but its clunky setup might be off-putting for some newer designers.
  • Mobile options: A version of GIMP called XGimp is available for Android.

Mega Creator Logo

Best for Beginners: Icon8 Mega Creator

Free to use

Ready-made templates

Includes AI tools

Variety of pricing plans and software options

Very rudimentary and lacks a lot of design tools

Software and templates are limited unless you upgrade

Must upgrade to avoid forced link inclusion

If you want a free and easy way to design icons or social media images quickly, Mega Creator is a great option. The free tool is Icon8’s answer to Canva, another free click-and-drop web-based design product aimed mainly at those who want to create new images fast but might lack the technical skills associated with more complex software such as Photoshop or GIMP.

Though Mega Creator’s simple setup works great for beginners, more advanced graphic designers may find the service limiting. For instance, we found that there doesn’t seem to be any sort of drawing tool or brushes available to draw. You also cannot export anything you create for free.

If you want quick and easy-to-use graphic design software that lacks a learning curve, Mega Creator is ideal. However, if you want to develop an item with a greater range of complexity through a broader range of design tools, this software probably won’t be a good fit.

  • Price range:  Free to use; premium features start at $9 per month
  • Compatibility: Works with the latest Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Safari browsers
  • Features: An expansive library of pre-existing templates for quick designs
  • Learning curve: Extremely beginner-friendly and easy to use
  • Mobile options: Mega Creator is a browser-based graphic design app

Canva Logo

Best Web Design: Canva

Free account

Ability to create a “teams” account

Create a wide range of graphics

Easy to use “click and drop” tool

Variety of fonts and text effects

Background remover

Some drawing tool options

Best graphics are watermarked and require payment

Upgrade required to save files with transparent background

Premium account needed to compress large files properly

Canva has emerged as one of the best and most popular web-based graphic design tools. You can use it for custom posters, T-shirts, slideshows, and videos. It offers a variety of creative options while also being among the most accessible software tools available. It is a resource not only for individual graphic designers and sole proprietors but also supports business accounts and even offers templates to make your own brand kit.

While Canva is an ideal graphic design choice for designers of every level, there are a couple of setbacks that come with the service. For instance, Canva requires a premium subscription to download files with a transparent background or to compress them. This can be a problematic limitation if you have a free account, especially when there are free alternatives that compress files and let you remove backgrounds when saving.

Despite the issues, Canva is an excellent choice for creating high-quality designs for the web.

  • Price range:  $0 to $14.99 monthly or $119 annually.
  • Compatibility: The desktop app is compatible with Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.9; its website version works with the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari browsers.
  • Features: An extensive library of graphics, images, fonts, and effects that can be used alongside uploaded items to create a vast array of designs.
  • Learning curve: Canva is a relatively easy app to use.
  • Mobile options: Canva is available for Android and iOS-compatible devices; there’s a mobile-friendly version of the website.

Adobe InDesign Logo

Best Print Design: Adobe InDesign

Access to a library of high-quality editing effects

Make items for digital printing as well as desktop publishing

Templates and tutorials for beginners

Not able to buy and own product

Can’t edit vector graphics

Because of the nature of modern graphic design, there can be an assumption that the most significant priority for software is that it results in items that look great on the web. However, there are plenty of products that are first designed digitally and then must translate well to a physical presence. Adobe InDesign is an excellent resource for desktop publishing and ensuring what you create on a computer screen translates to a well-made item offline.

InDesign helps you create internet-friendly items such as digital magazines but is also great for designing books, posters, and brochures. As an Adobe product, it continues the expectation of access to excellent software tools and effects while letting you bring your creation off the Internet and, with the right amount of practice and dedication, consistently develop outstanding products.

As with Photoshop, the major downside is that it, too, is available as part of a subscription plan but cannot be downloaded and purchased one time as a standalone product. If that isn’t an issue, Adobe InDesign is an excellent desktop publishing tool.

  • Price range:   Starts at $20.99 per month
  • Compatibility: Supports Windows 10 or macOS version 11 and up.
  • Features: Use “auto style” to copy and paste unformatted text into easily customizable templates; work or collaborate from anywhere by storing documents in the cloud
  • Learning curve:  There is a bit of a learning curve, but helpful tutorials are available.
  • Mobile options: InDesign isn’t available for mobile devices.

Designs.aI Logo

Best for AI:

Quick and easy design process

No design experience necessary

Suite of software tools available

Designs generated are watermarked

Process much more expensive than free alternatives

With artificial intelligence (AI) now a routine and practically inextricable part of the graphic design world, it is more common than ever for people to seek out software with some level of AI support included. is an online tool that lets you create images, videos, and text for the web using AI, promising you can have your new creation ready to go in as little as two minutes.

One major caveat associated with is that you are taken through the process of creating something, and in the end, you are forced to either buy it outright or subscribe to the service to keep it. For instance, we found that after producing a watermarked icon, you get the choice of paying about $50 to own it or committing to a monthly subscription to create an endless array of products. There are a variety of competing resources, including Canva, that let you create a similar product for free. Even with AI, this approach might make feel it’s not worth the investment.

  • Price range: As low as $29 per month or $228 when billed annually
  • Compatibility: Works with multiple browsers, including Chrome and Edge
  • Features: Create custom logos or graphics within a few minutes
  • Learning curve: There’s virtually no learning curve thanks to AI
  • Mobile options: Mobile-friendly website

Adobe Illustrator Logo

Best for Illustrations: Adobe Illustrator

Tools for designing high-quality graphics for web and print

Use AI to change text to editable vectors

Excellent tutorials to help master features

AI tools for identifying and editing fonts

Perpetual subscription, and not able to permanently own

Not a good option for raster images

This powerful Adobe software is at the forefront of top-tier products for creating excellent vectors, infographics, banners, icons and more. If you use it in tandem with Adobe Firefly, it’s also possible to use generative AI to change a text prompt into a fully editable vector graphic. While it can’t edit raster images, it is possible to convert it to a vector image for editing without risking a loss in quality.

Illustrator and similar vector programs have long been intimidating, even with tutorials, because good designs traditionally take time and a decent level of skill. But with the incorporation of AI tools, Illustrator does make it easier for newer designers to achieve specific outcomes despite not being as familiar with vector editing.

If you want a drawing option that favors raster images, then Illustrator isn’t a good fit. Also, as with everything related to Adobe’s suite, you should be prepared to subscribe for constant access to Illustrator; it is not available for a single purchase.

  • Price range:  $20.99 monthly or $239.88 per year
  • Compatibility: Windows 10 or Mac v 11 operating systems and up
  • Features: Create and develop high-quality vector graphics to create drawings, icons, typography, and more
  • Learning curve: Probably best for advanced graphic designers, though some tutorials are available to help new users improve over time
  • Mobile options: No mobile version; the closest equivalent is likely Adobe Fresco

Moho Pro Logo

Best for Animations: Moho Pro

Comes with 30-day free trial

Free learning course available

Available for one-time purchase

Limited 3D art capabilities

Somewhat expensive

Must pay to upgrade from older versions

Moho designs animation software for graphic design hobbyist and professionals at every skill level, with Moho Pro the standout option for creating truly stellar 2D animations.

Features include a powerful rigging system with smart bones and “curvers” suited to getting characters and objects to move in the exact ways you want. Moho Pro also includes a specialized vector system that streamlines the process of bringing 2D animation to life. Though there are some limited 3D possibilities, Moho Pro is perhaps not the best option for getting the most out of that type of animation.

You can buy Moho Pro outright, though be aware that with future versions, you will have to pay at least $99 to upgrade. If you’re unsure if Pro is the right fit for you, the software comes with a free 30-day trial.

  • Price range:  Costs $399.99; expect to spend at least $99.99 to upgrade.
  • Compatibility: Windows 10 or Mac 10.15 operating systems or higher
  • Features: 2D rigging system, “smart bones” control lever, drawing and frame-by-frame tools, drawing tools, graphics engine, curvers, liquid shapes, imports from Photoshop available
  • Learning curve: Pro is for advanced users, though there is a beginner-friendly version of Moho available: Moho Debut
  • Mobile options: Not designed for mobile.

Logo of Adobe Lightroom

Best for Photo Editing: Adobe Lightroom

Top-tier photo and video editing tools

Affordable subscription plan

Available for download to desktop and mobile devices

Create high-resolution pages

Cannot own product permanently

Constantly tries to upload files to cloud automatically

If you are a professional photographer or someone in need of reliable image editing software, Adobe Lightroom is a popular option. Lightroom not only enables you to edit and improve photos, but it provides a way to view and organize your pictures seamlessly.

The software includes many filters and effects to help your images look pristine. If you are worried about your current skill level, Lightroom provides tutorials and a community forum through which to learn and improve your skills with time.

Those who prefer to store images locally may take issue with Adobe Lightroom’s habit of constantly trying to send your entire library to the cloud automatically. We found that this can get frustrating very quickly, especially if your local drive contains a plethora of images that far exceed the space Adobe allows for cloud storage.

Quirks aside, Adobe Lightroom is an excellent photo editing product with a low-cost monthly subscription.

  • Price range: Available for $9.99 per month
  • Compatibility: Windows 10 or macOS 12 or higher
  • Features: High-quality filters and editing tools, including AI tools
  • Learning curve: Automated tools may make this more accessible to newer designers; otherwise, it’s best for moderate to advanced-level designers
  • Mobile options: Mobile app available for Android and iOS

The Bottom Line

What stood out during our research is Adobe’s continued dominance of the graphic design space. Whether you are editing photos, creating digital art from scratch, or blending images to create something new, there is almost always a product from the brand that stands near the top of the list for each type of creative goal. However, these products come at a premium, and you will need to pay monthly or annually.

We were also pleased with the number of accessible or affordable options outside of Adobe’s suite of products, often aimed at new or less experienced users, making it very easy to get the gist of digital design before making a massive monetary investment in any one product. While many designers may ultimately end up using an Adobe product, we were satisfied with the number of viable alternatives currently available, including those blending manual creativity with artificial intelligence.

Things To Consider When Looking for Graphic Design Software

When looking into graphic design software, considerations will and should vary according to your specific needs and skill level. A beginner on a tight budget, for example, will have differing priorities from a seasoned graphic design expert desiring specialized features. Some things to consider when looking for new software include

Ease of use: While advanced graphic design products represent many creative possibilities, they can also be very intimidating for inexperienced creators. Graphic designer Jess Morgan recommends newer digital artists “get their feet wet” with free tools like Canva. “If you aspire to be a professional graphic designer,” notes Morgan, “knowing Adobe [Creative Cloud], especially Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, is essential.”

While Morgan notes that anyone can eventually master Adobe, she also admits it will take time. “Following tutorials and creating regularly will lead to continuous improvement.” Many of the best products come with readily available instructions to assist artists still finding their way in the medium. It might feel frustrating, or even limiting, to initially steer clear of more complex software and tools. However, it is probably best to start simple to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Though ease of use is often associated with beginners, many professionals enjoy intuitive software, with popular design tools and features being easy to locate, keeping the design process as efficient as possible.

Cost and affordability : If you are a beginner without the necessary funds for elite software, then affordability will likely be a top consideration. Fortunately, there are various free or low-cost graphic design products on the market. While you may be able to get positive results with free tools like Canva or GIMP, it’s pretty standard to find these items lack specialized features that can only be found with premium software.

Morgan believes Adobe Creative Cloud is 100% worth the investment but notes it might not be a good fit for designers who don’t have the time or patience to learn from tutorials or make an effort to use the product constantly. Overall, when considering cost, the amount of use you expect to get out of the software should be a major consideration; it could be deemed a waste of money to sign up for a monthly subscription to find you will hardly ever use the design software.

Compatibility: Compatibility may not be a widely discussed consideration, but it is one of the most important qualities when investing in a new graphic design product. For instance, you might be able to download Adobe Photoshop onto your laptop, but if your device is older with lower RAM, you may find it takes a very long time for the software to load and that the editing process takes a very long time. Even more frustratingly, you may experience constant software crashes, and if you can’t save your image before this happens, it could mean you lose a lot of progress on a project.

Be sure that you are using software that is compatible with your operating system, that you have a decent amount of memory, and that your device can load and run the app or program with ease. If using a web-based app, ensure that you’re accessing it through a browser that is recently updated and is among the latest versions that work with the particular product.

Software features: When weighing software features, Morgan recommends prioritizing your choice based on specific design goals. Says Morgan, “If you aim to create illustrations, I’d recommend Adobe Illustrator and Procreate; for photo editing and retouching, I’d say Photoshop and Lightroom Classic; for web and app design, I’d say Figma and so on.”

When you know what type of graphic design goals you will consistently need, it becomes easier to focus on the exact features and the products that most meet your needs. For instance, you may be able to do decent photo editing using Adobe Photoshop. However, Lightroom is more heavily geared towards editing photographs and will have a greater range of precisely what a photo editor needs to get the best results.

Reputation and reviews: Preferences will vary, especially according to needs and the level of one’s experience. That said, you should give some consideration to the reputation of the product and the opinions expressed in reviews. If the customer is, for instance, a graphic design artist with more than a decade of experience and can get the most out of a brand’s software, that is feedback worth remembering.

Meanwhile, a beginner might complain that this same product was far too confusing and frustrating to use.

Regardless of the skill level of users, great products will often have good quality features that draw customers back to the design software again and again with each new version release or update.

How We Chose the Best Graphic Design Software

At U.S. News 360 Reviews, we consulted experts and performed thorough research to develop a pool of ideal products. From there, we narrowed down possible options to the graphic design software we thought best suited to customers according to their most specific needs, be it by price or purpose. Overall, we found no shortage of options available to graphic designers, regardless of your experience level or budget.


Our editors and contributors have years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing products. Toni Matthews-El , the author of this article, herself has a background in graphic design with more than twenty years of experience with software that includes Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, CorelDRAW, Canva, and more. Toni has put her design experience to work for everything from editing photos for news articles to creating digital art.

“Free graphic design software can be a great starting point for beginners or simpler design needs,” says Morgan. “Quite a few offer pre-made templates, which are handy for quick solutions and learning.” In addition to providing support for mastering graphic design, freeware can also be ideal for those operating on an incredibly tight budget.

As your skill level improves or if you start to find free software too limiting, you will likely want to start looking at premium options. Some graphic designers might worry that freeware products automatically equate to poor-quality creations. Still, Morgan finds this isn’t necessarily the case, stating that whether by way of free or premium software, “Good design is good design.”

Beginners may want to use free services like Canva or Pixlr to get a handle on their creative process without the pressure of trying to do so while committing to a monthly or annual premium plan. However, some artists can do well with an Adobe Creative Cloud account if they are willing to commit to a learning process and take the time to familiarize themselves with the software.

The best way to ensure your software remains optimized and continues to run smoothly is to try to use the most recent version. If you get notices that there are updates available, take the time to install them. It may be possible that there are newer updates that you aren’t aware of, which can be expected if you don’t activate desktop notifications or refuse brand emails. If so, it’s worthwhile to occasionally visit the official website for information regarding updates or new product versions.

In addition to software changes, over time, you should be prepared to upgrade your device to match product advancements. Some items will inevitably require more memory or a better screen resolution, and you will find that your laptop, desktop, or smartphone lacks the means to keep up. As such, you will want to watch for newer hardware.

Also, be mindful of compatibility issues related to your operating system or web browser, as these, too, contribute to your overall graphic design experience.

In researching this topic, we found that conditions varied slightly; however, for the best possible experience, you want to use Windows 10 or Mac version 10.14 or better. Your CPU should be 64-bit or higher. As for RAM, you may see it suggested that you can get by with 4GB at the minimum. However, many top-tier software brands require at least 8 GB of RAM; for the best possible experience, choose a system with 16 GB.

If you’re designing with a web-based app, ensure that you’re using the latest version of a compatible browser. Some online design tools will work with the latest two or three versions of a browser, but you will likely get the best experience by staying up to date. Many graphic design products are available offline, but if you are working with software based in the cloud, you will need to ensure you have a constant and stable Internet connection.

While feature prioritization will ultimately depend on your goals, Morgan says, “It's essential to prioritize user-friendliness and compatibility with your intended creative projects when choosing [new software].” It doesn’t help to subscribe to or purchase a product only to find it is uncomfortably complicated or that your hardware doesn’t mesh with it at all.

When selecting your software, we recommend that a graphic designer prioritize:

  • Ease-of-use
  • Affordability
  • Hardware/OS compatibility
  • Availability of tutorials and templates
  • Product reviews and overall customer satisfaction

By taking these elements into serious consideration, you will increase your chances of matching up with graphic design software best suited to your budget, skill level, and project aspirations.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.


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