Why isn't Microsoft PowerPoint free online

Use PowerPoint for free & the best alternatives in comparison

Along with Word and Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most frequently used Office programs - it is part of the Microsoft Office suite. If you want to open, create or edit a PowerPoint file, you don't necessarily need a full-fledged Office suite with PowerPoint. There are numerous alternatives and even PowerPoint for freeas our following guide shows.

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1. PowerPoint as a quasi-standard for presentations

With the PPT format of PowerPoint and PPTX from PowerPoint 2010 onwards, Microsoft has created another quasi-standard in addition to Word (doc, docx) and Excel (xls, xlsx). Microsoft PowerPoint as part of Microsoft Office is very often used both in the commercial environment and in schools, but its formats are also supported by many alternative presentation programs.

PowerPoint 2010

If you already have an Office license, opening, editing and creating PowerPoint presentations is no problem. Microsoft also offers a free trial version of the Microsoft Office package for download, which can be used for 30 days free of charge and without restrictions.

2. PowerPoint for free directly from Microsoft

What many users do not know: Microsoft provides Microsoft Office free of charge in an online version, which in addition to Word, OneNote and Excel also includes PowerPoint. You can easily log in with a Microsoft account at https://office.live.com/ or go to PowerPoint Online directly.

After logging in, PowerPoint is available to you in a familiar workspace. The online version has been slimmed down in terms of functionality compared to the desktop program .

PowerPoint Online as a replacement for the desktop version

tip: With the free Office app from Microsoft, you can even access the Office Online web apps directly without an extra login.

You can create new files in PowerPoint Online, which are then saved in Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft's free cloud storage. In the “Download as” menu, the free PowerPoint also offers you the option of making a copy of the file to save locally on the computerto download as PDF, in ODP format (OpenOffice or LibreOffice) or to save each slide individually as a JPG file.

Download as a PDF file

If you want to open an existing presentation in PowerPoint Online, which you have received by e-mail, for example, you must first save it in OneDrive or you can upload the file directly via the website and then view or edit it.

  • Classic operation of PowerPoint
  • Open and save in the original PPTX format
  • Export to many formats
  • Functional scope significantly slimmed down online

3. PowerPoint Mobile as a free PowerPoint viewer

In the Microsoft Store, PowerPoint Mobile is a version of PowerPoint specially optimized for tablets and other mobile devices, which can be downloaded for free and also runs on normal desktop systems or laptops.

PowerPoint for free with the mobile edition

PowerPoint Mobile can without valid Office 365 subscription Open PowerPoint files read-only, is particularly suitable as a free PowerPoint viewer.

  • Displays PowerPoint files with ease and true to layout
  • Can only be used as a pure PowerPoint viewer without an Office subscription

4. Free alternatives to PowerPoint

In addition to Microsoft PowerPoint, there are many other presentation programs that can read and save files in PowerPoint format.

4.1. OpenOffice and LibreOffice, FreeOffice and WPS Office offer their own presentation programs

The free office suites OpenOffice and LibreOffice, which can be started directly in the portable version without installation, include Impress a full-fledged presentation software to create your own presentations.

Impress as a free PowerPoint

Operation is based on PowerPoint, perhaps not quite as elegant and overloaded with functions, but easy to use and perfectly adequate for normal presentations. With Impress you can open existing PowerPoint files or Save newly created presentations in PowerPoint format.

  • Well-engineered office solutions
  • Open and save PowerPoint files
  • The layout of PowerPoint files does not always match the original
  • Not all of the features of PowerPoint

In the following tutorial you will learn everything about creating your own presentations with Impress.

Other alternatives to PowerPoint would be FreeOffice Presentations from the free FreeOffice or Presentations Free from the also free WPS Office Free.

4.2. Keynote on Mac is also free

KeyNote is very popular on Apple's Mac, where it is often used as a replacement for PowerPoint. KeyNote is available free of charge for MacOS and as an app for iOS and can therefore be used can also be used on the iPad and even the iPhone.

KeyNote offers a huge range of functions and the very simple operation that is typical for Apple. The strengths of the free presentation software include above all animated image and text effectswith which you can give your presentation a professional touch.

  • Very extensive, high-quality presentation program
  • Lots of effects and templates
  • For Mac and iOS devices only
  • The layout of PowerPoint files does not always match the original

The following tutorial “Creating presentations with Keynote” gives you a good overview of how to work with KeyNote.

4.3. Google Slides as a free PowerPoint replacement

Similar to Microsoft with Office Online, other manufacturers also offer Office solutions that can be used in the browser.

Google Slides, known in Germany as Google presentations, is exactly the opposite of PowerPoint Online, can be used just as elegantly as PowerPoint and can also import PowerPoint files or save them in the same format. Compared to the slimmed-down online version from Microsoft Google Slides score with a larger range of functions and is even available as an app for various platforms such as iOS or Android.

Google Slides as a replacement for PowerPoint

  • In terms of operation and optics, it is very much based on PowerPoint
  • Good range of functions
  • Good import filter for PowerPoint files
  • Only a small selection of templates

The following video gives you an initial overview of Google Slides.

4.4. Interactive presentations with Prezi

As an online service, Prezi has become an insider tip when it comes to unusual presentations. The possibilities of presenting presentations with Prezi go far beyond what is otherwise possible with PowerPoint - the results differ significantly from the frequent slide terror in meetings. Lectures in Prezi come as a kind interactive presentation, in which the focus is not on slide for slide, but on a basic layout and zoom into sub-areas with content.

Prezi is available free of charge with a basic account and limited functions, ideal for testing. Only the standard account for 7 euros per month offers almost all functions and options, including one Importer for PowerPoint presentationswhich converts the stack of slides into a dynamic, moving presentation.

  • Great templates and designs
  • Sophisticated animations and effects
  • Importer for PowerPoint files
  • The way of working and narration differ significantly from classic PowerPoint presentations and therefore require a longer familiarization period
  • No PowerPoint importer in the free basic version

In the following video you will find the basics of Prezi as a German tutorial.

4.5. Emaze: Not just a PowerPoint alternative

Emaze is also a very popular online service for creating professional presentations, but from our point of view not quite as clear as Prezi. Emaze is not only limited to lectures, but also offers solutions for websites, e-cards, blogs and photo albums, offers numerous templates and can import PowerPoint files in the free plan. At Emaze, 3D templates and the quick creation of presentations are particularly impressive.

  • High quality templates with 3D effects
  • Simple operation and quick results
  • Also suitable for websites or interactive business cards
  • Not quite as clear as compared to Prezi
  • The way of working and narration differ significantly from classic PowerPoint presentations and therefore require a longer familiarization period at the beginning

In the following tutorial video you can convince yourself of the possibilities with Emaze.

5. Conclusion: PowerPoint free? There are different possibilities

If you don't need the full functionality of PowerPoint, the free PowerPoint Online is definitely an alternative. PowerPoint Mobile is also sufficient as a pure viewer for finished PowerPoint presentations.

There are many alternatives on the Windows desktop. You won't go wrong with the free Impress from the OpenOffice or LibreOffice package. The presentation software doesn't look quite as fancy as PowerPoint, but it is just as easy to use and offers more than just simple basic functions for more complex presentations.

Mac users are more likely to use KeyNote to open or save PowerPoint presentations. The range of functions of KeyNote is huge and, as is typical for Apple, very easy to use.

The web services go a completely different way with the exception of Google Slides and are therefore not a solution if you are looking for a full-fledged counterpart for PowerPoint, which works very “slide-oriented”. However, it is definitely worthwhile to test the presentation programs on the Internet with a trial account and be surprised by the high-quality results, which make the presentation much more entertaining in a completely different way.

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Use PowerPoint for free & the best alternatives in comparison
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