keynotevspowerpointWith the world moving slowly away from Microsoft domination, you might find yourself faced with several options for completing certain tasks. In the world of apps and downloadable programs, it can be difficult to determine which application or program is best for your particular lifestyle and technological prowess.

Choosing the best slideshow presentation software can be as trying as picking which mail client, or social media app to use. Apple’s Keynote is an emerging alternative for Microsoft’s PowerPoint.  It can be difficult weighing the pros and cons of these popular programs when creating a knockout slideshow presentation.

Whether you are a student hurtling after an “A” on your final project, or an executive trying to land a career-defining deal in the boardroom, creating an exciting and compelling slideshow presentation is important. While a great deal of your success in the classroom and the board room stems from the information you provide and an awesome delivery, being armed with a well developed, visually intriguing presentation can make all the difference. Finding slideshow presentation software that meets all your skillset, design, and functional needs can sometimes be difficult.

What is most important to you? Are you focused on creating a dynamic presentation that does not bore your audience or are you more concerned with creating something that is easily shareable across operating systems? Maybe functionality is your main concern. Choosing PowerPoint or Keynote for your next slideshow presentation depends heavily on your personal preferences.

“I want a program I can operate.”

From a functional standpoint, both programs work in virtually the same manner. Tabs and buttons sometimes have different names or identifying icons, but can often be found in similar areas of the interface. In many cases, you would take the same actions to perform functions like adding or deleting a slide, previewing your slideshow and changing slide layouts or themes.

The comfort you feel when performing these actions really depends with your familiarity with the inner workings of each operating system. For example, when resizing a picture in PowerPoint, you much hold down the shift button in order to prevent your image from distortion. However, when resizing a picture in Keynote, all you have to do is drag the photo to the desired size. The proportion of the image is maintained automatically.

Apple is known for developing user-friendly products; however, learning something new is always difficult. If you’re a PC user, learning a completely new operating system and program can prove quite tiresome. Even if Keynote is easier to maneuver, learning new functions might not be worth the time for someone more acclimated to building slideshow presentations with PowerPoint.

You may be thinking: These are just small adjustments. However, these two applications are full of similar minute differences that can drive you crazy when trying to complete an important project.

While many students find themselves creating presentations for class, teachers also use slideshow software to assist in lecturing. If you’re an instructor, you are always looking for effective and efficient ways to deliver information.  Learn how programs like PowerPoint can be useful tools in the classroom with a PowerPoint for Teachers course on

“I want my presentation to look cool.”

Keynote could easily take come the award for best dressed. Aesthetics and design options in PowerPoint rarely measure up to those in Keynote. While Microsoft is moving in a positive direction in terms of keeping up with trends, Apple has always been an innovator. Keynote’s presentation themes are much more modern and sleek.  You can even export your project as a PowerPoint or QuickTime file and even a YouTube video. If you’re interested in learning how you can use Keynote to create eye-catching videos, Grumo teaches a brilliant course on that will make you an expert in the area.

PowerPoint definitely offers an array of themes and layout options; however they can sometimes seem boring and overused.  A Keynote presentation is great for getting the leg up on peers and in-office competition. Keynote offers more options for positioning text, inserting multimedia and simply creating an original presentation.

If the purpose of your presentation is to catch the eye of your audience, Keynote might be a better option. If you determine that Keynote is not an option, you can learn other ways to make your PowerPoint presentation look more dynamic by making sure you are using the program to its full capability. Look into taking an advanced PowerPoint course online to get more cool ideas.

“I want to share my presentation.”

Mac users might not want to admit it, but most computer users are still using Microsoft. Softpedia reports that in December 2012, more than 61 percent of the world’s computers ran on a Windows operating system. Less than 10 percent of the world’s computer users run Mac OS. This means that Mac users must always consider that they are still living in a Microsoft world.

When sharing and submitting your slideshow presentation, it is important to make sure that your recipients are able to open these documents. PowerPoint is an awesome option for creating a presentation that everyone can open. PowerPoint presentation PowerPoint is an awesome option for creating a presentation that everyone can open. PowerPoint presentation’s can be created on a Windows or Mac computer and even opened by a Keynote user.

Keynote falls short in this category because the program can only be run on a Mac system. There is an option to save a Keynote as a PowerPoint presentation; however, the images and design you worked so hard to configure may not translate properly when opened in PowerPoint. As a result, your slideshow presentation looses some of its luster and can make you appear unprepared.

If you are sending your presentation to iPad users, Keynote might be an option. has a course that teaches you how to create a killer Keynote presentation and focuses on the mobile and Mac versions of the application.

Compatibility issues are not complete deal breakers. Both Keynote and PowerPoint allow you to save your presentation as a PDF file. Using this work-around, your audience will see your presentation the same way you designed it. You may however, loose some multimedia functionality if you don’t save it properly.

It’s best to look into what option works best for you and your audience.  When planning out how you’ll execute your project, set a goal for finishing your work that allows for extra time to test out your presentation on all possible platforms to work out any kinks before you’re ready to share your finished product. It might even be a good idea to research common compatibility problems and develop workarounds ahead of time.

Hopefully you have identified slideshow presentation program that best meets your needs. With Apple gaining new customers each day, it won’t be long before Apple and Microsoft have to find a way to work together for their customers. Until then, think about what you want in productivity software. No matter if it’s design options, compatibility, or ease of use there’s a program that will aid you in create outstanding work and school presentations.

Page Last Updated: September 2013

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