Presentation Programs

Did you take a bunch of photos during your last vacation and now would you like to take advantage of them to show them all to your friends in the form of a slideshow? At the office, they asked you to create a series of slideshows to showcase your latest project, but you don't have the faintest idea what tools to use to do this? Don't worry: if you want, I'll give you a hand.

With today's guide, I will in fact show you which ones, in my humble opinion, represent the best presentation programs currently in circulation, as well as some useful tools that can be used directly online, both free and for a fee. How do you say? Does this seem interesting to you, but not being very practical in terms of computer science and new technologies are you afraid of not being up to it? No, absolutely not the worry.

Contrary to appearances and beyond what you may think, using the presentation programs that I am about to offer you is not at all complicated. Of course, a good dose of commitment as well as attention and patience are essential, but it is certainly not an impossible mission, trust me. Happy reading and good luck for everything!

Free Presentation Programs

Microsoft PowerPoint it is certainly one of the most popular programs for making presentations but, alas, its computer version is far from free (apart from the 30-day trial version, which I will tell you about shortly). However, there are numerous programs that follow both the interface and the functionalities, downloadable and usable at no cost, of which I am going to talk to you in the following lines of this section.

LibreOffice Impress (Windows/macOS/Linux)

LibreOffice, if you had never heard of it, is a free, open source, cross-platform productivity suite that includes a number of document processing tools, including a presentation editor named Impress.

To get it, connect to its website and click on the button Scaricate la versione xxx, in order to start downloading the software installation file. If you employ a Poppy, also click on the button Translated user interface, in order to download the package for the translation of the interface in Italian.

Once the download is complete, if you use Windows, start the software installation package you obtained earlier, click on the button forward, put the check mark next to the item Typical, then press the button again forward and, finally, Install, Yesend.

Be, invent, use MacOS, start the first downloaded package (LibreOffice_XX_MacOS_x86-64.dmg) and use the Finder screen to drag theicon of the program in the Applications folder of the Mac. Then, access this folder, right click on the icon copied earlier and press on apri twice in a row, in order to bypass Apple's restrictions on non-certified developers.

Now, start the program and close it right after, using the key combination cmd + q or, if you prefer, the menu File> Exit. After this step too, you can proceed with the translation of the software into Italian: therefore open the second downloaded package (eg. LibreOffice_XX_MacOS_x86-64_langpack_it.dmg), right click onexecutable contained within it and then on the item apri placed in the contextual menu that is proposed to you.

Finally, click on the buttons apriInstall, select the voice /Applications/LibreOffice.app and, finally, click on the button Install. Once these steps have been completed, you can open LibreOffice again, now translated into Italian. If a notice regarding permissions appears, click on the button Yes, identify me, type the password of the Mac and click on the button OK per due volte I followed.

From now on, the procedures are the same on both operating systems: to start the presentation editor, click on the icon Impress located in the left sidebar and use the next screen to choose the presentation template to start with; if you are interested in acting on a new empty presentation, instead, close the selection window.

As you can see, the Impress interface contains everything you need to easily create a new presentation: the menu bar located at the top allows you to access the entire set of program functions; the rows of quick buttons immediately below allow you to add new elements and act on existing ones; the left sidebar allows you to insert or remove slides from the presentation, while the right sidebar allows you to define the properties and structure of each of it.

To learn more about how LibreOffice Impress works, I invite you to carefully read the dedicated chapter of my guide on how to make a PowerPoint.

Other Free Presentation Programs

In addition to the solution seen above, there are many others free presentation programs, equally useful and functional: here are some of them.

  • Apache OpenOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux) - is the open source office suite from which LibreOffice was born, also equipped with a program dedicated to the creation of various types of slides. Unlike the latter, however, the Apache suite is updated less frequently. It's free.
  • WPS Office (Windows / macOS / Linux) - another complete solution for managing office documents. It includes software, called WPS Presentation, developed for making slides and presentations. It's free.
  • Calligra suite (Windows / macOS / Linux) - in this office suite, available for all major desktop platforms, there is software called Internship which allows you to easily create various types of presentations. It's free.

To find out more, I refer you to reading my tutorial dedicated to free office programs.

Video Presentation Programs

If you need to make one video presentation, that is a sequence of slides to be saved in the form of a multimedia movie, you can use one of the solutions that I illustrate below.

Microsoft PowerPoint

The first among the video presentation programs I want to tell you about is Microsoft PowerPoint: The famous home of Microsoft editor, available for Windows and MacOS (and mobile), not only allows you to easily create slideshows containing text, images, transitions, animations, audio, and many other multimedia elements, but also effettuarne saving as a video file.

As you know, PowerPoint is a commercial program and can be obtained by subscribing to the service Microsoft 365, with prices starting from € 7 / month, or by purchasing a single license, at a one-off cost of € 149. In any case, as I explained to you in my tutorial dedicated to installing PowerPoint, you can take advantage of a free trial period of the program.

After installing and launching PowerPoint, log in with the Microsoft account used to purchase / activate the trial period and then choose whether to create a blank presentation or whether to start from a predefined template.

Now, using the tools provided on the main program screen, you can add content, effects and other slides to your work; if you are not very familiar with PowerPoint, take a look at the in-depth tutorial I made on its use.

Anyway, once your work is done, click on the tab Fillet, top left, and then on the item Export located on the left sidebar, to access the presentation export options. Next, click on the item Create video (left) and use the options proposed to you to define the quality movie, to include or not intervals and recorded audio commentary and to choose the duration (in seconds) of each slide. When you are done, click on the button Create video and selects the folder in which to save the movie, using the panel that is proposed to you.

Other Video Presentation Programs

In addition to the software mentioned above, there are others presentation programs that allow you to export your work as a movie. Here are some of them.

  • LibreOffice Impress (Windows / macOS / Linux) - the aforementioned free and open source slide editor allows you to save your slides in the form of a Flash movie, in swf, via the menu File> Export ....
  • Apple Keynote (macOS) - even Keynote, the software dedicated to presentations available for free on macOS and iOS / iPadOS, allows you to export the slides created in the form of video files. To do this, simply go to the menu File> Export As> Movie ....
  • Adobe Spark (Web) - not really a program, but a free online tool that allows you to create various types of presentations and save them on your computer as a movie.

Online Presentation Programs

If you can't or don't want to install programs on your computer, know that you can make equally incisive presentations using a series of online services, accessible through the most common web browsers.

Google Slides

One of the best services of this type is Google Slides: it is a completely free tool, which allows you to create and save presentations directly on the cloud, through a very intuitive interface.

Another strength of Google Slides is its own collaborative nature: within a couple of clicks, in fact, you can share your works with other users directly from the service page, giving them the opportunity to view them, or to modify them in first person in real time. Of course, the works created using this service can also be exported to the computer.

The only prerequisite for accessing this service is to have an account gmail: If you don't have it, you can easily fix it by following the instructions I gave you in this tutorial.

To use Google Slides, connected to its Home Page, click on the button Go to Google Presentations and, when prompted, log in with your Gmail account. When login is complete, choose whether to start a new one blank presentation or start from a model "Prepackaged" and, having made your choice, wait a few seconds for the web editor interface to load.

The latter comes with a very simple but at the same time effective style: the menu bar placed at the top allows you to access the main functions of the program, while that of the tools, placed immediately below, allows you to quickly act on the various elements that make up the presentation.

Finally, through the left sidebar, it is possible to view all the slides that make up the work, while the right button bar allows access to collaborative tools. To view the presentation, click on the button Start presentation, which is at the top right.

As already mentioned above, the works created are saved directly on the cloud; if, on the other hand, you want to save it on your computer, go to the menu File> Download and choose the format in which to export everything.

Google Slides is also available as an app for Android and iOS / iPadOS.

Other Online Presentation Programs

If Google Slides failed to meet your needs, know that you can get equally good results by taking advantage of one of the many alternative web portals, most of them free. Here are some of them.

  • PowerPoint Online - this is the official Microsoft tool dedicated to the creation of slides and presentations of various kinds. It faithfully follows its desktop counterpart and allows you to act even on existing files that come from it, while offering a fairly limited set of functions. It's free.
  • Genial.ly - is one of the most functional online interactive presentation programs, which allows you to create dynamic slides with a more than captivating aesthetic. Basically it can be used for free, however some functions are only accessible by subscribing to a subscription plan.
  • Prezi - is a portal that offers a series of preset templates, with the possibility of creating a presentation on a single page, to be filled with content and illustrated through a virtual direction that takes care of moving the frame and zooming in on key points. Prezi can be tried for free for 14 days, after which a subscription is required, with prices starting at € 7 / month.

If you are interested in learning more about the subject, I invite you to take a look at my guide dedicated to sites for creating presentations, in which I have also illustrated other solutions of this type.

Photo Slideshow Programs

Do you want to create a presentation, or rather, a slideshow containing the photos taken during your last trip out of town? In this case, I recommend that you use one of the programs I suggest below.

Photo (Windows 10)

Windows 10 photo it is not only an image viewer, but also an excellent software for managing and organizing digital photos which includes, among its functions, the possibility of creating a video presentation within a few minutes.

You ask me how to do it? It's that simple. First, launch the aforementioned application from the menu Start Windows (which you can access by clicking on the button in the shape of pennant located in the lower left corner of the screen), click on the item Folders (above) and select the folder containing the images to include in your slideshow.

By default, Photos displays the files contained in the folder Images Windows and its subfolders; to add a new directory, click on the button Add a folder and select the directory of your interest, using the panel that appears on the screen.

At this point, you can act in two different ways: to see the images contained in the folder in Presentation mode, i.e. in the form of a slideshow, first click on the button (...), which is at the top right, and then on the entry Presentation annexed to the menu that appears on the screen.

If, on the other hand, you want to make a real movie containing your photos, complete with music and animations, click on the item Video editor and then on the button New video project: use the box Project catalog to insert the images that will be part of the video, drag each of them on the storyboard and, using the buttons located on the screen, define the duration of each clip, add any titles, transitions, texts, filters and 3D effects and, if desired, the background audio.

When you are done, click on the button Finish the video, choose the quality to use for the movie, press the button Export and select the folder in which to save the file, using the proposed screen.

Photo (macOS)

Quite similarly, if you use a Poppy, you can resort to using the application Photos, installed “standard” in macOS, to create presentations containing your favorite images.

To get started, launch the aforementioned application by clicking on the colorful flower that is on Dock, go to the menu File> Create> Video> Slide Show> Photos (top left), assign a name to the new presentation and click on the button OK to start the realization.

Now, select the photo to be included in the project, by clicking on the relative previews and pressing the button Add to go to the next step, which consists in the actual creation of the movie. Using the bar located at the bottom, you can define the order of the elements; to add new images, click the button instead (+), which is on the right.

To add effects, transitions and background music, you can use the buttons located on the right, next to the box containing the preview of the movie. You can start the latter at any time by clicking on the button Play which is immediately below it.

When you are satisfied with your work, click on the button Export and use the proposed box to define namefolder rescue e format of the resulting video. To conclude the export phase, click on the button Save.

Other Photo Slideshow Programs

If the solutions I have talked about so far have not been to your liking, you can evaluate the use of some alternative but equally valid software, available on the Net, even for free, Below I will show you some.

  • IMGDissolver (Windows / macOS / Linux) - is a multiplatform program that, thanks to an easy-to-use interface, allows you to create photographic presentations starting from the most popular graphic file formats. It's free.
  • PhotoStage Slideshow Producer (Windows / macOS / Linux) - another very valid software that allows you to create very valid photographic presentations, thanks to the considerable availability of effects and animations. The program is free for personal purposes, but there is a paid version with the possibility of commercial use and additional functions.
  • iMovie (macOS) - it is one of the most complete applications for macOS dedicated to the creation of video montages of various types, including those containing images. It is free and is also available for iOS / iPadOS.

To find out more about these and other photo slideshow programs, I invite you to take a look at the in-depth guide I have dedicated to the topic.