When we need to make a presentation, we often think about using Microsoft Powerpoint. Whether it’s presentations for school, work, home or party, Microsoft Powerpoint seems to be the only choice. But Powerpoint’s got a whole lot of competition: Google Presentation, Impress, Symphony, and its strongest rival, Keynote.
Some of you may have heard of Keynote, the Apple version equivalent of Powerpoint. Loyal Mac users have raved about it. It’s not as popular as Powerpoint, but has received rave reviews from many critics and designers. Which is better when it comes to performance–Microsoft’s Powerpoint or Apple’s Keynote? Let’s take it one aspect at a time.
1. Theme Designs
First of all, theme designs dictate the whole look of the presentation. The theme will set the tone for the whole presentation; whether it’s modern contemporary, old school traditional, minimalistic elegance or psychedelic pop art.
The basic theme designs offered by Keynote are without competition–genius in design and simply gorgeous with 44 standard themes. They are minimalist and cool, so Keynote won the contest both graphically and functionally. Of course, there are several free Powerpoint and Keynote templates for download online, so you won’t run out of choices when it comes to presentation templates.
Making a presentation with Keynote allows you to stand out–you’re going the extra mile, so you’re more professional and more memorable. Everyone else is content using Powerpoint for their presentations, but do you really want to be just like everyone else? A Keynote presentation is sure to impress your boss, employees and clients. Powerpoint is the norm, so your presentation can be forgettable.
2. Transition Effects
Both Powerpoint and Keynote have interesting transition effects. Dissolve, wipes, stripes and 3-D are just some of the transition effects from Powerpoint. Keynote has a lot more options, with interesting effects like Sparkle, Shimmer, Twist and Anagram. If you want a more professional transition, you can use Magic Move. Nothing is more annoying that seeing too many cheesy effects–just get to the point already. Keynote’s Magic Move is a sleek and smooth transition from one slide to another.
We won’t delve deeper with this because while these add dramatic effect to your presentation, we know it’s often not necessary and it’s the content that counts. Let us skip to the next aspect.
3. User Friendliness
Powerpoint is undoubtedly stable and reliable. And, more people are morefamiliar with it. So does it mean that Powerpoint is more user-friendly than Keynote? Maybe because it is familiar; but if you have been using Mac programs all your life, creating a presentation on Powerpoint can be hard–the interface is busy, too many features and buttons, it can be very easy to get lost.
For a beginner, Keynote tends to be more user-friendly than Powerpoint. Users will be able to create a more polished and professional presentation with Keynote than with the Microsoft program. It is versatile, smooth and accessible for any skill level.
When it comes to graphic quality and typography, Keynote is still superior. It just retains the elegance and minimalist design that is characteristically Apple.
A unique and extra helpful feature of Keynote is that it supports alpha transparency. You can pull an image and get rid of the background, making it look as if the image is actually part of the presentation.
Powerpoint is great for simple animation. Animation in Keynote presentations is just amazing. You have the ability to move the object, zoom in and back out, move around the map, etc. There is a wide range of choices and aspects that you can customize such as the speed of movement, position, size and opacity. You can build paths using straight lines and Bezier curves. However for stronger animation effects you need a separate program like Flash to simulate more complicated actions.
5. Multimedia Friendliness
With all that’s being said, I’d like to say that Powerpoint is built for functional means, but Keynote is the more powerful application when it comes to multimedia friendliness. While Powerpoint is able to insert media like photos, videos and sounds, it is not as smooth as Keynote. Powerpoint was generally designed to support text-based presentations, so it is not able to support multimedia-heavy presentation as beautifully and as polished as Keynote. Powerpoint needs to use an external application in order to support Flash and video.
Keynote is more media based, allowing a smooth inclusion of all kinds of media. If you want to include a video or audio clip, you can place it on the slide directly, integrating it smoothly into the presentation.
6. Transfer to other Devices
One of the few banes that I can find in Keynote is that it cannot be played on Windows, while Powerpoint can work on Mac. However, you can do so by easy conversion of Keynote to Powerpoint. This can be conveniently done by using the Keynote’s ‘Export’ feature. It can also be converted to Quicktime slideshows.
One of the best features is the Keynote iPad application. This has been so popular that it has even more downloads than Angry Birds. That way, you can carry your mobile presentation all the time. When the need arises, you can whip out your iPad and you’re ready to impress your client, boss or co-worker with your Keynote presentation anytime. anywhere. Remote control application for the iPad and iPhone, so that while presenting you can go about the room away from your laptop, and select the next slide via your iPod or iPhone.
Keynote also allows easy conversion of their presentations to podcasts. It is available for PDF, image, etc. You can send it online, very useful for submitting presentations far away, or when you cannot be present.
Of course both programs have their own good and bad points. In this review, however, we have found more good points in Apple’s effort than in Microsoft’s program.
In a nutshell, here are the pros and cons of Keynote and Powerpoint:
- Alpha transparency support
- User friendliness and handy tool and format bar
- Media-based; easy incorporation of media–sound, video, images, Flash etc.
- Very easy to use
- Easy conversion to Powerpoint presentation and Quicktime slideshow
- Creates professional and sleek presentations; beautiful themes, smooth transitions and fun effects
- Easy integration to podcasts, iPad, iPhone, etc.
- Keynote program cannot be run on Microsoft, but Powerpoint is available through Microsoft Office for Mac
- Unlike Powerpoint, it cannot display the timeline for animations
- Cannot support Visual Basic
- Can add pages for additional notes
- Created for text-based presentations so it handles text formatting quite well
- Incorporates graphs, images, animations
- Compatible with both PC and Mac
- Very busy interface
- Doesn’t load audio and video as smoothly
- Large file size especially for large presentations or media-heavy presentations
- One word: BORING. Powerpoint is overused by both students and professionals–there’s nothing new here.
In other words, Powerpoint is popular but Keynote is interesting. Powerpoint is democratic, but Keynote is enigmatic. The brainchild of Apple is ultimately king.
Rachel Arandilla is a curious subject -- she appreciates things that are quirky & clever. She loves spontaneity and adventure. She is a carefree soul, has a deep love for travel, culture and languages. And she's beginning to wonder she keeps on referring to herself in third person perspective.