(Last Updated On: August 22, 2023)

PowerPoint vs. Google Slides are widely used applications among users for building presentations, lectures, and eLearning courses. But do you know the main differences between these two popular tools? And which one is better for presentation? Let’s find out the answer in today’s article.

As you already know, PowerPoint is an application provided by Microsoft. It has been the worldwide leading software for creating slide-based presentations for years. Meanwhile, Google Slides was introduced a few years ago and included in the Google Drive service suite as an open source. With the strengths it comes with, the tool is steadily gaining popularity. So, what are the similarities and differences between PowerPoint and Google Slides? Here we go. 

comparison of google slides and powerpoint

The Similarities between PowerPoint and Google Slides

To begin with, it’s worth noting that both PowerPoint and Google Slides are presentation software that allows users to create high-quality slide-based projects. Users can add texts, images, multimedia, and more as they want. Custom fonts are available to choose from to fit the presentation’s contents. These applications also go along with a variety of premade themes and templates. 

Presentations in both PowerPoint and Google Slides can be exported in various formats. Since the two are compatible with each other, users can use the finished presentations on other devices. 

The Differences between PowerPoint and Google Slides

Now it’s time to dive deeper into the differences between the two applications. 

1. Accessibility

Accessibility is one of the most notable differences between PowerPoint and Google Slides. PowerPoint by Microsoft offers both desktop and online versions. The originally desktop-based version requires the Microsoft Office suite to be installed on your computer. Therefore, some system requirements could be raised. All your work and presentations will be stored on the computer’s hard disk. Meanwhile, you can also work online through the online version called PowerPoint Online. But it has fewer advanced features, animations, and effects than the desktop-based one.

On the other hand, Google Slides allows full access through a web browser. It doesn’t require a download. With an internet connection and a Google account, you can create everything you want. 

PowerPoint is prominently a desktop-based tool that requires the Microsoft Office suite to be installed on your computer whereas Google Slides is a cloud-based app that needs an Internet connection.

2. Offline vs. Online Performance

Both PowerPoint and Google Slides offer offline and online capabilities. 

PowerPoint was designed to be used on a PC. No need for an internet connection, you can work offline smoothly without any restrictions. A wide variety of features, cool animations, and effects make the desktop version an excellent choice for creating advanced presentations. In case you don’t want to download stuff to work with PowerPoint, its online version comes to aid. However, PowerPoint for the web doesn’t include all the features that desktop PowerPoint does. 

Whereas, Google Slides was created for online performance. All of your content will be accessible anytime and anywhere. As long as you have Internet access, there are no compatibility issues or space limitations. In addition, Google Slides does support an offline mode. You can continue editing and viewing your slides if you aren’t connected to the internet. But before you turn on this offline access, an internet connection is still required.  

For the best performance, PowerPoint works better on a desktop and Google Slides is ideal for creating presentations online.

3. Backup and Storage

Google Slides is a cloud-based application so it saves all data on Google Drive. All changes are updated and backed up in real-time. As a result, you don’t need to manually hit “Save” every few minutes. There is also a history review mode in Google Slides. You can check out or restore any previous versions you want. 

As said earlier, PowerPoint is a presentation tool that is ideal to work on the desktop. That means all your presentations are saved directly on your computer. To make sure you don’t lose your current work in case of any hardware failure, you need to proactively back up your data. However, PowerPoint does offer automatic savings provided that you have the latest version of the software and the Office 365 subscription. 

PowerPoint requires manual saving whereas Google Slides allows automatic saving of presentations.

4. Collaboration

Regarding PowerPoint desktop-based version, collaboration is not always possible. To collaborate on a PowerPoint presentation, you and your team members need a shared OneDrive folder and then work together on it. Or you can use PowerPoint Online as another solution.

On the contrary, Google Slides makes it simpler to allow multiple authors at the same time. Your team members can make edits and reviews simultaneously on the same presentation that you are working on. 

Google Slides help to make collaboration easier.

5. Pre-made Templates

There are a great number of templates you can customize and use in Google Slides and PowerPoint. When you start both applications, it can be said that pre-made templates in PowerPoint are a bit more diverse than Google Slides. However, the web is full of ready-to-use themes and templates for both applications, in which all elements are fully editable according to your preferences. Go and check out our selection of free PowerPoint templates and Google Slides templates here. 

Pre-made templates in PowerPoint are a bit more diverse than Google Slides. However, it doesn’t matter cause the two tools are compatible with each other. You can apply a PowerPoint template to a Google Slides presentation and vice versa.

6. Effects and Animations 

When it comes to effects and animations, PowerPoint is a better choice. The PowerPoint desktop version includes many more features and special effects. It can be listed as 3D, reflections, fancy transitions, lively animations, and more. Meanwhile, Google Slides offers a more limited selection of effects. It allows very basic transitions such as fade in, fade out, appear, and disappear. 

The PowerPoint desktop version includes more features and special effects than Google Slides.

7. Font Usage

As the name implies, Google Slides supports all Google fonts so you don’t have to worry about installing fonts when creating presentations. No font compatibility issues, you can access a wide range of free open-source fonts from Google. 

In the meantime, PowerPoint uses fonts already installed on your computer. Take note of using unusual fonts. If a font is not available on the viewers’ computer, the presentation may not display properly.  

PowerPoint uses fonts that are already installed on your computer while Google Slides uses free online available Google fonts.

PowerPoint vs. Google Slides: Which One is Better?

It’s quite hard to give the exact answer to this question cause it depends on personal preferences. If you are concerned about easy accessibility, no compatibility issues, or quick collaborations, Google Slides is the best choice. PowerPoint, in other ways, naturally offers more advanced features, time-saving templates, and excellent offline performance. The decision is all up to your needs and purposes. 

If you urge to make your presentations interactive and more appealing, we recommend ActivePresenter.

The application is fully compatible with .pptx format so you can import both PowerPoint and Google Slides presentations into the app with a single click. With the flexibility of the events-actions system, annotation objects, and up to 13 question types, you are enabled to create highly interactive eLearning courses and quizzes.