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Five Useful Alternatives to Powerpoint

Are you tired of using the same, boring Powerpoint templates every time you walk into the classroom? Me too.

Over the last six years of teaching composition, I have, unfortunately, turned to Powerpoint more times than I would like to admit. I thanked the Microsoft Gods when the 2013 Powerpoint release included slightly sleeker templates and an updated presenter view. However, I'm still bored with Powerpoint, and I'm fairly sure my students are, too. Granted, there are benefits: (1) It's easy to use, so I can quickly put together a presentation at the last minute. (2) While the templates are boring, Powerpoint is fairly customizable, and some web-based programs aren't.

That said, I've compiled a list of easy-to-use, free, or relatively inexpensive alternatives to our good old friend, Powerpoint.

1. Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a free, web-based presentation tool. Its selling point is its easy-to-use templates and database of free, high-quality images. The program offers six main template types with a few layout options for each template.


  • Easy to learn

  • Visually pleasing templates

  • Awesome image selection

  • Customizable charts and graphs


  • can't change font sizes or colors

  • can't drag text to different locations on the slide

  • exporting slides costs money

If you're looking to create a presentation that's aesthetically pleasing quickly, Haiku Deck is a great option. You may get frustated quickly by the lack of customization options. I've also found that the web editor occasionally freezes up.

-Ipad? Transitions?

2. is a web-based presentation editor with sleek transition effects. Those lacking an eye for design may be wishing for templates.

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