9 Best Free Slideshow Maker Software Tools in 2018

Jasmine Lee
Jasmine Lee  |  September 12, 2018

Slideshow maker software facilitates the creation of slideshows full of text, pictures, video and special effects, which, in a business setting, are generally used for presentation purposes.

G2 Crowd includes a presentation software category on the site, and the Venn diagram between presentation and slideshows is almost a complete circle. Many of the slideshow makers available for buyers, free or otherwise, do cater to casual users who don’t necessarily use the tools in a business setting. However, there are plenty of slideshow makers out there that can be, and are, used specifically for business purposes.

The product with the most clout in the slideshow and presentation world is Microsoft PowerPoint. However, obviously, it’s not a free tool. Software providers in this space have created free, cloud-hosted (or SaaS) versions that fit the business needs of users — without spending money.

This list is a run down of the latter.

While slideshows can be used for presentation purposes, not all presentation solutions are slideshow makers. Some presentation software does offer slideshow-making functionality or facilitates the projection of files and documents into slideshow form. However, slideshow makers are specifically software for users to create, edit, publish and share slideshows for both personal and professional use.

These products alone have well over 5,100 validated user reviews on G2 Crowd as of July 16, 2018, and only represent a small portion of the 65-plus presentation software offerings listed on our platform. Whenever possible, the products are ranked by user satisfaction score.

For each product we provide:

  • An overview
  • Highlighted features
  • Free and paid options details

For products with G2 Crowd verified user reviews, we have included:

  • G2 Crowd star rating
  • Reviews highlighting what users like and dislike
  • User recommendations for these considering the product

The list we’ve outlined here includes any landscape design solution with an available free offering. It should be noted that this does not include products that are only free on a temporary basis, such as limited trial versions for new users. They may only support one user or one project, but they’re truly free offerings. Scaling, however, will often require full investments.


Best free slideshow maker software 

Here are the nine best slideshow maker tools in 2018. Product reviews and G2 Crowd star ratings were updated as of July 16, 2018.

1. Beautiful.AI

beautiful-aiProduct NameBeautiful.AI
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 3

 

Overview

Beautiful.AI automates the manual task of polishing up presentations. The tool suggests ways to better communicate your ideas in slideshow form and takes on the task of adjusting layout and other design choices.

Free option
  • Users can create a free account and leverage Beautiful.AI’s free tier.
  • Comes with templates, customizable themes and the image library.
Paid option
  • The Pro tier is in beta; as of publication, pricing is not yet available.
Features
  • Ready-to-use, customizable templates
  • Automated, adaptive design
  • Image library full of free photos and icons for use 

beautiful-ai-free-slideshow-makerImage courtesy of Beautiful.AI


 2. Xtensio

xtensioProduct Name: Xtensio
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 66

 

Overview

Xtensio is a team document management and project strategy platform, made up of Folios. Xtensio’s Folios are “living documents” that, when presented, turn into digital slideshows; therefore, Xtensio will be more comprehensive than a simple slideshow maker and its collaborative process differs than the real-time editing functionality of Google Slides. Xtensio helps your sales team create pitch decks, your management team gain full visibility over all projects, and your content team optimize their strategy planning.

Free option
  • Free basic version includes 1 “Folio” and access to core functionality.
  • Documents will feature Xtensio branding.
Paid option
  • Plus is available at $5/month. Includes 5 “Folios” and removes any Xtensio branding, on top of the basic features. Plus is for startups and students.
  • Business is available at $20/month. Includes an unlimited number of Folios, a communications hub, and advanced features. Business is for organizations and departments.
Features
  • A multitude of curated, premade templates
  • Creates, edits, manages and shares Folios
  • Designates access levels for collaborators
  • Project strategy and management hub
  • Digital slideshow presentation mode 

xtensio-making-a-folioImage courtesy of Xtensio 


3. Visme for Business

vismeProduct Name: Visme for Business
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 15 

Overview

Visme for Business helps organize, create and share beautiful, professional presentations that are chock full of analytics, infographics and other visualizations. An appealing benefit to Visme is that it comes equipped with privacy controls, helping protect your brand, as well as assessing which pieces of content you want to remain private versus shared and viewed publicly.

Free option
  • Basic version is available to download
  • Supports up to 3 projects and 100 MB of storage
  • Limited template offerings
Paid option
  • Standard offering is available at $12/month. Includes an increased number of supported projects and available storage, and access to all templates.
  • Complete offering is available at $20/month. Offers customizable privacy controls.
  • Team offering is available at $60/month. Supports up to 3 users. Billed annually.
  • Enterprise offering is available, pricing upon request.
  • Student offering is available at $30/semester. A discounted version of “Standard.”
  • Educator offering is available at $60/semester. A discounted version of “Complete.”
  • School/University offering is available, pricing upon request.
Features
  • Brand consistency via templates
  • Shared library of images, content blocks, designs and slides
  • User permissions and privacy controls
  • Audience engagement analytics
  • Offline presentation  

4. Google Slides

google-slidesProduct NameGoogle Slides
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 623

 

Overview

Google Slides is a Google Drive product. Users should expect the same free, cloud-hosted and easy-to-collaborate functionalities in this slideshow presentation maker as other Google Drive tools. Google Slides easily fulfills your basic presentation requirements and automatically stores your project in the Cloud.

Free option
  • Free for anyone with a Gmail account
Paid option
  • None
Features
  • Variety of presentation themes
  • Collaborative platform
  • Premade templates
  • Cloud-hosted
  • Integrates with Microsoft Powerpoint

google-slidesImage courtesy of Google Slides 


5. Keynote

keynoteProduct Name: Keynote
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 274

 

Overview

Apple’s Keynote application is available for anyone who uses a Mac or Apple device. Keynote was previously only available for those with Mac computers, but now the tool is available for anyone who can download the application. While Keynote facilitates the creation of polished slideshows, it’s very much a presentation tool; you can utilize Keynote’s “Rehearse Mode” and “Keynote Live” mode to best project your completed presentation.

Free option
  • Keynote for Mac is free to download from the App Store
  • Free for anyone with an iCloud email address
Paid option
  • None
Features
  • Variety of premade layouts
  • Variety of slideshow effects and customizations
  • Audio clip recording and editing
  • Editing tools
  • Collaborative platform
  • Rehearse Mode, to help you practice your presentation
  • Keynote Live, to help you share your presentation from anywhere and to anyone
  • Integrates with iOS

apple-keynoteImage courtesy of Keynote


6. Focusky

focuskyProduct Name: Focusky
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 18

 

Overview

Focusky markets itself as an alternative to Powerpoint and Prezi. Focusky provides users with a slew of ways to engage with and present to their audience. One of those ways is a slideshow maker that helps users create and deliver animated presentations. Additionally, Focusky’s “Publishing to Cloud” feature is a free cloud-hosting service that makes it possible to publish completed presentations online, easing sharing.

Free option
Paid option
  • Standard offering is available at $9.90/month. Includes increased available storage and features.
  • Professional offering is available at $99/year. Includes increased available storage and features.
  • Enterprise offering is available, with a one-time fee of $399. Includes increased available storage and features.
Features
  • Drag-and-drop presentation templates
  • Variety of presentation styles
  • Cloud hosting and publishing
  • Supports a variety of file types, including .zip and .pdf
  • Animation editor
  • Can be used on both Window and Mac

focuskyImage courtesy of Focusky


7. Prezi

preziProduct NamePrezi
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 4138

 

Overview

Prezi provides users with interactive, engaging and beautiful presentation software. The completely cloud-hosted software is a slideshow maker without traditional slides. Prezi also helps users track audience engagement and integrates with business applications. The free version of Prezi is a basics version, ideally for individual presentation use cases, but Prezi also offers a business version, which adds in collaboration functionality.

Free option
  • “Just the basics” version is free, but for individual use.
Paid option
  • Basic Plus offering is available at $19/month. Includes unlimited presentations, privacy controls, PDF exports and other functionality.
  • Standard offering is available at $7/month. Includes unlimited presentations, privacy controls and share links. Standard is for personal use.
  • Plus offering is available at $19/month. Includes unlimited presentations, privacy controls, PDF exports and other functionality. Plus is for “expert presenters.”
  • Premium is available at $59/month. Includes analytics and online training. Premium is for business professionals.
  • Teams is available at $50/user/month. Includes leaderboard tracking and collaboration tools.
Features
  • Unlimited presentations
  • Privacy controls
  • Library of templates
  • Cloud-hosted

preziImage courtesy of Prezi


8. Apache OpenOffice Impress

impressProduct Name: Apache OpenOffice Impress
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 10

 

Overview

Apache’s open-source presentation suite helps users create slideshows that are full of engaging multimedia. Like Microsoft Powerpoint, presenters can create a notes and handout section should their audience need it. Impress is essentially an open-source version of PowerPoint, even supporting imports of and exports to Powerpoints for better sharing.

Free option
  • Free and open-source
Paid option
  • N/A
Features
  • Templates repository
  • Presenter Screen, to see upcoming slides and relevant notes
  • Slideshow animation and effects
  • Supports import from Microsoft Powerpoint

9. SlideDog

slidedogProduct NameSlideDog
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
Total Number of Reviews: 5

 

Overview

SlideDog does offer slideshow-making capabilities, but it’s more of a tool to help you manage and arrange your slideshows and presentations created from third-party solutions into a seamless viewing experience.

Free slideshow option
  • Free to download.
  • Additionally, the free version also allows you to fiddle around with SlideDog Pro ($8.33/month) features for 15 minutes at a time.
Paid presentation option
  • SlideDog Pro is available for $14.99/month, $99/year, or a one-time fee of $249
  • Includes advanced features in addition to the features offered in the free SlideDog offering
Features
  • Creation of custom “playlists” for all presentation files
  • Remote control over presentations
  • Single-screen view
  • Audience engagement analytics
  • Supports most presentation software

Next steps for selecting a best free slideshow maker tool

Those researching free slideshow makers online can sift through thousands of verified user reviews on G2 Crowd to find the best option. Slideshow making solutions are often offered as functionality bundled within presentation software or as standalone tools specifically designed to simplify the manual task.

Check out the presentation software, where you can compare products, discover available features and read user reviews, but make sure that you keep a discerning eye out for the solution that will best fit your slideshow needs.

For those looking for more free software options, check out our free video editing software based on real-user feedback for beginners and video professionals on a budget.

* Please note: Reviews may have been edited for spelling and grammar.

Jasmine Lee
Author

Jasmine Lee

Jasmine is a Senior Research Specialist at G2 Crowd. She used to own the e-commerce and team collaboration spaces, but now she avidly researches as much as she can about the rapidly evolving and head-spinningly varied vertical industry spaces. She's passionate and hyperbolic about most things, but especially regarding the things that have anything to do with pop culture, fandom, gifs, and the wining and dining scene of Chicago.