Google presentations wants to be your slide making tool of choice

Google has recently released a new version of Google presentations for their Google Apps suite of office tools that emphasizes collaboration.

Like it or not, the presentation is a necessary form of business communication that just about everyone has to create and deliver at least a few times during their career. The default tool used to create those presentations has for many years been Microsoft PowerPoint. Well, not to be outdone, Google has recently released a new version of Google presentations for their Google Apps suite of office tools.

New features

The primary new features added to Google presentations include:

  • Character-by-character collaboration
  • Drawing on canvas
  • Transitions
  • Shape linking
  • Better animations
Like all of the Google Apps, the presentations tool takes a minimalist approach to the user interface. When you click Create a new presentation you are presented with the basic slide creation view shown in Figure A.

Figure A

The basic slide creation screen
Just like PowerPoint presentations, themes are often where your slide building starts, and Google presentations has several basic themes to choose from (Figure B), although you can see there are not nearly as many as there are in PowerPoint. (I'll leave it to you to determine if that is a good thing or a bad thing.)

Figure B

There are several basic themes available in Google presentations

Bottom line

Google presentations, even with the new features, is still a fairly basic tool for creating slides. However, it does have one advantage over PowerPoint that could make it more valuable to you and/or your organization and that is the collaboration features. The ability to share your presentation and collaborate on it simultaneously can be a real time saver and productivity booster.

Perhaps Google presentations is worth a try as an alternative to PowerPoint.


Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.

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