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.


Maybe I've missed something here but what I just read sounded more like a Google advertorial than a useful blog. Unless Mr. Kaelin or Tech Republic has a vested interest in Google, why would he or the organization care whether I used PP or GD? I can understand collaboration on a business plan or collaboration on a corporate approach but collaborating on a presentation to present that plan? No thanks.I'll choose my own fonts, music and photos, thank you.


It really depends on the team and the nature of the presentation. Sometimes collaboration is a good thing as it involves the whole team and you are sure that what is most important to each person is will get it's opportunity in the spotlight. On the other hand one may run into the too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome. But the one big advantage of Google's solution was nowhere mentioned in the article: availability. Rather than bringing your presentation on a USB drive and wondering if the venue supports your version of PowerPoint, or the fonts you've used are installed, with Google Presentations, as long as the presentation PC has internet access, you have a workable presentation.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I have been operating under this premise for about a year now: It may take a while for users to adjust to this new collaborative way of doing things, but eventually they will and the benefits will begin to be realized. Do you agree with the concept that collaboration, like it is stressed by Google Apps, is eventually going to be commonplace?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I don't care what you use - all I'm doing is pointing out that Google has updated their presentation tool and wondering out loud if anyone uses the collaboration features?

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