PowerPoint and Keynote are the two most popular presentation software, and choosing a presentation between these two can be very confusing. Both of these software features dozens of amazing presentation features and templates.
To help you make the right choice, we have prepared this head-to-head comparison of both these slide-based design programs.
By the end of this post, you will be able to decide which of this presentation software will be the right choice for you. Plus, we will also share our opinion on which presentation software you should go with.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started –
Keynote vs PowerPoint
This article will contain head-to-head comparisons of both of this presentation software in different categories, such as features, templates, cost, and more. After that, we will also share the pros and cons of each of these tools.
And in the end, we will share which of these would be the perfect choice for you as per your needs.
So, let’s start the comparison of this software with a basic overview –
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Quick Overview
Keynote is a very popular presentation software developed by Apple as a part of Apple’s iWork productivity suite. It features a very neat and clean, eye-catchy design.
Keynote features a massive library of pre-designed built-in templates for every occasion, making it pretty easy and fast to make presentations.
Keynote offers a bunch of themes, animation effects, streamlined transitions, and more that help you make really engaging presentations very easily.
Users can export their presentations in multiple file formats, including .pdf, PowerPoint files, QuickTime, Images, HTML, and Keynote 2009. These multiple file-formats make it extremely easy to share your presentation between multiple devices.
If you want to make YouTube videos, then you can export your presentation in QuickTime file format. Keynote is freely available if you have a Mac device, making it an excellent choice for iOS users.
Overall, Keynote is an excellent software for making presentations, but it is not available for Windows, which is a major drawback.
PowerPoint is a part of the Microsoft Office suite and is arguably the best presentation software on the internet. Microsoft PowerPoint is quite easy to use and packed with dozens of excellent features.
Its animation library features over 50 transition effects for almost all situations, such as entrance, emphasis, and exit.
The best thing about PowerPoint is that it features tons of file format export options, including PowerPoint and Office formats, .pdf, .xps, .mp4, .gif, .rtf, .wmf, and more. The export file formats in PowerPoint are way more than what you get on Keynote.
Another good thing about PowerPoint is that it is available for both Windows and macOS. However, the sad part here is that Microsoft PowerPoint isn’t free, even with limited access. You need to buy it separately or with the Microsoft Office suite.
Since we have done with the overview, it’s time to dive deep into this comparison.
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Features
Keynote and PowerPoint are both quite feature-rich presentation tools that possess so many great features. While most of the features of both these tools are pretty similar, each tool has some unique features that help them stand out from the competition.
1. Transparency Effect
One of my favorite features of Keynote is undoubtedly the transparency effect. This feature is not so fancy, but it can be very helpful for creating visually appealing presentation backgrounds.
To use this effect, all you have to do is go to the image opacity setting and tweak it according to your needs.
The lower the opacity would be, the more transparent your image will become. You can later configure these transparent images with some texts, graphic arts, and more.
2. Magic Move
The next Keynote feature that I really like is the magic move slide transition. This feature allows you to use the same object in multiple slides, but when you change slides, you can see a very smooth magical transition.
This is really great for people who use the same objects in multiple slides. You can change the position of those objects in multiple slides and enable transitions. The transition looks so smooth, almost magical.
3. Sync to other Apple devices
Do you own multiple Apple devices? If yes, then this little feature can be convenient for you.
This feature allows you to sync your presentation among all your devices, and you can have access to all your presentations wherever you go. This feature eliminates the hassle of transferring all your presentation files manually.
4. Move objects within slides
Do you want to make your presentation more groovy? If yes, this feature can help you a lot. Keynote allows you to move any object from one section to another within the same slide with a smooth transition.
To do that, you need to use the Action tool. Open the slide and click on the object that you want to move within the slide. Now, from the sidebar, go to the Action tab and click on the Move effect option.
After that, you will see a duplicate copy of the object. You have to drag the duplicated object to the location where you want that object to end up. After doing that, you will be able to see a line linking both objects.
That line will be the path. You can configure that line, add curves, or whatever transition you want. You can further configure duration, speed, delay, and other settings.
Keynote allows you to interlink multiple slides with the help of interactive action buttons. You can use this function to shift between the previous slide and the next slide. Not only that, but you can also use these action buttons to jump to any specific slide, webpage, or even to other presentations.
To do this, you just need to select a shape and press CMD + K simultaneously. Here, an option window will appear where you can select what type of action you want to associate with that button.
1. Add Live Subtitles
Do you want to use PowerPoint for live meetings, conferences, or online lectures? If yes, then this live subtitle feature can be very useful for you.
To activate live subtitles in PowerPoint, you just need to click on the Slideshow tab and check the always used subtitles box.
After that, you need to set your microphone and language and then start your presentation in the Presenter view option. Doing this will enable the live subtitle function.
2. Editing Images
PowerPoint features thousands of icons, images, and illustrations that you can use to improve your presentation design. You can find all these stock images, illustrations, and icons in the Insert tab.
Not only that but PowerPoint’s in-built image editing function allows you to alter your images to some extent.
For example, you can crop your images, edit shapes and sizes, add filters, remove background, and more. This photo editing tool is quite robust and more than sufficient for making basic changes.
3. Animation and Effects
Even though PowerPoint lacks transition effects such as Magic Move, PowerPoint has way too many options for transitions and effects. The animation and effect library of PowerPoint features 50+ options.
When you pair them with the massive library of illustrations and icons, you get endless possibilities to make your presentation engaging.
To add animation and transitions, you simply need to click on the object and select the animation or transition option. You can even configure settings for these functions for further adjustments.
4. Advanced Master Slide Design
Suppose you created a 40-page long slide and forgot to add your company’s logo? For a Keynote user, this will be a nightmare as there is no way a Keynote user can do that without making changes in each slide manually.
But because of Microsoft PowerPoint’s Slide Master function, you can make such changes just by modifying the master slide. To do that, simply go to the Slide Master tab and make changes here. After that, apply the changes, and boom, you are all done.
5. Save your presentation in Read-only mode
Obviously, you might be wondering why somebody would want to save a presentation file in read-only mode? The answer to this question is, it depends.
Let’s suppose you have made a presentation, and you don’t want anybody to make any changes with any value or other stuff. In such a scenario, sharing the read-only file can be very useful.
The thing is that Keynote doesn’t allow you to do so. You can only protect your Keynote presentation with the help of a password, but if you share that file with someone, you need to share the password as well. And sharing passwords will allow that person to make changes to your presentation.
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Templates
Both Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint boast a massive repository of pre-designed presentation templates and themes. Using these themes makes the overall presentation-making process much faster and allows you to make professional-looking presentations in minutes.
You can use their respective template library or visit third-party websites to download pre-designed templates for both tools. However, the thing is that there are some distinct differences in the templates of both of these tools.
When it comes to the template library, I feel Keynote has the upper hand here. That is because the pre-built presentation templates of Keynote appear more polished and professional-looking.
Plus, templates are designed for different use cases, making it extremely easy to find templates for your needs.
In case if Keynote’s library doesn’t have templates for your specific needs, you can look at other platforms such as DeviantArt, Envato, or Creative Market to find templates.
The template library of Microsoft PowerPoint is way bigger than Keynote. However, the templates are more generic and look pretty basic. Plus, these templates are not specifically designed for any use cases.
You can surely find templates for your needs and then modify them to get a more polished look, but that will take some time.
However, the good thing about Microsoft PowerPoint is that it has a massive user base. Therefore, you can go to the internet and find millions of premium-looking templates for free very easily.
Additionally, you can go to marketplaces such as Envato or others to find and buy some premium PowerPoint templates if you want.
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Pricing, and availability
The next important thing to consider is obviously the pricing.
Keynote is an app exclusively designed for Apple users, and it is entirely free. Keynote comes pre-installed on desktop Mac and Mac laptops, and for your iPad and iPhone devices, you can download the app from the Apple App Store.
This makes Keynote an excellent choice for people who own Apple devices. However, Keynote isn’t available on Windows, Android, or Linux machines which is a major drawback.
PowerPoint is available for both Windows and macOS platforms. However, the biggest drawback of Microsoft PowerPoint is that it is not free.
You can buy PowerPoint separately by paying $139.99 or opt for Microsoft Office suite by paying $6.99 a month. I would suggest going with the bundled Microsoft Office suite as that will give you access to cloud storage which standalone PowerPoint lacks.
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Offline vs Online Performance
Most of the time, people need to work on their presentation while traveling or more, and in such a scenario, finding a stable internet connection can be difficult.
The good thing is both Keynote and PowerPoint feature offline mode, and most commonly, you will rarely notice any difference between the online and the offline mode.
With the online mode, you can go to the template library and choose from thousands of premium templates. Plus, you can sync your presentation amongst other devices. The online version of Keynote is quite robust and makes the presentation-making process much faster.
On the other hand, the offline mode for Keynote lacks the sync feature. Also, on offline mode, you will not have access to the template repository of Keynote. You will have access to limited templates, though. However, you will not notice any difference in the rest of the functions, which is really impressive.
Unlike Keynote, Microsoft PowerPoint features a web-based online tool that can be accessed with the help of Google Chrome extension or using a mobile application. You can use this web-based tool to access all the features of Microsoft PowerPoint remotely.
On the other hand, when you use Microsoft PowerPoint on your PC, you will be able to explore a massive library of pre-designed templates, fine arts, images, and more.
With an active subscription, you can directly put all these objects into your slide to make the overall process faster.
The offline desktop application is quite robust too. If you have downloaded the template, you can pretty much create the whole presentation without even connecting to the network again.
Plus, you can give the presentation without the need for an active internet connection. Overall, I feel that Microsoft PowerPoint is a bit more powerful than Keynote in offline mode.
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Teamwork, and Collaboration
Online collaboration is one of the essential things that you need to look for when picking presentation software. Thankfully, both Keynote and PowerPoint feature a bunch of collaboration features. Here we have a detailed view of how collaboration on these software works –
Keynote allows you to collaborate with other fellow members in real-time by sharing a link to the Keynote presentation. To use this feature, setting up an iCloud account is necessary.
However, after setting up your iCloud account, all your files will be saved in iCloud, and therefore, other collaborators will have access to that presentation right from the iCloud. Whenever somebody makes a change in that presentation, all the members will be able to see that.
Since you will be the owner of the file, you will be able to control the role of each person. You can separately give presentation or editing permission to people by inviting them individually with their Apple ID. Or, you can simply create a link, and anybody with that link will have access to your presentation.
Similar to Keynote, PowerPoint also allows you to connect with coworkers, but instead of connecting to iCloud, you need to connect Microsoft PowerPoint with OneDrive or SharePoint in Microsoft 365.
However, you need to ensure that all the members must have Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 or later version installed on their device. Users can alternatively use PowerPoint for the web version to access the presentation.
To share a presentation, you simply need to click on the share button at the top right corner of your screen. If your presentation isn’t already saved to OneDrive, PowerPoint will prompt an option to do so before inviting people to collaborate.
Once done, you are all set to invite people. You can do so by sending them a direct link or inviting them via their email.
Like Keynote, you can also select permission for each member and keep an eye on what changes they have made so far. I would say Microsoft PowerPoint is equally a great tool for online collaboration.
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Storage, and Backup
Keynote and PowerPoint are both downloadable software, and therefore, they both allow you to store presentations offline on your computer.
You can also enable the online sync option in both software to store a backup of all your files directly to the online drive. Here you have a detailed explanation of how this software allows you to store files.
For online storage and backup, Keynote allows you to store all your files directly to iCloud. This also allows you to access all your presentations remotely from any other Apple device. Plus, saving your files on iCloud also makes it easy to collaborate with others.
For offline storage, you can save all your presentation to your device’s local storage. You can store your presentation in multiple file formats, including .pdf, various PowerPoint files, QuickTime, HTML, Images, and Keynote 2009.
Similarly, PowerPoint also allows you to sync all your presentation files directly to OneDrive. You can enable the auto-sync option or manually upload all your presentation files to OneDrive. Uploading files online makes it extremely easy to share your files with other people and invite them for online collaboration.
Alternatively, storing files to local storage is also an option, and for the great, PowerPoint supports a wide range of file formats. Along with various PowerPoint and Office formats, you can export all your presentations in .pdf, .xps, .wmv, .mp4, .odp, .gif, .png, and many more.
Keynote vs PowerPoint – Media Embedding
Adding media to a presentation has a lot of benefits, and the most important one is that it makes your presentation more compelling and helps you tell a better story. The good thing is both Keynote and PowerPoint give you plenty of functionality to embed media on your presentation.
Keynote enables you to add audio and video files to your slides. You can additionally add web videos directly from YouTube or Vimeo. By default, the video or audio file will play when you click on the slide.
You can further configure video and audio looping, start time, start delay, and more to make the media automatically play after a certain amount of time. You can even add a soundtrack for the entire presentation.
However, the biggest issue with Keynote is that it only supports QuickTime media. Therefore, you need to convert your video file to QuickTime format and audio file to MPEG-4 format. You can directly record audio and add that audio file to your presentation, though.
PowerPoint also allows you to insert online videos from YouTube or Vimeo on your presentation slides. If you have an updated version of PowerPoint, you can also insert media files from Microsoft Stream. You can additionally add local media files as well.
However, one thing to note here is that all the embedded videos will play directly from the video source, and therefore, you will not be able to control PowerPoint playback features such as fade, trim, and so on.
The good thing is, you can additionally embed other content from Microsoft Office applications such as charts, graphs, and other data from Microsoft Excel. There is also an option to embed data from apps that support OLE (Object Linking and Embedding).
Both Keynote and PowerPoint have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here we will have a brief look at that –
Keynote – Pros and Cons
1. Apple Keynote has a very simple and easy-to-use interface that makes it extremely easy, even for newbies.
2. Keynote gives you access to a massive library of pre-designed themes and templates that can help you make very engaging presentations quickly. The best thing is that you can find templates for almost any occasion and use case. Plus, the templates look very premium.
3. Being an Apple product, Keynote easily integrates across different Apple devices. This allows you to design, edit, and easily switch between iPad, MacBook, iPhone, and other Mac PC seamlessly.
4. Keynote features a wide collection of themes, animations, effects, and transitions, allowing you to make your presentation more visually appealing.
5. Keynote allows you to integrate videos, images, audio, and other media files to make presentations more engaging.
6. Keynote files can be exported in a wide range of file formats, including QuickTime, PDF, and PowerPoint.
1. Even though Keynote features a bunch of file format export options, there are very limited options available for PowerPoint users.
2. Keynote is exclusively available for Apple products only. If you have got a Windows PC, there is no way you can use Keynote on your PC. You need to make the presentation from scratch.
PowerPoint – Pros and Cons
1. PowerPoint also has a very straightforward and easy-to-understand user interface. Even beginners with no prior knowledge of the software can use it very efficiently.
2. PowerPoint features a massive library of templates, but the templates look a bit way too simple. However, the good thing is that PowerPoint has a massive community, and you can find millions of paid and free, very engaging templates on the internet.
3. PowerPoint has a massive library of charts, shapes, designs, clipart, and images that help you make your presentations more informative and engaging.
4. The Slide Master feature is great and an absolute lifesaver for those who want a consistent design throughout their presentation. Plus, it also makes it very easy to make changes in all slides.
5. PowerPoint offers a large number of file types to export your presentation, but similar to Keynote, PowerPoint files cannot be opened in Keynote.
6. PowerPoint is available for both Mac and Windows platforms.
7. You can easily integrate files, data, charts, and other stuff from other Microsoft Office products.
1. Microsoft PowerPoint is a premium software, and you cannot even have a free version with limited features.
2. PowerPoint is way too powerful for basic usage.
Keynote vs PowerPoint: Which one is better?
We are about to end this article, yet it is not very clear which of this software is better. I would say the answer to this question ultimately depends on your needs.
If you are a Mac user and you rarely need to make presentations, then Keynote is, without a doubt, a great choice. The templates, transitions, and animations on Keynote look very premium and impressive. And the most important thing, it is completely free, and it will save you a lot of bucks.
On the other hand, if your profession requires you to make presentations very often and you want a powerful tool, PowerPoint will be the perfect choice for you.
In the end, I would say to pick software that offers you convenience, versatility, and high-quality output without burning a hole in your pocket.
With that said, here I am wrapping up this article. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them in the comment section below. Our team will try to respond ASAP.