Differences Between Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint

Slideshow presentations are always great ways to show information at your own pace, and unlike paper demonstrations, they transport very easily and can be shared with others easily too.

When you’re making presentations, however, be sure you’re using the best application for the job at hand. Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint both can solve the issue… but which one is best for the job and what are the key differences? If you’re making the transition to Google Apps for Work, you need to know what those key differences are.

One of the most brilliant things about Slides is that the company designed it for use online, and you always have full access to its features. PowerPoint has two separate versions, and most people are equipped with the desktop edition that is included in Office.

While PowerPoint is more familiar to some people, there are significantly fewer features accompanying it, meaning users may be missing out on some useful options that Google offers. With Slides, that is never an issue. So, let’s dig more into Google Slides vs PowerPoint.

Power Across the Board

Real-time collaboration is one of Google Apps for Work’s most powerful features offered in Slides; Microsoft’s desktop version of PowerPoint has no equivalent version. And even in PowerPoint’s online version, it’s not true real-time collaboration, with many users getting frustrated while trying to work on a project at the same time as others on a team if it takes minutes to update their changes — sometimes nullifying the work you’ve been doing.

Google allows you to take advantage of four key functions within your project:

  • Add collaborators. Invite the people you need to collaborate for every job. It doesn’t matter how many people become collaborators, Slides will flex to suit the job.
  • Watch changes in real-time. Your document is live, and any time users make changes, you can see them.
  • Add and reply to comments. Whether they’re editing notes or simply encouraging words, you’re able to slide in annotations for your slideshow.
  • Chat live. Even better than leaving comments is the built-in chat, specific to each Slides document. You’re able to brainstorm and discuss endlessly for a meeting that is twice as productive.

Slides offers more ways to share presentations, too. If you’re using PowerPoint for desktop, your only option is to email the document as an attachment or save it to a USB drive. Google Slides allow it to be emailed as an attachment, shared as a link, published on the web, shared in Slides, inserted into email (not as an attachment), and embedded in Google Sites.

That’s five times more options than Microsoft offers with PowerPoint.  

Slides outshine PowerPoint again when you consider access levels. The desktop edition offers none at all and the online edition only provides two. Users can only view or edit, with no further options. Google, on the other hand, has four separate levels you can use: can view, can edit, can comment, and is the owner (which transfers ownership completely).

That sort of flexibility is a great advantage, especially for businesses.

There are no options for sharing visibility when using the Microsoft PowerPoint for desktop. Slides offers five ways to share a presentation with others, whether they are collaborating or not.

Specific people or Google Groups, anyone with the link, public on the web, anyone in your domain with the link, and your domain all are conditions that you can set regarding sharing and collaboration.

You can change them at any time, so your visibility needs are always addressed.

There’s also an instant connection when using Slides or other Google Apps for Work, thanks to access to the cloud. Any time you change, delete or upload a presentation from your device, it’ll be automatically visible on any computer, smartphone, or tablet that you log into.

Few things can help keep your team working faster on documents than this sort of seamless updating.

google slides interface when discussing google slides vs powerpoint

Do More with Google Slides

Many similar types of software aren’t accessible unless you’re connected to the internet. For Slides, this isn’t the case. You can access your content offline and continue working on it to prevent interruptions.  

Google Drawings makes it easier than ever to insert flowcharts and diagrams into your work. These, in turn, can make your slideshows more engaging and easier to understand.

You can also backup any of your information in just a few seconds. The Research Tool makes it easy to insert citations, quotes, images, and scholarly sources – and it’s another built-in feature straight from Google.

Make the Most with Tips for Google Slides

Slides is a very powerful application, and it’s great for business or personal use. There are a few hints, however, that can help you make the experience even more powerful. Some of the ways you can utilize Slides are:

  • Change the shape of pictures with image masking. You can round corners or add dynamic styles for an interesting and useful presentation.
  • Add translucent text bars and shapes to make text stand out. Filling a shape with a low-opacity color dilutes the image beneath it but still allows it to be seen. It’s a subtle way to create contrast and improve your slideshow.
  • Insert drop shadows for bold and easy-to-read words. By duplicating a text layer and changing the color and opacity, you can create “shadows” that add dimension to every page.
  • Present Slides with AirPlay and Chromecast for instant connectivity. Use your TV to show your presentation directly from your phone. Such capability means less equipment to haul and faster setup.


Google Slides is a powerful tool, and it shows the future of slideshow software. If you’re ready to experience a whole new world of features and compatibility, make the transition to Google Apps for Work.

You’ll have all the software you need right at your fingertips – without paying extra money or constantly switching between applications. When you want business done right, do it the Google way.

Google Tools for the Transportation Industry – A Webinar

In a few days, Agosto will co-host with Google an intimate conversation with the leadership team from Arrow Transportation Systems Inc., a 96-year old trucking and transportation company.

This will not be your run-of-the-mill webinar. Instead, Arrow’s COO, CIO and Manager Development and Enterprise Architect will come together to share each of their unique perspectives on discovering Google Apps and how they and the entire company are working better today using Google tools.

Arrow has been an Agosto client for over a year now, and we’re honored to welcome them to this unique, online event. The 30-minute conversation will be geared toward the transportation industry, but we guarantee it will be interesting enough for any business leader considering the future of technology in their enterprise. We hope you’ll register today to join us for this special conversation.

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