If you need to create a presentation or slideshow, you will likely find yourself choosing between Google Slides and PowerPoint. The two programs have very similar features and produce similar results, but they are different.

Is Google Slides the Same as PowerPoint?

In terms of basic functionality, Google Slides and PowerPoint are the same. However, they have a fair number of differences.

Is PowerPoint Online Free? Is Google Slides Free?

To start, you need to consider the cost of the program. Google Slides is completely free, as is the rest of the Google Drive productivity suite, such as Google Docs and Sheets. By contrast, Microsoft PowerPoint is paid if you want to use it as a downloaded program on your computer. It comes with your Office 365 (or Microsoft 365) subscription. You can use PowerPoint online for free, but there will be limited functionality.

Using Online vs. Offline

Google Slides is designed to be used online, although you can theoretically use it without an internet connection in your browser. You just need to make sure to leave the presentation open, so it saves when you reconnect to the internet. PowerPoint can be used offline or online. The downloaded version is ideal for offline use, but it is still easy to share. The free version is only available online. You can access either program via your smartphone or tablet, assuming you download the appropriate application.

Sharing and Collaboration of Presentation Files

Google Slides was specifically designed with collaboration in mind. It is incredibly easy to make edits, comment, or chat while working on a presentation, all of which appear in real-time. As long as you have PowerPoint 2010 or later, you can easily collaborate with team members. Just save it to OneDrive and share the file. However, the changes aren’t instant.

Revision History and Saving

If you want to collaborate and see the revision history, Google Slides is the best choice. It allows users to go back and see revisions made to the slides as well as restore previous versions if something gets deleted or replaced by accident. Google Slides automatically saves your slideshow as you work on it. You can also enable AutoSave on Microsoft PowerPoint if you have an Office 365 account or PowerPoint 2016 or more recent. PowerPoint also has a very convenient AutoRecover option.

Presentation Templates and Other Slideshow Features

When it comes to built-in features to create slideshows, Google Slides and PowerPoint are fairly similar. PowerPoint has 19 slideshow templates. Google Slides has 26 templates. There are also may free as well as paid Google slides templates sites able to pick from. Either program makes it easy to add JPG, PNG, and GIF files for graphics and various formats for audio files. While Google wins in that respect, PowerPoint has more advanced features, such as special effects. You can also add content from Excel files with PowerPoint.

How Do I Make a Google Slide deck vs a PowerPoint Slide deck?

Making a Google Slide is incredibly straightforward. You just have to:

  1. Go to Google Drive.
  2. Click “New” and select “Google Slides.”
  3. Start with a “Blank Presentation.”
  4. Fill in the information you want.

PowerPoint vs Google Slides Collage

Making a Microsoft PowerPoint is just as easy:

  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Open a “Blank presentation.”
  3. Fill in the information you want.

You will notice the steps are almost identical. Although google slides has so many additional themes and templates to choose from that are easy to use and install.

Can Google Slides Open PowerPoint Files?

The great thing about Google Slides and PowerPoint is that you can use one program to open the other’s files and vice versa. This means that you do not have to choose a presentation program to use, only to regret your decision. There are two ways of viewing PowerPoints on Google Slides. You can view them as a PowerPoint on the Google program or convert it to a Google Slide.

How Do You Put a PowerPoint on Google Slides to View as PowerPoint Slides?

If you want to continue viewing your PowerPoint as a PowerPoint but in Google Slides, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Click the “New” button on the top-left corner.
  3. Select “File Upload.”
  4. Find the PowerPoint presentation in your computer’s folders.
  5. If you prefer, you can open the folder with your PowerPoint presentation, then drag and drop it onto the Google Drive page in your browser.
  6. Double-click the file to open it. You can also right-click and choose “Open with” to select your preferred format.

How Do I Convert PPTX to Slides as a Google Slide File and vice versa

If you prefer to view your PowerPoint presentation in Google Slides in the Slides format, start by following all the above steps. Instead of double-clicking to open the file from your Google Drive, right-click and choose “Open with.” Select “Google Slides.” Google will convert your presentation for you.


How to Open Google Slides in PowerPoint?

As mentioned, you can also open Google Slides in PowerPoint, but there is a caveat. To do this, you first have to convert the Google Slide presentation to PowerPoint. This is incredibly easy.

How to Export Google Slides to PowerPoint? How to Convert Google Slides to PowerPoint?

To convert Google Slides into PowerPoint, you essentially download the presentation in the new format.

  1. Open the Google Slide presentation in your browser.
    2. Go to “File” then “Download as.”
    3.  Select “Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx).”
    4.  Alternatively, you can stay on your Google Drive page and right-click on the presentation’s file. Then, select “Download as” then “Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx).”
    5.  If PowerPoint is your computer’s default slideshow program, just double-click the file to open it in PowerPoint. If there is a different default program, right-click and choose “Open with” then “PowerPoint.”

The Takeaway

Google Slides and PowerPoint have similar functionality, but the former is only used online while the latter is primarily used as a downloadable program, with online abilities. They have slightly different features, which may influence your decision on which to use. You don’t have to overthink which one to use, though, as you can easily convert files from Google Slides to PowerPoint or vice versa.