Miscellaneous Software

How Keynote is Better than PowerPoint

Keynote is Better than Powerpoint

Apple’s Keynote presentation software is a brilliant solution for creating clean, crisp, and beautiful presentations.  I am a bit of an Apple fanboy, so it should come as no shock that I may sound less objective and more like I’m a shill for my favorite product.  But if I’m glowing a bit, it’s  because I believe that Keynote is a great presentation platform.


Why Keynote is so Great

There’s a bit of a cold war between Keynote and Powerpoint users.  You might not realize this because to you it doesn’t matter, and why should it?  But for someone to unequivocally state that one is better than others is fire a shot across the other side’s noses.  In the ensuing debates that follow, the typical back and forth consists of:

Keynote Fanboy: “Keynote can do such and such.”

Powerpoint Stooge: “PowerPoint can too!”

And they continue like this until someone gives up.

But I can tell you one excellent reason right now why Keynote is so Great, and better than Powerpoint.  It simply looks better, easier.


It Looks Better, Easier

Have you ever created a detailed, thought intensive PowerPoint and sat back..looked, scratched your head and thought: “I wish this didn’t look so much like a PowerPoint, sigh..”

If the answer to that is a ‘no,’ then it’s likely that you either don’t make many PowerPoints or you don’t consider the audience when you do.  At this controversial statement, I digress.

Out of the box, PowerPoint and Keynote both give you basic templates that you can use to structure your presentation.  To some degree, these are crutches set up so that anyone can quickly start using these presentation tools and get something going in short order.  However, from step one, the PowerPoint themes are structured to look generic.

PowerPoint = Boring Themes

PowerPoint = Boring Themes


Powerpoint is Generic

The counter argument from PowerPoint users in the Keynote-PowerPoint war is that you can do anything with PowerPoint that you can do with Keynote.  However, this is only really true for power-users.  Users that are comfortable delving deep into the weeds or seeking answers on forums for creating that elegant bouncing basketball animation or transition effect.  And that’s the big problem here…

There’s no getting around that unless you’re a power-user of PowerPoint, everything you create is probably going to be based on a template that millions have used before you.  Your flying in words effect on the “Parcel” theme is going to be something your audience has seen so many times that it has become de facto amet.

Keynote = "Lickable" Themes

Keynote = “Lickable” Themes

Keynote is Beautiful

In contrast to PowerPoint, Keynote has gorgeous basic themes and templates.  The themes are diverse in purpose as well.  The basic themes for PowerPoint all lend themselves adequately to classroom or generic office settings, whereas Keynotes basic theme templates have a wider spectrum of basic uses.

If you want a simple presentation, no frills, something to start building from scratch – you have a black or white My Presentation theme ready to go.  If you want to create a showcase for your product, Showroom is setup for that, again – right away from the core theme chooser that comes preloaded with your software.  Perhaps you want to create a slideshow of pictures, again, preloaded as the Photo Essay theme.  Seriously, if you’re looking at which software gives you the best looking and wider array of choices up-front, there’s no competition.  Keynote is cleaner, slicker, and will make your material look better than PowerPoint – if you’re a novice user.


Keynote is Powerful

If you’re a more advanced presentation builder, Keynote is robust…it’s powerful.  Let’s not discount what we were talking about in the last section because it does have an important statement to make in this point as well, “Keynote is Powerful.”

Remember, from step one; Keynote has a leg-up in how it looks as a finished product.  So let’s take that same leg-up and apply it to the work a more advanced presentation builder is trying to accomplish.

From a purely practical perspective, being able to focus on how the presentation comes together instead of both how it comes together and how it looks is a big time saver and bonus.  In addition to this, you have a suite of tools that are more easily accessed than on PowerPoint.  Within two clicks you can do amazing in-slide transition and animation effects that actually, “Wow!” audiences.  Additionally, you can do the following (and much more).


Instant Alpha on Images

Simple & Advanced Animation and Timing Effects

Simple & Advanced Animation and Timing Effects 


Widescreen (16×9) & Standard (4×3) from the Theme Selector

Widescreen (16x9) & Standard (4x3) from the Theme Selector


Keynote Live (broadcast slideshow directly to devices like cell phones, tablets, and computers)


Keynote Live (broadcast slideshow directly to devices like cell phones, tablets, and computers)



Advanced image effects from main view (without having to dig in menus)

Easily display screen capture pictures and videos (integration with Quicktime & Photos)


And More

I’ve been using PowerPoint or Keynote for going on 20 years at this point.  Like most people, I learned presentation software on PowerPoint first.  I recall tutoring elementary school children on the finer points of Powerpoint back in 1999.  So, it’s fair to say I’ve grown with PowerPoint as a presentation tool and I’ve seen how it’s changed the status quo of boardrooms and classrooms alike.  However, starting a couple of years ago, I began designing in and using Keynote personally, for more and more projects.  The reason being, it was easier to work with Keynote vs working with PowerPoint, and it looked better.  As a bonus, the final products left audiences with a superior impression.

You certainly can achieve most options on PowerPoint that you can with Keynote, but you have to have a higher skill level to do so.  Even then you often need an entire suite of applications to achieve results that are often easily accomplished within Keynote.


So, Now What? 

Well, whatever your goals are, we want to help you make your presentations work!  There are a lot of other ways to use Keynote, in addition to building presentations.  We have so much to share.  Many more use cases to impress you and your colleagues/clients.  If you want to stay update with excellent tools and great ways to use them, sign-up here.

In the meantime, here’s a YouTube video we created using Keynote:


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