June 14, 2022

Best Slideshow Makers for a Mac

20 min

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Try Movavi Slideshow Maker

  • Flexible: 150+ filters, 100+ transitions, 40+ titles
  • Easy: average time for making a slideshow is 5 minutes
  • Fast: get the result right away – no need to wait
  • Secure: no need to upload your own photos online

Looking for the best slideshow software for Mac? You’ve come to the right place. Learn about 17 Mac-compatible slideshow makers, what makes each stand out, and get the lowdown on pricing, licensing, and key features so you can choose the software that’s right for you and your budget.

Program

Best for

Read more

Movavi Slideshow MakerUsers who need powerful video and image editing capabilities
KeynoteMac lovers who own an iPhone and iPad to bounce between devices
Microsoft PowerPointPeople comfortable with PowerPoint who don’t need advanced features
LibreOffice ImpressStudents and anyone looking for an open-source solution
PreziCreatives looking for dynamic, fluid presentation software
SlidebeanProfessionals looking to pitch their business ideas
CustomShowBusinesses looking to create cohesive presentations
FlowVellaConference presenters or museum curators
FocuskyMarketers looking to create SEO-friendly presentations
Preview in FinderMac natives interested in creating a quick slideshow
iMovieApple users making movie-like presentations
Apple PhotosMac natives looking for a bit more customization
FotoMagicoPhotographers interested in presenting high-quality images
HyperEngine-AVAudiophiles looking to build a presentation
iDVDWedding videographers and photographers
4K Slideshow MakerSocial media-inclined presenters
LightMVVideo amateurs looking to create video-heavy presentations

Best slideshow software for a Mac

The best slideshow maker for Mac depends on the user. We’ve gone through and determined the best slideshow apps for Mac devices, paying particular attention to their cost, pros, cons, and key features, to help you test out and ultimately choose the best program for you to use on your Macintosh.

Movavi Slideshow Maker

Best for: Beginners who want to create slideshows beyond the basics, as well as users who enjoy visual features like filters, transitions, and stickers

OS: macOS (also support for legacy versions for Mac and Microsoft Windows), Windows 7/8/10

Licensing: Free 7-day trial, subscription, or lifetime license

File size: 74 MB

Price: Personal 1-year license ($44.95), lifetime personal license ($49.95)

Rating: 9.5/10

Movavi Slideshow Maker is a well-balanced tool for beginners and advanced users alike.

For instance, Movavi’s “Easy Mode” lets novices build a professional-looking slideshow in minutes without much of a learning curve. They just need to upload the necessary media files (image / images, videos, etc.) and then select slide transitions. Adding music is also straightforward, and Movavi provides guides in case any step isn’t 100% clear.

And for anyone who needs more advanced features, the “Full Feature” mode provides options like native recording, extra photo editing options, animated transitions, and even in-app video editing. Best of all, most of these features only require you to click and drag the desired elements.

After your slideshow is complete, Movavi makes it easy to save your presentation in any major file format (and some less common ones), and you can even adjust the file size – making it easier to put on a flash drive.

Key features:

  • 165+ visual effects and filters to apply to your presentations
  • 105+ transitions to use between slides
  • 100+ titles and stickers for further customization
  • Support for 14 different languages
  • Emphasizes both photo and video media types for slideshows

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Effective tool for amateurs and professionals
  • Many features that allow customization
  • Free 7-day trial version to test out

Cons:

  • Slideshows made on the trial version have a watermark

Keynote

Best for: People who own the full line of Apple products (iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks) for convenient cross-device usage

OS: iOS, macOS

Licensing: Free (for new Mac laptops and desktops), or one-time purchase

File size: 345.2 MB

Price: $19.99

Rating: 9/10

Keynote is Apple’s native slideshow maker. Usable on iPhones, iPads, and accessible via the iCloud, Keynote is a versatile and free slideshow maker for Mac computers made in 2013 or later.

The current version of Keynote lets Mac users collaborate on presentations, tweak slides from their iPhone with the Keynote mobile application, and even transform handwriting into text on your computer. If you’re an Apple fanatic, Keynote is an effective way to develop slideshows and present visual, video, and text information in informal and professional settings.

Key features:

  • Can use Apple Pencil on an iPad to draw directly onto your presentation
  • “Rehearse Mode” to practice your presentation on the fly
  • 30 templated themes and the ability to create custom templates to use later
  • Good

Pros:

  • Handy phone app makes it possible to edit presentations anywhere
  • Can easily embed videos into your presentation
  • Already installed on your Mac computer (unless your rig is a decade old)

Cons:

  • Takes time to master
  • Not usable on Android, so you can’t bounce between Keynote on your laptop and your cellphone unless you have an iPhone (however, Keynote can now run on Windows OS)

Download Keynote

Microsoft PowerPoint

Best for: Anyone who grew up using PowerPoint and feel most comfortable using a tool they’re familiar with

OS: macOS, Windows

Licensing: 1-month free trial, subscription

File size: 700 MB

Price: Personal 1-year license ($69.95)

Our rating: 8/10

Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the oldest examples of slideshow maker software. It’s so well known that the phrase “I need to make a PowerPoint” is more common than “I need to make a slideshow” in the United States.

PowerPoint is a straightforward presentation tool that most people don’t use to its full potential. The software, in addition to standard slide making and templates, offers useful yet less-known features like self-running presentations and audio fading, bookmarking, and trimming.

Making a basic slideshow is as easy as choosing a theme, filling in the blanks, and adding media wherever you need it. Presenting visual elements like images and video as well as audio, text, and linking slides with smooth transitions with PowerPoint is no problem, and there are countless tutorials online if you want to take your PPT skills to the next level.

Key features:

  • Easily embed YouTube videos
  • Merge shapes and edit image files within the application
  • Special icons for additional customization

Pros:

  • YouTube tutorials and online writing guides for additional support
  • You’ve probably used it before, so the UI should be familiar
  • Usable on every all major operating systems and device

Cons:

  • Lack of imagination when it comes to templates
  • Some users have encountered bugs using PowerPoint on macOS

Download Microsoft PowerPoint

LibreOffice Impress

Best for: People looking for a basic, free slideshow maker usable on any major device and operating system

OS: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS

Licensing: Open-source software

File size: 252 MB (for LibreOffice productivity suite)

Price: Free

Our rating: 7.5/10

LibreOffice Impress is part of LibreOffice’s open-source suite of productivity software. Impress provides five different modes of viewing your in-progress presentation, and even gives you access to tools like The Fontworks to create dynamic 2D and 3D text for your slideshows.

If you’re new to Impress, simply begin with its outline mode and you’ll soon be on your way to creating a great slideshow. Does your presentation need an injection of creativity? Download any of the free LibreOffice Impress templates available online for some help.

Key features:

  • Free forever
  • Downloadable templates
  • Dynamic text rendering

Pros:

  • Multiple viewing modes for easy step-by-step presentation making
  • Basic setup that’s easy to use for anyone familiar with PowerPoint

Cons:

  • Not online, so it’s harder to instantly collaborate on an Impress file
  • Some of the features and UI seem a bit out of date

Download LibreOffice Impress

Prezi

Best for: Users interested in approaching presentation-making in a new way

OS: Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac OS X or higher

Licensing: Monthly subscription

File size: 650 MB

Price: $5, $15, or $59 / month based on subscription level

Our rating: 8.5/10

At first glance, Prezi appears to be a response to slide-by-slide presentation tools such as Keynote and PowerPoint. While Prezi involves many of the same concepts as a standard slideshow application (offering templates, audio and video customization, etc.), the way information moves from section to section makes Prezi stand out from the crowd.

Each Prezi presentation is displayed on a large canvas. Instead of moving slide by slide, the presentation zooms in and out of sections and helps keep the user engaged when transitioning between topics. Additionally, you can bounce between audio and video with help from Prezi’s recording software, letting you create dynamic presentations that many people haven’t experienced before.

Prezi started out as solely a web app, but you can now download Prezi Next if you prefer (or require) an offline solution to building professional presentations.

Key features:

  • Transitions are dynamic, and involve zooming in and out of the entire presentation canvas

Pros:

  • Doesn’t feel like a standard presentation, focuses on “the path” (transitions)
  • Can mix in audio and video into your canvas, and provides options to create talking-head videos
  • Lots of customizability

Cons:

  • In-app collaboration is limited
  • Pricing is multi-tiered, may confuse users looking for a straightforward pricing model

Download Prezi

Slidebean

Best for: Entrepreneurs looking to pitch projects or startups

OS: Web application

Licensing: Subscription

File size: N/A

Price: Free basic plan, $8 /month starter, $19 /month premium, $149 /month Founder’s edition

Our rating: 9/10

Slidebean was born out of a need for building aesthetic presentations without an actual graphic designer at hand. The product is specifically designed for creating professional pitch decks for businesses and marketers, and they even have a “Book Project” function if you want direct support using their tool.

This slideshow program for Mac isn’t ideal for putting together casual presentations. However if you’re looking to turn your slideshow into a pitch that lands you investors and grows your business, Slidebean is a service to investigate.

Key features:

  • Templates targeting both pitch decks (for slideshows) and financial model templates (if your presentation involves running numbers, like from a business plan)
  • Additional services for creating pitch decks that match your branding and connecting you to investors and other subject matter experts

Pros:

  • Designed with professionals in mind (visuals are buttoned up)
  • Customer support services readily available for its users

Cons:

  • Narrow in scope, built to pitch ideas and create formal presentations
  • Minor bugs reported (like uploading an image turns the entire slide 100% black)

Go to Slidebean

CustomShow

Best for: Businesses looking to set a standard for presentations across teams or the entire company

OS: Cloud-based application

Licensing: Subscription

File size: N/A

Price: $29/$49/$69 /month based on desired subscription level

Our rating: 8/10

CustomShow is enterprise software as a service built to help companies develop consistently branded presentations. After you’ve uploaded the requisite media files for your slideshow, you can further customize details like image shading, backgrounds for your video, and other visual effects.

From a technological standpoint, CustomShow also excels at connecting teams – providing the ability to simultaneously cast presentations to different devices. Such a feature is especially handy for the remote teams many of us find ourselves working on today. Plus with CustomShow’s mobile app and analytics tools, there’s plenty of features for enterprises serious about getting taking their business presentations to a new level.

Key features:

  • Multicasting presentations
  • Analytics features for businesses
  • Realtime collaboration

Pros:

  • Ability to easily collaborate makes it great for large companies and remote teams
  • Feature rich

Cons:

  • Not for the slideshow hobbyist / individual user
  • Has a bit of a learning curve

Go to CustomShow

FlowVella

Best for: Businesses presenting at events or conferences, users who want to incorporate a range of elements into their presentations

OS: OS X and iOS

Licensing: Subscription

File size: N/A

Price: Free trial, $10 /month, $20 /month, enterprise option

Our rating: 8.5/10

FlowVella presentations sometimes look a bit like the page of a website because of all the interactive elements built into them. FlowVella allows the presenter to seamlessly move between image files, slides, videos, and other media dynamically – breaking from the linear nature of standard Mac slideshow apps.

The FlowVella app even provides a “kiosk mode” for iPads, easily letting users (like museum goers or tradeshow attendees) interact with a presentation you made without accidentally changing its elements.

Key features:

  • Kiosk mode for tablet devices
  • Autoplay video content
  • Scrolling video galleries

Pros:

  • Built for businesses and amateurs alike
  • Plenty of features for users who like to mix media into their presentations

Cons:

  • Minor bugs in the app
  • Not extremely intuitive

Go to FlowVella

Focusky

Best for: Users looking for a dynamic presentation generator that takes slideshows to another level

OS: macOS, Windows10/8/7Vista/XP

Licensing: Free trial, subscription, lifetime purchase

File size: 372 MB

Price: $0, $9.9/month, $99/month, $399/lifetime

Our rating: 8/10

Focusky is a feature-filled slideshow maker that operates in many ways like PowerPoint. However, it goes beyond PowerPoint in terms of customization, with hundreds of templates, dynamic transitions that zoom in and out (similar to Prezi), and plenty of design assets to play around with.

Key features:

  • Robust transition features
  • Search Engine Optimization-friendly (can create text versions of presentations to index on Google)
  • Can import PowerPoints and give them a facelift within the app

Pros:

  • Customization is a huge emphasis, with 5,000+ open-source vector icons and diagrams and 600+ templates for pro users
  • Cloud hosting for publishing presentations online, great for the current remote-work world

Cons:

  • Free version has watermarks
  • Content across the site seems like it hasn’t been updated in years, so support seems questionable

Download Focusky

Preview in Finder

Best for: Mac users looking to create a slideshow fast with few bells and whistles

OS: macOS (Big Sur)

Licensing: Free for Mac users

File size: N/A

Price: Free

Our rating: 6.5/10

Most macOS users have opened up Preview before without realizing it because it comes preinstalled on your device. If you’ve ever opened an image on your Mac computer, Preview is the default image reader so it likely opened it for you (unless someone changed the settings). However, Preview can do other things as well – including making slideshow presentations.

Simply open the files you want (JPEGs, PNGs, PDFs, etc.) to begin. The fastest way to turn these into a presentation is to arrange them in any order you want, click “View”, and then “Slideshow”.

Key features:

  • Embraces simplicity – sometimes we need to make a quick slideshow
  • Free for Mac users and native to macOS

Pros:

  • Simple, on-the-fly concept
  • User familiarity

Cons:

  • No customization except for how you arrange your image and text files

iMovie

Best for: Apple users making movie-like presentations

OS: iOS, macOS

Licensing: Free for Mac users

File size: 2.2 GB

Price: Free

Our rating: 7/10

While iMovie wasn’t created for slideshows, it still operates well in this secondary capacity. Created for Mac users who enjoy all Apple devices, iMovie has quickly evolved into a tool popular for developing more compelling slideshows and visual presentations.

With iMovie, your primary customization features for a slideshow are titles and transitions (elements that are useful in actual movies). However, you can still handle some of your image editing needs within the tool as well.

After your media files are imported into the app, you can add text, music, and other stylistic elements to build a dynamic experience for your audience. Try applying filters and playing around with iMovie’s green screen function to add some unique finishing touches to your presentation.

Key features:

  • Presentations that emphasize video content
  • Titles and transitions work well

Pros:

  • Strong video-editing capabilities
  • Integrates easily across all Apple operating systems

Cons:

  • Not built with slideshows in mind
  • Minor image editing capabilities (cropping / color adjustments only)
Download iMovie

Apple Photos

Best for: Mac users looking for a native app that’s more customizable than Preview

OS: iOS, iPadOS, macOS

Licensing: Free for Mac users

File size: N/A

Price: Free

Our rating: 8/10

The Photos app on Mac might already be on your computer (or iPhone or iPad), but do you know how to use it to make a slideshow presentation?

Apple Photos lets you create a slideshow in two different ways. The first way is to build your presentation by simply selecting a few photos, a theme, and some music. The second way is to make an actual slideshow project with text overlays and transitions (in addition to your images and musical selection(s)). Both methods can help you quickly create an aesthetic, heavily-visual presentation.

Key features:

  • In addition to slideshows, make cards, calendars, and photo journals with the images on your Mac or iCloud
  • Intelligent curation helps you group photos together based on their content

Pros:

  • More dynamic than Preview
  • Decent photo slideshow editing capabilities

Cons:

  • Lacking in the customization department

FotoMagico

Best for: Both amateur and professional photographers looking to highlight their work

OS: macOS, iPadOS

Licensing: one-time purchase

File size: 371.5 MB

Price: $50 /basic, $100 /pro

Our rating: 8/10

If you want to put down a little money and take your presentation game to another level, FotoMagico is an intriguing, feature-heavy option. FotoMagico, in addition to powerful image and video editing capabilities, also lets you tweak audio files and align specific musical moments with points in your presentation, making it great for people with a bit more technical know-how.

Similar to video-editing software, you can view each panel of your FotoMagico presentation at the bottom of the application. This timeline vantage makes it a simple matter to seamlessly edit and adjust minute details in your photographs and develop a presentation that meets your exact specifications.

Key features:

  • Create slideshows in stunning 4K resolution
  • Dark mode
  • Customizable “snippets” which let you add premade visual elements to your presentation

Pros:

  • Feature-rich tool
  • One-time purchase

Cons:

  • Bugs have been noted in some of their customer reviews

Download FotoMagico

HyperEngine-AV

Best for: Users interested in social media integration features

OS: Mac OS X

Licensing: Open-source

File size: 11 MB

Price: Free

Our rating: 6.5/10

HyperEngine-AV leans further into the video-creation side of presentations than it does slideshows, but it can still handle both tasks effectively.

If you’re looking to make short product videos, YouTube shorts, or video-heavy slideshow presentations, HyperEngine has the features and UI to simplify the job. And with HyperEngine’s "trackless" workspace giving you a bird’s eye view of your various media files, you’re able to edit and drag images, audio, video, and transitions wherever you want them with ease.

Key features:

  • Robust audio editing functions
  • Drag-and-drop helps you instantly transition between a video clip and other media

Pros:

  • UI is fairly intuitive
  • Light program (fast and free to download)

Cons:

  • Issues with exporting and even opening the app reported
  • No developer updates for a decade

Download HyperEngine-AV

iDVD

Best for: Mac users looking to burn their videos or presentations onto DVDs

OS: macOS (pre-Catalina)

Licensing: Free with Mac

File size: 36.12 MB

Price: Free

Our rating: 7.5/10

Although iDVD is an older piece of Apple software, it can still get the job done and works especially well for people looking to create hard copies of their creations (presentations, wedding video, or otherwise). If your goal is to make a widescreen presentation complete with audio and menu options, iDVD is worth a try.

Making a video-heavy slideshow on iDVD is fairly straightforward. Once you’ve added your title and selected a theme template, you can move around your video files and adjust them as necessary.

Key features:

  • Helps you burn a DVD when using a Mac SuperDrive
  • Supports widescreen footage

Pros:

  • Wide range of video-editing functions (can be used by professionals)

Cons:

  • Not usable on Apple’s newest operating systems
  • Doesn’t support footage from digital cameras

Download iDVD

4K Slideshow Maker

Best for: Users who want high-quality export options for their presentation

OS: macOS 10.13 and later, Linux, Windows

Licensing: Open-source software

File size: 29.7 MB

Price: Free

Our rating: 8.5/10

4K Slideshow Maker states it all in its name: it’s a compact piece of software that helps you create and export a 4K slideshow (or in resolutions anywhere from the lower ends of the quality spectrum to Ultra 4K HD).

Quickly edit your images, mix in some music, and even import files directly from social media channels like Instagram into your slides with 4K Slideshow Maker. Done and ready to share your work? Move your finished presentation directly back to those social media channels (like Instagram and YouTube) to share with friends, family, and followers.

Key features:

  • High-resolution support (great for rendering nature scenery in its full glory)
  • Built-in social media compatibility with Instagram and YouTube

Pros:

  • Learning curve isn’t too bad for amateurs
  • Lets you zoom in and out of images (the “Ken Burns effect”)
  • Currently supports 13 languages

Cons:

  • Lacking in the customization features (templates, icons, etc)

Download 4K Slideshow Maker

LightMV

Best for: Newer users who want to mix more video content into their presentations

OS: Android, Windows, iOS, macOS

Licensing: Subscription

File size: 5.8 MB

Price: $29 /month, $39 /3 months, $299 /year

Our rating: 7.5/10

LightMV is a video-focused presentation app that lets you personalize your media files in various ways to ultimately create cohesive presentations. The app provides a variety of video templates to simplify things and lower the barrier for beginners, and if you go this route then you only need to import the desired media and add transitions and text.

Key features:

  • Video templates created to help everything from capturing the joy of weddings to injecting energy into a business presentation
  • Cloud-based rendering for easy access across different Apple devices

Pros:

  • Modern UI that’s easy for beginners to operate
  • Advanced features for video-editing professionals
  • Free 7-day trial version available

Cons:

  • Freemium model means you can download the app but not your presentation
  • Trial version includes watermarking

Download LightMV

Summary: How to choose the best slideshow app for a Mac

Still wondering what’s the best slideshow program for you personally? Now that you’ve read about some of the top slideshow creators for Mac, you should have a better idea of what program best meets your needs. But just in case you’re on the fence between a few options, here are the main things to consider first.

Ease of use: Are you looking for something easy to use that’s a bit basic, or would you prefer a more complicated tool offering more customization? Choose software that lets you get the job done at your particular pace.

Features: The features you need in your presentations will help determine which software you end up choosing. Is audio and video critical, or do you only need compelling transitions for your linear slideshow?

Pricing / licensing: Some software is free, and others have freemium offerings. Other platforms cost a flat rate or a subscription fee, but they often make it worth your time. Think about whether investing in slideshow software is something that would bring you more value in return.

Guides & support: Some tools are written about extensively online (by the creators, users, and reviewers), while others are a bit harder to dig up details on. If you’re someone who often asks questions, consider choosing slideshow software that has support options at your disposal.

Device compatibility: Although all of the tools listed in this article are usable on Mac, you may want to consider choosing an app that also works on your smartphone. Being able to knock out a presentation (or even practice) while on the go is definitely a nice option for many of us.

Movavi Slideshow Maker

An easy-to-use, yet efficient slideshow making program

Frequently asked questions

What is the best program to make a slideshow on a Mac?

Here are the top five apps we’ve outlined in this article in no particular order:

  • Movavi Slideshow Maker
  • FotoMagico 5
  • FlowVella
  • CustomShow
  • Slidebean

However, each software comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, and targets different user groups. To find the best program for you as a Mac user, please review each tool to form your own thoughts before selecting your ideal slideshow maker software.

How do I make a slideshow on my Mac?

Making a slideshow on your Mac is easy with Movavi Slideshow Maker. Simply follow these five steps:

  1. Click the link below and follow installation instructions to get started.

    Download Movavi Slideshow Maker

  2. Although you can adjust your settings and make manual edits feasible, for the sake of making an easy slideshow simply let the Slideshow Wizard guide you through the process.
  3. Click File then Add Files to track down the images you plan to add to your slides.
  4. Each Movavi theme has transitions and captions with music built into them, so preview a few, find one you like, and click Next.
  5. View your slideshow by clicking Preview in the menu and double-check that everything is just how you want it before exporting your finished presentation on your Macbook.

Does Apple have a slideshow maker?

Apple’s native Photos app works fine for creating a basic slideshow on your Mac or iOS device. However, if you’re looking to create a more professional and dynamic slideshow, try out Movavi Slideshow Maker. It’s compatible with current and legacy versions of macOS, has a ton of features for customizing your slideshow presentation, and a sleek UI that is frequently updated to best meet the needs of users in 2022.

Learn more about Movavi Slideshow Maker