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

Edited by Geoffrey Scott

February 2, 2021

Best Slideshow Software for Mac

There have never been more choices for you to choose from when selecting slideshow software than there are today. While most of us remember making PowerPoint presentations during school, PowerPoint is now just one of the dozens of slideshow maker options for savvy internet users in 2021.

Slideshow software has come a long way since PowerPoint’s initial run on the Mac in 1987. The ability to add not just images and text but also videos, music, transitions, and more is now standard on most of the best slideshow programs. It’s hard to go wrong with most selections you’ll find doing a cursory Google search.

If you’re looking to set yourself up with slideshow software that specifically meets your needs, we’re here to help. We cover 19 of the best photo slideshow programs in this piece, outline the best slideshow maker for Mac and PC users, explain their pros and cons, and provide recommendations for which ones you should try based on what you want to actually do with the software.

Best Programs to Make a Slideshow on Mac: 19 Top Programs

The best slideshow software for Mac ranges from the free, minimal versions used by students and amateurs to the comprehensive, robust programs popular among businesses and marketing firms.

Generally, making a slideshow is a straightforward process and is in many ways similar to telling a story. For most users, beginning that story entails choosing a theme or template to use across the entire slideshow. Most slideshow software available on Macintosh provides a limited number of these templates for free because they make it easier for a user to boot up the software and move toward a finished product.

Once you’ve given your project (or “story”) a title, you’re then able to add slides of images, videos, text, graphics, and more in quick succession, and you can even tweak the way slides transition between each other so as to best engage your audience.

The best slideshow makers for Mac act as powerful tools in which users can create narratives, pitch dreams, showcase hobbies, market products, and so much more. And it all begins by starting up a slideshow maker and getting to work.

We’ve reviewed the best slideshow makers for Mac to make the process of choosing that software easier for you. But first, here’s our top recommendation.

1. Best Recommendation: Movavi Slideshow Maker

While you have many options when it comes time to choose a slideshow app for Mac, Movavi Slideshow Maker stands apart from competing software for several reasons.

First, the program’s Slideshow Wizard makes it a simple task for beginners to create their own professional slideshow. All they need to do is upload the media files they want, then choose transitions to use across the presentation. It’s also easy to add music, and there’s a user guide in case anyone needs some extra assistance.

Additionally, creating projects in manual mode gives users access to advanced settings like native recording, extra tools for photo editing, and a powerful video editor directly in the app – most of which can simply be used by clicking and dragging stuff around. And when the presentation is finalized, the slideshow is saveable in a range of file formats and file sizes based on the user’s needs.

The ease of use and customizability of Movavi Slideshow Maker makes it one of the best slideshow programs for Mac and Microsoft Office currently on the market.

Key Features:

  • Turn your favorite media (music, videos, image) into a slideshow
  • Supports all major file formats
  • Intuitive, but with in-app tutorials if needed
  • Timeline makes editing seamless

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Effective tool for amateurs and professionals
  • Many personalization features
  • Free 7-day trial version available
  • Equal emphasis on photo slideshow and slideshow video tools

Cons:

  • Transitions can’t be randomized
  • Trial version slideshows are watermarked

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

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

File size: 107.2 MB

Price: personal 1-year license ($44.95 ), lifetime personal license ($64.95 ), 1-year business license ($79.95 ), lifetime business license ($149.95 )

Our rating: 10/10

Movavi Slideshow Maker

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

  • Create a slideshow with music in 3 simple steps
  • Join slides with dynamic transitions
  • Add stylish animated titles
  • Adjust color, enhance picture quality

List of Slideshow Programs for Macintosh

2. Keynote

Keynote is a tool most Mac users are familiar with. Now usable on iPhones and via iCloud, Apple’s slideshow maker Keynote is versatile and free to use for anyone on a Mac purchased in 2013 or later.

Keynote’s current iteration allows you to collaborate on projects, quickly adjust presentations on the fly with a sleek mobile app, and even turn handwriting into computer text. If you’re all-in on Apple products, Keynote is an effective tool for creating slideshows and presenting information to friends, family, colleagues, and clients.

Key Features:

  • On-the-go collaboration (mobile app, Apple integration)
  • Import PowerPoint, other files into KeyNote
  • Equal emphasis on video, photo, and audio editing

Pros:

  • Handy phone app makes it possible to edit presentations anywhere
  • Can easily embed videos into your presentation
  • Possibly already on your computer if you have a Mac

Cons:

  • Takes time to master
  • Can only be used on Mac

OS: iOS, macOS

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

File size: 345.2 MB

Price: $19.99

Our rating: 9/10

3. Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is the grandfather of slideshow maker software and is so well known that it’s synonymous with slideshows (many people say “I need to make a PowerPoint” rather than “I need to make a slideshow”).

PowerPoint is easy to use and provides helpful less-known features like self-running presentations and audio modification (such as bookmarking, trimming, and fading). To create a slideshow, simply choose a premade theme, fill out the title page, and add media as necessary. Presenting images, text, video, and audio via PowerPoint is a piece of cake.

Key Features:

  • Classic slideshow software, open and begin making your presentation
  • Embed videos and links into slides
  • Still receiving updates today

Pros:

  • Lots of helpful resources online if you encounter issues
  • Most people have used it at some point, so likely a lesser learning curve
  • Operating system agnostic (usable on whatever you’re running)

Cons:

  • Linear, prevents the user from portraying the full picture about a topic without verbal support

OS: macOS, Windows

Licensing: 1-month free trial, subscription

File size: 700 MB

Price: personal 1-year license ($69.95)

Our rating: 8/10

4. LibreOffice Impress

LibreOffice Impress is the slideshow maker tool for LibreOffice’s open-source suite of productivity software. It offers users five different view modes for each step of the presentation-making process and even has interesting built-in tools like The Fontworks which allows you to put together 2D and 3D images from text.

To make a slideshow, you can start with the outline mode and take it from there. And if you’re looking for help in the creativity department, you can easily download free LibreOffice Impress templates online.

Key Features:

  • Multiview options
  • Create 2D and 3D vectors out of text
  • Free templates

Pros:

  • Multiple viewing modes for easy step-by-step presentation making
  • Completely free to use

Cons:

  • Not an online app, making collaboration less efficient
  • Navigating all the features can take time to figure out

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

Licensing: Open source software

File size: 252 MB (for LibreOffice productivity suite)

Price: Free

Our rating: 7.5/10

5. Prezi

Prezi is a novel response to linear presentation software like PowerPoint. Originally a web application, Prezi Next allows you to create dynamic presentations offline.

Although creating a slideshow with Prezi involves a lot of the same types of selections (template, adding text and video, etc.), the way information moves from section to section on Prezi is where it really stands out.

Each presentation is displayed on a canvas, and rather than going from slide to slide, your presentation zooms in and out like the zoom on a camera when you’re ready to proceed to the next section. You can even easily add video and audio with Prezi’s recording software, allowing the creation of dynamic presentations that stand out from the norm.

Key Features:

  • Unique slide progression
  • Incorporates talking head video

Pros:

  • Different feel from standard slideshows, focuses on “the path” (transitions)
  • Easy to incorporate your own audio and video into a presentation, including talking-head videos
  • Range of modes to begin your canvas, providing ample customizability

Cons:

  • Limited collaboration within the app
  • Pricing is multi-tiered and it’s difficult to understand which features you may or may not need

OS: Windows 7, 8, 10, macOS 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

6. Slidebean

Slidebean was built for those of us who lack the graphic designer mindset. Once you add the content for your slideshow, Slidebean uses AI to rearrange that content in an aesthetic way.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to spice up your presentations and don’t care as much about customizability, Slidebean is an intriguing option.

Key Features:

  • AI automatically modifies your presentation for you
  • Range of templates
  • Aesthetic interface

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Attractive designs
  • Excels at creating pitch decks

Cons:

  • AI rearrangements might require adjustments
  • Some users have reported encountering minor bugs

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

7. CustomShow

CustomShow is enterprise presentation SaaS created with the intent of helping companies unite under a single aesthetic vision. After creating a presentation and uploading the desired media, users can make customized slides that employ shading effects on images, video backgrounds, and more.

This slideshow creator for Mac also allows users to simultaneously cast their presentations to multiple locations, making it particularly useful for large remote teams. And with web and mobile apps paired with a strong analytics foundation, there’s a lot of value to be drawn from this product by those serious about getting the most out of business presentation software.

Key Features:

  • Enterprise SaaS
  • Analytics integrations
  • Ideal for brand standardization

Pros:

  • Collaboration features make it particularly effective for larger companies
  • High level of customizability

Cons:

  • Not built with individual users in mind
  • Less user friendly than many other presentation software

OS: Cloud-based application

Licensing: Subscription

File size: N/A

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

Our rating: 8/10

8. FlowVella

FlowVella was built for interactive presentations – allowing presenters (or users, depending on the context) to seamlessly move amongst the images, videos, PDFs, and any other uploaded media content.

After you’ve entered the application, you can “create a flow” to begin the creation process.

This slideshow software for Mac has several interesting features, including “kiosk mode” for iPads, which lets other people interact with your presentation without being able to alter its content. Such a function allows you to leave an iPad out at your tradeshow booth or museum exhibit and let others interact with it safely.

Key Features:

  • "Kiosk" mode for tradeshows, museums, and more
  • Create "flows" of media

Pros:

  • Built with many types of users in mind
  • Intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Minor bugs in the app

OS: OS X and iOS

Licensing: Subscription

File size: N/A

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

Our rating: 8.5/10

9. Focusky

Focusky is a robust piece of slideshow software with an interface that will feel familiar for all veteran PowerPoint users. However, where it differentiates itself is its various customization features. For instance, it facilitates zooming in and out and other transition effects similar to Prezi (even though the creation flow is similar to PowerPoint).

Key Features:

  • Zoom transitions on slides
  • Collection of free media to use

Pros:

  • Large range of customization tools (5,000+ open-source vector icons and diagrams, object animation, wide array of templates)
  • Can publish presentations online on their cloud hosting service

Cons:

  • Some minor bugs involving effects on embedded videos

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

Licensing: Free trial, subscription, lifetime purchase

File size: 372 MB

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

Our rating: 9/10

10. Preview in Finder

If you’re a Mac user, you’ve probably used Preview without even realizing it. When you want to look at a screenshot or image you downloaded on your Mac, Preview opens the file for you. But did you know you can use Preview as a free slideshow app for Mac?

To get started, open each file you’d like to include in your presentation in the Preview application. Such files include JPEG, PNG, and even PDF. Once the files you want are opened, go to View and click on Slideshow.

Key Features:

  • Image viewer
  • Can view JPEG, PNG, PDF, and more

Pros:

  • Simple, on-the-fly concept
  • Make a presentation fast

Cons:

  • Lacks customization options, the media you provide is what you get

OS: macOS (Big Sur)

Licensing: Free for Mac users

File size: N/A

Price: Free

Our rating: 6.5/10

11. iMovie

Similar to Preview, iMovie is another Macintosh exclusive that wasn’t designed specifically for making an Apple slideshow but can still be used for such a purpose. Built with iOS and macOS integration in mind, it’s easy to see why some people have turned to this software to create more dynamic, video-based presentations and slideshow videos.

To get things moving, pick out the media you want, then add text, music, and anything else you need to round out your presentation. With video filters, green screen functions, and other cool video-related features, iMovie is great if you’re looking to present information in a dynamic, fun way.

Key Features:

  • Easy to move media between Apple products
  • Video-centric software

Pros:

  • Robust video editor
  • Cross-device integration for Apple products

Cons:

  • Less suitable for traditional slideshows

OS: iOS, macOS

Licensing: Free for Mac users

File size: 2.2 GB

Price: Free

Our rating: 7/10

12. Apple Photos

Apple’s Photos app, just like Preview, comes pre-installed on Mac computers, and it’s also the base photo application on iPhones and iPads. Taking photos and videos are set to upload on the cloud automatically, and then you can conveniently access them across any of your synced Apple devices.

Apple Photos provides two options for making a slideshow. First, you can make a slideshow solely comprising your photos, a theme, and music. Or if you want to go beyond that, it’s possible to create a slideshow project, which lets you include text and set the time between slides. Both are easy if your needs focus primarily on the visual aspect of presenting information.

Key Features:

  • Great for personal/family projects
  • Simple photo editing tools

Pros:

  • Lets you create custom calendars, cards, and photo books
  • Easy photo editing and slideshow creation

Cons:

  • Customization options are limited

OS: iOS, iPadOS, macOS

Licensing: Free for Mac users

File size: N/A

Price: Free

Our rating: 8/10

13. FotoMagico5

FotoMagico5 is a powerful presentation builder that lets users really dive into the finer details of a presentation. From adjusting audio to align it precisely with image and video transitions to high-resolution functionality, this software is particularly great for savvy computer users or professional photographers.

Each slide is visible on the bottom panel of the screen, making it easy to move from frame to frame and adjusting everything to your exact specifications.

Key Features:

  • Audio-transition alignment
  • High-resolution video and photo

Pros:

  • Customization options galore
  • 4K resolution video slides

Cons:

  • Occasional bugs reported by users

OS: macOS, iPadOS

Licensing: One-time purchase

File size: 371.5 MB

Price: $50/basic, $100/pro

Our rating: 8/10

14. HyperEngine AV

HyperEngine AV is video and slideshow-making software, perfect for making short introductory videos about a product, a YouTube clip, or dynamic slideshows. It features a "trackless" workspace which lets the user adjust an unlimited quantity of videos, audio files, images, and tracks of text.

Transitions between slides and video clips are created instantly after you drop one on top of another.

Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop images and video
  • Trackless workspace

Pros:

  • Drag and drop function makes transitions simple
  • Video editor with lots of text customization features

Cons:

  • Hasn’t received an update from its developer in almost a decade

OS: macOS X or higher

Licensing: Open-source software

File size: 11 MB

Price: Free

Our rating: 7/10

15. iDVD

iDVD is one of Apple’s older video-creation apps, popular among the home movie-making crowd. Facilitates the creation of widescreen DVDs with menus and ambient audio. To make your video, simply add a title, pick out a theme, and drag your uploaded video clips into the labeled boxes.

Key Features:

  • Fun for homemade videos (weddings, family reunions, etc.)
  • Rip DVDs of your creations

Pros:

  • Great video editor for homemade wedding videos
  • Widescreen video support

Cons:

  • Not supported on Apple’s newest operating systems

OS: macOS (pre-Catalina)

Licensing: Free for Mac owners

File size: 36.12 MB

Price: Free

Our rating: 7.5/10

16. JPEGDeux

JPEGDeux is software used to create image slideshows. Most users like it as an alternative to iPhotos, because it provides a more interesting way of displaying slides – whether you prefer them in window mode, a full-screen display, or in Dock mode.

There are some transition and customization options, but they are minor. Simply upload and organize your photos to create your slideshows.

Key Features:

  • Organize thousands of phone photos
  • Simple presentations

Pros:

  • Simple photo slideshows
  • Interesting option for dumping and organizing phone photos

Cons:

  • Lacks customization features
  • Not compatible with newer versions of macOS

OS: macOS X

Licensing: Open-source software

File size: 350 KB

Price: Free

Our rating: 8/10

17. Muvee Reveal Express for Mac

Muvee Reveal Express for Mac is a straightforward app that lets you quickly make a stunning picture slideshow paired to music. All you need to do is select the images you want (up to 50 per slideshow), pick a song you like on iTunes, and the app does the rest — matching transitions to the beat of the music and adding fun color filters and camera zooming.

Key Features:

  • Dual view of the media panel plus preview screen simplifies adjustments
  • Automatically analyzes media, adds default music and styling
  • Pacing button to adjust speed of slideshow

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Fun way to highlight iPhone photos

Cons:

  • Not very customizable

OS: macOS X 10.6.6 or later

Licensing: One-time purchase

File size: 33.8 MB

Price: $14.99

Our rating: 7/10

18. 4K Slideshow Maker

4K Slideshow Maker is what it says it is: a photo slideshow maker for Mac that lets you output slideshows in resolutions as high as Ultra 4K HD. Creating a slideshow is easy with this software, and you can quickly manipulate photos, add music, and even upload images directly from Instagram into your presentation.

Key Features:

  • Employs the Ken Burns video effect
  • Turn your presentations into YouTube videos

Pros:

  • Good video editor tool for beginners
  • Uses the Ken Burns effect
  • Slideshow can be easily turned into a YouTube video

Cons:

  • Customization is lacking

OS: macOS 10.13 and later, Linux, Windows

Licensing: Open-source software

File size: 29.7 MB

Price: Free

Our rating: 8.5/10

19. LightMV

LightMV is an app that lets users customize a wide range of media, but primarily leans toward video rather than still images. Video templates make it easy to get started, and then you just need to upload the media you want and add text.

Key Features:

  • Templates for most occasions
  • Save on iPhone, share on social media

Pros:

  • Provides template themes designed specifically for weddings and businesses
  • Perfect for a photo or video slideshow (or a combination)

Cons:

  • Free to download, but not to access your presentation

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

Conclusion

Whether you’re a businessperson looking to assemble impactful presentations, a parent hoping to create a nice slideshow for your upcoming family reunion, or an aspiring YouTuber in need of an effective video editor, there’s software on this list most suited to you. But for the most comprehensive, easy-to-use slideshow creation tool that meets the needs of all these demographics and is usable across all devices, we recommend Movavi Slideshow Maker.

Here’s a list of some of the top free slideshow makers for Mac and Windows, as well as the best software on the market overall:

ProgramOSProsConsPrice
Movavi Slideshow MakerWindows 7/8/10, macOSEasy to learn; high level of customization; try for free before purchasingWatermarks on slides until you purchase a licenseFree 7-day trial, personal 1-year license ($44.95 ), lifetime personal license ($64.95 )
KeynoteiOS, macOSSimple phone app for to-go editing; video embedding within slides; regular updatesLearning curve is bigger; Mac exclusiveFree (for new Mac laptops and desktops) or one-time purchase ($19.99)
Microsoft PowerPointmacOS, WindowsUbiquity means it's easy to Google solutions to your questions; familiarity (most people have used it at some point)Lacks dynamic elements (A-> B-> C)1-month free trial, 1-year license ($69.95)
LibreOffice ImpressMicrosoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSSimple navigation; open-source and kept up-to-dateManual collaboration only (not an online app)Free
PreziMicrosoft Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac OS X or higherDynamic transitions and presentation format; lots of customizationIn-app collaboration leaves much to be desired; pricing page is complicated$5, $15, or $59 per month based on a plan
SlidebeanWeb appSimple; aesthetic templates; popular for startups and entre­preneursOccasional bugs; AI modi­fications need adjustment sometimes$0 to $149 per month based on a plan
Custom­ShowWeb appExcels as team software; high degree of customizationNot built for single users; higher learning curve$29, $49, $69 per month based on a plan
FlowVella macOS X, iOS, iPadOSFor amateurs and professionals; straight­forward interfaceSmall bugs here and there$10 or $20 per month based on a plan, enterprise option
FocusSkyWindows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP; macOSLarge range of open-source design elements; online publishing of presentationsUsers have encountered issues with certain features like video embedding$0, $9.9,or $99 per month based on a plan, $399 lifetime
Preview in FindermacOS (Big Sur)Convenient (already on your Mac); straight-forward processNot much to customize, focuses on image displayFree for Mac users
iMovieiOS, macOSExcels at video editing; current app, still updatedLacks image editing features and slide customizationFree for Mac users
Apple PhotosiOS, iPadOS, macOSEasy to make slideshows; sharing photos also easyNot robust softwareFree for Mac users
FotoMagico 5macOS, iPadOSMany customization tools; simple navigationWorking out small bugsBasic ($50), pro ($100)
HyperEngine AVmacOS XSimple interface for beginners; strong video editing capabilitiesNo longer being updatedFree
iDVD macOS (pre-Catalina)Widescreen video support; Apple integratedNo longer supported on CatalinaFree
JPEGDeux macOS XBasic tool (so easy to master); alternative to letting your digital photos lie aroundCan't tweak much within the softwareFree
Muvee Reveal Express macOS X 10.6.6 or laterPlug-and-play; clean interfaceLacking customization$14.99
4K Slideshow MakermacOS 10.13 and later, Linux, Microsoft WindowsBuilt with beginners in mind; Instagram compatibleLacking customizationFree
LightMVAndroid, Microsoft Windows, iOS, macOSAesthetic, modern templates; quickly add text to images or videoSoftware says it's free, but must pay to get your presentation after making it$29 per month, $39 per 3 months, $299 per year
 

Movavi Slideshow Maker

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

  • Create a slideshow with music in 3 simple steps
  • Join slides with dynamic transitions
  • Add stylish animated titles
  • Adjust color, enhance picture quality