20 BEST slideshow makers in 2021 [free/paid]

Edited by Nataly Bogorad

July 22, 2021

Slideshows can be useful in both our personal and professional lives. They can allow you to show off your vacation photos to family and friends in a fun way, for example, or maybe used by businessmen and women to show off ideas or by teachers to present information in an easy-to-follow format.

Whatever reason you have for making a slideshow, you'll need to find the best slideshow maker to help. The best slideshow software makes it really easy to create fun, attractive, engaging slideshows to share with friends, family, colleagues, students, and others.

If you're looking for the best photos slideshow software or the best slideshow creator, this guide will help. We'll cover no less than 20 examples of programs and applications you can use for making high-quality, professional slideshows with ease.

Comparing the best slideshow software

Software

OS

Price

Rating

Movavi Slideshow MakerWindows, macOS$44.954.5/5
FastreelAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $5.954.5/5
Adobe® Spark®Windows, macOS, Android, iOSFree version, premium from $9.994.5/5
PhotoStage Slideshow SoftwareWindowsFree version, premium from $24.994/5
MAGIX Photostory DeluxeWindowsFree version, premium from $49.994/5
Icecream Slideshow MakerWindowsFree version, premium from $19.954.5/5
Slidely ShowAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $394.5/5
Ashampoo Slideshow Studio HD 4WindowsFree version, premium from $9.994/5
PTE AV Studio 10Windows, macOSFree version, premium from $754/5
SmartSHOW 3DWindowsFree trial, full version from $29.954/5
4K Slideshow MakerWindows, macOS, LinuxFree version, premium from $9.954.5/5
AnimotoAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $154.5/5
FlexClipAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $5.994.5/5
Free Bolide Slideshow CreatorWindowsFree4/5
Gilisoft Slideshow MakerWindowsFree version, premium from $39.954/5
KapwingAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $174.5/5
KizoaAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $29.994/5
RenderforestAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $6.994.5/5
Roxio PhotoshowWindowsFrom $79.993.5/5
SlideLabAny (web-based)Free version, premium from $4.994/5

Best photo slideshow software

For those looking for a quality slideshow maker app to use on Windows 10 or Mac, Movavi Slideshow Maker is a great choice. Available with a free trial to let you try before you buy, this easy-to-use slideshow creator comes with a full Slideshow Wizard to help beginners, many pre-made templates you can use, 165+ visual effects and filters, music functionality, and more.

Pros:

  • Hundreds of effects, filters, transitions, and more
  • Slideshow Wizard makes it easy to create professional-looking slideshows
  • Suitable for all ability levels

Cons:

  • The free version is limited

Adobe® Spark® is a multifunctional, versatile program you can use for making presentations, as well as collages, graphics, animations, and more. It's highly functional, working well with other Adobe programs, and offers mobile compatibility for users who want to make, view, or edit presentations with no watermark on mobile devices like iPhone, as well as on PC and Mac. Adobe® Spark® also offers pre-made templates, as well as thousands of free images and icons to add to your presentations and designs.

Pros:

  • A dynamic and versatile animator and a presentation creator
  • Works flawlessly with other Adobe programs
  • No watermarks or ads to worry about

Cons:

  • Free version is quite limited

Those looking for the best way to make slideshows on their devices will enjoy PhotoStage Slideshow Software. This program works on Windows devices and is aimed at beginner to intermediate level users. It comes with an easy-to-use Slideshow Wizard feature for adding themes, slides, and soundtracks, as well as image editing tools, special effects, transitions, and filters, the ability to add your own music and soundtracks with song files, and built-in DVD HD video authoring and YouTube sharing too.

Pros:

  • Quick and easy slideshow creation
  • Soundtrack and music features make it easy to create slideshows with music
  • Useful Slideshow Wizard for beginners

Cons:

  • Advanced users might find the interface a little simple

If you want to know how to make animated, professional slideshows with your pictures and videos, MAGIX Photostory Deluxe can help. This is one of the easiest ways to make high-quality slideshows and create collage files, with built-in editing features to enhance your images in various ways, as well as the option to animate your slideshows with videos and clips. You can also add audio in the form of music and sound effects, as well as enjoying around 1,500 built-in effects, 200+ decorative elements, and 100+ pre-designed templates.

Pros:

  • Countless built-in effects, templates, and decorations
  • Editor features to enhance clips and images
  • Create professional-grade slideshows for personal or pro use

Cons:

  • Doesn't support GIFs and certain other file formats

Icecream Slideshow Maker is another slideshow creator tool you can use on Windows devices. It has a free version, as well as a professional version with added features. You can use this slideshow maker to make pro-level slideshows in a matter of minutes, and it doesn't require much technical knowledge or expertise to get started. So beginners will find a lot to love about this tool, and more advanced users can take advantage of its editing tools, transition effects, and other bonuses like audio file support to create the best possible presentations.

Pros:

  • Very beginner-friendly with a simple user interface
  • Positive review scores and good user ratings online
  • Supports audio to enhance your slideshows

Cons:

  • Not as many features and transitions as other generators

If you’re looking for a handy online option, here’s Fastreel by Movavi. It combines a powerful video editor with a simple slideshow creator on an online platform accessible from any device. The simple interface lets you add transitions and set the duration of each slide in a few clicks. For your music options, you can upload a file from your device or choose a tune from the Music Collection.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface lets you make a slideshow in a few clicks
  • A built-in music library
  • More video editing features for advanced users

Cons:

  • Downloading the result requires creating an account

Slidely Show is an online video and slideshow maker, so it has the advantage of not requiring any downloads or installations. You can try it out for free or upgrade to a premium account in order to get the full functionality. Users can enjoy thousands of templates, advanced features like animated text, millions of clips and pictures to use on your slideshows, and more.

Pros:

  • Create slideshows online via a website, with no downloads needed
  • Thousands of top quality pre-made templates to choose from
  • Flexible payment plans to suit each user

Cons:

  • Can be quite expensive
  • Requires an online connection and web access to use

Whether you want to make a slideshow of your wedding photos to show off to your friends or put together a business presentation for your colleagues at the office, Ashampoo Slideshow Studio HD 4 is a great digital tool to use. It's highly affordable and efficient, with an automatic instant Wizard feature for making slideshows really fast, as well as lots of templates, transitions, and effects to play around with, plus support for mobile devices and gaming consoles too.

Pros:

  • Superfast creation times
  • Easy to use wizards
  • Support for many file formats and high definition resolutions up to 4K

Cons:

  • Some features and functions are difficult to understand

For photographers, creatives, and other professionals, as well as home users too, PTE AV Studio 10 is another top quality tool you can use to make slideshows with ease on either Windows or Mac devices. Featuring over 125 different slide styles, themes, and transitions too, along with support for text captions, animations, audio, keyframing, and built-in editing, this slideshow maker really allows users to get creative.

Pros:

  • Lots of filters and special effects to use
  • User-friendly interface for beginners and advanced users alike
  • Works well for both professional and personal use

Cons:

  • Free trial is limited
  • Premium price is quite high

SmartSHOW 3D is a modern, user-friendly slideshow maker that lets users make stunning 3D movies out of their own image, video, and audio files. You can use many different file formats to put your animated slideshow together, choosing from over 600 different templates and effects to get started. You can also use SmartSHOW 3D to create collages, title clips, captions, and more, as well as adjusting the audio with more than 200 free music tracks.

Pros:

  • Hundreds of templates and effects
  • Very easy to use and suitable for beginners
  • Lots of advanced features to make one of a kind presentations

Cons:

  • Processing times can be slow on certain devices

As the name implies, 4K Slideshow Maker is a high-quality slideshow creator that can work with high-resolution files and formats, all the way up to 4K. It can allow you to create top-quality slideshows with exciting music, bold effects, and various preset templates too. It also offers direct sharing to social media sites like Facebook, ideal for content creators and other professionals.

Pros:

  • Save high-quality slideshows in 1800p or 4K
  • Supports many popular file formats
  • Works on all three major platforms

Cons:

  • Some interface elements are awkwardly designed

Animoto is a free-to-use online video maker that can also be used for crafting your own unique slideshows. It features a drag and drop system, which makes it really easy to add images and videos, as desired, as well as many different slide themes, formats, and styles. You can choose from a long list of transition types too, in order to really make your slideshow stand out from the crowd, and you can access the Animoto licensed music library to enhance your slideshow from an audio perspective as well.

Pros:

  • A huge image, video, and music library to make use of
  • Plenty of features and functionality are included in the free version
  • Easy to use online, with no need for downloads or installations

Cons:

  • Requires an internet connection to access and use
  • Processing times can be slow, depending on your connection speeds

FlexClip is a free online video and slideshow maker. It offers a simple drag and drop system, letting users upload photos from any device in a matter of minutes and start putting together slideshows, offering support for all popular image file formats like PNG, JPG, WEBP, and SVG. You can add text, music, and special effects to your slideshows to make them more enjoyable and attractive, and FlexClip comes with over 60 preset transitions like Fade, Wipe, Zoom, and more. There are text animations too with FlexClip, as well as customizable music selections and templates to get started.

Pros:

  • Dozens of transitions
  • Easy to use online in your favorite browser
  • Create slideshows in minutes

Cons:

  • Requires internet connection to use

If you're looking for a completely free slideshow creator you can download today and start using on any Windows XP, 7, 8, or 10 devices, Free Bolide Slideshow Creator is what you need. A lightweight and simple to use tool, Free Bolide Slideshow Creator is totally free for all, without any ads, watermarks, viruses, or spyware included, so you can download and install it risk-free. Since it's a 100% free piece of software, it's quite rudimentary and lacks some of the advanced features, filters, and transitions of other tools on the market, but it's great for making basic slideshows quickly and easily.

Pros:

  • Quick and simple
  • Totally free to use
  • No ads or watermarks

Cons:

  • Quite basic
  • Lacks features

Gilisoft Slideshow Maker is a dynamic slideshow maker you can use on Windows computers and laptops to make attractive, engaging slideshows. The key aspect of this slideshow creator that helps it stand out from the crowd is its sharing features; Gilisoft Slideshow Maker features built-in sharing functionalities, letting you share your slideshows with other users across different devices and sharing sites like YouTube and Facebook. It supports music, features 2D and 3D transitions, and works with all popular formats too.

Pros:

  • Great sharing features
  • Well-suited to content creators
  • Plenty of great transitions

Cons:

  • Lacks some of the advanced editing tools of other creators

Kapwing is another online slideshow maker you can use across many different devices to create fun, exciting slideshows for personal or professional use. You can use it for free after making an account, without any watermarks, but there are file size limits of 250MB, or you can upgrade to a professional or business account for more features and functionalities. Whatever option you choose, Kapwing is a simple-to-use tool with a really user-friendly interface.

Pros:

  • Free version has no watermarks
  • Beginner-friendly user interface
  • No downloads or installations required

Cons:

  • Free version has file size limits
  • High monthly fees for premium members

17. Kizoa

Kizoa is an online slideshow maker you can use for free or pay a premium monthly membership to get access to extra features and tools. It allows you to make your slideshow in no less than seven different formats to suit all screen sizes and devices, with an intelligent cropping tool that helps you preserve the quality and content of your images while adjusting them to different sizes. It also comes with hundreds of templates and special effects that you can use to enhance your slides, perfect for making slideshows for special occasions like weddings, graduations, birthdays, and other celebrations too.

Pros:

  • Hundreds of special effects
  • Great for special occasion slideshows
  • Free version has a lot to offer

Cons:

  • Can be a bit tricky for beginners
  • Requires an active internet connection to use

Renderforest is yet another online tool you can use to make slideshows on the fly directly via your internet browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. It's usable for free, but you only get to store 300MB of files on your free account, so you might have to pay a monthly fee and upgrade to premium membership if you want to make longer and more elaborate presentations with high-definition content. Renderforest is well-suited for both personal and business use, with lots of customizable templates to get you started, several different aspect ratios, special effects and transitions, animated titles, and more.

Pros:

  • Well-suited to business use
  • Good for beginners, with plenty of pre-made templates
  • Can be used for free for making short, simple slideshows

Cons:

  • Requires active internet connection
  • Free version is limited to 300 MB of data

Roxio Photoshow is a Windows-based slideshow maker that can also be used for CD and DVD burning and as a fully-featured multimedia suite. You'll have to pay a high price for this piece of software, but it can be used in a lot of different ways and supports countless formats. It lets you create smart slideshows with ease in a matter of minutes and share your creations directly to social media or burn them onto discs.

Pros:

  • A fully-featured media suite featuring 20 different apps
  • Can be used for lots of multimedia purposes
  • Create smart slideshows in minutes

Cons:

  • Big download file takes up a lot of space on your hard drive
  • High price tag

SlideLab is a modern, minimalistic slideshow and presentation creator you can use online. It has a really well-designed user interface and lots of great features that will appeal to intermediate and advanced users but can be a little tricky for beginners who are just getting started. You can use it to create edgy, engaging slideshows with stylish transitions and then export them in PDF or PPTX formats to open and use in other programs like PowerPoint and Open Office.

Pros:

  • Stylish user interface
  • Great for advanced users
  • Free version offers plenty of functionality

Cons:

  • Beginners might be confused by the UI

How to choose the best slideshow creator

Here are the key points to consider when choosing the program for creating slideshows.

  • Supported platforms. Before downloading an app, make sure that it’s compatible with your operating system.
  • Available features. Keep in mind that some programs offer a limited set of tools. Check beforehand if the app you want to purchase includes all the tools and features you need.
  • User interface. Interfaces of some apps may look confusing for an inexperienced user. So if you’ve never used a slideshow program before, it’s recommended to choose one with an intuitive interface.
  • Budget. If you need to create just a single slideshow and don’t need any advanced features, consider using a free app or an online slideshow-making tool. For professional needs, it’s better to purchase powerful software.

Summary

Making a slideshow doesn't have to be hard or confusing, and as this list shows, there are plenty of great slideshow maker programs you can download and start using today to make slideshows whenever you need to. Be sure to keep certain factors in mind, like ease-of-use, features, compatibility, and ratings when choosing your next slideshow maker in order to find one that suits your needs perfectly.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best free slideshow maker?

  • Thundersoft Free Slideshow Maker
  • Free Bolide Slideshow Creator
  • iMovie
  • NCH PhotoStage Slideshow Software
  • Focusky

You can find the complete list of the best free slideshow makers following the link below:

What is the best slideshow app?

If you’re looking for a slideshow app for your Android or iOS device, try using Movavi Clips – an easy-to-use slideshow maker app for creating unique slideshows with your photos and music. You can also check out our review of the best slideshow apps for iOS and Android.

How do you make a slideshow with music?

To learn how to create a slideshow with music, follow our step-by-step guide below.

Where do you get royalty-free music for a slideshow?

You can find royalty-free music on stock music sites or use software with a built-in music library, such as Movavi Slideshow Maker. Click the link below to learn how to choose music in Movavi Slideshow Maker.

What is the best slideshow maker with music?

There are many great slideshow makers with music you can use to add songs and tracks to your slideshows, like Movavi Slideshow Maker, SmartSHOW 3D, and MAGIX PhotoStory Deluxe.

What is the best free slideshow maker for Windows 10?

You have to pay for many of the best slideshow makers on Windows 10, but there are some highly-rated free options out there like Kizoa or the free trial of Movavi Slideshow Maker.

Nataly Bogorad

Nataly Bogorad is a seasoned content creator and web text editor with 7 years of experience in commercial writing and website UX. In 2012, she graduated from Universität Kassel with a bachelor of arts degree in English and American studies and art criticism. At the same time, Nataly had worked as a project assistant for Regionalmanagement Nordhessen GmbH where she wrote and managed the content of the company website. An advanced speaker of English and German, she specializes in writing SEO-optimized and user-friendly content.