Keynote or PowerPoint – which one to choose?

Consider the following points:

  • User interface
  • Multimedia compatibility
  • Compatability with your operating system
  • Price point

Edited by Nataly Bogorad

January 15, 2020

Keynote vs. PowerPoint: Which Presentation App is Better?

If you are planning to create a presentation for your boss or slides for a talk with your peers, you need the right program to make your work easier. Choosing the best platform compatible with your device may not be such a big deal because you have only two heavyweights in the field: Keynote, the Apple PowerPoint equivalent, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint.

So, how do you choose between Keynote and PowerPoint?

The PowerPoint vs. Keynote Contest: Which is the Better App?

This contest can get a little tricky especially if you are using a Mac. To determine the better app for your presentations, you need to know similarities and the difference between Keynote and PowerPoint. Well, both have a set of tools, themes, and templates to make your presentation easier. They also let you create autorun or manual slides in which you can incorporate music, images, and videos.

Nevertheless, the two most popular presentation platforms have one key difference – and it may just be the game-changer. While both are compatible with Apple devices, Keynote doesn't work on Windows. Technically speaking, if your device is Windows-based, you can as well kiss Keynote goodbye. But the Keynote vs. PowerPoint battle rages on for Mac users or if you have a device on each of the platforms.

Here is an in-depth analysis of each program to help you determine whether you should go for Keynote or PowerPoint.


Is Keynote better than PowerPoint? This question begs for the attention of Mac users with the two software on their iOS systems. To determine the strength of the Apple version of PowerPoint, you have to delve into its features to see how it compares with its Microsoft counterpart.

Keynote allows you to make powerful and fascinating presentations without employing a lot of design capabilities. You don't need to be a professional to use Keynote to create high-quality slide shows. Boasting of easy and intuitive tools, Keynote features a slide navigator with options to create and edit new slides in different layouts, fonts, and animations. The Apple PowerPoint equivalent also allows you to import presentations from other software.


  • User-friendly: You won't need technical knowledge to create professional presentations using this software.
  • A variety of great design themes: Experiment with different designs to create any presentation for different purposes.
  • Multimedia compatibility: Keynote supports most media types such as images, sounds, videos, as well as texts.
  • Integration across devices: Quite convenient for users on the move. Start your presentation on the desktop, and continue working on it on your way to work on your iPhone.
  • Simple setup: You can easily align and position your objects and texts to achieve a professional or spectacular design.
  • Cost-free: This software is free on all iOS devices. No annoying reminders that your subscription is due, or irritating ads of one-time offers.
  • Photo manipulation tools: Don't require third-party software for editing your photos. You can crop, adjust brightness and contrast, and adjust size without leaving Keynote.
  • Aesthetic appearance: user interface looks more polished than a standard slide deck.
  • Many animations, transparency and transition effects to add color to your presentations.


  • Only compatible with Mac and iOS devices; hence, denying Windows users the chance to experience its great features. Remember iOS devices are always more expensive than compared to Windows or other platforms.
  • No support for some 3D effects: If you are importing slides from PowerPoint, you may lose 3D effects.
  • The learning curve for those new to the platform.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Perhaps one of the most popular and oldest presentation software today is Microsoft Office PowerPoint. It comes bundled with the Office suite, or as an independent entity downloadable from the Microsoft site. When it comes to the PowerPoint vs. Keynote battle, the biggest consideration is the ease of use.

Originally designed for Windows computer, PowerPoint now works on iOS as well. While the ability to work on both platforms may give it an edge over Keynote, it has certain critical limitations not found in its iOS counterpart. You won't do much with it away from your desktop, unlike Keynote which works on mobile devices as well.


  • Most familiar software: It's been around since the days of Microsoft Office Suite, which has since morphed into Office 365, hence familiar to most people.
  • Plenty of themes: Boasts of thousands of themes and templates, in addition to default add-ons and options.
  • Easy to use: You can accomplish almost everything by dragging and dropping. Simple interface lets you create and customize your slides any way you wish.
  • Integration with other Microsoft elements: Add Word or Excel documents to your slideshow with ease.
  • Smart design suggestions: You can avoid the rigid template and customize your slides by following smart prompts from the software.


  • Challenges with multimedia content: You may experience flaky multimedia content, especially if you present from a different device from the one that created it.
  • Problems with editing photos: Cropping or applying particular edits to your pictures can be quite challenging, especially for the uninitiated.
  • No longer free: Microsoft stopped bundling it with the Office Suite; hence, you have to buy it as a separate addition to your Office.
  • Has several features that you would never use because you don't know what they are meant to do.

Keynote vs. PowerPoint: Way Forward

It is not a simple deciding the winner of the Keynote vs. PowerPoint contest. Each of these apps has its great features and advantages over the other. Similarly, each has problems the other doesn't experience.

Here are some guidelines to help in the PowerPoint vs. Keynote debate.

When to use Keynote

Choose Keynote if you have an iOS device because this software is not compatible with Windows. Also, if you want presentations that don't look like PowerPoints, then Keynote is definitely for you. You can also settle for this software if you don't wish to spend any more money because it is free with your iOS device. Plus, it is easy to use and features plenty of tools and options for creating outstanding slideshows.

If you won't be using large amounts of data, and have a Mac or any other Apple device, choose Keynote over PowerPoint. The simplicity of Keynote should help you create powerful slideshows without necessarily deploying professional expertise.

When to choose PowerPoint

If you have no iOS device, you are stuck with PowerPoint. It is also the best option if you are collaborating with others to create multiple slides for the presentation. It should also be your go-to option if you will be integrating complex data such as charts and graphs into your slides because it works with Microsoft Word and Excel seamlessly.

Users working in a non-iOS environment would find PowerPoint an attractive option due to its ability to integrate large amounts of data. Also, it allows the importation of materials from other software; hence, adding a professional edge to your presentations.

The Keynote vs. PowerPoint debate isn't one you can easily put to rest. However, you can always choose Keynote or PowerPoint depending on the complexity of the data you will be integrating into your presentations. Whichever choice you make, be sure to find a good slide show maker such as Movavi Slideshow Maker to produce sleek presentations.


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