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Comparison chart – PowerPoint and Prezi

March 22, 2011

When Prezi first arrived, there was a lot of debate about whether it was better or worse than PowerPoint. That’s like arguing over whether a barbecue grill is better than a toaster oven; they both have strengths and limitations. The answer to which is better is situational; it depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

During the initial excitement phase, many people sounded like they were ready throw out PowerPoint with the bath water. Detractors on the other end of the spectrum wrote off Prezi too early, before it had a chance to expand its feature set and support pages. Now, cooler heads have begun to prevail.

If you are considering which tool to use for your next presentation, it might be helpful to see how the features of these two compare. What are the key differences? The chart below may help; my goal was to be objective and thorough, yet compact.

Please leave comments to let me know about errors, exaggerations, or omissions. I will try to keep it updated. [updated 3/14/13]

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2011 6:42 pm

    Thanks, Chris — this is very helpful. Now you need to make a Prezi presentation of the differences! :)

  2. March 23, 2011 2:17 am

    Great information. It might be useful to know you can also combine PowerPoint and Prezi and maybe get the best of both worlds

  3. September 11, 2011 12:21 pm

    I just learned to use prezi and I love it – it allows for a whole-part-whole, more flexible approach which we right brainers love. However, most of us are poor spellers and I don’t think prezi has spell check…

  4. December 8, 2011 10:18 am

    You forgot to mention that the web-based Prezi allows collaborative real-time editing whereas PowerPoint does not.

  5. July 31, 2012 2:37 pm

    there are several ways how you can display the difference between two data series. The obvious way is to create a standard bar chart with multiple series. But that does not work when you want to display a large number of data series. To really get your message accross to your audience, you need some more sophisticated visualisations.
    Take a look at this tutorial (free download included) about new ways to visualize multiple data series:

  6. April 25, 2013 3:21 pm

    This is very useful! Good that you have a CC license, but why do I then have to sign up for a paid Scribd account in order to download a copy? I would love to use this as a handout or embed it in a presentation. Could you make download free? Thanks!

  7. Chris Clark permalink*
    April 25, 2013 5:21 pm

    You don’t need a paid “premium” account. A free regular account will do the trick or you can log in with FaceBook.

  8. steve esson permalink
    December 6, 2013 8:29 am

    Powerpoint does not have to save as a local .ppt file and Mr Melvin Whitehead is wrong with his Prezi propaganda. Powerpoint is part of microsoft office and so is Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server. So, you can save your powerpoint presentation to a website and collaborate in editing it in real time in a browser just like you can with Excel spreadsheets and MS-Project files. The websites can also be setup for free using Sharepoint foundation.

    The lack of knowledge of the role sharepoint plays in MS-Office has led to much trumpeting of Prezis unique ability to collaborate on the web when in fact you could already do this is MS-Office products including powerpoint for years before Prezi was even invented.

  9. Chris Clark permalink*
    December 6, 2013 9:12 am

    Steve, thanks for your comment.

    Like many higher ed faculty members, I’m primarily a Mac user. I know that many Sharepoint features are not available on a Mac. Does that affect your scenario?

    This post is about comparing tools. To be clear, the real-time PowerPoint collaboration you describe requires access to a Sharepoint server. Nothing extra is required for Prezi collaboration.

    I believe people should not think of the Powerpoint-Prezi comparison as an either-or question. Each is good for certain things. If I prefer pencils, I don’t automatically have to stop using pens. The fact that I can easily erase pencil marks is useful if I’m drawing, but problematic if I’m signing a contract.

    FYI. I like Prezi, but I primarily use PowerPoint or Keynote.

  10. September 9, 2014 4:25 am

    The public account in Prezi is great because it allows many people to learn this amazing tool, but it has some limitations. All presentations are public, so it is not possible to put there confidential data. Second one is, that on all slides you have a Prezi logo in the left side of slides. Anyway it is quite easy to design presentation. If you don’t have an idea how to build the template you can also buy Prezi templates in online store


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