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How to Use PowerPoint on Mac (Step-By-Step Guide)

October 18, 2023 840 views

PowerPoint is an indispensable tool for creating, editing, and formatting slides. It is widely used for work, study, and personal projects. However, not everyone knows how to download and use PowerPoint on Mac OS. This article will walk you through the steps of downloading and using PowerPoint on a Mac and two other free and built-in presentation editors: WPS Presentation and Keynote.

Why Do You Need PowerPoint on a Mac?

PowerPoint is a presentation software that allows you to create and deliver engaging presentations. It offers various features, including adding text, images, videos, charts, and graphs to your slides. You can also customize the look and feel of your presentations using themes, templates, and fonts.

PowerPoint on Mac interface

PowerPoint on Mac interface

What is PowerPoint used for?

PowerPoint is used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Business presentations: PowerPoint is commonly used to deliver business presentations to clients, colleagues, and investors.

  • Educational presentations: PowerPoint is also used to create educational presentations for students of all ages.

  • Personal presentations: PowerPoint can also be used to create personal presentations, such as wedding slideshows and travel photo presentations.

Alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint

While PowerPoint is the most popular presentation software, there are several other alternatives available, including:

  • WPS Presentation: WPS Presentation is a free and open-source presentation editor that is compatible with PowerPoint files.

  • Keynote: Keynote is a built-in presentation editor for Mac users. It offers a variety of features, including templates, themes, and transitions.

How to download WPS Presentation on Mac?

WPS Presentation is a free presentation app for Mac offered by WPS Office. With a streamlined interface and handy tools, it makes an excellent PowerPoint alternative.

WPS Presentation on Mac homepage

WPS Presentation on Mac homepage

Users often choose WPS Presentation to create simple slide decks quickly. The drag-and-drop flexibility when inserting charts or arranging objects helps speed up their workflow.

WPS Presentation stands out with these key features:

  • Intuitive editing tools similar to PowerPoint

  • Thousands of free templates

  • Ability to export PPT and PPTX files

  • PDF converter and editor

  • Cloud sync and multi-device support

To download the WPS Presentation on your Mac:

Step 1: Go to https://www.wps.com/download/

Step 2: Click on the Free Download button in WPS Office for Mac box

download wps office for mac

download wps office for mac

Step 3: Indicate the download location and click Save.

download WPS Office Installer for mac

download WPS Office Installer for mac

Step 4: Double-click the “.zip” installer file to extract WPS Office Installer once the download completes.

extract WPS Office Installer for mac

extract WPS Office Installer for mac

Step 5: Open WPS Office Installer, then click Open.

open WPS Office Installer for mac

open WPS Office Installer for mac

Step 6: Click Install Now, then follow the instructions on installing WPS Office and related apps like Presentation.

Install WPS Presentation for mac

Install WPS Presentation for mac

After installation, you can find WPS Presentation conveniently in your Applications folder or Launchpad. Its clean interface will be familiar to PowerPoint users, with menus for Home, Insert, Design, Transitions, and more.

WPS Presentation on Mac interface

WPS Presentation on Mac interface

How to download Microsoft PowerPoint on Mac?

Here is a step-by-step walkthrough with pictures on how to download PowerPoint for Mac using the App Store:

Step 1: Open the App Store on your Mac.

App Store Icon on Mac Launcher

App Store Icon on Mac Launcher

Step 2: In the search bar at the top right, type in "PowerPoint" and press Return.

App Store Search Bar

App Store Search Bar

Step 3: The Microsoft PowerPoint app should appear as the first result. Click on the Get button and then Install.

 Get and Install App Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac OS

Get and Install App Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac OS

Step 4: You'll see a progress bar as PowerPoint downloads. After it finishes, you'll find it in your Applications folder.

Download PowerPoint for Mac for free

Download PowerPoint for Mac for free

Step 5: Open PowerPoint and sign in with your Microsoft account or create a new free account to use it.

 Microsoft PowerPoint on Mac homepage

Microsoft PowerPoint on Mac homepage

After opening PowerPoint, you can pick from a wide selection of templates to create your first presentation!

How to Use the Built-in Mac Keynote?

Mac users can also access the powerful Keynote app built into Apple's iWork suite. With its intuitive interface and gorgeous themes, Keynote makes creating beautiful slides on a Mac easy.

Keynote on Mac OS

Keynote on Mac OS

Image’s link: https://www.thegioididong.com/hoi-dap/keynote-la-gi-cach-su-dung-keynote-tren-iphone-macbook-chi-1359032

I like using Keynote when I want to assemble visually impressive presentations quickly. The animated builds and transitions between slides keep audiences engaged.

Standout features of Keynote:

  • Pre-built themes with elegant animations

  • Drag-and-drop image/chart insertion

  • Tools for flowcharts, diagrams, and shapes

  • Record presenter narration and timings

  • Easy sharing via iCloud or Apple TV

Steps to create and edit a new slide in Keynote:

Follow these steps to begin a new presentation in Keynote:

Step 1: Open Keynote from your Applications folder or Launchpad.


Open Keynote

Open Keynote

Step 2: Click New Document to access the Keynote homepage.

Create a new Keynote file

Create a new Keynote file

Step 3: Double-click the desired slide layout to insert a new one.


Insert a new Keynote slide

Insert a new Keynote slide

Step 4: Customize the slide by adding a title, text, images, and other media.

Customize a Keynote slide

Customize a Keynote slide

Step 5: To add more slides, click Add Slide.

Add more slides to a Keynote presentation

Add more slides to a Keynote presentation

Step 6: Click the Play button in the top toolbar to present the slides

Present a Keynote presentation

Present a Keynote presentation

With just a few clicks, you can create amazing-looking presentations through Keynote's simplicity and built-in Apple polish.

Practical Tips for Using Keynote on Mac

  • To add a slide transition effect, select the slide from the slide navigator on the left, then click on the Animate tab in the window's top-right corner. Choose the Action option and click on the Add an Effect button. You can select from over a dozen effects and customize their duration, direction, and start time.

 Add slide transition effect in keynote

Add slide transition effect in keynote

  • To animate individual objects on the slides, select the objects and go to Animate > Build In > Add an Effect. You can preview the effect and change its order, timing, and delivery. You can also use the Build Out option to animate how objects disappear from the slides.

  • To use Magic Move, duplicate a slide and change the position of the objects on both slides. Then select the first slide and choose Magic Move from the Add an Effect menu. Keynote will automatically create a smooth animation between the two slides. You can adjust the duration and other options as well.

Magic move transition effect in keynote

Magic move transition effect in keynote

  • To edit your slide layouts, go to View > Edit Slide Layouts. You can add, delete, or modify any slide layout to suit your needs. You can also change your presentation's theme, background, and color scheme.

edit slide layouts in keynote

edit slide layouts in keynote

  • To customize your toolbar, go to View > Customize Toolbar. You can drag and drop any tool you want to add or remove from the toolbar. You can also choose between icon-only, text-only, or icon-and-text modes.

 Customize Toolbar dialogue box in Keynote.

Customize Toolbar dialogue box in Keynote.

  • To use action buttons for shapes in Keynote, select a shape and go to Format > Add Link > Slide. You can choose which slide to link to or use the Next Slide or Previous Slide options. This way, you can create interactive presentations that let you jump around different slides with a click.

action buttons for shapes in Keynote.

action buttons for shapes in Keynote.

  • To access a variety of chart styles, simply click the Chart button on the toolbar or navigate to Insert > Chart in the menu bar. You'll find a wide range of styles, including 2D, 3D, and Interactive options.

 create a chart in Keynote

create a chart in Keynote

What are the Differences between PowerPoint on Mac and PowerPoint on Windows?

While PowerPoint on Mac retains most core features from the Windows version, there are some critical differences in how specific tools work:

  • The user interface follows Mac design language instead of the Windows ribbon

  • Animations and transitions have fewer effects options on Mac

  • Saving as older PPT formats may cause formatting changes

  • Linked media like charts can break when moving files cross-platform

  • Mac menus lack certain administration tools for managing templates

Some other limitations include:

  • Occasional font compatibility issues

  • Differences in default autocorrect/styling behavior

  • Variation in how slide masters/layouts are handled

  • Mac PPT files render slightly differently in Windows

However, the web-based PowerPoint for Office 365 helps mitigate most cross-platform issues. But keeping the above differences in mind can help avoid headaches when collaborating between Mac and PC.

Practical Skills for Using PowerPoint on Mac

To start mastering PowerPoint on your Mac, try out these handy tips:

  • Use keyboard shortcuts like Command + M to quickly add slides from the master view

  • Right-click on objects like charts to open formatting options

  • Hide slides rather than deleting them in case you need them again later

  • Use section breaks in the slide sorter view to divide related slides into groups

  • Align or distribute objects under the Format menu to cleanly organize elements

  • Adjust video playback quality under Playback to optimize performance

  • Enable Auto Save and Auto Recover to prevent data loss from unexpected shutdowns

  • Use Notes Page view to add detailed presenter notes to each slide

  • Click the Record Slide Show button to record timings and narration for the presentation

  • To deliver a presentation in PowerPoint on Mac, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + F5 to start a slide show.

With PowerPoint's robust set of features tailored for Mac, you can create and deliver polished presentations efficiently.

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FAQs:

Can I use PowerPoint on Mac for free?

Yes, you can access PowerPoint for free on a Mac through the online Office web apps or via a 30-day trial of Microsoft 365.

Does PowerPoint work the same on Windows and Mac?

PowerPoint on Mac generally provides the same core features as the Windows version. However, minor differences may exist in how specific tools, effects, fonts, and media function when moving files cross-platform. For example, the ability to create macros is unavailable in PowerPoint on Mac.

Is PowerPoint Mac compatible with PPT files from Windows?

You can usually open PPT and PPTX files created on Windows in PowerPoint on Mac without issues. But occasionally, some advanced formatting, animations, or linked media may break when transferring the file.

What are some excellent alternatives to PowerPoint on Mac?

Some good alternatives to PowerPoint on Mac include WPS Presentation and Keynote. WPS Presentation is a free and open-source presentation editor that is compatible with PowerPoint files. Keynote is a built-in presentation editor for Mac users.

Summary

PowerPoint remains the top choice for creating professional presentations on both Windows and Mac. While the Mac version has a few limitations, it provides the full PowerPoint toolset tailored for Apple devices.

Whether you choose Microsoft PowerPoint, WPS Presentation, or Keynote, you now have the tools and knowledge to create compelling presentations. Start crafting your next masterpiece and leave a lasting impression on your audience.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.