Keynote vs. PowerPoint: Objective Comparison 2024

September 6, 2023 963 views

Creating engaging and visually appealing presentations is essential to embark on your professional career. Different tools exist, including Keynote and PowerPoint, to create stunning presentations for business professionals, students, educators, research scientists, and more. Knowing the most suitable tool that caters to your needs is challenging. This article will provide a detailed and objective comparison between Keynote and PowerPoint, so read until the end.

Part 1. An Overview of Keynote and PowerPoint

Keynote is a presentation software developed by Apple. It is known for its sleek design, user-friendly interface, and seamless integration with other Apple products. Modern templates, stunning animations, and impressive transitions contribute to visually appealing presentations.

On the other hand, PowerPoint, developed by Microsoft, has various features and templates suitable for multiple purposes. Provides comprehensive collaboration options through Microsoft 365 and OneDrive, making it easy to work together on presentations.

Both these softwares have stunning features, and if you prioritise design aesthetics and use Apple devices, Keynote might be preferable. On the other hand, if collaboration, versatility, and cross-platform compatibility are more critical, PowerPoint is likely the better choice.

Part 2. Keynote VS PowerPoint

Although both these tools have their feasibility and merits, let us dive deeper into a detailed comparison between Keynote and PowerPoint.

Exploring Keynote

Keynote is an Apple product developed in 2003 for the sole purpose of creating outstanding presentations. It lets you organize your ideas visually and compellingly present them using slides. At its core, Keynote helps you make slides with text, images, and multimedia. You can design each slide's layout, add animations, and even include interactive elements.

Features and Capabilities

  • Create visually appealing slides with text, images, graphs, charts, and multimedia elements.

  • It has a variety of pre-designed themes to give your presentation a professional look

  • Add captivating animations and smooth transitions between slides

  • Remove backgrounds from images seamlessly to focus on the subject matter

  • Export your presentation to various formats, including PowerPoint and PDF

Compatibility and Availability

Keynote is exclusively available on Apple platforms, including macOS, iOS, and web browsers through iCloud. You can create and edit presentations on Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, and online using iCloud.

Keynote Interface and Tools

Keynote is a versatile tool and comes with an easy-to-use interface. Below are the prominent elements of its interface.

Main Canvas: The central workspace where you design and arrange your slides.

Slide Navigator: It provides an overview of all slides, allowing easy navigation and organization.

Format Panel: Displays formatting options for selected objects, including fonts, colors, and styles.

Keynote Toolbar

  • Add Slide: You can quickly insert new slides and choose layouts, such as titles, content, or image slides.

  • Text Formatting: It lets you change font styles, sizes, colors, and alignment for text on slides.

  • Media Insertion: With Media insertion, you can add images, videos, audio, and shapes to enhance slide content.

  • Animations & Transitions: Feel free to apply dynamic animations to objects and text & set slide transitions for seamless visual effects between slides.

  • Arrange and Align: You can organize and position objects precisely using alignment and distribution tools.

  • Inspector: Inspector gives you the power to customize object properties, animations, and other slide elements.

  • Slide Settings: You can adjust slide size, background color, and orientation to fit your presentation needs.

Customization Options and Preferences

  • Themes: Choose from various professionally designed themes for a consistent visual style.

  • Slide Masters: Create and customize master slides to maintain a consistent layout throughout your presentation.

  • Custom Slide Sizes: Set specific slide dimensions to match various screen ratios and devices.

  • Transition Settings: Fine-tune transition effects, speed, and direction for a polished presentation flow.

  • Animation Customization: Adjust animation timings, delays, and types to create engaging visual effects.

  • Accessibility Settings: Ensure your presentation is accessible by adding alt text, captions, and other accessibility features.

  • Default Preferences: Set default font, color, and other settings for consistent slide design.

  • Export Preferences: Customize export options for sharing and distribution, such as file formats and image quality.


  • Amazing Visuals

  • User-Friendly Interface

  • Appealing transitions

  • Real-Time collaboration


  • Limited to Apple devices

  • Requires Internet for collaboration

About PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is a widely used presentation software that allows users to create and deliver impactful slideshows for various purposes, such as business presentations, educational lectures, and more. It offers a range of tools and features to assist users in designing and delivering compelling visual presentations.

Features and Capabilities

  • Design slides with text, images, graphs, charts, and multimedia content.

  • Choose from a diverse selection of themes and templates

  • Facilitate real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to work on a presentation simultaneously.

  • Create visually appealing diagrams and graphics to represent complex information with Smart Art graphics.

  • Develop master slides with consistent design elements for uniformity throughout the presentation.

  • Equip presenters with speaker notes, slide previews, and additional tools for a smooth presentation.

Compatibility and Availability

Unlike Keynote, Microsoft PowerPoint is available for Windows and macOS. It has mobile apps for iOS and Android, enabling users to work on presentations on the go.

PowerPoint Interface and Tools

Main Canvas: The central workspace where you design and arrange your slides.

Slide Sorter: Provides an overview of all slides, facilitating easy navigation and arrangement.

Formatting Tools: Access formatting options for text, images, and objects through Ribbon.

PowerPoint Toolbar

  • Insert: It lets you quickly add new slides, images, shapes, text boxes, and multimedia elements.

  • Design: You can choose themes, backgrounds, and slide layouts to enhance visual appeal.

  • Animations: Apply and customize animation effects for objects and text.

  • Transitions: You can set slide transitions for smooth visual transitions between slides.

  • Review: It gives you access to spelling and grammar checks, comments, and collaboration tools.

  • View:  With View, you can toggle between presentation views, such as Normal, Slide Sorter, and Presenter View.

Customization Options and Preferences

  • Themes and Colors: Customize themes and color schemes to match your branding or style.

  • Slide Masters: Create and modify master slides for consistent design elements across slides.

  • Slide Size and Orientation: Adjust slide dimensions and orientation to fit different screens and devices.

  • Animation Settings: Modify animation settings, timings, and effects for a polished presentation.

  • Default Fonts and Styles: Set default font styles and sizes for a consistent text appearance.

  • Collaboration Preferences: Manage sharing and editing permissions for collaborative work.


  • Multiple Platform Support

  • Feature-Rich

  • Outstanding Customization

  • Advanced Presenter View

  • Export in multiple formats


  • Needs design experience for consistent design

  • It may be hard to learn for beginners

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Comparing PowerPoint and Keynote

  • Design and User Experience

Keynote is renowned for its sleek and modern design aesthetics. The intuitive user experience makes it particularly well-suited for minimalist design lovers. PowerPoint, on the other hand, is less elegant compared to Keynote. But it compensates with a robust set of tools for customization.

Keynote excels in visual aesthetics and resonates with Apple's signature design style, offering clean, elegant, modern visuals. PowerPoint also has many templates catering to different types and preferences. The massive collection of templates makes PowerPoint a better choice.

Keynote's user-friendly interface and intuitive design make it an excellent choice for beginners. On the other hand, PowerPoint familiarity among Microsoft users can make it easy to use, but its extensive feature set may result in a steeper learning curve.

  • Features and Functionalities

Keynote has a simple interface, and its slide creation focuses more on visual impact, while PowerPoint is more advanced and allows more intricate layout adjustment.

Keynote has smooth and visually appealing effects, enhancing the storytelling aspect of presentations. In contrast, PowerPoint has a vast collection of transitions, enabling users to fine-tune the impact for different presentation styles.

Media integration is seamless in both the tools and PowerPoint, allowing more advanced audio and video editing tools.

  • Compatibility and Cross-Platform Support

PowerPoint is a winner in terms of compatibility because Keynote is strictly limited to the Apple ecosystem, while PowerPoint is available for macOS and Windows. Moreover, you can export presentations to PowerPoint format, but it might require adjustments for perfect compatibility. PowerPoint is compatible with various file formats, ensuring smoother sharing.

Part 3. Best Alternative — WPS Office

Both Keynote and Powerpoint are great softwares with incredible features, but both have limitations, like you can’t use Keynote on any other operating system. The same goes with PowerPoint, which is paid and not everyone can afford it. To solve this issue, we recommend the best free alternative to these softwares - WPS Office.

The following reasons make WPS Office an obvious choice in comparison with Keynote and PowerPoint.


WPS Office takes a notable lead in the pricing aspect, offering a free version with essential functionality and a paid subscription for more advanced features. The free version is more than enough for individuals and even small businesses.


WPS Office excels in compatibility, ensuring seamless interaction with a wide range of file formats, including those commonly used in MS Office. Moreover, it supports multiple platforms, including macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.


It offers a robust array of tools for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. It also integrates PDF editing capabilities, catering to users who frequently work with PDF documents.

User-Friendly Interface

This free alternative boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Its layout is designed for familiarity, enabling users to navigate the software effortlessly. It makes WPS Office particularly appealing to new users who wish to get up and running quickly.


1. Can Keynote files be opened in PowerPoint?

Yes, you can open Keynote files in PowerPoint, but some formatting may require adjustments for perfect compatibility, like differences in design elements, animations, and transitions between the two software.

2. Which software offers more design customization options?

PowerPoint generally offers more extensive design customization options compared to Keynote. It has tools for fine-tuning font styles, colors, shapes, and layouts.


It is hard to choose and compare between Keynote and PowerPoint. They have identical features, but Keynote is limited to the Apple ecosystem only, while PowerPoint is versatile. Keynote boasts stylish templates and animations, while PowerPoint excels in customization and seamless media integration.

However, WPS Office is the ultimate solution if you want to try something new and powered by AI. WPS Office offers stunning presentation tools along with other office productivity tools. Download WPS Office today for free and enjoy a seamless presentation powered by AI to make your work stand out.

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