Why is Keynote so loads better than PowerPoint? Well I hate to admit it, but Keynote plays very well with Apple’s sense of style, design, effects, eye candy, and all the good stuff that will attract people. So in essence, a Keynote presentation would probably outdo a PowerPoint presentation in getting the point across better.
Here’s the main things I like about Keynote:
- Awesome graphics display – Text, pictures, slides themselves have a nice myriad of effects you can put on them. These effects really give a razzle-dazzle to presentations. They make the whole thing feel more alive and 3D-like in a way. You can really show off your text/pictures/slides with pretty much the same thing. Text : Blast, Comet, Sparkle, Drift, Fly In, Bouncy, Compress, Flip, to name a few. Actually most of these effects also work well on object/pictures as well. Real neat.
- Awesome slide transitions – Not only are there cool 2D transitions, but there’s also 3D transitions. Taking that a step above. 3D effects like Blinds, Confetti (one of my faves!), Cube, Mosaic, Reflection, Swap, etc. Then there’s 2D ones like Blur, Droplet, Flash, Push, Reveal, Scale, etc.
- Photo background remover – It’s called Instant Alpha in Keynote. What it does, is remove the background of a photo, so you can take the focal part of the picture out. Like suppose there’s a picture of a banana on the grass. You click the tool, and you apply an extended circle over the area (or the majority of the picture) you want wiped out. Then it will just leave the banana part behind. Making the banana look more natural and singular like. Really neat. I think it’s in other photo software as well.
- More skimmed UI bar – I like how the UI is pretty skim at the top, and there’s more room for the slide – the real canvas.
- Floating palettes – Whenever you select a specific item (like text, photo, slide itself, etc.), a little box comes up for it, along the outside of the program, or on top of it. The box contains all the options that you can do with what you selected, all in one box. So it’s simpler to find, and it’s also easier to preview within the box.
- Point A to B animations – Like I said, the customizability is what makes this tool also great. You can really drag focal lines from the center, and move a ghost image of it across to where you really want it. It’s super easy to use. And there’s even more you can do with it like making the graphic get smaller as it goes.
- Cheaper price – You can get the whole iWork suite (word processor, presentation slide maker, and spreadsheets) for just at $79.
Of course there’s things like there’s no ClipArt, you can’t buy it seperate from the whole iWork suite, stuff like that.
PowerPoint has been a tool for many, but after looking at Keynote, I can spot many flaw and issues that still live with PowerPoint today. Things like:
- 90s-like style effects – Even with the new PowerPoint 07′, the effects done on text and graphics is so weak. It’s ok, but we’re not really talking about graphical here. Just plain regular 2D-like effects.
- Only WAV files are supported throughout PowerPoint – It’s definitely NOT easy to insert sound files into PP. Audio you want to play throughout the entire presentation has to be WAV. Why? I don’t know. Maybe PP employees just don’t appreciate MP3, WMA, or AAC enough to include that support.
- No super drag-n’-drop – Suppose you make a graphic in one slide, but decide that it looks better in another slide. You’re first reaction would be to pick-up the graphic piece, go over to the Slide managing pane, and drop it to the slide you think it belongs. But PP won’t do that. It just won’t let you drag-n’-drop to other slides. It’s so dumb if you ask me.
- PowerPoint costs MUCH more than Keynote – A copy of PowerPoint retails around $229 (stand-alone), while Keynote (which does not have a stand-alone version) goes for around $79. You can obviously see which is the better deal here.
- ClipArt content is outdated – Microsoft needs to refreshed their library of media with something new. Most of that stuff is way too 90’s to fit in now. They look seriously outdated. I sometime avoid ClipArt altogether and just copy and paste photos from the web. I want leaner, cleaner, simpler looking icons. None of that artsy stuff. Just give beautiful simple icons to represent real day things, and that would be cool.
- Default UI takes up some screen space – The way PowerPoint is by default, takes up a lot of screen real estate. Like the Slides/Outline pane on the left, takes up some unnecessary space. You can slide it closer to the left to just get a good enough look of the slide thumbnails. Then there are the right panes that come up sometimes, like "Clip Art" and "Custom Animation". While the new Ribbon UI is really easy to work from, it also takes up a lot of space as well, and I find it best to just minimize the ribbon. Though I wish just the simplest of tools were laid-out in the Quick Access Toolbar by default.
Now I’m not saying PowerPoint 2007 is bad easier. The design is nice, shape adding is cool, themes, and all that are nice. But the major think PowerPoint is lacking in is graphical effects. They really sharpen the point in PowerPoint.