Create presentations with ease
- Useful prompter for secondary monitors
- Pulls in photos and video from online services
- Useful welcome screen
- Save, share, and collaborate in the cloud
- Ribbon and tools aren't distracting
- Could be more streamlined for novices
- Photo editing feels tacked on
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 is a powerful presentation application that's included in Office 2013.
As with most of the other applications that come bundled in Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 includes a redesigned welcome page that's actually useful. You are given a list of recently-opened files on the left as well as a grid of templates to get started. You can also search at the top for more templates if you don't see one to your liking. Clicking or tapping on a template will give you a window to choose a variation of it.
As with most new releases of PowerPoint, Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 includes a bunch of new themes, templates, and transitions. Microsoft also included some basic photo editing features. You can choose a filter for the photos you import into Microsoft PowerPoint 2013. These editing features are basic and feel a bit like an afterthought. You'll still want to use a program like Photoshop to do heavy photo modifications.
Speaking of photos, you can now import both photos and videos from the internet. Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 integrates with the services you've linked to your Microsoft account. You can pull in video from YouTube and photos from Facebook.
Formatting photos and arranging them has improved in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 as well. There are the new guides that are consistent across Microsoft's Office products. Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 is smart enough to show you how your graphics will be aligned with other graphics on the slide.
SkyDrive integration is in full effect in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 so you can pick up working on your presentation from any device that has SkyDrive linked. There's even a PowerPoint web application to do some basic edits. You'll still want to use a computer or tablet that has Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 to do serious work.
New to Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 is the 'Presentation View,' which throws up a handy prompter screen on setups with multiple monitors. There is an elapsed timer so you can help pace yourself and not run over a certain time. You can have notes on the side of your slides so you won't be tempted just to read off of the slide. This happens all unbeknownst to people in the audience.
PowerPoint 2013 has received many updates that make it easier to use and continues to be one of the best applications for making presentations. Be sure to check out our in-depth look at PowerPoint 2013's new features here.