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Comparing Presentation Applications

One of the last components of the traditional office suite to move into the cloud is the presentation application. Microsoft PowerPoint has ruled the desktop forever, and it has proven difficult to offer competitive functionality in a web-based application; if nothing else, slides with large graphics are slow to upload and download in an efficient manner.

This brings us to Google Presentations, the presentation component of the Google Docs suite. The Google Presentations interface looks a lot like pre-2007 versions of PowerPoint, but with a few features missing. In particular, while you include text, images, and shapes on a slide, there's no chart-making facility. In addition, Google Presentations at present doesn't offer slide-to-slide animations—although you can animate elements within an individual slide.

What you do get is the ability to add title, text, and blank slides; a PowerPoint-like slide sorter pane; a selection of predesigned themes; the ability to publish your file to the web or export as a PowerPoint PPT or Adobe PPT file; and quick and easy sharing and collaboration, the same as with Google's other web-based apps.

This makes Google Presentations more useful for giving presentations than for creating them—because it lets you import your existing PowerPoint presentations. This is great for giving presentations on the road; just upload your PowerPoint presentation to the Google Presentations website, and access and give the presentation from any computer at your remote location.

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