Is PowerPoint 2013 now better than Keynote?

A year ago I would have accused you of technology sacrilege and lacking in the nuances of presentation design if you had said that PowerPoint 2013 was better than Keynote. While both are available as web apps, the comparison may seem strange because PowerPoint 2013 is a Microsoft Windows product and Keynote lives on Apple products. However, I think a number of professionals live in both worlds, having a Windows desktop and an Apple product such as a MacBook Air or iPad.

For four years I always picked up my MacBook Pro or MacBook Air to design a presentation. I didn’t even think about it. A few weeks ago I was designing a presentation and needed to group a text box with a photo so they appeared together at the same time. Keynote wouldn’t let me do it. Grouping was grayed out (probably some kind of glitch in the newly updated Keynote software).  I also needed to graphically demonstrate a process, which is possible in Keynote, but easier with PowerPoint’s SmartArt features.

So, I did the previously unthinkable and used PowerPoint 2013 to design my presentation slides. At times this was painful, because PowerPoint does require an extra step or two (or three) for some tasks that are just drag and drop for Keynote. I noticed that PowerPoint does have some new modern looking templates with modern fonts. This is a nice change from the 1992 templates that I often see in PowerPoint users presentations. Keynote handles video better, and slide transitions seem more seamless and professional.

All of these issues and which software to use come down to presenter choice, style and what kind of information you need to communicate. While I am not ready to switch completely, the choice of which software to use is not as easy as it used to be.