Google Docs, with Presentations
- Basic editing tools, you can give presentations across the Web
- Lacking in presentation features when compared to Windows PowerPoint, can't export files to PowerPoint
Google Docs' presentation tool is, ultimately, a rough draft that thoroughly deserves the beta label. Google reportedly plans to beef up the editing tools, eventually turning Google Docs into a richer environment. Judging from the slow-but-steady progress of Google Docs' word processor and spreadsheet, the presentation features probably won't acquire PowerPoint-crushing sophistication any time soon. That said, Google Docs should become only more useful over the coming months and, in the meantime, a lot of people are going to find it very useful indeed.
You could make a case that there's no such thing as a full-blown office suite that can't do presentations. And if that's true, Google Docs just became a full-blown office suite.
The browser-based service has also changed its name from Google Docs and Spreadsheets to Google Docs. Which is just as well, since 'Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations' is a bit of a mouthful. The presentation features are also now part of Google Apps, the superset of Docs that also includes Gmail, Google Calendar, and other productivity tools.
Google Docs' added presentation features don't amount to a Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 killer, or even a PowerPoint clone. Indeed, a bunch of features that we might look on as essential for a presentation package to include are glaring omissions -- the ability to draw shapes, design your own templates, or create transitions, for example.
But Google Docs' presentation features do let you import Microsoft PowerPoint slides with adequate fidelity, and Google Docs' Web-based collaboration features go beyond anything that Microsoft has put into PowerPoint. And that adds up to an interesting and useful service.
As with Google Docs' word processor and spreadsheet, its presentation tool pretty much looks like a somewhat streamlined desktop application that happens to live in your browser. In this case, that means that there's a thumbnail viewer for all your slides on the left, and a big editing window in the middle.
Calling Google Docs' editing tools basic is paying them a compliment. You can add and format text, import graphics, shuffle slides around, and choose from 15 pretty-basic canned themes. At least all the features work the way you'd expect, and work briskly -- which isn't true of their counterparts in most other online presentation applications.
Things get interesting when your work involves more than one person. As with Google Docs' word processor and spreadsheet, you can invite other people -- providing they have Google accounts -- to edit your presentations, which are stored on the Web. You can also give presentations across the Web, with everybody involved seeing the show as you give it.
That said, your viewers might not be prepared to wait for you to give the presentation. Google has chosen to err on the side of freedom in options given to your spectators -- they can jump around in your slides, or even take control of the show and become the person who decides when the slides advance. That's a pretty democratic approach and, while it probably won't work for the most important of presentations, it should work well enough for informal, internal presentations. Which are, of course, the kinds of shows that Google says Docs' presentation features are designed to handle.
When you give a Google Docs presentation, everyone involved gets a chat window so they can discuss the slides as they pop up. All of this collaboration is simple and straightforward, but still powerful enough that some people might opt for doing free Google Docs presentations over using a paid-for Web conferencing service. If all you want to do is get some slides online, Docs may be all you need.
Google Docs presentations can be published for latecomers to watch at another time. And, should you require a traditional, in-person slideshow on a PC that might not be connected to the Internet, you can save all your slides as HTML within a Zip file, so you can load them and show them on any PC with a browser.
Even if you give Google a pass on editing tools for the moment and hope that it never becomes Microsoftian bloatware, it's missing some stuff it really ought to have. For instance, Google Docs won't export your presentations in PowerPoint form. The only way to do a full-screen show is to put your browser into full-screen mode, something that Google Docs can't do itself. Plus the undo feature doesn't work very well, and the only integration with Google Docs' other features is an option in the word processor that lets you convert a text document into a rudimentary presentation.
Join the newsletter!
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Toys for Boys
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration
- Amazon confirms early 2018 Australian launch for Alexa and Echo
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- University of Sydney Signs World-First Agreement with Dropbox
- Microsoft delves deeper into AI with new kit bag of tools
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSolution Designer/ Architect | 6mth ContractOther
- CCSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- FTETL DeveloperOther
- FTPlatform Software Engineer (Data Warehouse/Big Data) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTService Desk Engineer/IT Help desk Support - Multiple positionsVIC
- FTFinancial AdministratorOther
- FTSystems EngineerVIC
- TPKronos AdministratorQLD
- FTProgram LeadSA
- CCDataPower AdministratorACT
- FTProject Manager (Business / Compliance focused)SA
- FTTechnical Specialist - SCOMOther
- TPAndroid Engineer - Contract (6 months)NSW
- CCSystem Analyst - AxwayNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTApplication Support Analyst (Healthcare)Other
- TPBusiness Analysis, Design and Configuration ManagerQLD
- FTNetwork SpecialistQLD
- FTAgile CoachOther
- CC.Net / AngularJS DeveloperVIC
- FTDomain Architect - AWS / AzureOther
- FTField Services TechnicianACT
- FTLead Change ManagerOther
- FTSecurity Operations EngineerOther