3 – PowerPoint

Back down to No 3 position in 2019. Consistently high placement on the list over the last 13 years.

PowerPoint is Microsoft’s versatile presentation tool, used not just for presentation, and e-learning but for graphic design and much more.

Website: microsoft.com/powerpoint
Cost: Commercial. Free trial
Availability: Download. Online at Office365

Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning 2019: 5
Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning 2019: 1
Top 100 Tools for Higher Education 2019: 2

Past Overall Rankings
2018:  2      2017: 3        2016: 4       2015: 5      2014: 4      2013: 5
2012: 8.      2011: 19     2010: 21      2009: 13     2008: 8     2007: 5

Comments from those who selected PowerPoint as one of their Top 10 Tools in 2019

“PowerPoint is like the Swiss army knife of digital content tools. If I could only choose one thing to create content, it would be PowerPoint. Things I’ve created with PowerPoint include slides, videos, ebooks, custom graphics, print materials/workbooks, banners/signs, t-shirts, coffee mugs and more.” Mike Taylor, USA https://mike-taylor.org/2019/07/02/mike-taylors-2019-top-10-learning-tools/

“I often use PowerPoint to produce content to share, like eBooks, slide docs, presentations, simple infographics and PDF files. It’s easier to do a layout with graphics in PowerPoint than in Word.” Connie Malamed, learning experience design consultant, uSA http://theelearningcoach.com/reviews/top-ten-tools-in-my-ple/

“When it comes to producing stuff (eg resources), I now believe in keeping things as simple as possible; I don’t over-engineer content. I find that I can quickly create effective content using basic tools like Word and PowerPoint. At the end of the day, the people I create things for are adults – and they don’t want or need trivial or gratuitous “bells and whistles”!” Jane Hart, UK https://modernworkplacelearning.com/magazine/janes-top-ten-2019/ 

“Under-rated I think, because it has been around for so long but I find alternatives disappointing and lacking in features.” Learning Technologist, UK

“PowerPoint is soooooo much more than slides, and I use it ALL THE TIME. I love how easy it is to use as a graphics tool, love the animations available, and you can make some pretty great videos in PPT, too.” Senior eLearn ing Designer and Developer, USA

“By shaping and reshaping industry and internal presentations in PowerPoint, I find new questions and further my understanding of my own topics” CLO Australia

“There are so many different effects you can do with this tool. Also I use it as a graphic design tool to create special graphics for e-Learning. I also use it to create job aids, infographics, and storyboards.” Instructional Designer, USA

“It’s not dead, it has just found a new life as a visual aid to storytelling, and no longer should be the story itself” Manager of Product Development, USA

“as a powerpoint addict there is nothing better to present and support your story visually” Digital Learning Expert, Netherlands

“I hate to write this but the reality is this tool continues to be critical knowledge sharing tool” Group Head of Learning, UK

“Still a standard all encompassing tool that can be transferred into other technologies” Head of Learning, Australia

“Better than ever with new design features” Learning Content Developer, Spain

“It’s available to almost everyone and it’s what i’m comfortable using. It’s my go-to program for graphics.” Instructional Designer, USA

“This is a great tool for brief and effective reporting to consumers. PowerPoint capabilities for creating self-contained educational tools are not well appreciated. I am now engaged in a multimedia project, where I use this tool to describe one of the most important events of the Ancient World.” University Lecturer, Russia

“Ok, I would like to live without ppt, but does help organize thoughts and concepts for presentations. I would just like to see people use it better. Cut out the bad habits of too much narrative, reading from slides etc.” Assistant Professor, USA

“You can create good images by combining different elements, as well as presentations. I use it for creating vector images as well.” Senior Portfolio Manager, Sweden

“Versatile” Senior HRD, Japan

“I use PowerPoint to present something during workshops, but I also make manuals with PowerPoint, which I then export to pdf.” Teacher Trainer, Netherlands

“Present topics in a crisp manner” Trainer, India

“Perfect for Online und Offline, also to generate Learning Content in Video Format” Consultant, Germany

“For creating webinar content” Organisational Development Manager, UK

“With PowerPoint we can make videos of our presentations, easy to maneuver and make animations” Skills Training Coordinator, USA

“I know: sheets are not hip anymore, and PPT is for the ‘old guys’. But it still helps me best to structure my thoughts by making sheets, based on images. You learn best if you have to learn others. So as a teacher, this still works great for me.”

“It has evolved a lot over the years. What we used to do with a number of different tools can be done directly with Powerpoint now.”

“Easy to manipulate and use with many other tools/programs” Training specialist, USA

“Have used PowerPoint for decades. Therefore, no learning curve and it keeps getting better.” Manager, Professional Development, Australia

“Our everything for presentations. And with the ability to quickly insert screenshots, it has become irreplaceable for me.” College Professor, Russia

“Best presentation tool, easy to use. Use it frequently for personal purposes and at work.” Lecturer, Malaysia

Previous comments

“It’s the go-to visual aid in 99.99567% of presentations delivered today, and when a deck is put together well, it can be an amazing learning supplement, engaging participants through real-time polling, offering reminders of activity instructions, and dynamically revealing content (among other things).” Brian Washburn, 2018

“In the right hands, PowerPoint is an amazingly powerful and super flexible tool. I’ve used PowerPoint to create everything from presentations, videos, eLearning, graphics and workbooks to software simulations, marketing materials, and even t-shirts!” Mike Taylor, 2018

“This veteran tool is unappreciated. The versatility of PowerPoint and all it’s capabilities make this a legend among tech tools. Everyone should have this in their toolbox. You can do almost anything in PowerPoint. It’s not just for presentations.” Michelle Browne, USA

“Used correctly it’s a marvellous thing – neat for laying out posters, creating engaging presentations, quickly throwing together diagrams and drawings. However, in most cases it’s applied to the task like a hammer to a screw…” Dan Roddy, L&D Manager, UK

“In the right hands, PowerPoint is an amazingly powerful and super flexible tool. I’ve used PowerPoint to create everything from presentations, videos, eLearning, graphics and workbooks to software simulations, marketing materials, and even t-shirts!” Mike Taylor, USA

“my all around go-to for graphic creation, information design, workbook creation, and other uses that fall outside of just slide design.” Director of Training, USA

“It’s a standard that most people recognise and whilst not very interactive, the ability to save to PDF or as animated slides gives it some good versatility in terms of distributing materials.” Anon, UK

“In sessions i’m facilitating i’ll usually only use a couple of visual ‘prompt’ slides, but I primarily use it for creating simple flows, visuals, infographics, charts etc. to act as Job Aids or support.” Dan Hewitt, UK

“It’s been around forever, but it still my favourite tool for creating presentations. Easy to use, lots of features.” Emily Clark, Canada

“A ubiquitous all-purpose tool for storyboarding and working with content creators who know nothing else.” Matt Lang, e-learning developer, USA

“This powerful piece of software is under appreciated and unjustly judged. Great for engaging and interactive presentations is done correctly. Also some good tools for picture editing.” Michele Brown, Trainer/Instructor, USA

“an oldie but goodie and still used for presentation materials and notes for our courses.” Christine Garroway, Trainer/Instructor, USA

“This misused tool is fantastic for image manipulation, poster creation and making short videos/digital stories (never for bullet point slides)” Clare Thomson, e-learning developer, Northern Ireland

“use to create simple graphics for screencasts” Daniel Johnston, Instructional Designer, USA

“because It makes a great storyboard tool, and also good for ILT Leader’s guides, Ted Villella, e-learning developer

“presentations, documentation & storyboarding” Linda Wright, L&D Manager

“great for storyboarding and, believe it or not, creating and editing graphics and photos!” e-learning developer, USA

“good tool to create or manipulate basic graphics” Instructional Designer, USA

“Hands down my favorite tool for doing much more than just creating presentations. As someone who started developing eLearning on a limited budget, I learned to flex PowerPoint to the max.” Stephen Naso, L&D Manager, USA

“Use daily for creating presentations, complex graphics, photograph enhancement and removing backgrounds, greeting cards” John Thompson, University/College Teacher, Canada

“Presentations, training videos & self-study skill builders” Ann Gall, Instructional designer, USA

“I use it to create training presentations and facilitator guides, ebooks, infographics, narrated videos, and to create and edit simple graphics.” Daniel Jones, Trainer/Instructor, Switzerland

“I work in PowerPoint every day for a variety of reasons. Although most don’t realize it, PowerPoint is an excellent option for: creating custom graphics,image editing,video creation, mobile friendly interactive learning content (mlearning),onine learning, and of course presentations” Mike Taylor, USA

“I use PowerPoint a lot as a tool for communication. The creative process that’s embedded in creating the slides is quite educational to me. If forces me to be very concrete and to the point in my arguments and communication. Provides a great structure to all my ideas and thoughts.” L&D Manager, UK

“Use for online meetings daily” Sherry Hansberry-Brown, Trainer/Instructor, USA

“While Prezi has made a good run at it, Powerpoint, in my mind is still the best presentation tool out there.” L&D Advisor, USA

“Great for presenting ideas. Again, I look at this as a storyboarding tool. Works very well for presenting complex ideas and interactions.” Srividya Kumar, Consultant, India

“despite its restriction, PowerPoint continues to be my tool of choice for presentations.  The Office 2016 version has some nice features (even the Help function is improved) and its new ‘zoom’ feature is an attempt to break out of the linear straightjacket we’ve known and despised for years.” Charles Jennings, Consultant, UK

“This is still one of the easiest ways of producing graphics, particularly in combination with Screencast?O?Matic to produce screencast videos.” Neale Murden, Online learning facilitator, Australia

“to produce high quality slides” Washington Braga, 2015
“who hasn’t quickly put together a JIT training session using PPT” 2015

“Powerpoint – we use this tool more and more often to create learning and performance support tools, toolkits etc for example our organisation’s induction checklist is now a series of interactive powerpoint slides with a range of context and links to various information rather than just a list of activities in a Word document. Powerpoint lends itself more easily to creativity than some of the other Microsoft tools. Nancy Duarte’s slide docs materials has been really useful for this also.” Fleur Mouchemore, 2015

“Although PowerPoint’s linear nature is often restricting, I’ve never found Prezi or other tools as robust and flexible. PowerPoint is the useful ‘Swiss army knife’ in the toolbox for assembling presentations and creating simple flow diagrams and graphics. It handles the integration of video and other multimedia reasonably well and is ubiquitous. I’m sure there are better tools than PowerPoint, but it does the job for me.” Charles Jennings, 2015

“For all the grief this tool gets, it’s just a tool. A very powerful tool. A tool that’s abused much more often than it’s used for the forces of good. No list of training tools could be complete, however, without it. It’s the visual foundation for lots of presentations – in person and online/webinar.” Brian Washburn, 2015

“Powerpoint, not only for presentation, but we use also the film function for films” 2015
“Use to prepare scripts and graphics for e-learning programs” Robert Craigo, 2015
“Create/edit images” Marty King, 2015
“great for storyboarding and designing” Wiebe Dijkstra, 2015
“A great tool for design, layout, etc but also an inexpensive graphics editor” Jeffrey Riley, 2015
“to introduce new lessons, review, play games” 2015
“for quick graphic design” Louisa van der Linden, 2015

“It is the visual support for creating videos and uploading them” Santiago González Chávez, 2015

“this tool has so many uses besides making a slide presentation. You can use it’s picture editing capabilities to create time magazine covers depicting explorers” Michele Brown, 2015

“We love it. We hate it. We use it, time and time again. I use it to create learning graphics, too – such are my poor graphic design skills.” Ben Carmel, 2015

“I’m old fashioned in that I use PowerPoint to start storyboarding a micro-lecture, video, or online lesson” Jennifer Smith, 2015

“the most ubiquitous and familiar tool across organizations for storyboarding, presenting ideas, and doing handoffs (it takes a villiage, people!). In the right hands, it make good presentations and decent infographics. Those who really know what they are doing can create effective templates for SMEs that work very well with common development tools.” David Glow, 2015

“Microsoft PowerPoint which was used extensively to create slides we then converted to Flash for several course slides.” Linda Willis, 2014
“for wire framing, presentations and more” Cammie Bean, 2014

“still best way to organize and prototype ideas” Danny Ortegon, 2014

“Nothing really does the same work for me as a multimedia presentation tool. I do a lot of my original thinking while creating PowerPoint slides and of course it’s an important part of my presentation routine” Stephen Downes, 2014

“for versatility and ubiquity” Sergey Snegirev, 2014
“superb tool – if used dynamically” John Wishart, 2014
“it is the greatest software to make practically anything very interesting, especially if you are a good user of it” Olga Vareli, 2014

“I really don’t make presentations with it anymore, but I use it constantly for quick image collection and manipulation” 2014
“Great storyboarding tool, and clip art can be very impactful if used correctly. Just no bean people. Please.” Tricia Ransom, 2014

“easy to use and make simple interactions” 2013
“still one of easiest ways to structure learning content” Danny Ortegon, 2013
“would like to move away from it, but still my go to presentation software”  Debra Lee, 2013
“Basic software for educational quizzes and learning material” 2013
“does everything you need to create low-cost engaging elearning” Regina Ward, 2013
“used in class for larger groups of students and when presenting at conferences”  Jayne Whistance, 2013
“my workhorse tool” Jane Hart, 2013

Pre-2013 comments

“most used, most abused, most versatile (even though most don’t know how to use it well). Besides Keynote, Powerpoint is the tool”  Corinne Burkhert

“in it purest multimedia form of image, smooth transitions, words to nudge a thought or fire a synapse. Haven’t the bullet-point-readers have given it a bad image? It’s a super fast way to compose a picture for other places – make slide and save as jpeg” Mags Amond

“Slide shows for presentations are still very popular learning resources both among teachers and students. Power Point is very comprehensive although it is easy to use. I do not know better tool for making slide shows”. Vaclav Friedrich

“Very easy to use but with enough features to allow the creation of more elaborate learning resources”  Karl Goddard

“that’s my everyday tool and I am still waiting for something better” Jochen Robes

“I continue to use PowerPoint to add a visual touch to my online classes, but the real power lies in coupling PowerPoint with other tools such as SlideShare or Camtasia, adding narrative to the slide deck.”  Britt Wattwood