PowToon Review

Create free online animated videos with this presentation maker

Screenshot of PowToon in Google Chrome

PowToon is a free online presentation maker that offers tons of images and templates to help make a great presentation in a short time. Some of the primary slideshow templates include ones to make a "modern edge" animation, a whiteboard look, a cartoon, and an infographic, among many others.

The PowToon "PowerPoint" tool is actually more of an animation maker because, if you want, you can make your slideshow play as a movie instead of a click-through presentation. Switching between the two is very easy and doesn't affect the presentation permanently.

PowToon comes off as a great service from the start because you can use it online and because there are lots of tools available to you, but considering that there's a paid version, too, it's severely limited in some ways. However, it's very helpful and unique in others, so it's still a great choice for a presentation maker.

Pros

  • Lots of features
  • Tons of ready-made templates
  • Not hard to use
  • Allows presentations to be shared with the public
  • Supports rich text editing
  • Can save an offline version of the animated video
  • The presentation is saved automatically

Cons

  • Presentations have a small watermark
  • Interface can seem cluttered
  • Viewing someone else's presentation takes a while to load
  • Can't export presentations to your computer if there are premium objects in it
  • Several options and features are only available if you upgrade to a paid subscription

Description

  • PowToon presentations can be built in a slideshow form or a movie form
  • Text effects, image holders, characters, animations, props, markers, shapes, transitions, backgrounds, and many other styles are available to make slides really unique
  • A dedicated styles menu is available for making greeting cards for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Halloween, the winter season in general, and Valentine's Day
  • There's a huge selection of pre-made templates at PowToon that you can choose from in categories such as stats, events, about us, explainer video, special offers, tutorials, school/education, and animated greeting card. You can also start a presentation with a blank template
  • Can share a video animation with anyone via a public link
  • Can download the animated presentation as PDF or a PowerPoint PPT file
  • Supports sending presentations directly to YouTube, though a watermark is on the bottom of the video and the quality is rather low
  • The template can be set up to work best with websites like YouTube and Facebook (horizontal), or with Instagram (square) or phones (vertical)
  • A timeline bar is present at the bottom of the screen that lists every object on the slide. This makes it easy to make specific changes to what time objects appear and take on animation effects
  • Regular text editing is allowed, such as changing the font type and size
  • You can import an MP3 into a PowToon or choose from several free ones available on the website
  • Images can be added directly from a search on Flickr or from your computer
  • Very intuitive so you can drag and drop objects from the side panel directly onto a slide, use the right-click context menu for extra options, and group and move multiple objects at once

My Thoughts on PowToon

Aside from the negatives listed above, PowToon still seems to be a very popular way to make free online animated presentations, and I can't disagree that it's fun and easy to use.

If you're looking for a quick way to find some nice presentation templates and a whole gallery of images that are instantly accessible for use on slides, PowToon is a really nice choice—probably better than any other online presentation maker.

However, compared to Google Slides, PowToon lacks significantly. Google Slides lets you download them in popular file formats, doesn't stick a watermark on your slides, supports live collaboration and chat, and can open existing files made with other presentation programs

In fact, you can't even save your presentation to your computer unless you remove all the premium features you have in the slides. However, even then, you can't save the animated video to the MP4 video format—just document formats like PDF or PPT.

Overall, I think PowToon is a nice choice for creating presentations for school or a similar event, whereas Google Slides is fit not only for that but also for professional things that require a more clean look.