Indesign or Powerpoint for presentations


I'm just wondering what people are using nowadays for presentations. While powerpoint seems to be the obvious choice, I'm seeing a lot of PDF's used.

Mar 24, 10 5:56 pm

One advantage of using PDFs for presentations is that they can be made with programs which can kern* the type. MS Word can do that even though many users don't seem to know it.

I find PP presentations, even though they can be very good, will always look amateurish because the type is not spaced well.

*Kern - The adjustment of the spacing between letters in order to make them more visually pleasing and balanced on the sheet.

Mar 24, 10 6:18 pm

word art + sound effects= win

Mar 24, 10 9:30 pm

InDesgin actually can even export a flash presentation with transition effects as well. Read up on making flash presentation in InDesign...PowerPoint is akin to acknowledging that you care very little about aesthetics or functionality.

Mar 24, 10 10:27 pm

my vote is for indesign. once i bit the bullet and came up with one, really well designed and flexible template, i was set! instant sophistication and no added lag time due to scrutinizing the design during deadline crunches.

Mar 24, 10 11:57 pm

You can also control the compression much more effectively with ID, so making a PDF for the web and for print is easy.

Mar 25, 10 11:43 pm

PDF all the way. Powerpoints don't travel well... they have a weird way of always changing when they're shown on computers that aren't the one they were made on... slides get cut off, fonts shift around the screen, images move... Plus, with PDF, its easy to print the presentation into a booklet; powerpoint files are usually gigantic and take days to print. Every school presentation I've done for the last three years has been PDF, and I've never had a problem.

Mar 27, 10 9:27 am

I see that kerning is available in PowerPoint 2007. Let's us make sure we use it if that's our medium.

Apr 25, 10 10:44 pm

Thank you, truevis. I agree with you 100%.

KERN, people. KERN!!!

Apr 26, 10 1:12 am

but can you incorporate movies/animations/audiofiles in an indesign PDF? That's why I was always forced to use powerpoint...

Apr 26, 10 3:23 am

pdfs..ctrl+L and you're set!

Apr 26, 10 4:40 am

i used to use pdfs made from indesign. then i had to do 6 hours of lectures every week. ppt made that much easier.

in the end both software work well enough. ppt has its uses, so does in design. i must say kerning does not worry me much (sorry) but for combining flash with slides and for certain presentation techniques it makes sense to me to use ppt...

one thing i don't like in ppt is the poor GUI. In design is much better, no question about it....

Apr 26, 10 8:39 am

whatever you decide on, create a template. when it comes down to createing a new presentation, wheater indesign or powerpoint, you're always limited on time. so a template can go a long way.

Apr 26, 10 1:36 pm

Templates, FTW


An odd source, but good read on PPT and presentation overall. It cites a few good resources (Tufte) and the 18 slide by Captain Patriquin mentioned near the end is a can't miss.

The mention of kerning is to me a reason we fail at PPT and ID - far far far too much attention paid to detail and not the information being relayed. Don't get me wrong - make slides legible and asthetically tolerant. But I've never heard anyone say "omg, did you notice the W and A wasn't kerned?"

Apr 27, 10 12:34 pm

InDesign, or LaTeX + Beamer package. Powerpoint is awful.

Apr 27, 10 2:04 pm

LaTeX, really? I thought that was for science only. I know you can do lots with it but you need to know the code.

Apr 27, 10 2:07 pm

architerp: 'But I've never heard anyone say "omg, did you notice the W and A wasn't kerned?"'

I say it to myself.

But, I agree, there are much worse things to do during a presentation. Reading directly from the powerpoint -- grrr -- it's the worst.

Also, I've seen things like "Who's model is it?" on presentations. Much more disturbing than lack of kerning, of course.

Apr 28, 10 10:03 am


Jan 26, 14 10:40 pm

I tend to use Indesign to create slides and then just throw them into PPT. That way I get the design capacity of Indesign with the presentation abilities of PPT, which is to say the ability to embed/support other media and have presenter notes.

Jan 27, 14 9:31 am

For me it also depends on the presentation, size of the audience, how the presentation is done (just sent, or live, or group or...) and how much eye candy I need.  But as a presenter, most the time I don't follow a linear script because you are 'reading' your audience and tailoring your presentation to those things that get them excited.

Honestly the best I've seen are web browser based using a database.  It can be done within a pdf too. That's because if you are presenting, you don't need to talk about everything if it isn't what they are into.  But you need everything so you can adjust to the situation.  In the leave packet, you leave it with them to browse through if a particular project caught their eye.  They can learn more than your 20 minutes allowed you to say or expand upon if you leave them with more information to browse through. 

The presentation itself is more like flirting.... You're hoping they'll call after you leave wanting to see you again. 

Jan 27, 14 6:52 pm

InDesign allows you to refresh your links when you photoshop out that pesky smoke detector.

Jan 27, 14 10:46 pm

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