With some regularity, we are asked by those seeking a PowerPoint alternative, “How is Haiku Deck is different from PowerPoint and other presentation apps?” We know that when it comes to presentation software there are tons of PowerPoint alternatives out there, so in today’s blog post we’re going to address this question head-on, explaining why we designed Haiku Deck the way we did and how it makes for the easiest way to create a beautiful presentation without the expense of hiring a professional graphic designer.


After 25 years on the market, there isn’t much you can’t do with PowerPoint. It’s extremely powerful software with a dizzying array of controls for everything from fonts and templates to animations and playback settings. And therein lies the challenge that leads some to seek a PowerPoint alternative… With all of that control, how do we avoid the dreaded ‘Death by PowerPoint,’ that has become the butt of so many jokes.


When we set out to build Haiku Deck, we didn’t think the world needed another PowerPoint clone… Instead, we set out to build a way for presentation authors to abide by theĀ 4 principles of great presentation design. These are:

  1. Focus on one idea at a time
  2. Support your idea with a high quality image
  3. Use consistent formatting
  4. Communicate data clearly

If you’ve never used Haiku Deck, you can get a feel for how the app addresses these best practices in this three minute video:

Rather than add functionality to the traditional presentation app, Haiku Deck stands apart in having *removed* some of the controls that tend to get users into trouble. For example, the app limits the number of words you can put on a slide, forcing the author to think critically about the key message and crystalize the idea. The research shows this helps your listeners absorb and remember the information you’re sharing.


At the center of Haiku Deck is also a very powerful image search that only provides access to Creative Commons License photos that are the right size/resolution for presentations. Sure, you can import your own images if you want, but Haiku Deck provides access to over 40 million beautiful and highly illustrative photos along with the attribution and license information required to comply with copyright law.


Haiku Deck also features dozens of professionally designed themes and layouts that deliver consistency across your presentation. This ensures that your presentation always looks like it was designed by a professional, even if (like me) you have a hard time matching your socks when you get dressed in the morning.

Because Haiku Decks are hosted online, you can not only gain inspiration from the millions of decks in our Gallery, but you can also copy and remix many decks, using them as templates to save you the time and effort of building presentations from scratch. To see examples of work created by our community of millions of users, browse the Haiku Deck Gallery.

It’s important to note that while Haiku Deck provides a framework for abiding by best presentation authoring practices, all of the work you do in Haiku Deck can be downloaded in editable .pptx format, the same file format that is used by PowerPoint and other presentation apps. This allows users to further modify their Haiku Deck presentations in the event that they need a little more. We also allow users to download presentations in .pdf format for printing or to add audio narration and download as videos files in .mp4 format.

Do you have a question about Haiku Deck that you’d like to see answered in a blog post? Drop us a line any time, we love hearing from you!