I am looking for an easy to use light presentation software.

The main features I need are :

  • Light (on dependencies and resource consumption)
  • Easy to use
  • Align & Distribute information on slide
  • Use pictures
  • Offline editor

The extra features I would like are:

  • On click animations
  • .ppt Import/export
  • Use templates/themes for easily unified presentation

Sliderocket looks like a presentation tool matching my needs. Unfortunately it is an online presentation editor and I am looking for an offline one.

I don't mind the software being proprietary and for-pay

  • Does this question belong on this stack exchange or should I migrate to Unix & Linux?
    – danjjl
    Aug 20 '11 at 20:00
  • It's fine to ask here, if you're asking about Ubuntu, which you are. :) Aug 20 '11 at 20:02

10 Answers 10


I've asked the same question on the Unix & Linux stack exchange hoping I would get answers from a different community and so far the answers are quite different.

Here is a summary of the answers on the other stack :

LyX is a semi-wysiwyg document editor that uses LaTeX as its document format. LyX produces PDF output which you then present in the PDF viewer of your choice (..). (Giles)

  • org-mode : generate presentations from text files using org markup with . Check out this link for a complete review. ( Riccardo Murri)
  • Are you waiting until you can mark this as your accepted answer, or are you going to wait until someone posts about something else that has the features you need? Aug 23 '11 at 2:21
  • Waiting for something that meets my needs. For the moment JessyInk is my favourite solution
    – danjjl
    Aug 23 '11 at 7:18
  • I'll give the bounty to whoever you think deserves it. Aug 27 '11 at 0:45

JessyInk is an interesting solution, which works ontop of Inkscape and Firefox. It lacks PowerPoint import, templates and animation (unless Master Slide and Slide Transitions fulfil your needs).

Picture and Align&Distribute are fine via Inkscape features.

It's lightweight in the sense that it only uses software that you already have.

You can learn how to use JessyInk fairly quickly during preparing your first presentation. However, the GUI is not dead-simple 'easy'. You have to read the documentation, will take 15 minutes.


you can play any PDF presentation via impressive (its in the repos): http://impressive.sourceforge.net/

There is a lot of software capable of exporting to pdf. Including (but not limited to)

  • (Open|Libre)office
  • Inkscape
  • scibus
  • Latex (use the beamer package as suggested above)
  • Ease (see above)

For my presentations I use prezi (http://prezi.com/jipjiqvj6dsc/about-perspective/). It is an online tool like sliderocket (so its not exactly what you have searched for), but i find the zooming-approach very appealing. Iirc you can also download a standalone player for your presentations.


From what I've heard, Ease is lightweight and simple. The link includes a PPA for installation. I'm unsure if it meets all of the features you want though.

  • It looks really nice. I quickly tried it and it lacks one major feature I find important : distributing and aligning items on the page. Do you know if it is still being developed the last version dates from 29-Oct-2010 and is a 0.4 version (doesn't seem quite finished)
    – danjjl
    Aug 20 '11 at 20:40
  • 1
    I just checked and it looks like development is dead :/ I checked the IRC channel listed on the development page and there was no one in it. Sorry. What do you mean by aligning items on the page though? If you insert a text box, and then hold Ctrl and drag it, you can move it around. Aug 20 '11 at 20:56
  • I mean automatically putting it in the middle of the page. or selecting two items and distributing them at equal distance of both edges.
    – danjjl
    Aug 20 '11 at 21:04
  • Ah, okay. I don't know what else to suggest then, other than the 600-pound gorillas OpenOffice and LibreOffice, and they're not light. Sorry. Aug 20 '11 at 21:09

Prezi is a nice presentation tool. It doesn't work the same as usual presentation programs in that there is one big 'slide' on which you move and zoom around, instead of flipping pages. I like it a lot.

  • It is online, but they do have an offline editor and presenter (offline editor is a paid service).
  • It is easy to use, I think
  • Has pictures, movies, etc.

As Prezi works in a different way, it doesn't offer PowerPoint import, slide animations, or distribute tools (although it does align very well).


html5slides is a presentation framework that works in your (local) browser. You can see a demo from Google here.

I've personally never worked with it, but it looks nice and I've seen good presentations from others and them having a good experience with it. Here's a blog post from Handcraft stating their use.


I just have discovered Sozi.
It's probably lacking Powerpoint import. It has both the power and the complexity of Inkscape. In my opinion the solution - scalable graphics and a web browser - could definitely lead into the right direction.

Update: I've read about jessyink and both projects seem to be similar in a way.


One option is Google Docs Presentation. It fulfils all the requirements that you have mentioned except "offline editor". The presentations can be viewed offline but can not be edited.

  • Unfortunately being an offline editor is one of the major features I need.
    – danjjl
    Nov 24 '11 at 15:54

You should already have this installed with Ubuntu - LibreOffice Impress (recall that LibreOffice is the Ubuntu variant on OpenOffice.) It can import (and save as, I believe) .ppt, and has many, if not all, of the same features.

  • I find it much to heavy. But you are right it does fulfil my other requirements
    – danjjl
    Aug 23 '11 at 17:57

sent is quite certainly the simplest and most lightweight presentation tool you can find.

It runs on X11 systems only (Unix, Linux, OSX), so it does NOT run on Windows without an X11 emulation.

feature "matrix":

  • LIGHT (on dependencies and resource consumption)
  • Easy to use
  • Align & Distribute information on slide
  • Use pictures
  • Offline editor
  • (extra) On click animations
  • (extra) .ppt Import/export
  • (extra) Use templates/themes for easily unified presentation

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