Beyond PowerPoint: 4 Linux Presentation Tools

Microsoft PowerPoint has long been the standard for creating presentations on Windows. But what if you use Linux? Thankfully, there are several open-source alternatives that work great on Linux. In this article, we’ll look at 4 of the best open-source presentation tools available for Linux.

LibreOffice Impress

LibreOffice Impress is often considered the best open-source alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint. As part of the LibreOffice suite, it is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Some key features of LibreOffice Impress include:

  • Wide range of templates and design options
  • Support for animations and slide transitions
  • Ability to insert charts, tables, images, and videos
  • Export presentations to PDF and Flash formats
  • Available in over 100 languages

Impress makes it easy to create professional presentations with plenty of customization options. It can open and edit PowerPoint files, so you can collaborate with Windows users. The interface is similar to PowerPoint, with a familiar slide canvas and sidebar.

Overall, Impress provides the best compatibility and features if you need a full-featured presentation app on Linux.

Calligra Stage

Calligra Stage is a presentation tool included in the Calligra Suite, a set of creative applications for Linux. It offers a good alternative to Impress with some unique features.

Key features of Calligra Stage include:

  • Multi-monitor support for presenter view
  • Vector-based graphics for resolution independence
  • LaTeX support for mathematical formulas
  • SVG, Flash, and PowerPoint import
  • Creative backgrounds with gradient and texture fills

Calligra Stage provides a flexible canvas for building visually impressive presentations. It allows dynamic slide layouts not bound to grids. The multi-monitor support is handy for presenting from a laptop while viewing notes on the second screen.

For mathematical and scientific presentations, the LaTeX integration makes adding complex formulas simple. Overall, Stage strikes a nice balance between power and ease-of-use.


Beamer is a LaTeX document class specifically designed for creating presentations. Unlike Impress and Stage, it does not provide a WYSIWYG editor. Instead, you write presentations in LaTeX syntax.

Here are some notable features of Beamer:

  • Create fully customizable themes
  • Support for overlays and dynamic effects
  • Math typesetting with LaTeX
  • Generate PDF slides, handouts, and notes
  • Wide range of templates available

The learning curve is steeper with Beamer since you need knowledge of LaTeX. However, LaTeX skills are valuable for any academic or technical writing. For scientific presentations with lots of mathematical formulas, Beamer makes typesetting beautiful slides easy.

The PDF output provides high print fidelity. Beamer themes give you fine control over the visual style. If you know LaTeX, Beamer is a great presentation choice.


Reveal.js provides an interesting web-based approach to presentations. Rather than an application, it is a JavaScript framework that generates HTML/CSS-based slides. You create presentations using HTML or Markdown.

Here are some key features:

  • Responsive framework for online presentations
  • Markdown support for easier authoring
  • Themes with customizations using CSS
  • Slide preview server for live development
  • Export to PDF for printouts

With Reveal.js, your presentations become web pages that play nicely across devices. You can post presentations online or use the framework for a custom presentation app. The Markdown authoring lowers the barrier for creating and updating slides.

For those that know web technologies, Reveal provides flexibility. The text-based source means presentations play well with version control systems. Overall, Reveal.js brings some nice innovations to the presentation space.


While Microsoft PowerPoint rules the presentation landscape, quality open-source alternatives exist for Linux users. Tools like LibreOffice Impress, Calligra Stage, Beamer, and Reveal.js each offer unique advantages.

Impress provides the best all-around PowerPoint replacement. Calligra Stage focuses more on flexible designs. Beamer makes LaTeX-based scientific slides simple. And Reveal.js lets you create browser-based presentations using web standards.

The open-source options may not have every PowerPoint bell and whistle, but they provide excellent capabilities for most presentation needs. With these Linux presentation tools, you can produce professional, compelling slides without needing Microsoft software. The open-source community continues advancing these tools, bringing welcome innovations to the presentation space.