🪄The Best AI for Slides
Beautiful.ai makes it easy to create polished slide decks 🌅
I have a confession: I love making slide decks. I enjoy the craft of spinning a narrative with storytelling blocks. That’s why I’m delighted to see a flurry of new services challenging PowerPoint and Google Slides.
The new generation of slide tools help with efficient design whether or not you relish making slides. One of my favorite AI presentation tools, Beautiful.ai lets you generate an individual slide with AI or draft an entire deck. Read on for its best features and an annotated list of AI-powered alternative slide tools.
Making a slide deck with Beautiful.ai is much different than building one with traditional software like PowerPoint or Google Slides. I appreciate multiple aspects of this new approach:
Generate a slide from a prompt. Ask for a slide on any topic. Specify a word cloud, pie chart, comparison, quote, title, or whatever else. The Designer Bot gives you a quick draft slide to work on so you won’t have to start every slide from scratch. If nothing else, it can spark some new ideas about slides you may want to include. Visit beautiful.ai’s home page to try this out for free — even without registering.
Rewrite the text on any slide. Refine your wording on any slide you’ve written by asking the AI to suggest ways to make the text shorter, longer or simpler. Or change its tone to be more professional, friendly, or assertive. You can also provide a custom instruction to rewrite the slide toward some other specific goal.
Create a deck from a prompt. When beginning a new presentation you can ask the AI to create a draft based on any prompt. You can further guide the bot with a link or text you paste in. Or upload a Word or PDF file to provide further context or to personalize the slides based on your own writing. With a paid account — or a free academic account — you can generate up to 200 slides with AI per day.
Free academic account. Get a free one-year subscription if you have an .edu email address.
Generate an image for your deck. You can find pro-quality photographs from Unsplash on Beautiful.ai. Alternatively, you can generate a custom image with AI by typing in a prompt detailing your desired slide image.
In a wide-ranging video interview Beautiful.ai CEO Jason Lapp shared with me his perspective on slide creation. I pulled out this clip on collaborative AI, where Lapp describes AI as a collaborator and an assistant. And in my view, the strongest features of Beautiful.ai are actually not related to generative AI.
Smart templates. There’s a giant library of smart slide templates for charts, diagrams, titles, quotes, or any other kind of slide you can think of. Open up the quote template page and you can choose from a variety of slide styles specifically designed for showcasing a quote. Or look at the diagram collection to find just the right type of diagram slide you can customize.
(Here’s a pitch deck example template for Notion, the popular tool).
Magic flow. When you add or delete something from a slide, the other elements adjust their spacing automatically. If you add someone to a team slide, for example, the images get resized automatically to accommodate the new person. That’s hugely helpful so you don't have to manually fix sizing and spacing every time you add or remove something.
Pricing: $12/month for a pro account or try a two-week free trial.
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More of the Best AI Presentation Tools
Pitch recently added AI, making it easy to draft a deck with a simple text prompt. Pitch has some of the best templates of any Web-based presentation tool. That’s why I use it often and recommend it to colleagues and students. In a previous post I shared what I like most about it. Pitch works especially well for collaboration. The free version is great. Its AI features aren’t yet as strong as Beautiful.ai’s and you can’t yet craft individual slides with AI or apply AI to a template of your choice.
Gamma has an excellent AI prompting feature that lets you write custom style instructions and then import either a Google or Word Doc, or a Google Slides or PowerPoint presentation to serve as a prompt. (It only pulls text from those presentations to analyze, not images). Or you can paste in text. I like its flexibility in letting you customize the AI guidance. The images the AI pulls into draft decks it creates aren’t consistently suitable, though. That’s a problem I also encountered with Tome. Example: check out this AI-assisted sample deck Gamma helped me create about the future of kites.
Typeset, formerly called Dropdeck, is a generative AI design engine that lets you flexibly create slide decks and documents. I created this demo deck in 10 minutes to try out the workflow. I loved being able to start with text and then adjust the design. It tops the PowerPoint/Google Slides approach. Those tools push you to design one slide at a time on a visual canvas, which can chop up your narrative flow. Bonus feature: you can convert Typeset slides into social posts, posters or vertical images. $19/month or $199/year for full features.
Tome Like Typeset, Tome is a modern alternative to Google Slides. Paste in some text as an AI prompt to have it build a draft deck. Choose among multiple options provided for each slide. Or build without AI. I wrote a prior post about its best features and caveats. To see Tome in action, this welcome presentation is a good starting point.
SlidesAI offers a plug-in to create slides with AI that you edit and present in Google Slides. It’s useful if you’re committed to the Google suite and want to experiment with AI-generated slides.
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More on the best slide tools
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