Those seeking alternatives to popular presentation programs like PowerPoint may have difficulty finding options. Project Canvas for Mac solves this problem, but its dated interface and lack of useful instructions make it hard to operate.
Project Canvas for Mac offers a free 15-day trial version, while unlocking the full program requires a $29.95 payment. The native installer set the program up quickly and required acceptance of a lengthy user agreement. Support for updates was available and several bugs had been fixed in the latest version. The program's interface was very basic and akin to simple drawing software from 10 years ago, a disappointment for an application trying to compete with other, more modern, presentation software. The lack of a user tutorial also makes the program difficult to use. The help menu links to a developer wiki that does not interpret the menus well and mostly describes the program's intent. When drawing objects and buttons in the program's "cards," we found that the operations did work as intended. Users also have the option to load photos, audio, or videos that can play at the user's discretion. Screen size may be manipulated if the presentation calls for it. When a presentation is completed, the program can export the presentation to a format that allows it to be played without the Project Canvas application installed, which is a good feature for a program trying to compete with larger, more popular options.
While basically functional, Project Canvas for Mac's basic design and problematic interface mean those looking for presentation software should look elsewhere.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Project Canvas for Mac 1.1.9.