(Credit: Sketchphoto, Shutterstock / Sketchphoto)

Slideshow presentations used to be snooze-worthy events. Remember sitting patiently while a family member or coworker projected a seemingly endless stream of slides onto a screen? Today, we create slideshows digitally, and slideshow apps enliven our presentations with transitions, effects, video clips, background music, narration, and captions.

While standalone slideshow makers are often feature-rich, they can be expensive, not to mention just another app to download on your computer. Before downloading a standalone slideshow maker, check your existing photo apps, such as your native Apple Photos as well as presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint to see if they'll fulfill your needs.

To build a slideshow in the native Apple Photos app on your Mac, just tap to create a new slideshow, name it, add the photos in your preferred order, and select your theme, music, duration, and transition type. Then just press Play when you're ready to present.

SEE: Best to-do list apps of 2018 for managing tasks for the Mac

If your requirements aren't extensive, you should be fine with a free app, since many free slideshow makers already offer most of the must-haves, such as background colors, captions and narration, background music, and slide sequencing.

Whether you want to wow your friends with your stellar vacation photos or your boss with your dynamic slideshow presentation, here are seven presentation apps for Mac to slide into.

1. Google Photos

Google Photos (Mac), one of our favorite apps for storing and organizing photos and videos, now supports slideshows. Just navigate to an album, tap on a photo, and select Slideshow from the drop-down menu to automatically showcase the enclosed images. To broadcast your slideshow to your TV, Google recommends using a Chromecast streaming device.


2. Microsoft PowerPoint

The Microsoft PowerPoint (Mac) presentation app is a great tool for photo slideshows. Create a new presentation, then add a title and as many slides as you need. Then import your images to PowerPoint and add them to their respective slides. You can then edit and arrange them, add transitions, backgrounds, and music. Then play from your device, broadcast to your TV, or share via the cloud.


3. Keynote

Apple's Keynote (Mac) app helps you create beautiful slideshow presentations. Start by choosing one of 30 Apple-designed themes and then replace the dummy text and graphics with your own. Add pictures, videos, interactive charts, cinematic animations, and elegant transitions. Collaborate with colleagues in real time over iCloud and when you're ready, present in person or remotely using Keynote Live.


4. Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac

Great for beginners, Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac (Mac) turns your photos into a compelling slideshow video, complete with amazing filters, transitions, titles, and the music of your choice. Present in person or upload to YouTube to reach a wider audience.

To create that winning presentation, start by uploading your images and video, and then tack on your preferred music or a voiceover and visual and transition effects and finally upload to social media for easy sharing. You can also just create slideshows automatically with Movavi Slideshow Maker.


5. FotoMagico 5

Quick-to-use FotoMagico 5 (Mac) transforms your photos, videos, and text into dynamic pre-built stories or Snippets. Or you can customize your own presentation with your preferred transitions, timing, and music. Present your slideshow live by hitting Play or export as a high-res video to YouTube to reach even more people.


6. Prezi

With its easy-to-use interface, Prezi (Web) lets you create your slideshow in a snap. Choose one of the provided templates, customize it with fonts and colors, and add your pictures, videos, and PDFs. Save it in the cloud for easy collaboration with friends or colleagues, or download it to your desktop, so you can work on it and even present it offline. With Presenter View, you can see notes, cues, and prompts on a second screen while you present.


7. Emaze

Emaze (Web) helps you construct and present dynamic presentations, guaranteed to impress your audience.

Choose from one of Emaze's hundreds of professional 2D or 3D templates. Then write and edit your text; upload photos, videos, infographics, live web pages, GIFs, custom effects, and audio; and deliver your presentations in person, remote present, or share via email or social media.


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Also see

Best free email alternatives to Microsoft Outlook for Mac
Salesforce takes on Microsoft PowerPoint with Quip Slides

Microsoft is discontinuing its Sway presentation app for iOS

Slideshow feature joins a slew of new Google Photos abilities (CNET)
Taking the pain out of building that slideshow deck (ZDNet)
Over PowerPoint? Here are 4 ways to create more interesting business presentations

Joshua is an editor for CNET's He covers the mobile tech and apps that power our lives and interviews celebrities about their favorite apps. Previously, he worked as an editor at Healthline and and as a contributing writer for Mac Directory, MacAddict, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, and SF Chronicle.