Best Slideshow Software 2020: Free, Paid & Online Alternatives

5.0 Votes: 78

Want to make a cool-looking video from your photos? Then, the first thing you’ll need to do after culling your images is to pick the best software to make a slideshow: fast, easy to master, jam-packed with features and, at the same time, with affordable price. However, once you open Google and start searching, you get buried by different alternatives: websites, apps, desktop programs, services…

Which one to pick? How to avoid getting a pig in a poke? Well, you can stop searching now - we have made all the hard work for you. Here is a full list of 17 best slideshow software for both experienced and not very experienced users.

Let’s start with a table showing the key differences between these 17 programs:

Features SmartSHOW 3D SmartSHOW 3D
Download
Magix Photostory Magix
Photostory
Download
Proshow Producer Proshow
Producer
Download
Movavi
Slideshow Maker
Download
CyberLink
MediaShow
Download
NCH
PhotoStage
Download
Wondershare
DVD Slideshow
Download
Icecream
Slideshow Maker
Download
Windows
Movie Maker
Download
Kizoa
Sign Up
Animoto
Sign Up
Smilebox
Sign Up
PowerPoint
Download
Adobe
Spark
Sign Up
Google
Slides
Sign Up
Kapwing
Sign Up
123
slideshow
Sign Up
License Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Free trial Free to use Free to an extent Free to an extent Free to an extent Free to use Free to an extent Free to use Free to an extent Free to use
Price $39.95 $49.99 $250.00 $39.95 $39.95 $24.99 $49.95 $19.95 Free $99.99 $33.00 $11.00 Free $9.99 Free $20.00 Free
Ease of use
Number of effects 350+ 1500+ 700+ 150+ 50+ 30+ 30+ 20+ 60+ 150+ 20+ 30+ 15+ 0 10+ 0 0
Number of templates 200+ 500+ 200+ 100+ 10+ 10+ 5 0 0 120+ 120+ 150+ 10+ 120 10+ 20+ 0
Number of transitions 160+ 150+ 200+ 140+ 20+ 15+ 15+ 10+ 10+ 150+ 120+ 0 0 0 0 0 0
Number of music tracks 200+ 50+ 120+ 30+ 20+ 0 0 0 0 50+ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Audio waveform
Add video
Add animations
Final verdict 10 9.5 9 8 8 7.5 7 7 6.5 6 6 5.5 5 5 4.5 4 3

Top 17 Software to Make a Slideshow

Now, let’s take a closer look at each program from our list and dwell on the key features. Some programs are suitable for professional video creators, others have a very simple interface and can be used even by beginners. So, what software should you pick? Let’s find out!

Download
Rating10
SmartSHOW 3D
  • Features: ..........................................10
  • Ease of use:.....................................10
  • Price / Quality: .................................10
  • Final verdict: .................................10
SmartSHOW 3D is an easy-to-use slideshow video software loaded with pro-level tools. There are 600 templates and effects made by professional designers that you can use to build your project. Juice it up with 3D animations, realistic nature effects, cool-looking transitions and creative collages. Professional users will take advantage of working with layers and 3D camera, while new users will enjoy the simple drag & drop workflow.
Pros:
  • Free trial version
  • 600 templates & effects
  • 200+ royalty free songs
  • Record voice comments
  • Add video backgrounds
  • Collages from pictures & videos
  • Realistic nature effects: rain, snow, fire
Cons:
  • No 4K output in current version
Download
Final verdict9.5
Magix Photostory
  • Features: ..............................................10
  • Ease of use: ........................................8
  • Price / Quality: ...................................10
  • Final verdict: .....................................9.5
Photostory is a powerful slideshow maker that lets you create videos from pictures and clips. There is a large collection of transitions and effects: around 1500+ pieces to pick from. You can apply photolooks to quickly correct the pics colors, brightness and contrast. Export the videos to your PC, burn it to DVD or save it as a photobook. However, the software has a dark interface with lots of small buttons and options, so it’s very hard to navigate around.
Pros:
  • Easy video creation with Slideshow Wizard
  • Setting up animation with drag & drop
  • Record voice comments in CD quality
  • Up to 16 tracks on the Timeline
  • Movie-styled animations for images
Cons:
  • The interface is hard to navigate
Download
Final verdict9
Proshow Producer
  • Features: .............................................10
  • Ease of use: ........................................8
  • Price / Quality: ....................................10
  • Final verdict: ......................................9
For a long time, Proshow Producer has been considered to be one of the best professional slideshow software. There are lots of manual settings to experiment with. You can adjust almost anything to your taste and create animations with multiple layers. However, it’ll be hard for beginners to figure everything out - they’ll have to start with reading manuals. What’s more, Proshow is discontinued now, and you won’t be able to purchase it from the official website.
Pros:
  • Gives you total control
  • Hundreds of templates to use
  • Unlimited number of tracks
  • Ability to create 4K video
  • Burn slideshows to DVDs
  • Create custom animations
Cons:
  • Extremely steep learning curve
  • This product is discontinued
Download
Final verdict8
Movavi Slideshow Maker
  • Features: ............................................10
  • Ease of use: .......................................9
  • Price / Quality: ....................................7
  • Final verdict: ......................................8
This easy-to-use picture slideshow software will be a good choice for those who just started learning video creation. You can use Slideshow Wizard and let the program do all the work for you or create a custom project. Then apply various filters, effects and transitions to throw in some magic. However, it’s hard to figure out how to adjust animations - not a plus for newbies. In the end, you can export the video, burn it to DVD or upload it to social media.
Pros:
  • Convenient Timeline
  • Fine-tune audio tracks
  • Add voice comments
  • Record videos and screencasts
  • Add cool-looking stickers
  • Use built-in collections
Cons:
  • Watermark in the trial version
  • The trial version toolkit is limited
  • Trial version exports only half of your video
Download
Final verdict8
CyberLink MediaShow
  • Features: .............................................8
  • Ease of use: ........................................8
  • Price / Quality: ...................................10
  • Final verdict: .....................................8
If you have lots and lots of photos from various events, then take a look at this program. With MediaShow, you can not only make a slideshow with music, but also organize all the photos and videos to your taste. Pick a tag or a person’s name, and the software will sort all the photos. You can add 3D videos and work with them, however, the software toolkit is rather limited: you can’t fine-tune animations, effects and apply layer masks.
Pros:
  • Different output options
  • Convenient folder browsing
  • Built-in face recognition
  • Integration with Facebook albums
  • Auto-update photos from Dropbox
  • Pre-made styles for faster video creation
Cons:
  • Few presets and styles
Download
Final verdict7.5
NCH PhotoStage
  • Features: .............................................7
  • Ease of use: ......................................9
  • Price / Quality: ....................................8
  • Final verdict: ....................................7.5
PhotoStage is free for non-commercial use. If you plan to make slideshows for watching them with your family at home - this software is worth taking a look. You can use Quick Create to let the program build a slideshow for you automatically. Alternatively, you can make your own project with clips, special effects and animations. However, PhotoStage doesn’t have a lot of advanced tools: you can’t fine-tune animations, work with layers or use a 3D camera.
Pros:
  • Free for personal use
  • Ability to burn DVD
  • Record voice comments
  • Get your pics from Dropbox
  • Make portable .exe videos
  • Direct output to social media
Cons:
  • Few presets for Quick Create
Download
Final verdict7
Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder
  • Features: .............................................7
  • Ease of use: ......................................10
  • Price / Quality: ...................................7
  • Final verdict: ......................................7
If you need the easiest way to create lots of slideshows and burn them to DVD, then check out this program. You can use dozens of templates for DVD menus and fully customize them: tweak buttons, pick background music, add captions, pictures and other elements. You can use 480+ effects and templates to spice up your video. For an animated slideshow, the toolkit is rather limited: you can’t adjust keyframes, customize effects or apply masks.
Pros:
  • 480+ templates and effects
  • Vast toolkit for making DVDs
  • Advanced Mode for experienced users
Cons:
  • Some effects and designs are outdated
Download
Final verdict7
Icecream Slideshow Maker
  • Features: ............................................7
  • Ease of use: ......................................9
  • Price / Quality: ....................................7
  • Final verdict: .....................................7
If you want to create a simple presentation without diving into complex editing, then this is best photo slideshow software for you. All the necessary tools can be found in the main window, so you don’t need to look for them. Just drop in your pictures, apply effects, add music and you’re all set. The software can’t offer pro-level features like 3D camera, custom animations or fine-tuning audio, but it’s definitely a good choice for newbies.
Pros:
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Create 4K video and burn DVD
  • Use cloud storage (Drive & Dropbox)
Cons:
  • Limited toolkit
  • Few transitions
Download
Final verdict6.5
Windows Movie Maker
  • Features: ............................................6
  • Ease of use: ......................................9
  • Price / Quality: ....................................7
  • Final verdict: .....................................6.5
This software for photo slideshow comes with old Windows systems. On Windows 10, it was replaced by Video Editor. You can combine images, clips and voice comments to create your own unique video. There are a few ready-made presets for animations and effects you can apply with a simple drag & drop. If you want to make a slideshow from your photos and don’t want to download any additional software, then just run Windows Movie Maker.
Pros:
  • Add voice comments
  • Burn videos to DVD
  • Free app if you use Windows 7, Vista, XP
Cons:
  • Limited toolkit
  • Few output options
  • The product is discontinued
Sign Up
Final verdict6
Kizoa
  • Features: ............................................7
  • Ease of use: ......................................8
  • Price / Quality: ....................................6
  • Final verdict: .....................................6
Kizoa is an online video editor and it doesn’t require registration. This service offers lots of themed templates both for common users and business owners: retail, school, clubs, real estate, cafes and others. You can replace animations, pick different effects, apply transitions and replace photos. However, these elements can’t be fully customized and, what's more, you can’t create videos longer than 1 minute unless you purchase a subscription ($99.99).
Pros:
  • Enjoy pre-made themes
  • Completely free to use
  • Videos are stored online
  • Explore photos & videos collection
Cons:
  • Requires subscription
  • Needs stable Internet connection
Sign Up
Final verdict6
Animoto
  • Features: ............................................6
  • Ease of use: ......................................9
  • Price / Quality: ....................................6
  • Final verdict: .....................................6
Animoto is a web-based software to make a slideshow. All projects can be managed from a personal account. Just pick a template, add your photos, music and the video is ready. Animoto has a convenient timeline with large previews, so you can easily manage the slides. A pinch of salt: to use all features and create videos in HD 1080p without the Animoto watermark, you need to get a monthly subscription ($33).
Pros:
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Great sharing capabilities
  • Takes no space on your HDD
Cons:
  • Requires monthly subscription
  • Have to upload private pics to Internet
Sign Up
Final verdict5.5
Smilebox
  • Features: ............................................5
  • Ease of use: ......................................8
  • Price / Quality: ....................................6
  • Final verdict: .....................................5.5
Smilebox is another web-based service for making slideshows, collages, animated flyers and presentations. Just like in Kizoa, you will find themed templates you can use for creating your project. You can add photos, captions and music. The interface is pretty neat, so most users will feel themselves at home. The editing possibilities are a bit limited, though, since you can’t add videos, voice comments, GIFs or fine-tune the applied animations.
Pros:
  • Pretty easy to use
  • Built-in collection of music
  • Lots of pre-made templates
Cons:
  • Requires monthly subscription
  • Have to upload private pics to internet
Download
Final verdict5
PowerPoint
  • Features: ............................................5
  • Ease of use: ......................................9
  • Price / Quality: ....................................5
  • Final verdict: .....................................5
PowerPoint is a part of Microsoft Office Suite. It’s rather basic, but many people consider this program the best slideshow software for Windows. All you need to do is pick a theme, add your photos, record voice comments, drop in some transitions - and here you go. You can perform edits on the photos you add, including background removal. As for the output options, you can save your creation in the PowerPoint format, as well as burn it to DVD.
Pros:
  • Very easy to use
  • Suitable for business purposes
  • Suitable for educational purposes
Cons:
  • Limited toolkit
  • Few pre-made designs
Sign Up
Final verdict5
Adobe Spark
  • Features: ............................................5
  • Ease of use: ......................................8
  • Price / Quality: ....................................5
  • Final verdict: .....................................5
It is a web-based package provided by Adobe, aimed at making videos and website content. You can use it for free, but with watermarks on your final creations. Spark has a built-in collection of pictures and a few pre-made templates to speed up the video making process. Once you modify a slide, it gives you an instant preview, which is very convenient. Although it’s an Adobe product, Spark is very easy to use - you’ll figure everything out in under a minute.
Pros:
  • Simple workflow
  • Free image stocks
  • Convenient Timeline view
Cons:
  • Limited toolkit
  • Requires subscription
Sign Up
Final verdict4.5
Google Slides
  • Features: ............................................4
  • Ease of use: ......................................9
  • Price / Quality: ....................................4
  • Final verdict: .....................................4.5
Looking for something affordable to pull off a presentation for your studies or business? Then enter your Google account and open Google Slides. It’s an extremely simple yet well-designed program that allows you to create slideshows from your photos. You can’t add videos, music, voice comments or animations, however, you can quickly create a simple presentation and share it with your friends and colleagues for no fee.
Pros:
  • Affordable for anyone
  • Web-based back up
  • Your privacy is protected
  • Share your creations with others
Cons:
  • Lack of features
Sign Up
Final verdict4
Kapwing
  • Features: ............................................4
  • Ease of use: ......................................8
  • Price / Quality: ....................................4
  • Final verdict: .....................................4
Kapwing is a collaborative platform for creating videos, images and GIFs. It doesn’t require installation, and you can work directly on the website. If you have several devices, it provides single workspace for all of them. Each workspace can be shared and your friends can help you create the video. You can add subtitles to your videos, captions, shapes and import content directly from the internet. You can’t add transitions between the slides, though.
Pros:
  • Great sharing tools
  • Direct import from websites
Cons:
  • No transitions
  • Limited toolkit
Sign Up
Final verdict3
123-slideshow
  • Features: ............................................3
  • Ease of use: ......................................8
  • Price / Quality: ....................................3
  • Final verdict: .....................................3
It’s an online slideshow maker. Its primary goal is to help you create a slideshow for your website. The toolkit is rather limited though: you can add pictures only, with no music, animations or effects. However, 123-slideshow is completely free, web-based and doesn’t require installation. That’s why it’s still a decent option if you want to create a simple slideshow but have no desire to mess with PowerPoint or register at online services.
Pros:
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Free for personal use
Cons:
  • Extremely limited toolkit
  • Can’t provide privacy protection

It’s Time to Choose!

We’ve covered 17 best slideshow software for PC you can use to create your own project. Consider your needs and pick the program that suits them the most. For example, do you want to make a pro-level slideshow with 3D effects and custom animations? Take a closer look at SmartSHOW 3D or ProShow.

Need a quick presentation for your colleagues? Go with Google Slides or Kapwing. Don’t want to pile up your HDD with software? Have a rather stable Internet connection? Try an online service - Kizoa or Smilebox.

Still not sure what to pick? Get more alternatives with pros and cons - read unbiased slideshow software reviews on TopTenReviews.

We hope this tier list will help you make your choice and pick the best slideshow software for your project. Now prepare your photos and go create a stunning video!