November 7, 2008

280Slides – Presentations Made Easy


As if putting together a PowerPoint presentation wasn’t user-friendly enough, here comes 280Slides. Compared to PowerPoint creation from a few years ago, putting together a presentation is reasonably easy, even for extreme novices. When first taking a look at 280Slides, you may be led to think that it’s trying to fulfill a niche that didn’t really need fulfilling. However, there are significant advantages to using 280Slides that will make your job easier. If you’re accustomed to working in PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote, 280Slides smartly allows users to import to desktop software.

What separates 280Slides from other web applications is that it has the feel of an actual software application, which is pretty unique and will set the standard for these apps that work in concert with desktop software. All of the commands you might be familiar using (cut, paste, delete, etc.) can be used on the site. So if you’re accustomed to keyboard shortcuts, this can seriously speed up how you interact with the site.

The main screen consists of a workspace, with several commands in the horizontal menu to add pictures, video, change theme, undo/redo, as well as front and back. The site offers the ability to import pictures from a number of different sources. The user can then export the project into a number of different file types: PPT (PowerPoint), PDF, open document, as well as embed it to a web page – making it a very versatile app.

Practical Uses:

  • Suppose you’re at a convention with no computer. You can just access a presentation on the web, rather than having to email the presentation to a different computer
  • You don’t have to worry about your laptop having PowerPoint or a similar program (which is important for out-of-office business meetings)
  • If you own a small business, you can confidently skip investing in expensive office software while your business grows (or possibly permanently)
  • Develop (or convert an existing) presentation into a web-friendly marketing tool which can be emailed or placed on your website

Insider Tips:

  • Use the site to send your 280Slides presentation via email or embed the presentation into your website for maximum versatility
  • Use the import button to obtain pictures from across the web – by far the app’s best feature

What we liked:

  • Sets the standard for how a website can run like a traditional application
  • Very easy-to-use interface. Great undo/redo capability with a long history
  • It’s free – other sites charge for advanced applications
  • Can be viewed in full-screen mode
  • 280Slides wisely auto-saves your documents to a secondary server so you never have to worry about your work getting lost
  • Seamless importing from websites like Flickr and Youtube

What we didn’t like:

  • The neatest thing about this site is that it mimics a desktop application. However, if you already have Keynote or PowerPoint and you’re comfortable using it, this app is interesting but not entirely necessary
  • The application is somewhat slow – especially with older computers. Even on new computers, images can take some time to load
  • There’s not a lot of extra bells and whistles, such as rounded corners or shading, that can spruce up a presentation


Company Info:

  • Launched: June 2008
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Redwood City, CA
  • Founded by: Francisco Tolmasky, Tom Robinson and Ross Boucher
  • Web site:


  • Free

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