Powerpoint graphics for science presentations

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This page is to collect tips and links on how to make nice Powerpoint vector graphics for science presentations. Please add to this page at your leisure.

How to draw in Powerpoint

VisiScience - a company selling Powerpoint graphics - has some excellent tutorials: http://visiscience.com/blog/12

Finding ready-made drawings for re-use

By far the best repository I could find online is from a French pharmaceutical company called Servier. They have an entire library with well drawn Powerpoint vector graphics free for non-commercial use: http://www.servier.com/SMART/home_smart.asp

VisiScience offers some free slide for download and use: http://visiscience.com/free_powerpoint_slides.php

Comparison with other software packages

  • pro - Powerpoint is very widespread, meaning your colleagues can probably open your files. It exist for PCs and Macs.
  • pro - Powerpoint is relatively simple to use. Try using Illustrator to draw a line for the first time and you'll know what I mean.

  • con - The .PPT format is closed source which hinders compatibility with other software packages. In some cases you can copy and paste without forcing conversion of the vector graphics to bitmaps which are no longer scalable and editable. Other drawing suites use formats like SVG [1] which are more compatible.
  • con - Powerpoint drawing capabilities are relatively limited. For complicated graphics you will feel the lack of functions available in Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc.

See also