I am giving a lightning talk shortly and need to put together some slides. It is a technical talk about Perl documentation. I will be using a OS X machine to run the presentation software.

I would like something that is

  • minimalistic
  • easy to publish to the web
  • simple to control (forward and back should do it, but hotkey access to individual slides would be nice)
  • simple to create slides for (preferably purely text based and doesn't require much in the way of markup)
  • will run when not connected to the net

6 Answers 6


You might want to check out Vroom and Spork, both pretty minimal slide generators.


How about S5? http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/
(and here's the example show for a quick look http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/s5-intro.html)

It's entirely XHTML / CSS / JavaScript, and works in most web browsers (that I've tried anyway), so should be very easy to publish on the web.

You'll have to edit the XHTML to create slides; purely text based as you asked, but don't know if this meets your requirements RE minimal markup.

  • I have started playing with S5, specifically Pod::S5 (search.cpan.org/dist/Pod-S5/S5.pm). It looks fairly nice, but I none of the default themes are to my liking and I don't really want to spend the time hacking up a CSS file to make it look nice. Right now it is my fall back position. Jun 17, 2010 at 14:53
  • Damn... you beat me to it. Jun 17, 2010 at 15:43

I have heard good things about Prezi .

  • Good idea, but I am not guaranteed a network connection. I have changed the question to reflect this requirement. Jun 17, 2010 at 19:23
  • Note that you can download finished presentations for offline use: prezi.com/learn/portable-prezi There's even an offline editor (Prezi Desktop), but it needs a paid subscription.
    – sleske
    Jun 17, 2010 at 21:53
  • @sleske Ah, good news, I saw that it was a web app and stopped looking. I will have to give it another look. Jun 17, 2010 at 22:14

Google Docs - docs.google.com

You can share it easily.

  • Good idea, but I am not guaranteed a network connection. I have changed the question to reflect this requirement. Jun 17, 2010 at 19:22
  1. NeoOffice is free and opensource, works great on the Mac, and can export to PowerPoint, PDF, and various other formats (including, importantly, HTML for website viewing) for online and offline consumption. I would recommend this.
  2. I've hear good things about 280 Slides, which has a web interface that looks and uses like Apple Keynote, but of course runs on all platforms, and runs quickly. I seriously believe it supports downloading slides for offline use in Microsoft PowerPoint format, etc.

I'd just go with a trial version of Powerpoint if you're limited on time.

There's a few alternatives here that you might be interested in:


In my opinion I'd use Sliderocket.

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