Synonyms for "PowerPoint"
August 5, 2005 9:21 AM   Subscribe

A generic Kleenex is a "tissue," a generic Q-Tip is a "cotton swab." What is a generic PowerPoint presentation called?

I'm editing a publication that frequently refers to PowerPoint presentations, but the authors want to avoid endorsing a particular piece of software. We're searching for a good general-purpose synonymn that doesn't make us sound like we're luddites. Edward Tufte uses "slideware," and we've contemplated "electronic slide presenations," but I'm not wild about either of those. What do you call this category of software programs? What do you call the presentations that use this type of software?
posted by lewistate to Computers & Internet (19 answers total)
slideshows! There no longer seems to be any confusion with the possibility of people walking in with a carousel and a clicker.
posted by whatzit at 9:24 AM on August 5, 2005

I just use "slides" or "presentation". Very few people where I work use Powerpoint, so nobody refers to it by that name.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 9:26 AM on August 5, 2005

Eric Meyer, who makes a non-Powerpoint thingdoo that does these things, calls them slide shows or slide show systems. I've also seen it called presentation software.
posted by jessamyn at 9:30 AM on August 5, 2005


Seriously, the powerpoint rangers I work with call tem slideshows (and thus each page a slide), presentations or just the noun form a PowerPoint.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:30 AM on August 5, 2005

a deck.
posted by jeb at 9:41 AM on August 5, 2005


Ok, maybe not. You said the best generic term already. They're "presentations". Powerpoint is "presentation software".

OpenOffice has a PowerPoint alternative called "Impress" now. Look at their page for it. They keep referring to "presentations".
posted by redteam at 9:47 AM on August 5, 2005

I've seen, like Jeb, a lot of people call them a "deck", as in deck of slides or deck of cards. Oddly enough I first encountered this naming with people in the US pharma. industry, although I'm sure it's not confined to there. I find it kind of annoying actually, for some unknown reason. I just go with "presentation".
posted by GreenTentacle at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2005

I've heard the term "preso" a lot. Although I hate it.
posted by greasepig at 10:00 AM on August 5, 2005

I never heard 'deck' until I got on a project with Accenture um, resources. Hate deck, hate preso, hate fucking PowerPoint.
posted by fixedgear at 10:11 AM on August 5, 2005

slides, foils.
posted by substrate at 10:17 AM on August 5, 2005

Thanks for the suggestions. We decided to go with "slide presentations" when we're referring to the presentations themselves (as opposed to regular oral presentations, which this book refers to, as well), and "presentation software" when we're referring to the category of software programs.
posted by lewistate at 10:39 AM on August 5, 2005

In 7th grade, we called them filmstrips. They were almost as boring as 99.99999999% of the PowerPoint presentations are now.
posted by KRS at 11:02 AM on August 5, 2005

"Digital presentations" is the groan inducing name we call it in flyover country.
posted by geoff. at 11:57 AM on August 5, 2005

"Deck" especially makes sense if you're old-school enough to have been really into HyperCard on the Mac.
posted by mikeh at 12:44 PM on August 5, 2005

I normally call them "multimedia presentations."
posted by ScottUltra at 1:24 PM on August 5, 2005

Microsoft's trademark lawyers are falling down on the job here. Wait until some of this other software starts taking off and people are still making "Powerpoint Presentations."
posted by caddis at 1:30 PM on August 5, 2005

I've never heard "Deck" used by itself, but "slide deck" or "slides" is very popular around these parts.
posted by mmascolino at 1:33 PM on August 5, 2005

I've heard "deck," and being one of those unnecessary neologisms, the word gives me the heebie-jeebies. "Preso" is completely unfamiliar, I've never heard the term. You'd be laughed out of a room for using such baby-talk where I work -- certainly nobody would take you seriously.

I consider the terms "slideshow" or "presentation" to be the most accurate. When talking about the file on disk, it is a "presentation file," and when the contents of the file are displayed, that content is a "slideshow."

The software to create a slideshow, save it as a presentation file, and display the content is "presentation software."
posted by majick at 7:11 PM on August 5, 2005

Overheads! Or am I showing my age?
posted by zudfunck at 4:34 PM on August 9, 2005

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