Working in business, a good PowerPoint presentation always impresses me. A large part of this is because I am terrible at making them myself. A good slideshow is part information/data and part art. The information and data part I have no issues with. Sadly, I have no artistic ability, so translating the data and information into a nice presentation is painful for me. The colours and elements on each slide must complement each other, and the formatting must be on point. You also need to ensure there is a cohesive theme throughout the presentation. A time-consuming ordeal for me. That's where Beautiful.ai steps in.
Beautiful.ai is an AI-powered presentation maker that incorporates smart templates, automatic formatting and numerous generative AI features. I decided to use it to create a number of presentations for my business, Aiifi, to see if it made creating presentations faster and less of an ordeal for me. For those who find creating PowerPoints and presentations painful, this Beautiful.ai review is required reading.
For those who find creating, designing and formatting slideshows painful and time-consuming, Beautiful.ai is a must-try.
✅Smart slide templates are very impressive
❌Stock image selection is not great
✅Auto formatting of slides is excellent
❌Monthly cost $45 vs $12 if you pay for 1 year
✅ Editing elements is very intuitive. Even for data-intensive slides, the editor is user friendly
❌On occasion, a templates configuration meant a particular edit was not possible
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Who is this for?
If you lack the design skills to create impactful presentations or spend too long putting your slideshows together, Beautiful.ai is for you. It is targeted at professional users who need to create presentations for work. If your audience is children or others who are non-business related, you will find many templates unsuitable for you.
Smart slide templates
One of my two favourite features, the smart templates, are excellent. From simple title slides and bullet points to pie charts, Venn diagrams, flowcharts, and timelines, there is a wide selection of templates to get you started. I was able to create impressive-looking charts and graphs that I could never do in PowerPoint or Google Slides. All I needed to worry about was my text and data.
Auto-formatting of slides
My second favourite feature - as you edit and change slides, the design is automatically formatted in real-time. When I had a slide with four bullet points and added a 5th, AI adjusted the entire slide as soon as I added the 5th. The amount of time and pain I saved by not having to adjust the slide design every time I made an addition or change was enormous. Plus, Beautiful.ai AI uses the rules of great design when formatting, so I knew my slides looked good.
Editing slides is easy and intuitive
Adding text, images and data to slides is simple. On a template, I click on the element I want to edit. A standard editor bar appears so that I can adjust that element. There is a drag handle to resize images and elements, with the entire slide being re-formatted once I do.
Ease of Use
Clean & intuitive user interface
A problem I often see with tools like presentation makers is a cluttered user interface. Beautiful.ai avoids this by having a simple, user-friendly interface. Items like the element editor bars only appear when you click on an element, which I really like. By the time I finished my second presentation, I was fully comfortable with the Beautiful.ai layout.
Standard control panels for presentation makers feel familiar
If you have previously used PowerPoint or Google Slides, all the usual controls feature in Beautiful.ai. I can move between the slides in my presentation using the control panel at the top of the screen. I can change a slide's colour scheme and layout using the control panel on the left of the screen. The panel at the bottom of the screen lets me add/remove/adjust the specific slide I am working on. As mentioned above, I can also click on an element on the slide to make adjustments directly to that element.
Beginner-friendly/short learning curve
I have used PowerPoint previously, so I am familiar with presentation makers. However, I was impressed by how quickly I adjusted to using Beautiful.ai. After 90 minutes of starting, the controls felt natural. I did not miss the PowerPoint control panel at all. For those without prior experience creating slideshows, Beautiful.ai will prove to be beginner friendly.
Beautiful.ai has three pricing plans:
Pro ($45/month or $12/month billed annually)
Team ($50/month or $40/month billed annually)
Enterprise (custom quote available on request)
Aiifi uses the Pro plan, and this was the version we tested for this review.
The 14-day free trial is for the PRO plan. All features of the PRO plan are available during the trial. A credit card is required to avail of the 14-day free trial.
Pros and Cons
As I mentioned in the review summary, Beautiful.ai, like any tool, has pros and cons. Let's explore these in more detail:
Smart Slide Templates
I created slides using the Beautiful.ai templates that I would never have made on my own. The variety of templates also impressed me. Everything I needed for business presentations was there.
Slides that auto-format
Not having to reformat and re-design slides when I made an update saved me a mountain of time. Plus, the AI ensures the slides follow correct design rules, something I could never do.
Intuitive editor controls
Overall, I found the slide editor and the user interface excellent. By my second slideshow, I was entirely comfortable, which meant I could make presentations that I was satisfied with.
Template configuration limitations
I found on occasion that a change I tried to make was not possible. For example, I wanted to move an image to a different area on the slide, but the configuration meant I could not do this.
Stock image selection
The selection of stock images available natively could be better. It was easy for me to upload external images and use those in my slides, but it is something to be aware of.
Paying monthly for PRO costs 375% more than if you paid for one year upfront
A year's PRO subscription costs $12 a month if paid upfront. Pay monthly, and it is $45, a whopping 375% premium. For comparison, Sendsteps is $10 a month if paid annually or $14 if paid monthly - a 40% premium. Tome is a 25% premium.
Beautiful.ai is ideal for people who, like me, understand the power of a good presentation but don't have the time or skills to create an elite deck. The ready-to-use templates meant I could develop slides that would not have been possible for me to build on my own. Naturally, the time it takes to make a slideshow also dramatically drops. It's faster, far less painful, and I ended up with decks that I would never have been able to create on my own. With a 14-day free trial available, I recommend you at least give it a go!