Skip to Content

What is the Difference between PowerPoint, Word, and Excel?

What is the Difference between PowerPoint, Word, and Excel?

Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel make it possible to do so much with regards to our jobs. The trio has something to offer for almost everyone. But, what exactly is the difference between PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, and what does each piece of software do? Let’s find out!

The main difference between PowerPoint, Word, and Excel is the purpose of each software. PowerPoint is used for making presentations. Excel is the most helpful for capturing, tracking, and analyzing data with the help of graphical charts. Word is used for creating documents such as reports and books.

But, there is a lot more to it and in this article, I’m going to talk about what each one does, the differences between the three, and finally, how can we leverage the power of the three applications by working with all of them together. So, keep reading!

A Quick Note Before We Begin – if you want to make jaw-dropping presentations, I would recommend using one of these Presentation Designs. The best part is – it is only $16.5 a month, but you get to download and use as many presentation designs as you like! I personally use it from time-to-time, and it makes my task of making beautiful presentations really quick and easy!

Key Difference between PowerPoint, Word, and Excel

Although these three applications can be used in a way that all three work together, there are differences that set them apart. Each application is used for different tasks and in this section, that is what we are going to talk about. So, let’s get into it.

  • PowerPoint is used to present data or talking points in a slide show format. Presentations are a great way to summarize information, a project report, learnings from a research study, and much more. Microsoft PowerPoint helps you to create presentations.
  • Excel is used to manage and organize data. You can capture data, record information over time, and analyze the data by creating charts and graphs using that data.
  • Microsoft Word is used to create detailed reports, brief summaries, proposals, and pretty much anything that requires a lot of text. This is because it is a word processor.

As you can see, each application has a different goal, and thus are designed to be different from each other. Obviously, if the goal or the objective of the software is different, there are bound to be several differences in the functionalities. That said, I shall not focus on the differences in the functionalities of the three applications as pretty much everything will be different.

What is Microsoft PowerPoint?

Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most powerful tools that any company can use when it comes to meetings and presentations. PowerPoint uses a slide show method of giving presentations.

PowerPoint has a wealth of features that help professionals get their messages across to their colleagues or clients. We have a large library of articles that cover everything that you need to know about PowerPoint. So, after reading this article, why not go check some of them out.

How does PowerPoint work?

To use PowerPoint, you need to have Microsoft Office installed on your PC, laptop, or Mac. Most new machines come with Office pre-installed with no payment necessary. In some cases, you will only have a free trial and will need to buy a license key.

If you do not have Office at all, you can buy it from a retail store or online. Regardless of which method you choose, you will most likely need to download it. Here is a link to the Microsoft website where you will be able to download the MS Office Suite.

Once Office is installed, you will be able to open PowerPoint and start making presentations.

What is PowerPoint Used for?

PowerPoint is used for making slide show presentations. You may need a presentation for various reasons. For instance, you may want to create a presentation giving an overview of your organization, or a pitch presentation for your investors, or perhaps a summarized performance presentation for the annual report.

The purpose of creating a presentation can be endless. The type of presentations that you make depends on what your profession is. Below is a small indicative list of professions and what they use PowerPoint for.

  • Salesperson: There is no better way for a salesperson to get a message across to their potential clients than a presentation.
  • Entrepreneurs: They would use PowerPoint for the same reason as a salesperson would need presentations. If you have meetings to sell your service, product or to raise funding, a presentation can go a long way in helping.
  • Managers: Managing a team of people is not easy. If you want to really make an impression on your team, why not use presentations? You could also use them when delivering reports to your peers or reporting managers.
  • Public Speakers: This is the most common use of presentations. Using presentations is the best way to keep your audience engaged while you give an awe-inspiring speech.

Advantage of Using PowerPoint

The main advantage of using PowerPoint is that you can create intriguing and visually appealing presentations for your clients, boss, or a classroom of students. PowerPoint has a massive selection of features that allow you to create truly personalized representations of your data, product, or service.

Difference between PowerPoint and Word

For us to talk about the difference between PowerPoint and Word, the easiest way to do this would be to talk about what Word is and what it does first. Let’s get straight to it.

What is Microsoft Word?

MS Word is a word processor. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite. MS Word is the most commonly used application within all the offerings of MS Office. Here are some of the reasons why MS Word is so popular. This list should also help explain exactly what MS Word is used for –

  • Microsoft Word used for creating large pieces of content, articles, or even blog posts.
  • Microsoft Word is also used for creating detailed reports, writing summaries, capturing information about a research, etc.
  • Word is also perfectly suited for filling out application for an award, circulating instructions for a questionnaire, and other business needs.
  • Microsoft Word can also be used to write business proposals, business agreements and contracts, and other business related confidential documents, etc.
  • It is also used within the educational domain to write anything from essays to speeches.

Key differences between PowerPoint and Word

The difference between Microsoft Word and PowerPoint is pretty big. While MS Word is used to create detailed documents, PowerPoint is used to present as much information with as little text as possible.

PowerPoint can be seen as a visual representation of data and MS Word is a text-based representation of data. Other than that, it is hard to mention other differences because they are completely different applications.

Difference between PowerPoint and Excel

We have already discussed, in some detail, what PowerPoint is. So, for this section, we will focus more on Excel and this should highlight what the differences are between the two. Let’s get straight to the point.

What is Microsoft Excel?

Excel is a program that is commonly used by accountants within a company. It can be used to manage any form of data that needs to be organized and managed. It can also be used to summarize data by creating graphs and charts.

Key differences between PowerPoint and Excel

There is one major difference between PowerPoint and Excel and that difference is the use of data.

Excel manages and organizes data and while you can turn the data into charts, Excel is not really the program that you want to use to present the data. PowerPoint is the better program for representing data.

You can use PowerPoint to present your Excel data. Let me share what I mean by that in our next section.

Using Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel together

Now this is where everything gets interesting and to be honest, this is where the power of Microsoft Office really stands out. All the programs can be used together to create a smooth workplace that runs like clockwork. Here’s how  PowerPoint, Word, and Excel can be used together.

Using PowerPoint and Word Together

You can place your presentations inside of MS Word documents which can help to remove the tediousness of repeating the same points in your presentation in word. Here’s how to do it.

  1. In PowerPoint go to the “Files” tab and select it. You should get a drop-down menu.
  1. In the drop-down menu, select the “Export” option. You should get another drop-down menu.
  1. Select “Create Handouts”. This will open a dialogue box.
  1. Now, select what layout you want.
  1. Paste the link directly into your Word document, and you are done!

Doing this will allow real-time changes within word if they are done in PowerPoint.

Using PowerPoint And Excel Together.

You can use PowerPoint to present your Excel data by creating a chart in PowerPoint and linking it to the Excel file. We have a full tutorial on this which you can read by clicking on the link below –

Final Thoughts

We have reached the end of this article. Hopefully, you have walked away with enough knowledge to impress your peers and understand the key differences between the three applications.

We discussed the differences between these three products and what they all do. Be sure to bookmark this page and keep up to date with all of our articles which are designed to make your work a lot easier.