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Presentation program

A presentation program is a computer software package used to give presentations, normally in the form of a "slide show". They typically include three major functions, the slide show system to display content in a linear fashion, an editor that allows text to be moved around en-mass from slide to slide, and a graphics system for quickly drawing "business graphics" (charts and graphs).

The most common example of a presentation program today is Microsoft PowerPoint, originally a 3rd party application for the Macintosh that was purchased in the 1980s. PowerPoint is considered by many to be the worse of all presentation programs, with Aldus Persuasion often being used as the benchmark. However Microsoft's dominant position in the "office suite" market has pushed all other players out of the market.

Originally these programs were used to generate 35mm slides, to be presented at shows using a slide projector. As these programs became more common in the later 1980s, several companies set up services that would accept the shows on diskette and print them to slides or transparencies. In the 1990s dedicated LCD-based screens that could be placed on the projectors started to replace the transparencies, and by the late 1990s they have almost all been replaced by dedicated computer projector screens.