Spice-Up is a free and open-source slideshow presentation editor. It is designed for Linux, specifically for Elementary OS, but also runs on any other Linux distribution by adding their PPA, their repository has instructions on how to do that. The design language of the program is tailored for Elementary OS users, as the OS AppCenter is the main distributor of the software. If you work a lot with slideshows and was afraid of switching to Linux, this software might be a kickstart you wanted. It is lightweight and functional, though, somewhat limited.
Currently, I couldn't find a version ported for Windows or Mac, but if you are a developer you might try to port it somehow to give it a try. If you are a Linux user, you won't have problems installing.
Curated by Elementary OS
You can find a very concise presentation page of Spice-Up on the Elementary OS AppCenter, as that is the main mean of the distribution of the app.
The software is free, but, as I have explained on a post about the elementary AppCenter, the platform tries to convince you to pay for it.
Even though every single software you can see on the AppCenter image above is free, some of them have a "suggested donation". The suggested donation is the amount of money the developer would like to receive as a donation for every download. It is not mandatory by any means, you can download anything for free, but the way the AppCenter shows you the price, it makes people think it is paid:
The developer of Spice-Up, called Felipe Escoto, have chosen a bold amount of $20 as a donation per download. That might work for him and he can either get many, or none, dollars. I don't think most people that use Elementary OS know that the suggested price is not mandatory, and they can either lower the amount or download for free because that requires a few extra steps (2 or 3 extra clicks).
That is ok, though, that is the strategy Elementary OS chose to try to push people to donate more to open source projects, and I respect that, in my post, about the AppCenter I have said many good things about that approach to donation. But I think the developer might have gone a bit too far, many people use Linux to save money, or because they have old computers that can't run heavier operating systems (Linux is extremely efficient on computing resources). Because of the previously said, I believe many users will see the "price tag" (which is actually a suggested donation tag) and just think "well, that is out of my budget, think I will just find something else. Of course, that is what I think, the developer knows better how to run his project than I do.
I am very positively impressed by how much effort the developer puts into this project. He deserves the visibility for that. 2019 has barely started, many people are getting back from vacations, and the Felipe has already rolled out an update with 7 improvements on the version 1.8.0 (data taken from Elementary OS AppCenter).
This shows that the developer is compromised with the feedback from his community, and still cares about the project. There are bigger projects that often seem that were forgotten by the devs. Sure, this program is smaller (in MB size, more on that later) than many other projects, but that does not mean it is less complex. I must compliment them for rolling out frequent updates, that makes the Linux community of open source software healthy and up to date.
I am excited to see what will we have new on the version 2.0.0, which, for now, as far as I have dug into the internet, does not have a release date scheduled yet.
This is a feature I care when choosing to review and promote any project. I realize that many Linux users do not have a very powerful computer. Though mine can handle lots of things (8 cores, 16GB of ram and 2 graphics cards), I am the exception, not the norm, so being light in computation resources is important.
And on that requirement, Spice-Up excels, so much that I can't believe my own eyes. The program has most features I would probably ever need to make presentations, including pre-built templates, but still, the ZIP file from Github takes only 2.3MB of space on my SSD:
That means it was downloaded and installed within 1 to 2 seconds, from the AppCenter. This is a sign that the code is well optimized. Some projects suffer from code repetition and other inefficiencies. This one is very well-built and the file size is a sign of that.
Another real usage benchmark that I do to check how well do a software perform is to check how long does it take to open it, from when I click on the icon to when I can already interact with the interface. On that regard, the result is not unexpected, for a 2.3MB program, it opens instantly. I have reported other open source programs that open in 1 to 2 seconds, but I can report that Spice-Up literally opens up instantly. I have tried to use a stopwatch, but as soon as I click the "start" button to start tracking the time, the software is already open.
As I have mentioned in another section, Spice-Up can be limited, as it is very light, free and simple to use, but for my usage, I don't miss anything from PowerPoint (my old slideshow editor).
Also, Spice-Up has a variety of ready to use templates. In my opinion, to be honest, I would use less than half of those templates in my working environment, they don't look very "serious", but that depends on the work environment you have, a creative worker might feel like the templates fit them well.
Someone I think the templates would match are students at any grade, maybe even some at college, as most of them have a "younger" feel.
Take a look them, from the screenshot I have taken from my program:
I use, frequently, most of them, on presentations on my university, and I haven't received any complaints about design, however, I don't feel confident to use them at work. Maybe the ones that are less colorful and more flat would fit for doing a pitch or showing some data to the managers, but still, I prefer to find a background that is flatter.
When you click a template, you go to a screen with a few slides already made for you, so you can use them to get inspired, which is another feature that makes me very impressed, keep in mind this is a 2.3MB program that already comes with high-resolution background images, and if that was not enough, it has pre-built templates, in case your creativity is not working well today.
As you can see from the screens above, the default "tech" presentation is not bad at all. I would personally not use it because I prefer something less colorful, but I can see some web designers using it to showcase new designs and features. If a front-end engineer tries to use that, I don't think anyone on the room would complain, but again, depends on your environment.
If being light and having pre-built templates with good high-quality images were not enough, it also can export the file as PDF, have a built-in presentation browser (it can be both, editor and presentation browser) and can be controlled remotely. That surely impresses me.
Here is all the list of features for the program, form the Elementary OS AppCenter, on this screenshot:
For having so many features, if you use Linux, I believe they are worth giving a try.
Just remember, it is free and open source, but the developers, as per the AppCenter page, ask you to, if you can, kindly make a donation. Their donation price is a bit high in my opinion, but hey, if you make a pitch for an investor and get an angel investor because of this app, what are $20, right?
AppCenter page for Spice-Up:
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