Using iA Presenter for impromptu presentations and keeping notes in one place

3 min readAug 18

Last October, I explored new presentation tools. I was intrigued by the presentation as code idea, where you craft your presentation in text form, and the actual slides are generated for you. I started experimenting with Obsidian’s advanced slides plugin and with iA Presenter, a brand new tool from Information Architects..

This was all before the advent of generative artificial intelligence, changing many productivity and business tools.

Here’s a quick update on my experiment with iA Presenter.

After several iterations, the tool was officially released in 2023. I ended up buying a license to it, as it had served me well. I am able to create and evolve a good looking presentation in no time from a markdown text file. Being able to add a background image per slide was a great improvement.

Overall, you need to be willing to let iA Presenter do the layout. You give up control for a different and faster creation process. You can not add text, images or diagrams as you want. I ended up creating diagrams outside of the tool using a variety of tools. (There are even tools that create flowcharts from text file if you want to be extreme in your use of Markdown.)

Initially I linked to images by URL. Yet, I found that I had more options when I added the images to the tool. This increases the presentation directory size. When generating images using artificial intelligence with Dall-E, downloading and importing is the only way. I wish there was the ability to specify a common image directory, in addition to having it local to each presentation.

As my teammates do not have the tool, I have not been succesful with a collaborative creation process. I had shared the Markdown file in git in the hopes folks would edit the presentation in the source text format. That has not worked out. It requires a change of religion for many. I also share a draft presentation in PDF format for feedback. However, that’s been cumbersome for my colleagues.

Although iA added Export to PowerPoint, I haven’t used it. I imagine this will become more useful when folks will want to “borrow” slides to embed in their own presentations.


Coach, cheerleader, blocker, and tackler for my team. Building the connectivity platform for Autonomous Systems. More info: