Harvard Graphics


Harvard Graphics is a pioneering presentation software developed in the 1980s by the company Software Publishing Corporation. It was primarily used on IBM-compatible PCs for creating charts, graphs, and slides for business presentations. Though it was highly popular during its time, it has since been overshadowed by Microsoft PowerPoint.


The phonetics for the keyword ‘Harvard Graphics’ using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are:ˈhɑrvərd ˈɡræfɪks

Key Takeaways

  1. Harvard Graphics was a pioneering presentation software developed in the 1980s, which provided advanced charting, graphing, and other visual features for creating professional slide shows.
  2. It offered a user-friendly interface, customizable templates, and robust features that made it a popular choice for business professionals and educators alike.
  3. Though it has since been overshadowed by competitors like Microsoft PowerPoint, Harvard Graphics played a significant role in the development and evolution of presentation software.


Harvard Graphics was an important technology term because it represented a pioneering computer software program in the world of presentation graphics.

Developed by Software Publishing Corporation in the 1980s, Harvard Graphics was among the first programs to integrate text, charts, and images into a professional and visually appealing presentation format.

Its user-friendly interface and advanced features enabled users, even those with limited technical skills, to create high-quality presentations, revolutionizing the way individuals and businesses communicated their ideas.

By setting the stage for modern-day presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides, Harvard Graphics played a critical role in shaping the evolution of digital presentation tools, helping to make them an essential part of today’s communication landscape.


Harvard Graphics, a pioneer in the world of presentation software, was developed primarily to create professional-quality visual aids for business-related communications. As an application separate from Microsoft Office, it was devised for the purpose of complementing word processors, spreadsheets, and databases.

Its importance lies in its ability to compile and display business data in a way that is both visually impressive and easy to understand, making the information easily digestible for clients, colleagues, and key stakeholders alike. By offering various toolkits and templates, Harvard Graphics streamlines the process of crafting polished presentations, eliminating the need for extensive technical knowledge while allowing users to focus on content and messaging.

The software’s versatility allows it to be used across a wide array of scenarios like sales pitches, company marketing materials, training seminars, quarterly or annual reporting, and strategic planning sessions. In these contexts, Harvard Graphics serves as a vital tool for visually representing data, such as graphs, charts, and diagrams, to make complex information more accessible.

Furthermore, by supporting features like animation and multimedia integration, the software enables presenters to engage their audiences effectively, ensuring the data presented is not only informative but also compelling. Overall, Harvard Graphics continues to be a powerful collaboration tool that bridges the gap between data-driven insights and visually appealing presentations, making it an invaluable asset in the realms of business and education.

Examples of Harvard Graphics

Harvard Graphics is a presentation software that gained popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s. It offered a user-friendly interface for creating slides, charts, and diagrams. Here are three real-world examples where Harvard Graphics was utilized:

Business Presentations: In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Harvard Graphics was considered one of the leading software solutions for creating business presentations. Organizations like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and General Electric used this technology to create professional-looking slides. Managers and executives would use Harvard Graphics to present sales reports, financial analysis, marketing strategies, or project updates to team members and stakeholders.

Academic Conferences and Lectures: Professors, researchers, and students relied on Harvard Graphics during the 1980s and 1990s for creating visually engaging presentations for academic conferences and lectures. Researchers could use the software to create charts and diagrams illustrating their findings, while educators utilized it to develop course material or deliver their lectures.

Training Programs and Seminars: Companies and organizations frequently used Harvard Graphics to create training materials for their employees. This could include instructional courses about a company’s policies, workshops on leadership development, or seminars on effective communication. Consultants and coaches also employed the software to develop compelling presentations for their clients and workshop attendees.

Harvard Graphics FAQ

What is Harvard Graphics?

Harvard Graphics is a presentation and graphing application developed by Software Publishing Corporation (SPC) for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. It was one of the first software programs for creating presentations and is considered a pioneer in the computer presentation software niche.

When was Harvard Graphics first released?

Harvard Graphics was first released in 1986 for the MS-DOS operating system. It gained popularity as a powerful presentation tool for businesses and educational institutions throughout the late 1980s and 1990s.

What are the key features of Harvard Graphics?

Harvard Graphics offered a wide range of features for creating effective presentations, including customizable charts and graphs, drawing tools, text formatting, and slide transition effects. It also provided a user-friendly interface for designing and editing presentations and allowed users to print slides or export them to foils or overhead transparencies.

Is Harvard Graphics still available?

No, Harvard Graphics is no longer available or supported. The last version, Harvard Graphics Pro Presentations, was released in the late 1990s. The company, Software Publishing Corporation, went out of business in 2001. Users looking for presentation software should consider newer alternatives like Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote.

Can I open Harvard Graphics files in current presentation software?

Converting Harvard Graphics files to modern presentation software formats can be difficult, as most presentation software no longer supports the outdated file types used by Harvard Graphics. You may be able to find third-party conversion tools to help with this process or use emulation software to access the original Harvard Graphics program and manually recreate the presentations in a newer software application.

Related Technology Terms

  • Presentation Software
  • Business Charts
  • Slide Shows

  • Graphical Editor
  • Data Visualization

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