Do you know how to work on PowerPoint or in?

Are you going to draw this on AutoCAD or in AutoCAD or with AutoCAD?

What could be the right preposition for the sentences above?

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


When you are talking about using the program itself, then "with" is the way to go, as you describe with what tool you fulfill the action.

If you talk about parts or portions within the program, then you should use "in".

So for your question about PowerPoint it would be:

Do you know how to work with PowerPoint?

As for your question about AutoCAD, it can be either:

Are you going to draw this with AutoCAD?


Are you going to draw this in AutoCAD?

because you use the program to draw, but the drawing functionality is within the program. I personally would use "with" for your specific question.

  • In the first example, you don't need to use a preposition at all. You could simply say Do you know how to use PowerPoint? (But I agree that with is the better preposition.) Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 5:08
  • Of course, it would be possible to change the sentence as you have written, but since the question specifically had "work" as the verb, I stuck with it.
    – Geshode
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 5:18
  • #Geshode I thank you for this clarification from the bottom of my heart. But I am wondering what has got you stuck in that question? Could you be more specific?
    – Kannan
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 9:48
  • @Kannan Nothing has got me stuck in the question. When I wrote "I stuck with it" in the comment, I meant, that I used your example with "work" in it, instead of changing it to "use", as it was done in Jason's comment. So, all it means is, that I didn't change the verb.
    – Geshode
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 11:58

From my personal experience the preposition "in" is the common choice when speaking about using or working in a software:

  • Can you apply such an effect in Photoshop?
  • Is there a cartoon-like rendering engine in Blender?
  • Do you spell-check in Office Word?

However, when we speak of the software or services, or tools, or packages as of objects, we use "with":

  • What is wrong with Corel? It keeps crashing every several minutes.
  • With DirectX10 comes a lot of new features.

"on" is practically never used when speaking about software, however can be applied to platforms, programming languages and OS.

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