How to – Prezi

So you’ve read my review on Prezi and hopefully now you are ready to start crating your first Prezi. I’ll walk you through the basics and hopefully steer you away from pot holes and troubles you may run into.
Since Prezi is totally online you need to sign up for a free account. Prezi does offer some paid versions which has its own advantages. Rather than go into them here, I’ve just taken a screen shot of what you can see how far your money will go.
wpid-prezichoices-2010-07-7-15-10.png

If you’re a teacher you can have some other options. You basically get the Enjoy plan for free and the Pro is at a significantly discounted price. Check out the options below.
wpid-educatiionchoices-2010-07-7-15-10.png

Saving A great advantage of using Prezi is that every change you make, Prezi automatically saves for you. So if your computer freezes or for whatever reason. Now once you are signed in creating a Prezi is very simple. One thing to remember is that once you create a Prezi, any change you make will be automatically saved. So no need to freak out if your computer freezes or goes down.

Control Wheel
You will notice something in the top left. I like to call that the Control Wheel. Here is what it looks like.
wpid-controlwheel-2010-07-7-15-10.png

The Control Wheel has all the options Prezi has to offer at the click of your mouse. It is important and will be the focus of this tutorial.

Insert Text This is just like double clocking on the canvas.
wpid-textbox-2010-07-7-15-10.png
The Three Rings
Once you have inserted something (text, image, video, whatever striked your fancy) you have some options on how to manipulate it. By manipulate I mean move, resize, rotate, delete, and a few more options. I don’t mean change it into a brain eating zombie. When you click on the object in question you will see what I loving refer to the Three Rings. Check out the picture below.wpid-rings-2010-07-7-15-10.png
Each rings has their own special function as you can plainly see, but if you need some more features just click on the on the Plus sign as pointed out here.
wpid-optionsbutton-2010-07-7-15-10.png wpid-options-2010-07-7-15-10.png

Zoom In and Out
This is very simple and can add a lot of neat effect to your Prezi. It is super simple. Just scroll the wheel on your mouse up to zoom in, then scroll the wheel on your mouse down to zoom out. If you do not have a mouse with a scroll wheel, it is time to plop down a few bucks and go out and get one. They are inexpensive and most work very well.
Insert

wpid-insert-2010-07-7-15-10.png

The Insert option is nice and you have two choices. One is to load a file and the other is to add a shape. Prezi supports a lot of files that can be uploaded. You can upload images, PDF documents, PowerPoints, Excel files, Word files, sounds, and even video or YouTube videos. To load a video, it must be a flash video file (.flv). That is currently the only way that I know of to upload movies. To upload a YouTube video it is incredibly easy. All you have to do is copy the URL link from YouTube, then put it into a text box.
wpid-youtubeurl-2010-07-7-15-10.png

Copy this and then paste it into a text box
wpid-insertyoutubevideo-2010-07-7-15-10.png

To add an image into a Prezi it is quite simple you will need to have the picture/image saved on your computer first. Copy and paste does not work with images in Prezi. Then click Load File and find the file on your computer then upload it. Depending on how large the file is will depend on how fast it uplaods. If you take a picture with your new 18 megapixel camera, it will certainly take longer than uploading a one page Word document. Make sense? Great! In other words, be patient and give your computer and your internet connection time to work its magic. You can also resize your images, but that will be a later post and video.

Changing the Color and Fonts

Again, if you look at the control dial you will see an option about Color and Fonts. This will change the entire theme of your Prezi. This is a great feature because it changes the entire Prezi, font and all, instantly. If you don’t like it, you can change it back. It is a fantastic little way to change up your Prezi
wpid-colorsandfonts-2010-07-7-15-10.png

Frame
This is a neat little feature. It basically puts a frame of any size around whatever you want. All you have to do is select Frame from the Control Wheel, select what type of fram style and then click and drag it on your canvas. Once there, you can resize, rotate, move, just like anything else on Prezi using the Three Rings. To get an idea of what styles you have check out the handy picture below.
wpid-frame-2010-07-7-15-10.png

Path
The Path option is supremely important. When you create a Prezi you can determine the path ahead of time so people who watch your Prezi don’t fumble around your presentation and mumbling to themselves “This doesn’t make sense!”
Here you have two options. The Add option will let you pick where to go (my favorite) and then there is the Capture View option which will pretty much let you go through the Prezi yourself and then remember. I like the Add option more because it is a bit easier. Capture View gives you more control, but requires more time, patience, and a good degree of skill.
wpid-path-2010-07-7-15-10.png
When you select the Add feature it is very simple. Simply click on the objects you would like to go to, in the order you want. You will see numbers pop up on the object and lines connecting one object to another. That is pretty wordy. Basically you are connecting the dots and your Prezi will obey your every click. Here is what it will look like when you’re done.
wpid-pathprogression-2010-07-7-15-10.png

Pretty cool huh?

Show
This is what it says it is. It will let you preview your Prezi. You can do it in full screen or normally. Some of my students had difficulties with Full Screen mode. I don’t know why, but if that happens to you, be sure to get out of there quick. Once you are previewing it, use your arrow keys to control the show. You will notice the Control Wheel will disappear. To get it back, simply move your mouse to the top left hand of your browser window and click. It should return.

Sharing Your Prezi
You’ve put in the hard work and now it is time for your audience to see your Prezi. Since Prezi is online, you have a number of options available to you. First click Exit (top right corner of the window) and go to your Prezis and find the Prezi you just finished. When you click on it you will find that you are now in a presentation mode, not an editing mode.

wpid-share-2010-07-7-15-10.png

From here you can click on Get link. This will give you the exact web address to your Prezi. If you’re going to be someplace without Internet, then Download it. It sill let you view and control the Prezi without the Internet. Pretty nice options huh?

Pitfalls
There may be more, but I have found two big ones. The first is the “Where the hell did it go?” question. You may find yourself asking this question if you have zoomed in a ton, added an image, text, or whatever, zoomed out and now can’t see where you left it. You can look but the easier solution is to find a landmark (near another object), zoom in and reinsert the info. Just remember where you put it this time. Don’t feel silly (though it is a bit humbling) just move on.
The other pitfall is something during the presentation. You have a part that zooms in near an image or text and the screen seems to flicker. Just move the two objects further away from each other. Don’t worry, your paths will automatically adjust. This should definitely fix the problem.

Overwhelmed?
This can be a lot to take in. Use the post as a reference material. If you have further questions check out the Prezi help section, the Prezi forums, or e-mail someone from ITBabble. We will be happy to help you out! Also, I’m going to make a quick YouTube video highlighting a few of Prezi’s features that might help you see how it all comes together.

Here is the how to video-check it out

You can e-mail me patrickcauley@gmail.com

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About Patrick Cauley

I teach middle school technology and love to play around with tech and teach students and colleagues alike. You can read my blog at www.itbabble.com
This entry was posted in Helpful Tips, Prezi, tutorial. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How to – Prezi

  1. Pingback: Prezi – Getting started | Technology in the Classroom

  2. Elena says:

    Hi, (with Prezi) I was wondering whether if it’s possible to upload a word document that can be downloaded to the viewers (as a word document)?

    • Elena,

      Thanks for stopping by. This is possible…sort of. You will have to upload your file to a cloud storage service like minus.com, ge.tt or mediafire.com. These services will give you a hyperlink. Insert this hyperlink into your Prezi. When someone clicks on it, the link will take them to a page where they can download that file (whatever it may be). Another option would be to upload the Word document to slideshare.net and then hyperlink to it in your Prezi.
      Unfortunately right now, Word documents cannot be uploaded to Prezi. I hope this helps.

      Patrick

  3. Joanne says:

    Thanks Patrick, I ended up using Ge.tt to send the zip file and it went OK.

    • Glad to hear it worked out. I have never heard of Ge.tt so I popped over and took a look. Wow! What a great resource to have. I’ll be sure to share that with the rest of my staff. Have a good day and thanks for stopping by.

  4. Joanne says:

    Hi there

    My students are creating a Prezi as an entrance in a contest to show environmental activities we have done through the year. However, we may not be able to use it as the entries need to be in a video format (most have been ppts which we found kinda boring!). The organizer wants me to send it to her to have a look. I have sent her an “invitation to view” the Prezi from the website and also a copy of the HTML code to embed it on a website (which is my understanding of the best way to get it on a website). I have downloaded the Prezi onto my computer (a zip file) and tried to send that file to her but can’t seem to get it to go through.

    Any ideas, comments, hints, tips????

    thanks!

    • Joanne,

      Thanks for the comment. I’ll get right on it and try to get an answer. It sounds like you’ve done all that you can, and I’m not sure why the file won’t send. If you’d like to send me the file, go right ahead. My e-mail is patrickcauley@gmail.com. If it comes through, then we know at least it is a problem is not on your end, but probably on theirs. I’ll reply again soon.

  5. Pingback: How to Prezi, the video | IT Babble

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