Turning your PowerPoint presentation into a Prezi

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A fast-paced, practical guide to creating impressive presentations for your students and colleagues with this book and ebook

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by Domi Sinclair | April 2013 | e-Learning Open Source

Moving to Prezi doesn't have to mean abandoning all the hard work you've put into perfecting your PowerPoint slides. That work is still useful, as you can import your PowerPoint into Prezi. This is a good starting point as it allows you to rework your familiar content.

This article by Domi Sinclair, author of Instant Prezi for Education How-to takes you through the steps to creating more engaging presentations using Prezi.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

Getting ready

For this recipe you will need to have a PowerPoint presentation on your computer that you can use. If you choose a PowerPoint you are currently using to teach with, this may be of more value, but any PowerPoint will help you complete the steps.

How to do it...

  1. Make sure you have logged into your Prezi account.

  2. There should be a box that says +New prezi. Click on this to start a new prezi.

  3. You will need to give your prezi a title. This should be something short but descriptive of the content of the prezi. You can always add a more detailed description or extra information about the prezi in the description box (although the description box is optional).

  4. You will then be presented with a list of templates. Choose Blank template.

  5. If a help box appears (usually it appears only if something has changed recently in Prezi or if this is your first time using the system), click on OK. You can always review this help material at a later date.

  6. At the top of the screen there should be several options, one of which is PowerPoint. Click on this option.

  7. This will present you with a browse window, allowing you to search for files on your computer. Navigate to and select a PowerPoint file that you can upload.

  8. Once you have selected a PowerPoint and clicked open the presentation, the slides should load in Prezi on the right-hand side. From here you can choose Insert All... . However, for the purposes of this recipe, we will select individual slides.

  9. Hover your mouse cursor over the first slide. Your mouse cursor should change into the directional cursor (a cross with arrows at each of the four ends). Click-and-drag the slide onto the center of the screen:

  10. You will then see three icons on top of the slide. At the center of the slide is a hand. You can click on this to move the slide around. To the right of the slide there are two icons, a green tick and a red cross. Click on the red cross to remove the slide from the center screen (note: it will still be available on the right-hand side list). Click on the green tick to place the slide into your prezi. Please do the latter at this stage.

  11. Move your mouse over the slide so that it is highlighted by a blue box. Then click on it and move it around the screen.

  12. Now try inserting another slide following the previous steps.

  13. To save and exit your prezi, click on the icon in the top right-hand corner, the one furthest to the right, the cross next to the word Exit:

How it works...

You can now add PowerPoint slides to your prezi. Editing the slides once they are in Prezi is the same as editing the frames added via a prezi template or by scratch. We will look at how to start prezis in those different ways before we learn how to edit the content of frames.

When you add your PowerPoint slides to Prezi, it turns each slide into a separate frame. A frame is the way Prezi groups together different content, just like you would group content onto one slide in PowerPoint. When the slide is converted into a frame, Prezi identifies each individual element of content that went into making that slide, such as images, title text, and body text. This means you can still edit and remove these elements individually, just as you would be able to in PowerPoint.

In Prezi it is possible to have frames within a frame (whereas it is not possible to have a slide within a slide when using PowerPoint); this allows you to create subframes. This could be a great way to include any additional detail that you are not sure you will need in a lesson. You can add the slide as a subframe and simply zoom into it if you need it, or skip past it if you don't. This is much more subtle than having to skip past the slide in a PowerPoint. We will learn more about this as we develop our Prezi skills.

Please also note that while we have learned how to save and exit in the recipe, you can also save while you are creating and editing your prezi at any stage by clicking the floppy disk icon at the top left-hand corner of the screen.

There's more...

Now that you have the basics of adding PowerPoint slides to a Prezi, here are some of the other ways in which you can do it.

Insert All...

In this recipe we went through adding each slide one by one, which can be valuable as it allows you to pick out the slides you want. This is particularly useful if you have a lot of slides in your PowerPoint as this could be a good time to review which ones are the key slides. It is best to only include important information in a prezi, so narrowing it down is a valuable exercise.

However, if you do want to include all of the slides, simply click on Insert All... , located at the top of the slide list on the right-hand side of the screen. This will then give you a list of layout options; select one and click on Insert. If you do not want any of those layouts, don't worry. Once all the slides have been placed into the prezi, you can then move them around by hovering over a slide and clicking-and-dragging it to your desired location, so just choose any layout.

Finding the Prezi help

If you had to close the Welcome to Prezi video to perform this recipe, do not worry, you can access this and the other Prezi help at any time. While in a prezi, you will notice a series of icons in the top right-hand corner of the screen; these include the save and exit icon and a print icon. Click on the first icon on the right-hand side. A series of lines with a drop-down arrow will produce a menu, which lists all the available help. If you click on the "Welcome to Prezi" video option, this will open in a new window and should start playing automatically.

Moving content out of frames

If you hover over any of the content within a frame (slide), it should get selected and there will a blue line around its edges. You then click-and-drag this content out of one frame (slide) into another, or just leave it elsewhere on the page. This means you can edit your slides once they are in prezi


This article has helped us upload the slides into Prezi if you already have the content you want in a PowerPoint presentation; you can then rearrange, edit, or delete them as desired.

Resources for Article :

Further resources on this subject:

Instant Prezi for Education How-to [Instant] A fast-paced, practical guide to creating impressive presentations for your students and colleagues with this book and ebook
Published: March 2013
eBook Price: $9.99
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About the Author :

Domi Sinclair

Domi is the author of Prezi for Education How-to also release by Packt Publishing. She has worked for a number of UK universities in the area of e-learning. These roles requires her to advise colleagues and students on the use of a range of technology-enhanced learning solutions including social media and collaboration platforms such as Prezi. Domi has used Prezi for numerous presentations internally, within her institutions, and at external conferences both nationally and internationally. She has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a Masters' degree in Media, both of which required her to use innovative platforms and hone her presentation skills. It was through this desire to stand out during presentations that she first discovered the Prezi platform, and she has been utilizing it ever since.

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