Prezi Just Got a Whole Lot Easier
Prezi rolled out a major new release January 22, 2019, that makes it so easy to make a prezi look good that it’s practically fool-proof. The first thing you’ll notice is the new menu. Instead of multiple menu options, now you’ll only see three at the top of the online Prezi Editor – Style, Insert, and Share. (You won’t see this on your desktop version until you’ve updated your Prezi software.) When selected, each of these three menu options has a sub-menu that appears below.
In addition to the different menu, Prezi offers a whole new way to customize your formatting. You don’t have to be a designer to make a prezi look good. You can leave it to the software to do the design work for you. The new Style menu makes it easy and fool-proof to change the appearance of your presentation. Use it to automatically select a background image and coordinating colors. You can make a prezi look good without stressing over all the design details because Prezi does everything for you. This makes it easier and quicker to customize your Prezi presentation so it doesn’t look like everybody else’s.
Choose a Background and Color Palettte
Here’s how the new automated design features work. After selecting a built-in Prezi template, a blank prezi appears on screen ready for you to add your own content. That’s how it’s always worked. But now, instead of making all your design changes manually, you can make the prezi look good effortlessly.
- First click the Style menu. You’ll have two options to choose from – Background and Colors.
- Next, click the Background option to randomly change your background image. Keep clicking until you find something you like.
- Then, click the Colors option to select a color-coordinated theme to match your background. This will automatically adjust the colors of your topics, text, lines, shapes, and charts. These color schemes are generated from colors found in your background image. Keep clicking until you find something that makes the prezi look good.
The only design feature that isn’t automated is font selection. I’ll be surprised if we don’t see an option for selecting coordinating font presets in the future.
Upload Your Own Background Image
For those who prefer more creative freedom, you can still do the Prezi design work manually. You’ll probably want to choose our own background image. The picture you choose sets the mood and message of your presentation. Prezi can’t choose an image that accurately reflects the purpose of your presentation. You’ll want to make that choice yourself. Click the three dots below the Background icon to open the background sidebar. Here you can search for images by keyword or click the upload button to use your own image. Pixabay.com is a great resource for finding beautiful images. If you want a simpler look, remove the background image altogether by clicking the trash can icon then set your background to a solid or gradient color.
Create Your Own Color Schemes
You’re not limited to the color schemes provided by Prezi. If you have a paid Prezi subscription can create your own. This is good news for presenters who need to adhere to style guides with specific color codes. It’s also handy if you want your color palette to exactly match your logo. To set your own scheme, click the three dots below the Colors icon. This opens a sidebar showing a variety of color schemes. To use your own colors, click the Add Colors button at the bottom of the sidebar. A new window will open where you can specify each of the seven colors. Your new color scheme will be used throughout your prezi. You can even name and save your custom color scheme to use in other projects.
While experimenting with this new way to make my prezi look good, I encountered a snag. When you choose one of the color-coordinated palettes, you would expect to see all the design elements change color. In many cases, everything but the topic colors changed when I selected a different color scheme. This did not make the prezi look good. It hardly changed anything at all. That’s because the default topics in the template I chose were not assigned to a style preset. If a topic isn’t assigned to a style, the color scheme won’t affect it at all. To correct this, you’ll need to manually assign each of your topics to one of five possible styles. Only then will you see them change colors along with the other objects in your prezi.
Here’s another thing that I’m hoping will be resolved. You can no longer set your own custom style presets for topics or shapes. Adding your own custom colors can make your prezi look good, but you’re limited to solid, opaque topics with no borders. Currently, there is no way to set a custom topic if you want it to have a border or a custom transparency level. If you want all your topics to be transparent, you’ll have to adjust the opacity for each topic. Likewise, if you want your shapes to have a border, you’ll have to format each one individually. Let’s hope Prezi resolves this soon for those of us who prefer to use their own imaginations to make their prezi look good.