PROS / This is a web app with desktop access, so you can edit and play presentations anywhere there's an internet connection.
CONS / You have to buy the Pro version to get offline desktop access.
VERDICT / The unique pan-and-zoom display method makes this a fun alternative to standard slideshow-style presentations.
At first glance, Prezi Pro may seem like an inferior example of presentation software. But closer inspection reveals that Prezi Pro is simply so unique, comparing it to traditional slideshow makers just does not do it justice. Prezi Pro displays information not as a series of slides, but as one large board that zooms in on specific information or images. So while Prezi Pro doesn’t offer features like slide transitions, object animations, master slides or timed slide progression, it does offer a few features that are comparable.
With Prezi Pro, a presentation is created as a whole board. You lay out the information and visual aids however you like, then you create a “path” for the pan-and-zoom functions to follow. The end result? A presentation that starts with one bit of information, zooms out, pans to another bit of information, zooms in, etc. Certainly an interesting alternative to typical slideshow presentation.
Prezi Pro does have a few things in common with traditional slideshow software. You can add text and multimedia items, like photo, video and audio files. There are two cookie-cutter shape options, as well as the word processing ability to do bulleted text. There are also 10 themes to choose from, which include color palates and fonts. You can create your own theme and save it for future use, as well. And there is a form of paragraph style functionality – you can preset three styles and choose from them when you create text blocks.
Not surprisingly, the user interface differs greatly from other slideshow makers. We like that when you click an object, a tool cursor pops up that lets you resize, rotate or move the object. This is a refreshing and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional bounding boxes. The software has a number of other navigational nuances that take some getting used to, but they are quite intuitive to master.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Prezi Pro is that it is merely the desktop version of Prezi, which is an subscription-based, online-only web app for presentation creation. Once you purchase a year-long subscription to Prezi Pro, you download the desktop presentation software separately. This has a few pros and cons to it. The obvious benefit is that you can access, create and display presentations from any computer that has an internet connection, even if it doesn’t have the desktop application installed. The downside is that you are required to commit to a year of subscription time, and you'll need an internet connection to install the desktop application and sync it with the online app’s server.
Fortunately, Prezi Pro has some great file compatibility options. Though you can’t save as or open PowerPoint files for obvious reasons, you can save your presentations as movies, PDF files, image files or HTML web-ready files.
Help and support options are more than adequate. The user manual requires an internet connection, unfortunately, but it is quite helpful. You can contact the Prezi support team via email, online email form or even via the company’s Twitter handle. And of course, there’s the standard user message boards, as well as video tutorials. There are also premium support options for one-on-one help.
Our favorite help and support feature is the getting started video. After you make your purchase, the site offers you three video lessons on using the software and a few sample presentations. Clearly, the developers realize that Prezi Pro is different to use, and they are quite willing to help everyone get used to it.
Certainly, Prezi Pro is the most unique PowerPoint alternative we reviewed. We definitely appreciate the user interface and the interesting presentation style it follows. But there are quite a few features, like interesting slide transitions and object animations, that this presentation software does not offer.