The biggest bugbear of using Prezi at the moment is, besides the rubbish Prezi Next which they seem keen to push at the expense of an otherwise excellent Classic is the lack of animated loops. When they dropped the flash player, they dropped support for .swf files and they absolutely refuse, despite repeated user requests from users (and especially me) to implement Animated Gifs. For some users, it’s starting to be a show-stopper and I am losing patience with them.
However, there is a solution, and since the Prezi focus is on Prezi Next and they have renamed the Prezi Desktop App Prezi Classic, you can now install an older version of the Prezi Desktop alongside the Classic and use it to import (or more accurately cut and paste) swf animations into the latest Prezi.
Before the renaming, you couldn’t have two different versions alongside each ither and I was forced to use a Virtual Machine (using the excellent free Oracle VirtualBox) but that is no longer necessary.
I managed to find a copy of Prezi 4.7.5 on the web which you can download from here.
This is an early version, and goes straight in the editor, but it works. When you log in, the system will offer to upgrade you to the latest version DO NOT DO THIS EVER.
Do your work in the older editor
The core functionality of Prezi Classic is what makes great presentations. As in Powerpoint (and frankly all software), you will use the same functionality (less than 20% of it’s features) 80% of the time. I therefore recommend that you do the editing work in the older editor, saving it as a Prezi .pez file.
All of the key things which make Prezi great: zooming, fade reveals AND most importantly swf animations can be created. The important thing is how you tell the story using Prezi, not the bells and whistles.
When you have done the core work, import it into the latest Prezi and take advantage of its better presentation tools, some finer customisations and font choices etc. Should you need another swf then save it from the latest version as a .pez and reopen it in the older editor, do your stuff and then save and import it again. Clearly it isn’t a seemless process but until Prezi start listening to their customers then this is the solution.
I know I will as I can go back to creating the awe-inspiring acts of worship on Prezi that inspire children…