The Prezi Glossary


Let’s start with the why. There is one very obvious reason for creating a glossary for a software product: so that you can communicate clearly with the people who use it. Take learning a new language as an example. It is possible to become proficient without ever having to put your nose in a book, but if you want to be fluent, there will come a point when you have to submit to studying, which probably means purchasing some kind of dictionary.

For us, the reasoning was something quite different and I want to say right now that you do not need to read the Prezi Glossary in order to create a great prezi. Indeed, many people who come to use Prezi will never read the glossary, and those people will go on to make many awesome, zooming, panning prezis. The reason for having a glossary of Prezi terms is that much the same as the reason Agatha Christie included a list of characters at the beginning of Murder on the Orient Express or why Tolkien drew maps of Middle-earth — we want to have an enjoyable reference that people can keep coming back to that’s available before they enter the world of Prezi.  

Prezi has changed the game for presentations and the spread of ideas. In doing so, we’ve created not only a one-of-a-kind experience, but also our own iconography. This means a lot of unique elements and these need names. What, for example, do you call this?

Editing wheel?

Stripy circle thing?

Somehow, it became known as the Zebra, probably because of its resemblance to the African herbivore of the same name. To us and many of  you, the designation seemed cute and apt. To others it didn’t always translate. The Zebra has long been put out to pasture, but the need to have names for the different parts of our tool remains. More importantly, the difficulty in choosing universal terminology also refuses to go away. The glossary is our way of tackling these twin issues in what we hope is a helpful but light-hearted way.

It’s always been important to us that Prezi is fun to play with. We’ve grown up a lot over the years, but we’ve always had a product with a childlike charm and we don’t like to be too serious. I took the same approach when it came to compiling the glossary. The primary aim had to be to inform the world of what we think things should be called, but we also tried to have some fun along the way. You can judge the results for yourself, but we don’t want this to be a final and definitive document. Prezi is always changingour community continues to grow while we simultaneously try to create a deeper, more enjoyable experience for our users. As a company, we are defined by our relationship with the people who use Prezi and to that end, we want to include you in the glossary.

We want to ask you to edit and add to what we have via our various communication channels. I will personally read every single suggestion, and if the team and I like any of them enough to include them, we will send you a bag of Prezi swag. So, if there’s anything you think we’ve missed, or something you think we got wrong, please tell us and you might just find your suggestion here.