How to Convert a Portable Prezi to a Prezi Desktop File (PEZ)

…yes, and why on earth should you be wanting to do this?

I had a portable prezi (ZIP with app/exe and a couple of files and folders included) on my harddisk and wanted to use it as a basis for a new prezi. The presentation was not in my prezi account as I had to delete it for the lack of space in the free version. Back when I saved it on my harddisk, I had no subscription of Prezi, so that saving it as PEZ file did not appear worthwhile. Well, there I was with a ZIP file and no way of neither uploading it to Prezi nor of opening it in Prezi desktop.

How to convert then?

Step 1: Unzip the ZIP file (if you haven’t unzipped it for use already).
Step 2: Within the folder created by unzipping the file, there is a folder named “content”. Within this folder, there is a folder named “data”. Rename the folder “data” to “prezi”.
Step 3: Open your terminal window and go to the parent folder of “prezi”–which is “content”. You can do this by typing “cd ” (note the space after “cd”) into the command line in terminal and then dragging and dropping the folder “content” into the terminal window. Press enter.
Step 4: Use the command “zip -r0 convertedprezi.pez prezi” (that’s a numerical digit zero in the “-r” option). “convertedprezi.pez” is the file name of the file you want to create. You can give it a different name, of course. By executing this command, you are creating a zip folder without compression. If you don’t want to use the terminal or use an operation system other than OS X, use the tool, you normally use to create ZIP files without compression (this point is important: no compression!).
Step 5: There is no step five. You are done. You can open the file in Prezi Desktop now and upload it into your Prezi account from there. Everything without guarantee and at your own risk. Make a backup to be on the safe side.

Simple, isn’t it? Now, I wonder why the Prezi developers don’t seem to be willing to include an import function for these portable Prezis into Prezi Desktop.

Does it work for you? Are you experiencing difficulties with this conversion? Please, leave a comment.

Note 2013-04-07: This is an updated/corrected version of the post.

70 thoughts on “How to Convert a Portable Prezi to a Prezi Desktop File (PEZ)”

  1. In step 2, you have to take the “data” folder, which is a folder within a folder within the ZIP you download from Prezi. The data folder is the parent of the folders “fonts”, “repo” and a couple of files… Rest works like a charm.

  2. Hi

    This is exactly what i’m trying to do, but i’m having trouble. I’m not overly familiar with Terminal, but have followed your instructions (rename the unzipped folder “prezi”, gone to the parent folder by dragging this folder into the terminal window, and written the command as you have suggested in your post, but I just get a response telling me that the folder is a directory. What am I doing wrong? Thanks

  3. Maybe you have forgotten to type “cd ” before dragging and dropping the folder into the terminal window… I have improved the manual. Give it another try. It should work…

  4. Hey,

    I don’t know how I did that but when I downloaded a portable prezi from my online prezi, my whole prezi disappeared. So now I have a portable prezi but I would like to have it online again and I don’t have prezi desktop. I converted my portable prezi into a .pez. Do you think there is a way I now upload it directly online without using prezi desktop?


  5. Hey Flore, To be honest, I doubt that. Afaik, you cannot even copy content in the portable file to paste it into a new online document. Depending on how much work you put into your prezi, I think you should get the media out of the file and upload it into a new prezi. The text (without format) can also be found in one of the files (I think it’s an XML file) in the prezi folder… But maybe it is easier to contact the Prezi help desk. They might be able to help you by either undeleting the file in your account or by uploading your pez file. Good luck!

  6. This made my day! Thank you so much for posting this! I wasn’t able to perform this on a PC; however, it worked like a charm on my mac. Never, would have figured this out. Cheers!

  7. Hi

    I was able to create a pez file but when I try to open it from prezi desktop it gives the error

    “ERROR-Could not open the prezi.
    If you downloaded it from, please try downloading it again. If the problem remains please contact support.”

    I tried this with different porrtable przi files but it gave me same result

    please help me on this matter*(I create the pez file using 7 zip on windows 7 platform also i’m using chrome for internet browzing)


  8. Dear Dash,

    Just tested it again (you never know: Prezi might have changed the file structure) and it works.

    So, with the little information I have about your problem, I don’t seem to be able give you any further advice than to stick to the How-To (names, folders, no compression!).

    Good luck!

  9. Ok! just for users that didn´t realize that this autor said “THIS IS FOR OS X SYSTEM”… I have windows and did´nt read enough. For windows users just use for example “7zip” program and compress the folder with “no compression method”.
    Thanks Horatiorama!!! you save my day too!

  10. works just fine 🙂 initially i was not working, coz i missed the “No compression” part… Thanks a lot!

  11. Thank you thank you thank you. You literally saved my bacon/professional career after I couldn’t get my portable Prezi to run on a new computer.

  12. How do i use 7zip to compress without compression? Aditionally, i had prezi’s trial version, when i pay for the upgrade, the prezis that i made on prezi desktop and didnt synchronized on dissapear. Is there any chance to get them back???

  13. i already done the conversion thing and now i have a .pez file. But when i open it with prezi desktop it shows an error thas says that it is not a valid .pez file. What now???

  14. Sorry, but I don’t really understand your problem. You created .pez files with a trial version but cannot open them any longer after the upgrade? (Did you use the most recent version of Prezi (Desktop) that stores the files with cryptic name at some weird place on your computer (on the Mac, the standard folder is Home>Prezi>workspace>prezis)?) As you are a paying customer, you should probably give the Prezi guys a buzz. // Re. your other comment: I cannot tell why your Prezi doesn’t accept the created file. It should work if you follow the description (no compression | rename the right folder). Good luck!

  15. That’s exactly what happened. I already wrote to prezi support but i don’t have an answer yet. However i found on my pc the files stored with the cryptic name on the weird place you said, but i don’t know how to restore them. The file has a folder called repo, another one called content wich is a .XML and another file named preview wich is a PNG image. Do you know what to do with them???
    Thanks! you are way too helpful

  16. The folder containing the folder “repo” and the other files, should already be named “prezi”. (If it isn’t, rename it.) Then follow the above description from point 3 and Bob’s your uncle. The parent folder of “prezi” isn’t called “contents”, however, but something else (the cryptic name).

  17. hi!! I followed all the steps and I got the converted file, but when I try to import it into prezi it doesn’t load. It does not give me an error message or anything, it appears to be loading but it never shows in prezi. I am running windows 8 and the latest version of prezi desktop. what could I be doing wrong? thanks a million!

  18. Does it matter where I save the uncompressed zip I create from the “content” folder? (that is, do I have to save the uncompressed convertedprezi.pez inside the content folder? I also looked for the weird cryptic place where prezi stores files, but did not find anything related to the portable I am trying to convert there. Could it be my windows 8 or the new Prezi Desktop version?

  19. I know what I was doing wrong!!!!!! I was trying to zip the “content” folder as uncompressed pez file, when I had to be zipping the renamed “prezi” folder inside the content folder. I zipped the renamed prezi folder and it worked as a charm. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU this has been a life-saver!!!!!!! Greetings and mil gracias from Mexico!!!!!!!

  20. Damm it, I cannot do it…
    I might be a fool using computers… Would you please help me out? I use Windows 7, and I have done the change of the name data to prezi. Then I open the Windows Terminal I write¨cd ” and then I drag and drop the contents archive (inside my presentation unziped) and then enter. Then appears something like this in the black screen (windows terminal)
    then I write “zip……..prezi” and then I push enter and what my laptop says is: “zip is not recognized as an archive intern or extern, program or archive by slot and ejectable”
    Any idea what I did wrong?
    Thanks a lot, you would safe my life…

  21. I cannot help you there, Damian, … Windows. Some other user might be able to understand better what’s going on. Sorry. (My best guess would be that “zip” is not a valid command in Windows command line and that you should use another tool to create the zipped file.)

  22. you are cool. it took me a while to figure out how to rename the file but it worked. thanks so much. you are awesome

  23. Damain, Do the following

    1. Download Winrar
    2. Right click on the folder which you renamed to “Prezi”
    3. Select “Add to archive”
    4. Select archive format as “Zip”
    5. Compression method should be selected as “Store”
    6. Then rename the new zip file’s format to “.pez” from “.zip”
    7. Import the “.pez” file using prezi.

  24. HORATIORAMA i can´t tank you enough.
    You saved me lots of work and a big embarrassment.
    Tank you very much.

  25. I was really hoping this would work, interview with presentation is on Tuesday.
    However, despite following the instruction to the letter, prezi tells me the file I’ve created may be damaged or not a valid .pez file.

    Have emailed prezi, but I’m running out of time *gulp*

  26. Dear Matt, If you are a Windows user, it’s most likely the compression issue. In this case, follow Rahul’s recommendation. As for the rest, follow the instructions slavishly. It should work (if Prezi hasn’t changed anything). Good luck/best wishes, /H

  27. HI Horatiorama,
    I’m using a macbook pro and ran the compression inside terminal as per instruction.

    No real idea why it hasn’t worked, re named correct folder (data) to prezi and literally did everything to the letter.

    No worries, I had sent to zipped up portable file to prezi and told them to ad it to my account, lets hope they have it on there by Tuesday afternoon!

  28. Thank you thank you thank you for this! You saved my bacon. You would think that they could tell you how to do this on their site but their response is always “you can’t edit a portable prezi file” The worst software ever. I only use it under protest because clients insist.

  29. Hello!!
    Just to give you guys some tips HOW IT FINALLY WORKED for me on WINDOWS.
    After I used Winrar and 7-Zip trying to create a new file –> I was really frustrated, because:
    I) you could not change the suffix using WinRar
    II) using 7-Zip Prezi Desktop says that the file may be invaild

    What you need to do is actually pretty simple:
    If you use 7-Zip, search in Windows for the 7-Zip File Manager and open it
    Now drag and drop the folder you named Prezi in this window
    Now a new screen should appear:
    in the very first line: you name it to –> Prezi.pez (So you don’t need to do it afterwards)
    in the second line: the format MUST BE zip (not .7z, not .tar, not .wim)
    then STORE it and you’ll get the new “Prezi.pez” file

    AND PREZI DESKTOP WILL OPEN IT !!!!!!! *____________*

    Thanks Again.

  30. Importing it into Prezi App worked like a charm thanks! However is anyone experiencing problems syncing this imported Prezi to I can’t seem to upload it.

  31. Hello John,
    I followed your tutorial with 7zip yy starting from a notebook prezzi created long time ago and do not remember which version of Prezzi Desktop, I have created two files .pez but one method of understanding Normal and the other without understanding.
    In both cases, when I import with Prezzi Desktop 4.3.1. I get the same result: Notice that something went wrong and indifinidamente opening screen, which blocks Prezzi.

    You can tell me if the versions of Desktop influences or am I doing wrong?

    Thanks and regards.

  32. I had Prezi trial crash on me after a day’s work. Lost all of my work even though I was saving ecery few minutes. I have saved a portable “prezi” file and will pay $$ for someone to convery it for me to a .PEZ file. Any takers?

    [edited: deleted email address as problem solved (see below)]

  33. Dear Horatiorama and John,
    Thank you for your information.
    It took several hours for me, but it worked finally.

    Great job!
    Thank you again.

  34. Window users::

    Step 1: Unzip the ZIP file (if you haven’t unzipped it for use already).
    Step 2: Within the folder created by unzipping the file, there is a folder named “content”. Within this folder, there is a folder named “data”. Rename the folder “data” to “prezi”.

    1. Download Winrar
    2. Right click on the folder which you renamed to “Prezi”
    3. Select “Add to archive”
    4. Select archive format as “Zip”
    5. Compression method should be selected as “Store”
    6. Then rename the new zip file’s format to “convertedprezi.pez” from “.zip”
    7. Import the “.pez” file using prezi.

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