emaze: The Indezine Review
Learn about emaze, an online presentation platform.
By: Geetesh Bajaj
More than a decade ago, someone suggested that over 30 million presentations are delivered every single day. Certainly, that number must have exploded now to a much larger count – and it may be even more than we can imagine if you factor in that not all presentations are created on desktop machines. Nowadays slides are also created on tablets and Smartphones, and more importantly also on online presentation platforms that provide users with the tools they need without installing any program. One such platform is emaze, and in this review we will explore this platform.
emaze is from the same folks who create VisualBee, a graphic makeover add-in for PowerPoint. The company is called Visual Software System, and they are based in Tel Aviv, Israel. My contact for this review was Natalie Coslovsky – thank you Natalie.
See Also: emaze: Conversation with Motti Nisani
Let's now do a quick walkthrough of how you can use emaze:
- To use emaze, you must first log in to their site, as shown in Figure 1, below.
If you do not have an account, you can sign up for a new emaze account (highlighted in
green within Figure 1).
Figure 1: Log in or sign in to emaze
- Once you log in, you will see your emaze dashboard, as shown in Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: The emaze dashboard
The areas marked within Figure 2 are explained below:
- Tabs: The first of these tabs, My shows the presentations
you have created within emaze. These could also be presentations that are not finished yet.
The second tab holds your Shared presentations. And the third tab,
Explore contains presentations from the emaze community that are shared with you.
Do spend some time exploring presentations within this tab to see how others have used emaze’s features
to create some cool slides.
Rightwards, you will find two more tabs. The first one is a button that lets you upload your existing PowerPoint slides. After importing, your PowerPoint slides may not look the same as they appeared within PowerPoint since emaze only imports the slide content, and abandons PowerPoint's templates and Slide Masters. That's precisely why you will be asked to choose an emaze template while importing.
Finally, you see the New tab that lets you create a new emaze presentation from scratch.
- Search: Here you can type in a keyword to search for slides. This is a great option if your emaze account has many presentations. The search results are yielded from an index that emaze automatically creates from your slide content without you having to do anything.
- Help: This area brings up a window where you can get help from the emaze Support team. If chat support is not available, a mail is automatically sent to the support staff.
- Account Info: This shows your account type. In Figure 2, you can see that we have a Pro account – three account types are available and we explore them later in this review. Also your email address is mentioned on the top right (blurred in Figure 2).
- Tabs: The first of these tabs, My shows the presentations you have created within emaze. These could also be presentations that are not finished yet. The second tab holds your Shared presentations. And the third tab, Explore contains presentations from the emaze community that are shared with you. Do spend some time exploring presentations within this tab to see how others have used emaze’s features to create some cool slides.
- You will either opt to create a new emaze presentation, or work on your existing content. To work with an
existing presentation, hover your cursor over a presentation thumbnail, and click on the Edit icon that
shows on the top-right (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Edit your slides
- Whatever option you choose, you will thereafter see the emaze edit window that typically opens as a
new browser tab or window, as shown in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: The edit interface in emaze
The options available to edit slides are explained below, as marked in Figure 4:
- Toolbar: The toolbar has options familiar to those who have worked with other slide
programs. You can add new slides and slide sections. Plus you can change the Theme of your presentation.
You can also insert text, images, videos, shapes, charts, etc. There are also the ubiquitous Copy, Paste,
Delete, Undo, and Redo options. And finally you get options to Save and Play your content.
A word of caution here. emaze is a web based online application, and changes to the interface can happen quickly. Thus you may see a slightly different interface than what is shown in Figure 4. However, most options will still remain the same.
- Slides Pane: The pane on the left contains thumbnails that represent your slides.
- Slide Area: This is the area where the active slide shows.
- Toolbar: The toolbar has options familiar to those who have worked with other slide programs. You can add new slides and slide sections. Plus you can change the Theme of your presentation. You can also insert text, images, videos, shapes, charts, etc. There are also the ubiquitous Copy, Paste, Delete, Undo, and Redo options. And finally you get options to Save and Play your content.
As you can see, working within emaze is intuitive enough as long as you have worked with a slide program such as PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi. Most options work logically enough. One small caveat is the lack of alignment tools, but beyond that limitation, we could achieve an amazing amount of creativity within emaze.
emaze does have its own strong points. First of all, it's a web based program – so you do not need to install a program. You can also import your PowerPoint slides. What makes emaze shine though is its sharing and collaboration options.
emaze's Free plan is quite full featured, although the Pro and Emazing plans do provide a lot more. We would suggest you start with the Free plan and then move up as required. The paid plans add more storage space and let you collaborate on your presentations. Also the paid plans let you show your presentations offline without being connected online.
The two paid plans available, Pro and Emazing cost $4.90 and $9.90 respectively per month. All plans are billed annually. In addition, emaze does provide discounted plans for educators, students, non-profits, and government organizations.
emaze has plenty of online video tutorials. You can also contact them via their web site. There's also chat support from within the app itself. Additionally, they also have an active Articles and Blog section on their site that is frequently updated.
emaze is a different type of presenting platform. If you expect to find a PowerPoint clone, then you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are ready to unlearn, and then explore and discover – then there's so much to like about emaze. One cool feature that emaze possesses is 3D templates – and to the end user, it adds no extra learning curve. Create slides as you would typically do, and emaze takes care of the 3D space for slide movement.
All put together, you should certainly take a closer look at emaze.