The first presentation that we will make together is titled “Big Ideas”. As a teaser, let me show you the result that you will get if you follow my instructions.
Click anywhere in the image below and let the presentation play.

Discover the base image

This presentation is based on an SVG image file that I have created for you using Inkscape. Follow the link below to download it and save it to your preferred location. I recommend to save it in a new folder sozi-big-ideas that will gather all the files of this presentation.

The base graphic file big-ideas.svg in its folder sozi-big-ideas

Once the download process is complete, you can open the file big-ideas.svg with Inkscape, inspect its content and modify it to your taste. In the rest of this chapter, we will make modifications to observe the interactions between Inkscape and Sozi.

The base image big-ideas.svg opened in Inkscape

Get to know the interface of Sozi

Now open the file big-ideas.svg with Sozi. The picture below highlights the main areas of the user interface.

The base image big-ideas.svg opened in Sozi

The content of these areas is explained in more detail in part Interface of the presentation editor of this book. Reading that part is not necessary to understand the rest of this page.

Put your “big ideas” in order

Broaden your field of vision

The default aspect ratio of the preview area is 4:3. It is a generic format that can suit many use cases. But if we want this first presentation to be up to our big ideas, let us broaden our field of vision with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
In the toolbar, edit the fields after the words Aspect ratio, typing “16” on the left, and “10” on the right.

When designing a new presentation, we do not always anticipate the format of the screen it will be displayed on. The Aspect ratio setting allows to preview your presentation for a given format, ensuring that the displayed region will be entirely visible on any screen.

Arouse interest with a “Fun fact”

Press the + button at the bottom left of the window to create a new frame. A new column, titled “New frame”, will appear in the timeline.
In the properties pane, edit the field Title and replace its content with “Fun Fact”.
In the preview pane, use the mouse to place the camera in the same position as in the screenshot below. The movements that you can perform at this stage are:

The first frame of the presentation: Fun fact

In the rest of this chapter, I will use the expression “click and drag” to refer to the following sequence of actions:

  1. Press the left mouse button.
  2. Move the mouse while keeping the button pressed.
  3. Release the left mouse button.

Open the debate with a “Controversial Statement”

Press the + button again to create a new frame. In the properties pane, change the frame title to “Controversial Statement”.
In the preview pane, move the camera to match the screenshot below. I suggest to proceed in this order:

  1. Move the camera: click and drag to the left until the text “Controversial Statement” is entirely visible. While moving the mouse, you can press the Ctrl key to restrict the movement of the camera along a perfectly horizontal path.
  2. Rotate the camera by 180 degrees: press and hold the ⇧ Shift key while rotating the mouse wheel until you reach the desired orientation.
  3. Adjust the scale by rotating the mouse wheel alone.

The second frame of the presentation: Controversial Statement

Preview the transition between the first two frames: click on the first and second columns of the timeline successively, or use the and keys of your keyboard to switch from one frame to the other.

The arrangement of the graphic elements, and the resulting camera movements, can serve different purposes. In certain cases, you will aim to create striking visual effects, at the risk of making your audience dizzy! But you can also make use of a specific arrangement to enhance the narrative of your presentation.

In this example, I have played with the the transformation of the “i” (for “information”) into an exclamation mark. Turning the image upside down relates to the word “controversial”.

In practice, I seldom use rotations in my presentations. There are two reasons for that: partly because I find that it makes the base graphic file more difficult to edit, but mostly because it is of little interest for the type of content that I usually present.

Refocus your speech on an “Important Point”

The interface of Sozi supports other modes for positioning the camera using the mouse. The actual effect of the click-and-drag action in the preview pane depends on the current mode. To select a mode, you can use three buttons of the toolbar, possibly combined with certain keys of your keyboard:

Add a new frame and change its title to “Important Point”.
Practice switching from one mode to another and position the camera to match the screenshot below.

The third frame of the presentation : Important Point

Take a step back and consider “The Big Picture”

Sometimes, when creating a new frame, it can be easier to position the camera if we can see the whole page.
Add a new frame and change its title to “The Big Picture”.
In section Layer of the properties pane, click on the button. Then use the actions that you already know to move the camera and match the screenshot below.

The fourth frame of the presentation: The Big Picture

Meditate on this “Deep Thought” and come up with a “Bright Idea”

Add two new frames and change their titles to “Deep Tought” and “Bright Idea”. For each of these frames, position the camera to match the screenshots below.

The fifth frame of the presentation: Deep Thought

The sixth frame of the presentation: Bright Idea

Frame “Bright Idea” makes use of the zoom-in effect to draw the attention to a specific element of the previous frame. On the contrary, in frame “The Big Picture”, we used a zoom-out effect to show an overview of several preceding frames.

Save the presentation and admire the result

You can save the presentation by clicking on the button in the toolbar. If it is greyed out, it means that the presentation has already been saved.

By default, Sozi saves the presentation automatically every time the editor window loses the focus, i.e. every time you switch to another window, or when closing the application. This behavior can be modified in the preferences of Sozi.

Our work folder now contains four files:

The final content of the folder sozi-big-ideas

Open the file big-ideas.sozi.html in your favorite web browser. Click inside the window or press the Space key to advance the presentation (for a detailed description of the available actions, read chapter Playing a presentation in direct mode).

The presentation opened in the Chromium browser

Remember that we have chosen to display the frames with a 16:10 aspect ratio in Sozi. When playing the presentation, what happens if the browser window has a different aspect ratio?

Resize the window and compare its content with the preview pane of Sozi. You should observe that the browser window always displays the current frame entirely, extending the field of view vertically or horizontally, but with no clipping.

Like in the screenshot above, some elements that we did not intend to show may become visible. Now let me explain how to hide them.

Take control of space and time

Come back to Sozi but keep the browser window open. In the following steps, we will switch between both applications several times.

Adjust the camera’s field of view

The Clip function allows to restrict the field of the camera to a user-defined rectangular region. By default, this region maps to the entire preview pane but you can modify it if you want.

In the current presentation, we will just enable the clipping effect to make the web browser display exactly the same region as Sozi:

  1. In the timeline, click in the Default cell on the left. This action selects all frames.
  2. In section Layer of the properties pane, click on the button. Clipping is now enabled in all selected frames.

Enable clipping in all frames

Come back to the browser window and reload the page. The field of the camera now respects the 16:10 aspect ratio that we have set up in Sozi, even if the window has a different format:

Clipping effect after opening the presentation in Chromium

There are two buttons in the interface of Sozi and it can be confusing:

Tweak the transition timing

In section Transition of the properties pane, you can find the settings that control the camera movement between the previous frame and the current frame. For each frame, we will modify the following fields:

Here is a recap of the settings that I suggest to use in the current presentation. You can try other values for the sake of comparison. Another page of this book is dedicated to the timing functions:

Frame Duration (seconds) Timing function
1 0 Step start
2 0.5 Linar
3 0.5 Linar
4 0.5 Ease
5 2 Ease-in-out
6 0.5 Ease

Setting up a transition

Come back to the browser window, reload the page and observe how the camera moves with these new settings.

Automate the presentation process

In the presentation embedded at the top of this page, only the transition from the first to the second frame requires an action from the user. After the second frame, transitions happen automatically, every three seconds for frames 2 to 5, and after five seconds for the last frame.

In order to achieve this result, we need to set up a timeout in frames 2 to 6 of the presentation:

  1. In the timeline, click inside column 2 to select frame “Controversial Statement”.
  2. Keep the ⇧ Shift key pressed and click in column 6 to extend the selection to frame “Bright Idea”.
  3. In the properties pane, click on the button to enable the automatic transition to the next frame after a delay.
  4. Set the Timeout (seconds) field to “3”.
  5. Click inside column 6 of the timeline to select frame “Bright Idea” alone.
  6. Set the Timeout (seconds) field to “5”.

Setting up automatic transitions

Come back to the browser window, navigate to the first frame of the presentation and reload the page. Click inside the window or press the Space key to move to the second frame; then you can let the presentation play. You can also move from a frame to the next by clicking or pressing the Space key before the timeout.

When we set up an automatic transition after the last frame, we get a presentation that plays in a loop.


In this chapter, you have discovered and practised the main features of Sozi to create a presentation from a graphic file in the SVG format. I have not explained the techniques that I have used to draw the original graphics because they are out of the scope of this manual.

You have learnt to find your way in the interface of Sozi by using the most common functions:

My own version of this presentation can be downloaded from the links below. Take care to save the files in a separate folder to avoid overwriting yours.