Learn how to use Apple's presentation software, Keynote

Keynote is a presentation application that can be loaded with video, audio, and photos. And even when rammed full of media, it can be relied on to playback without a hitch. Keynote is available on three platforms, OS X, iOS, and cloud so PC users can use it too.

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  • mw keynote 001 Slides & Themes
  • mw keynote 002 Outline Mode
  • mw keynote 003 Layer options
  • mw keynote 004 Apply Transitions
  • mw keynote 005 Control read on
  • mw keynote 006 Flow charts
  • mw keynote 007 Presentations in iCloud
  • mw keynote 008 Rehearsal mode
  • mw keynote 009 Remote control
  • mw keynote 010 Skip slides
  • More stories
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Master Slides and Themes in Keynote

Choosing File > New in Keynote opens a theme chooser; a collection of templates that have distinctive design styles. Although you might want to start with a blank canvas there is no option to do so. Even the most basic themes Black, and White, are a collection of Master Slides for title and subtitles, title and bullets which should be applied to slides as you build your collection. It’s no accident that Themes have to be applied, because using Master Slides is the best way to enjoy a pain free life using Keynote.

A typical business presentation might contain a Title & Subtitle slide, followed by Title & Bullet slides, with a few Photo slides mixed in. If you build your presentation using those master slides from the Improv theme, then later you need to swap the theme to Artisan, or better still your custom theme, by simply clicking the Change Theme button in the Document Inspector automatically swaps your presentation to the appropriate master slides in the new Theme.

To make your own theme create a presentation from a theme that most closely matches the design you want. Then modify the fonts, colours, backgrounds on all the Master Slides in your presentation; you can even add a company logo to every slide master too. When the design is complete choose File > Save Theme and followed the onscreen instructions to save your design as a theme.

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Next Prev mw keynote 001

Choosing File > New in Keynote opens a theme chooser; a collection of templates that have distinctive design styles. Although you might want to start with a blank canvas there is no option to do so. Even the most basic themes Black, and White, are a collection of Master Slides for title and subtitles, title and bullets which should be applied to slides as you build your collection. It’s no accident that Themes have to be applied, because using Master Slides is the best way to enjoy a pain free life using Keynote.

A typical business presentation might contain a Title & Subtitle slide, followed by Title & Bullet slides, with a few Photo slides mixed in. If you build your presentation using those master slides from the Improv theme, then later you need to swap the theme to Artisan, or better still your custom theme, by simply clicking the Change Theme button in the Document Inspector automatically swaps your presentation to the appropriate master slides in the new Theme.

To make your own theme create a presentation from a theme that most closely matches the design you want. Then modify the fonts, colours, backgrounds on all the Master Slides in your presentation; you can even add a company logo to every slide master too. When the design is complete choose File > Save Theme and followed the onscreen instructions to save your design as a theme.

 

Step 2 of 10: Using Outline Mode in Keynote

When building a presentation you can use one four options for viewing slides in Keynote; Navigator, Slide Only, Light Table, and Outline. Navigator is the default view and works well for most situations, but for sketching out ideas, and sequencing your thoughts try Outline view. It presents slides in a list and bullet form.

To move to Outline view, click the View button in the Toolbar, a pop-up menu appears, from it choose Outline. To evaluate the usefulness of the outline view try the following. In the outline pane click next to the slide icon and type ‘Point 1’. Press return, and a new slide appears. Press the Tab key, the slide indents, becoming a bullet on the slide ‘Point 1’.

To outdent the bullet press Shift-Tab. Type ‘Point 2’.

Pressing return creates a new line at the same indent level as the line above it. At the top level this means pressing return creates new slides, and Tab and Shift-Tab can be used to alter the hierarchy of any bullets. Bullets and Slides can be sequenced by dragging either their bullet or slide icon up or down the Outline pane.

Once you’ve settled on a basic outline you can apply a new Theme to your presentation and attend to the look and feel of your work.

 

Step 3 of 10: Layer options for Master Slides in Keynote

After recommending that using master slides is the way to go, you’ll need to be aware of two concepts to fully utilise them. To experiment create a new presentation. Choose File > New and from the template chooser double-click any theme.

In the open presentation click the View button in the Toolbar and select Edit Master Slides. When working on masters a blue bar appears at the bottom of the slide pane. You can modify the existing slide elements or add new ones.

The text, and image boxes on Master Slides are formatted as placeholders. This means you’ll need to replace their contents with your own words or pictures when working on standard slides. However if you want to add a logo to a master slide, it should not be a placeholder. Fortunately by default images placed in to Keynote are not placeholders. You’ll probably want the logo to be the top most object in the layer order. This can be done using the Arrange tab of the Format inspector. That covers the first concept. The second is to allow objects on slides to layer with master.

If you add a photo to a slide and find that it sits on top of a logo placed on the Master, you won’t be able to move the photo behind the logo using layer options unless you do the following. In the Edit Master Slides mode click the required slide thumbnail. In the Format inspector, labelled Master Slide Layout select the Allow objects on slides to layer with master.

 

Step 4 of 10: Apply Transitions in Keynote

Transitions are the animations that can be applied to slides. They can add drama, a sense of fun, or set the pace for a presentation. For example, to make hard hitting points you might choose Grid, for a showing a series of fine art images Dissolve would work well. However for greater level impact change the transition timings from their default. Use faster options to be more hard hitting and go much slower for contemplative presentations on fine art, or meditation.

Choose Play > Play Slideshow to test out Transitions to make sure you’ll hold your audience’s attention. To change the Transitions on all your slides in one go, select all the slide thumbnails. In Navigator view, click on or near a thumbnail and press Command A. With all the thumbnails selected you can use the Animate inspector to change the type and timings of the selected slides.

One cautionary note, if you’re planning a presentation for playback via webinar software, regardless of whether you’re using Keynote or Powerpoint, animations do not stream well. So you might want a second version of your presentation formatted for webinar use with the animations removed.   

 

Step 5 of 10: Control read on in Keynote

Builds are animations that are applied to objects on slides. When an object is selected the inspector displays three tabs, Build In, Animation, and Build Out. Using builds is a great way to control presentations, in particular bullet points. If a slide is presented to an audience with all the bullet points revealed as the slide opens, the presenter has no way to prevent the audience reading the entire slide; reading on.

Setting a Build In for bullets is relatively easy. Click to select the Text Box containing the bullets. In the Animate Inspector select the Build In tab and select the desired animation; Typewriter is one you might consider. To complete the build, in the Inspector change the Delivery to By Bullet. Now, when you preview the slide the bullets only appear on click.

Builds and animations can be applied to text, graphics, and photos. The order in which you apply the animations becomes the order in which they play, this order can be changed, except on bullets. Click the Build Order button at the bottom of the Inspector. A floating window appears, dragging a build element up or down the window changes the build order. The Build Order window can also be used to set builds to run automatically either with a preceding build or after it.

 

Step 6 of 10: Connection lines for flow charts in Keynote

Explaining processes using flow charts is often a great way to illustrate matters. Keynote comes loaded with all the shape objects you’ll need to create bubbles, squares, triangles, and so on. Clicking the Shape icon in the toolbar opens a pop-up containing all the shapes. Clicking one will place it on a slide.

Double-clicking a shape allows you to add text directly inside the object. Then the usual formatting options can be applied to modify the shape as required. So far much of this process is pretty intuitive, but resist the temptation to use the line options found when clicking the Shape icon to connect the elements of your chart. It is better to use Connection Lines.

Control-click the Toolbar in Keynote. A pop-up menu appears, choose Customize Toolbar. A vast set of icons appear. Locate the Connect icon and drag it to a space on the Toolbar. Then click Done to close the Customize Toolbar options. To apply a connection line you’ll need to select two Shape objects on a slide. To follow along add a couple of Shapes to a slide, and then select them. Now click the Connect icon in the Toolbar. The Shapes are now connected, select just one of the shapes and drag it round the screen. The connection line remains connected.

Like shapes, connection lines can be formatted to change their colour and weight, you can even add arrow heads and animations.

 

Step 7 of 10: Push Keynote presentations to iCloud

You can develop a Keynote presentation exclusively on OS X, iOS, or on the iCloud web browser  version. As stated in the introduction the Mac OS X version is the most capable and feature rich version of the application. None of OS X features are lost when a presentation is saved to iCloud Drive, but the ability to edit via the browser or iOS versions will have a few limitations. With that said, if you were building a report presentation on topics that required a site visit, for example, production line improvements in a factory, or a school report on a castle, you may want to add photos taken on your iPhone.

Ahead of the visit to wherever, you might want to create a draft presentation containing image place holders and save it to iCloud Drive. Open the presentation on your iOS Device and go to the image placeholders and tap the plus symbol in the bottom right of the placeholder, this opens a new screen with links to your Photos library, but at the bottom of the screen you’ll see a text button, Take Photo or Video. Tapping this for the first time may invoke a request for Keynote to access your photos. Accepting this let’s you take photos from directly inside Keynote adding them automatically to the placeholders in Keynote.

 

Step 8 of 10: Using rehearsal mode in Keynote

Keynote’s rehearsal tools help you to work out the overall timing for your presentation. Rehearsing might highlight parts of the script that don’t work when read aloud. Also slides containing large media files, such as video, may take a couple of seconds to load. If you’ve not aware of this, come the big day, you might be unnerved when you click or tap to play a video and nothing happens in the instant you expected, so you click again and advance to the next slide.

In rehearsal mode a coloured bar appears across the top of the screen. It displays as a hatched amber line as a slide or media loads and then green when Keynote is ready to advance. The coloured bar, or Ready to Advance Indicator, appears on the presenter display too.

Slideshows can be delivered on dual displays; one being a presenter display and the other the slides for the audience. Here’s how to configure the Rehearsal or Presenter display.

In Keynote, choose Play > Customize Presenter Display. A window appears that lets you use checkboxes to enable the features you require. Note that the timer options can be set to show time remaining, an ideal option when working to a fixed schedule. You can also drag and scale presenter elements such as Current Slide and Next Slide to suit your needs.

 

Step 9 of 10: Remote control and Keynote

When you want to play a presentation from a Mac, but don’t want to stand over the computer to click through the slides, you can use the Keynote app for iOS as a remote control. To do this you’ll need Keynote installed and open on your Mac and an iOS device such as an iPhone. Furthermore both devices have to be on the same WiFi network, this could be computer-to-computer. If both devices are on the same network you’re all set to follow the next steps. To learn more about setting up a WiFi connection you can review Help on your Mac and on your iOS device.

On Keynote for your iOS device tap the iPhone-shaped icon at the upper left of the screen to open the remote options. On the Welcome to Keynote Remote popover tap continue. The iOS device searches for the Mac running Keynote.

On your Mac choose Keynote > Preferences. Click the Remotes tab. If both devices are on the same network the Remotes preferences will show your iOS device. Click Enable and then Link. The iOS device displays a passcode that also appears on your Mac. On your Mac, click to confirm you want to link devices. Once linked Keynote for iOS displays a large Play button. Tap the Play button and you’ll be controlling your presentation remotely.

 

Step 10 of 10: Skip slides bin Keynote

As deadlines loom, you may find your presentation doesn’t fit the allocated time. There is no need to delete slides to trim your Keynote. It is better to skip slides, and perhaps speed up a few transitions, rather than start to delete parts of your work. This suggestion can be expanded to trying to work with only one Keynote presentation per topic. For example, a marketing presentation might be designed to run for 10 minutes, but it might also need to fit to an occasional five minute slot. Skipping slides makes an efficient workflow because come the day slides need updating with new product shots, or a new company logo, only one Keynote presentation needs to be updated rather than several.

In Navigator view, select the slides you want to skip. Control-click any of the selected slides. From the shortcut menu, choose Skip Slide. Skipped slides appear as thin bars in the Navigator. To switch off skipping, control-click a skipped slide and from the shortcut menu, choose Don’t Skip Slide.

Slides can also be skipped in Outline and Light Table view too. In Light Table view skipped slides appear greyed out, unless the Hide skipped slides box is selected; found in the bottom left of the document window.

Read:

10 more Apple Keynote tips | Alternatives to Apple's Keynote, PowerPoint | Learn how to use Apple's spreadsheet program, Numbers | Learn how to use Apple's word processor, Pages | How to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs on your iPad and iPhone, for free |How to use PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint tips

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