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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where's your Keynote manual?

I remember the first version of Keynote had a nice manual -- and the second one, which came as part of iWork 05 also had a substantial paper manual in the box. Then the box became smaller in iWork 06 -- and maybe even smaller in iWork 08, the newest version.

iWork 08 still includes some sort of a manual but it's not an exhaustive documentation for all Keynote options and features. However, if you have your iWork CD/DVD around, you'll find it contains a PDF manual. And the same manual is also available online on Apple's site.

To download a copy of the Keynote manual, go to:

While you are on that page, you'll find a prominent link to the Keynote user manual, as you can see in Figure 1.

Keynote Manual Download
Figure 1: Download the Keynote manual

As you can see in Figure 1, this link provides a download for the manual of the latest version of Keynote. So what if you have an older version of Keynote and want a manual for that version? No worries - use this link:

As you can see in Figure 2, this page provides manuals for all Keynote versions except Keynote 1.

Older Keynote Manuals
Figure 2: Manuals of previous Keynote versions

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Keynote Views

I already showed you the Slide Navigator and Outline views in an earlier post -- Keynote provides two more views that I will show you in this post.

These two views are:

  • Slide Only
  • Light Table
Both these views can be accessed by using the options found in the View menu as you can see in Figure 1. To view the "Slide Only" view, choose the View | Slide Only option.

View Slide Only
Figure 1: View Slide Only (or Light Table)

You access the Light Table view in the same way by choosing the View | Light Table option.

The Slide Only view is almost the same as the Slide Navigator and Outline views -- other than the fact that there is no Navigator or Outline panes on the left. So all you get to see is the active slide as shown in Figure 2. This is great if you want to save a little extra screen real estate to get a larger slide view.

Slide Only View
Figure 2: Slide Only view

Finally, the Light Table view shows you thumbnail size previews of all slides in your presentation -- much more than what the Slide Navigator can show you. Figure 3 shows you the Light Table view -- PowerPoint users will immediately recognize this as the same as PowerPoint's Slide Sorter view.

Light Table View
Figure 3: Light Table view

Since I am discussing views in Keynote, here's a small trick -- I already showed you that you can access these views through the options in the View menu. However, you can also get to these views by clicking the View button on the Toolbar -- click the button and it shows you a small menu that you can see in Figure 4 -- choose any view you want.

View options from Toolbar
Figure 4: View options from the Toolbar

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Keynote Interface

The Keynote interface is clean and simple as you can see in Figure 1.

Keynote Interface
Figure 1: The Keynote interface

The interface comprises three (or four) visible areas:

  • The Slide Navigator on the left side shows thumbnails of all slides in the open presentation.
  • The Slide Area shows the active slide you are working on, or viewing.
  • The Toolbar over the Slide Area comprises icons for commonly used commands, and several other options.
  • The Presenter Notes panel may not be visible as in Figure 1 above -- to view the Presenter Notes, choose View | Presenter Notes as shown in Figure 2.
Show Presenter Notes
Figure 2: Viewing Presenter Notes

Figure 3 shows you the Keynote interface with the Presenter Notes visible. Note that this a toggle option -- so you can choose the same option repeatedly to alternate between viewed and hidden states of the Presenter Notes panel. With the Presenter Notes panel visible, this option will be View | Hide Presenter Notes.

Keynote Interface with Presenter Notes
Figure 3: Interface with Presenter Notes

You can also hide and view the toolbar in the same way -- choose the View | Hide (or Show) Toolbar to do this.

In addition to the interface elements described above, you might also see the Ruler and one of four floating panels called Inspector, Media, Colors, and Fonts. Also, the Toolbar may have spawned an additional bar called the Format Bar right under itself. In subsequent posts, I'll explain these and more interface elements.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Keynote Slide Size (aka Resolution)

When you launch Keynote and choose a theme for your new presentation -- or apply a new theme to an existing presentation, you can change the Slide Size of the presentation.

Now the Slide Size is actually almost the same as the resolution of your presentation -- and is related to the resolution capabilities of your monitor display and projector. This is not as geeky as it sounds -- just remember that the most common and safe resolution for all new projectors is 1024 x 768 pixels -- so if you never bother changing the slide size, Keynote will continue creating your presentations in this resolution. In fact, Keynote defaults to 1024 x 768 pixels -- just stay with the defaults until you get a little more Keynote savvy.

Older projectors worked at only 800 x 600 pixels, and most of the higher end projectors can support much higher resolutions. Of course, if you want to choose a Slide Size that's different than 1024 x 768, you must have a compelling reason to do that -- maybe you want to use a wide-screen aspect, or you have been asked to use a different slide size.

You can choose your Slide Size in the drop down box of the same name that you can see in Figure 1.

Slide Size in Keynote
Figure 1: Slide Size in Keynote

As you can see in Figure 1 above, Keynote provides you with five slide sizes for this particular theme (Harmony) -- on the other hand, look at Figure 2 and you'll find that this theme (Blackboard) has only two slide sizes. This makes it obvious that all themes don't have all slide sizes.

Fewer Slide Sizes
Figure 2: Slide Size in Keynote

You'll find a more detailed explanation of slide sizes in Keynote on the Apple site.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Launching Keynote

You can launch Keynote by double-clicking its icon in the Applications/iWork folder of the Finder -- to learn how to access that icon, refer to my earlier post: Do I already have Keynote?

However, that's not how everybody launches Keynote! Look in your Dock and you'll find an alias for Keynote there, as shown in Figure 1.

Keynote on the Dock
Figure 1: The Keynote alias on the Dock

As you hover over all the aliases, you'll see a tool tip that provides the name of the application the alias belongs to. Click the Keynote alias and the program should spin to life, asking you to choose a theme to create your first presentation (see Figure 2).

Choose a Keynote theme
Figure 2: Choose a Keynote theme to proceed

At this point, you have several choices:

  1. Select a theme and click the "Choose" button so that Keynote launches with a new presentation based on the selected theme. You can also set a resolution for your new presentation at this time from within the Slide Size drop down box -- or if you don't want to get into this aspect right now, leave the default values untouched.

  2. Check the "Don't show this dialog again" so that you are not prompted to choose a theme the next time you launch Keynote.

  3. Choose the "Open an Existing File" option so that you can browse and open an existing Keynote file (or open a PowerPoint presentation in Keynote).

  4. Click the "Close" button so that the Keynote minimizes itself on the Dock. Click the Keynote alias on the Dock, and Keynote springs back instantly to life with the same dialog box asking you to choose a theme!
As you can see, you still haven't created a single slide in Keynote yet! I'll teach you how you can do that after I explain the Keynote interface to you in the next few posts. As always, do send your feedback through the contact page...

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June 2008
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