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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Create a Keynote Shortcut on the Dock

By default, the iWork installation creates shortcuts for all the programs within the iWork suite such as Keynote, Pages, and Numbers within the Dock. However, you may have deleted the shortcut, some ghost may have gobbled it, or it might have not been there in the first place! In this post, I'll show you how you can recreate that shortcut.

  1. Click the Finder icon on your Dock -- or double-click the Macintosh HD icon on your desktop. Either way you end up seeing the Finder window.

  2. In the left pane of the Finder, click Applications to see a list of installed applications in your Mac's Application folder (as shown in Figure 1).

    Finder Applications
    Figure 1: Applications in your Mac

  3. Scroll down the list, and you'll find a folder called iWork -- my folder is called iWork 08 since "08" denotes the version of the programs contained within the iWork suite. Your version may have a different suffix -- that doesn't matter. For now, just double click the folder.

  4. Inside the folder, you'll find a shortcut for Keynote (and perhaps for Pages and Numbers as well) as you can see in Figure 2.

    iWork 08 Folder
    Figure 2: iWork folder within your Applications folder

  5. Hold the Keynote icon and drag it to any area in your Dock where you want the Keynote shortcut to be placed -- and then release your mouse button to release the icon and create a shortcut. Once the shortcut is created, you can click it to launch Keynote.
Tip: To remove the shortcut from your Dock, just drag it off the Dock and let go!

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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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Slide Navigator or Outline

If you followed my last post on the Keynote interface, you know there was nothing mentioned about an Outlining pane or something similar -- and that's something keenly observed by a PowerPoint user.

Well, there actually is a very similar Outline pane -- and it's in exactly the same position as where you would expect it to be! Yes, it's in the same screen real estate as the Slide Navigator -- just choose View | Outline, as shown in Figure 1.

View Outline Option
Figure 1: View Outline option

This changes the left pane from the Slide Navigator to the Outline -- you can see both the views in Figure 2 below.

Slide Navigator View View Outline
Figure 2: Slide Navigator view (left) and Outline view (right)

To change back from Outline view to Slide Navigator view, choose View | Navigator.

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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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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Running Keynote for the first time

When you run Keynote for the first time (or when you run Pages or Numbers), you are asked to input the serial number of the product, as shown in Figure 1.

iWork Serial
Figure 1: Enter your iWork serial

The serial number can be found within the packaging, typically on a sticker pasted on the Installing iWork booklet. If you bought the product at an online store without a physical delivery, the serial number can be found in the subsequent email you received.

Type in the serial number including all the dashes, and click the Continue button. Thereafter, you'll be asked to provide registration info as shown in Figure 2. And yes, my email address really isn't [email protected]!

iWork Registration
Figure 2: Send in your registration info to the folks at Apple

Thereafter you'll see a small Connecting window -- this means your registration info is transmitted to Apple's user database. Normally, this takes a few seconds, and you then see the "Thank you" window, as shown in Figure 3.

Registration Sent
Figure 3: Your registration was successful

Thereafter, Keynote will launch. If there's an update available at that time, you may be provided with an option to download it immediately.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Beginnings of Keynote

We all know that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a great presenter who can inspire his audience. And while many soothsayers will predict the end of slideware, Steve Jobs knew that he needed a program that helped him deliver better presentations. So that's how Keynote was born.

Initially, Keynote was used in Steve's keynotes at MacWorld events -- then the first version of Keynote was released in 2003.

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What about PowerPoint?

So what is it about PowerPoint? I knew that question was bound to come up sooner or later and it's best I answer this one now.

For those of you who don't know, I have authored four PowerPoint books and run a huge PowerPoint related site called -- I do a lot of presentations for high-end clients from my presentation design studio based out of Hyderabad, India. And I use PowerPoint all the time -- on both Windows and the Mac.

So why am I doing this series of posts on Apple Keynote? That's because I have plenty of Macs and every version of Keynote released so far. I have played with Keynote, and I think it's a cool program. And to take a discussion route far removed from flame wars, I'm so glad that Keynote exists. Keynote provides competition in the presentation program marketplace and competition is good because it leads to huge improvements in both Keynote and PowerPoint.

However, it doesn't take too long to notice that there isn't too much content available on Keynote -- not too many books, web sites, or even sites with themes to buy or download. That's why I created this corner on the web -- to write some content on Apple Keynote.

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Keynote System Requirements

Make sure you are aware of the system requirements for Keynote and the rest of the iWork programs before you buy a retail box. That's one of the reasons why you should download a trial version of the product.

The current version, Keynote 08 (or Keynote 4) runs on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard only (and later versions of OS X). And if you are running an earlier version of OS X, you'll have to find an earlier version of Keynote and iWork as well (or upgrade your OS X version).

You can find older versions of Keynote and OS X on auction sites like eBay but be aware that the newest version of Keynote always has more features. Also, you might not be able to open Keynote presentations created in the new version inside older versions of Keynote, although the opposite is not true.

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Installing iWork (and Keynote)

In this post, I'll show you how you can install iWork (and Keynote) on your Mac. Remember, as of now iWork comprises Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. You can also get a trial version of iWork before deciding to buy a retail version.

To install iWork, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the iWork CD/DVD in your optical drive (and if you downloaded the trial version, just double-click the downloaded file).

  2. Either way, you'll see the iWork installation screen that looks like what you can see in Figure 1.

    iWork Install
    Figure 1: iWork Install Screen

  3. Now double-click the Install iWork or similar option, and you'll see a screen that says that iWork wants to determine if it can be installed, blah, blah, blah (see Figure 2). As you must have realized by now, you hardly have any choice but to click the Continue button. Do that!

    iWork Install Determine
    Figure 2: iWork needs to determine something

  4. Click Continue in the next screen as well, and behold the Read Me screen. Read if you want, or just press Continue to welcome the venerable License screen (see Figure 3) that allows Apple to own your computer, home, bank account, and car (just joking) -- it's comparatively harmless, just click the Continue button to get this moving. Click Agree in the popup screen that comes up.

    iWork License Screen
    Figure 3: iWork Install Screen

  5. Select the Destination drive to install iWork -- if you have just one drive, that decision is already made for you. Then click Continue. click Install in the next screen! And if that wasn't enough, enter your computer password in the popup window that comes up, and click OK. Phew!

  6. Now if all goes well, the Installer will work for a while. Let the poor thing do what it is meant to do -- and after a while, you will see a screen that says everything went well, and iWork was successfully installed on your Mac (see Figure 4).

    iWork Successful Installation
    Figure 4: That was a successful iWork installation

  7. Click Close and you are done with the installation.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Buying iWork (and Keynote)

You can buy a copy of iWork (and Keynote) as a retail boxed product on CD at any of the Apple stores or resellers. You can also buy the same boxed product from the Apple online store at the Apple web site. There are different Apple stores on Apple's various international sites.

In addition, you can buy an electronic download version of iWork from the Apple web site.

Do remember that there are essentially two versions of iWork available:
  • The Single User pack can be installed on one system.
  • The Family Pack allows you to install on up to 5 systems in your household.
The Family Pack costs just a little bit more than the Single User pack -- so it makes a lot of sense to get that version even if you just need to install iWork on 2 systems. As you can see the pricing in Figure 1, a single user pack as of today costs $79, whereas a family pack costs $99.

iWork Purchase Options
Figure 1: iWork Purchase Options

No wonder everyone wants to buy the Family Pack!

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Getting a Trial Version of Keynote (and iWork)

Unless your Mac came with a trial version of iWork, you'll want to download the evaluation from the Apple site. You'll also want to get the trial version if you are using an earlier version of Keynote and iWork -- and want to see all the new improvements before you buy a retail copy of iWork.

You can download the trial version from the Apple iWork Trial page, as shown in Figure 1.

iWork Trial Download
Figure 1: Apple iWork Trial Download

As you can see in the figure above, the current version of iWork is iWork 08 that includes Keynote 08.

Be prepared for a long download though -- as of today, the download is a whopping 469 megabytes.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Do I already have Keynote?

If you bought a new Mac, chances are you already have a trial version of Apple iWork that includes Keynote. Even otherwise, you can download a trial version of iWork from the Apple site. However before you download the trial, just check if you already have iWork. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. On your Mac Dock, click the Finder option (normally the first option from the left) to launch the Finder.

  2. In the left pane of the Finder, click Applications to see a list of installed applications in your Mac (as shown in Figure 1).

    Finder Applications
    Figure 1: Applications in your Mac

  3. Scroll down the list, and you'll find a folder called iWork -- my folder is called iWork 08 since "08" denotes the version of the programs contained within the iWork suite. Your version may have a different suffix -- that doesn't matter. For now, just double click the folder.

  4. Inside the folder, you'll find a shortcut for Keynote (and perhaps for Pages and Numbers as well) as you can see in Figure 2.

    iWork 08 Folder
    Figure 2: iWork folder within your Applications folder

  5. Double-click the Keynote shortcut to launch the program.
If your copy of Keynote is a trial version, it will run for the trial period.

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What is Apple Keynote?

Apple Keynote is a popular presentation program that helps you create slides with all sorts of textual, visual, and multimedia content.

Keynote was launched as a standalone program, but Apple subsequently launched word processing and spreadsheet programs called Pages and Numbers -- now all these three programs are sold as a combined suite of applications called iWork. Presently, iWork is a Mac only suite of programs that has no compatible option on the Windows platform.

Being the oldest of all programs in iWork, Keynote is the most evolved and capable program of the lot. On these set of pages, I'll jot down my experiences of working with Keynote. Please feel free to add your thoughts, opinions, and ideas through your comments.

Have a great day.

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June 2008
April 2010


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