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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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