Posts Tagged ‘Keynote’

Keynote for iPad: First Impressions

April 4, 2010 4 comments

Our Keynote developer spent last night and this morning getting acquainted with Keynote for iPad. We were intrigued by the iPad the minute we saw the Keynote demo and could not wait to get our hands on it. Here is what we have learned.

The Good

It’s fairly easy to copy images from the web for use in Keynote and to resize them and move them around.

There are 43 fonts available. Palatino is here, as well as Helvetica (designer Michael Critz has made a list: iPad fonts). On the other hand, this is going to be limiting: Clients love custom fonts so hopefully there will be a way to install new ones soon.

A Keynote presentation designed on another machine can be sent to the iPad via e-mail or downloaded from an online folder. Users can create or make changes to presentations on the iPad and upload them to or send by e-mail (be ready for more font difficulties). The ‘Send via Mail’ option yields the choice between sending a Keynote file or turning it into a PDF.

The Bad

We are surprised and disappointed that users cannot customize master slides and are limited to the eight standard masters that come with each of the 12 design schemes. Sadly, even importing a presentation with custom-designed masters will not get around this limitation. Users are limited to duplicating slides and making changes to follow a custom design. Naturally, making global changes by modifying a master is impossible (you cannot modify a master slide).

We were unable to open a .zip file from e-mail on the iPad.

A Quicktime (.mov) video was dropped every time a sample presentation was transferred to iPad using e-mail or online folders, although photos embedded in the sample were retained.

When opening a presentation with unsupported media or fonts on the iPad, a ‘Presentation Import Warnings’ window opens detailing what went wrong. Unfortunately, these warnings are a little vague. iPad Keynote tells us which fonts are missing, but instead of informing us which ones they have been replaced with, we’re merely told “Your text might look different,” (in fact all missing fonts were replaced with Arial). For missing video, it’s even worse: “Unsupported media were removed.” We’re not told what was removed nor from which slide or slides.

There is no print option. Users must send a Keynote file or PDF and print from another machine.

What it Has

  • Animation options for building-in and -out
  • Magic Move for moving and resizing objects between slides
  • Move items to front or back, forward or backward
  • Image masking
  • Undo and redo button (press and hold ‘undo’ to reveal redo option)
  • Plenty of ‘Smart Builds’
  • Title case option under ‘Text’ in the ‘Info’ toolbar button.

What it Lacks

  • Ability to build or edit master slides
  • Grouping of shapes, text, or images
  • Motion paths for animating objects
  • Any method for evenly distributing objects (no distribute option is given when shapes are selected and no edge guides pop up to indicate when shapes arrive at regular intervals)
  • Color picker or custom colors
  • Alpha tool
  • Ability to re-color or blur images
  • Ability to copy and paste properties
  • Ability to print directly from iPad
  • Video support.

The iPad Overall

It may not be for you if you can’t stand fingerprints on your screen.

Editing web content is difficult: Safari does not recognize many editable fields (this one, for instance).

Apple is upselling: MobileMe appears to be required if you wish to sync contacts and calendars.

It does have the option of disabling CAPS LOCK (Oh, how we have wished for a computer that would eliminate the accidental CAPS LOCK!).

Most iPhone applications that are available for iPad are unchanged and appear in an iPhone-sized window in the center of the screen.

The iPad has great battery life: You can reasonably expect six hours of heavy use before it conks out. Word is it recharges in four, but we have yet to time this out.

It gives off no perceptible heat and has no fan, so it runs silently. It is easy to handle and does not appear to strain the eyes. Reading from the iPad is very comfortable and the iBooks application yields beautiful-looking ebooks.

[Gary Reichardt]


From One Slide to Any Other in Two Clicks

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Powerpoint and Keynote presentations are usually built to play straight through from beginning to end, without backing up, skipping forward, or viewing slides out of sequence. This kind of presentation can act like a script for the meeting. The thing about meetings, however, is that they don’t typically adhere to a script. Any group of people are likely to have questions or observations that will lead the meeting in an unexpected direction.

What good is a linear presentation when that happens? Not much.

You can avoid the situation where the presenter either leaves a slide on the screen for several minutes while everyone in the room talks about something else, or has to waste time trying to skip forward to another slide one-by-one and then go back. The way to do it is to create an index slide.

An index slide displays a hyperlinked thumbnail of every slide in your deck. We usually make the first slide the index and hide or skip it so it doesn’t display during the presentation until the presenter navigates to it by clicking a hyperlinked icon. It becomes the “home” slide and a small semi-transparent “home” icon is linked to this slide and pasted onto the master so it appears on each slide in the deck.

Because you can navigate to the home slide from anywhere in the presentation, and from there to any other specific slide in the presentation, no two slides are ever separated by more than two clicks. Presenters and audiences tend to appreciate the flexibility this gives them to depart from the script.

Setting up an index slide is usually the last thing the developer will do before handing the presentation off to the presenter. The quickest way to generate the thumbnails is to follow this procedure:

  1. Display the “light table” or “slide sorter,” view (which shows all or at least many of the slides in the presentation), and do a screenshot
  2. Paste the screenshot
  3. Duplicate it once for each slide shown
  4. Align the screenshots along the top and left edges
  5. Put in “guide lines” that run along the edges of all the slides shown on the screenshot (top and bottom, right and left)
  6. Starting at the top, and going left-to-right, use the “crop” tool on each screenshot to isolate each slide in the sequence

When this is done, the thumbnails may be arranged any way you like on the index slide. It is usually helpful to label them with slide titles or section titles. Then hyperlink each thumbnail to its corresponding slide.

In earlier versions of Powerpoint, we had to save the index slide for last because any additional or deleted slides or any changes in slide order meant the hyperlinked thumbnails would link to the wrong slides. Luckily, the current versions of Powerpoint and Keynote are advanced enough that the hyperlinks will be automatically updated when the slide order is changed.

[Gary Reichardt]

Mac Users: Put a Screencap on Your Clipboard

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Hold down ‘shift,’ ‘control,’ and ‘command,’ then press ‘3.’

The result is the same as pressing ‘Print Screen’ on a PC: An image of the entire screen has been copied to the clipboard, meaning you can paste the image into another application by hitting ‘command-v’ or selecting ‘Edit and Paste’ from the top menu.

In Keynote and Powerpoint for Mac, you can now mask the image to isolate a portion of the screen. The ‘Alpha’ tool will work as well, so you can make certain areas transparent. Unfortunately, you cannot use ‘Adjust Image’ to change the brightness, contrast, or color levels.

For capturing logos and stills, however, this can be much faster and simpler than using Grab, and it will not clutter your desktop with old screencaps.

We first learned about this from

[Gary Reichardt]

Keynote: Replacing Animated Objects Without Re-Doing the Animation

January 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Traditionally, when one element in an animated sequence needed to be altered or replaced, it meant also having to re-build the animated sequence. In Keynote ’09, however, animated images can be replaced simply by dragging-and-dropping; without interfering with the animated sequence.

With the slide open and the element to be replaced showing, go to Finder and navigate to where the new element is stored. Click and hold on the new element and drag over to Keynote to where the old element is highlighted (a blue line will appear around the old image). Release the mouse button and the new image will take the place of the old, adopting its animated properties and leaving the rest of the sequence intact.

[Gary Reichardt]

Choosing Fonts for Powerpoint and Keynote Presentations

December 2, 2009 2 comments

To prevent a common problem associated with presentation development in Keynote or Powerpoint, it helps to limit your font usage to the most commonly used fonts in the PC or Macintosh universe.

Exporting a deck to another computer will often result in changes to the way your slides look. These changes are often harmless or can be easily fixed, but if the second computer lacks one or more of the fonts used in building the presentation, it will use other fonts in their place, which can yield unpredictable results. The replacement font can wreak havoc on text boxes and especially tables and shapes that contain text.

To remedy this, the developer will either have to change the fonts used in the original file to match those already installed on the second computer, or download and install the missing font or fonts on the second computer. The first option can take a lot of work; the second can be time-consuming.

To make matters worse, there could always be a need to present the final deck from a third computer that you won’t have access to until the day the presentation is to be delivered.

Smart presentation developers avoid these by making sure the fonts they wish to use are already installed on the presenter’s system. If this isn’t possible, it’s best to limit font choices to those installed on 95% or more of PCs and Macs worldwide.

Windows: Microsoft Sans Serif, Verdana, Tahoma, Courier New, Arial, Trebuchet MS, Comic Sans MS, Lucida Console, Arial Black, Impact, Georgia, Times New Roman, Lucida Sans Unicode, Palatino Linotype, Franklin Gothic Medium, and Sylfaen.

Macintosh: Helvetica, Monaco, Courier, Geneva, Lucida Grande, Arial, and Verdana.

More information is available at CodeStyle.

[Gary Reichardt]