Making the most of Keynote

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Keynote is Apple's software for making presentations. Many of our members use it for church meetings.

Keynote on iPad

Apple wrote a special version of Keynote for the iPad. Some of our members considered this a big reason for buying an iPad.

The iPad is not only useful for composing a presentation when you are away from your computer. You can also present your slides and videos directly from Keynote on the iPad.

The version of Keynote on the iPad is surprisingly functional. However, it has limited fonts, so be careful which fonts you select on your computer if you are going to transfer a keynote to your iPad.

It is easy to sync files between Mac and iOS devices via iTunes. Go to the device shown in the iTunes pane, click Apps at the top, scroll down to the list of apps that can sync files via iTunes, select Keynote (also works for Pages/Numbers), click the "Add to" button, search the Mac for the desired files, select, click "open" and voila! the file is synced to the device. No need to go through the whole syncing process.

To hook up the iPad to a projector, Apple sells a VGA adapter for $29. It has worked well for our members, e.g. lecturing in a classroom with a mounted projector and a cable of about 30', and in a church building with a portable projector and a 12' cable.

You can also use Keynote Remote on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to control another device that is showing the slides. Depending on the orientation you select on your iPad, you see either the current slide and next slide, or the current slide with presenter notes.

Just don't let the technology become the focal point, a distraction, or a reason in and of itself – to point people to Christ is our goal.

Custom themes

To save a customized theme using a background image:

  • Start a new presentation, choosing a theme that is similar to what you want.
  • In the View menu, choose "Show Master Slides."
  • Select one of them to edit.
  • Then open the Inspector. You want the second tab from the left, "Slide Inspector." If it is showing "Transition", switch to "Appearance."
  • At the bottom, you will see "Background." If the theme is set to "Color fill", select "Image Fill," then click the "Choose" button to select the image you want.
  • That one Master Slide is now changed to the background image you chose. Repeat the above for all of the master slides that you might want to use, e.g. "Title & Subtitle", "Title & Bullets".
  • When you have changed all the master slides, choose "Save theme" from the File menu, and give it a name. This adds your custom theme to the default set that came with the program.

Email list for Keynote

There is a Yahoo group devoted to Keynote. The moderator is a Christian and lots of Christians and church users (and some CATUG members) are on that list. It is not a Christian list per se but it has some very knowledgeable participants. Questions are welcome, but as it's a Yahoo group you can also search previous answers online.

Of course feel free to ask questions on the Mac Ministry List too.

See also


The above tips were shared on the Mac Ministry List in 2011 by David Larson, Kevin Paszalek, Barry Wiseman, Jon Glass, Tim Archer and Brian Braunschweiger. Compiled by Neville Reid in January 2012.