About two years ago Apple released Keynote, a full-featured presentation application,
intended to shift the stranglehold Microsoft Powerpoint has held on the Mac for so
long. Keynote was a phenomenal hit with its amazing transitions and ease of use.
Keynote has matured to the next version and is now bundled with the iWork '05 productivity
suite. Keynote now offers complete iLife integration, and a sleu of new features.
Keynote provides the tools needed to create a stunning and professional presentation
for work, school, relatives, or whatever you need to deliver.
- Macintosh computer
with 500MHz or faster PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 (G4 for PowerBook); G4 or G5 recommended
- 128MB of RAM (512MB
- 8MB of video memory
- Mac OS X v10.3.6
- QuickTime 6.5 or
- iLife '04 or later
- 1GB of available
- DVD drive required
to install applications (CD version available separately)
$79 Single User; $99
Family Pack (for iWork '05, which also includes Pages 1.0)
Like most Apple applications, iWork '05 was no hassle to install with a single installer
application. There were no extras to install. After installation, I opened Keynote
2, and it prompted for the registration key. Enter the registration key for either
Keynote or Pages unlocks both applications.
Keynote is very similar to other presentation applications, such as Powerpoint, in
concept. You pick a theme, create a new slide, add text and media to the slide, repeat
until you have a full presentation, and then you deliver your presentation. However,
Keynote allows you to do this in a much more simpler and efficient manner with the
use of the toolbar and Inspector palette.
Keynote 2 Toolbar
The toolbar arranges
icons that perform common actions, such as adding text or creating new slides, as
an alternative to using the menu-bar. The toolbar is fully customizable and provides
37 different actions for your use. Actions I found useful included changing the slide
layout, grouping and ungrouping objects, and adding new text. Changing the slide
layout is vital to any presentation, and can be done quickly using Keynote's toolbar.
Grouping and ungrouping is useful for keeping different objects together, allowing
you to quickly design your slides. Keynote's action to add text is extremely simple.
In order to add new text in PowerPoint, you choose Insert-> Text each time. In
Keynote, one click on the Text button in the toolbar does the same.
Keynote 2 Inspector palette
The Inspector palette acts as a utility for controlling all aspects of your presentation.
It includes 10 different sections: Document, Slide, Build, Text, Graphic, Metrics,
Table, Graph, Hyperlink, and Quicktime. The Document section controls the presentation
size, any audio playing, and transition delay. The Slide and Build allow you to add
transitions to entire slides or single objects. The Text and Graphic sections control
all the text and graphics in your slide, their size, spacing, and color. The Metrics
section allow you to finely adjust, rotate, or space objects on the slide. The Table
and Graph sections are available for modifying graphs and tables. The Hyperlink section
allows you to add text or object hyperlinks to other slides or websites through your
web browser. Finally, the Quicktime section controls the border, repeat number, and
volume of any Quicktime videos you may add.
Keynote 2 is now fully integrated with the Apple iLife suite via the Media palette.
You can drag in pictures from your iPhoto library, add music from iTunes, and even
put in video from your Movies folder. The Media palette features drag-and-drop, so
you can drag the pictures/music/movies straight from the palette to your slide. I
found the Media palette feature extremely useful when I created a very media-rich
presentation that required many graphics. After gathering and making my graphics,
I populated a new folder in my iPhoto library with the graphics. I could then use
the Media palette in Keynote 2 as an organizer for my graphics while adding them
to my slideshow.
Keynote 2 Media palette
Keynote 2 includes some very attractive and professional themes, almost making it
obvious when a presentation is created by Keynote. Apple provides 20 unique themes
with Keynote 2 along with the ability to create your own. Plus, there are countless
third-party themes available on the web. Each theme provides a decent background
to build your presentation on. Keynote will also create matching text, shapes, graphs,
bullet points, and picture frames depending on the theme. Keynote themes makes it
incredibly simple to create beautiful presentations.
My favorite themes include the Storyboard, Titanium Jr., and Fun Theme. The Storyboard
is a gradient black and keeps a professional tone. The Titanium Jr. theme is a free
3rd party theme I found at www.KeynoteThemePark.com, and is stylish and fits the
motif of the Mac OS X interface. Finally, the brightly colored Fun Theme is perfect
for any family picture slideshow.
Keynote is famed for its spectacular slide transitions and animations, and now Keynote
2 includes several new ones. Keynote contains 18 different slide transitions, including
Motion Dissolve, Burn, Page Flip, and the famous Cube effect. Keynote also includes
26 text animations and 11 object animations. Unlike some presentation apps, Keynote
does a good job of keeping the animations more on the professional side. Keynote
does not, however, have the ability to create motion paths for objects. Aside from
this lacking feature, Keynote does an excellent job of keeping the audience's attention
Delivering a presentation to an audience is often a very intense moment for the presenter,
no matter how prepared you may be. Fortunately, new features in Keynote 2 provide
you with the resources you need to not only make a good impression on your audience,
but also keep you from slipping up. During a presentation, Keynote can display information
to assist the presenter on the main screen and the actual presentation for the audience
on a second screen or projector. The information Keynote can provide to the speaker
can include the current slide, the upcoming slide, the current time, a count-down
timer, and speaker notes. This information helps immensely while in the spotlight,
allowing you to keep your place, remember key facts, and pace your time.
Since the Mac platform exists in a predominantly Windows world, compatibility with
Windows and file types can be a major issue with many Mac applications. Fortunately,
Keynote provides some relief on this front, both importing and exporting to and from
many different file types. Keynote 2 can import any Quicktime compatible file, any
Microsoft Office file, Macromedia Flash files, AppleWorks files, PDFs, and XML files.
Keynote 2 can export to JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Macromedia Flash, Microsoft Powerpoint,
PDF, and Quicktime. However, with exporting, there is a major loss of Keynote features.
Obviously, for JPEG, PNG, and TIFF, these are single frames files versus a multi-slide
presentation. Macromedia Flash export does have some potential, but is low quality
and appears to lag horribly when played on older computers. PDF exports can be presented
in full-screen, but without any of the animation effects. Exporting to a Quicktime
file does retain much of what you can do in Keynote 2, but you will lack full-screen
presentation unless you own Quicktime Pro. All the preceding exports will experience
loss of slide control, a feature you would need for a presentation. Exporting to
Microsoft Powerpoint seems to be a logical solution, as it includes the slide control
and the ability to edit the presentation on other platforms. Unfortunately, presentations
converted to PowerPoint will lose many transitions, animations, and any transparency
effects possible in Keynote 2.
There are numerous features in Keynote, including several new features introduced
with Keynote 2. New in Keynote 2 is the ability to "mask" (aka, crop) photos
from within the Keynote application. This removes the hassle of the previous version
where you had to open another application to crop a photo. Keynote also allows creation
of self-running interactive presentations, allowing you to present even if you're
not there. I would expect this feature to be very useful for special public events,
where you set up your Mac to play the presentation continuously, or as the listener
demans, allowing the audience to educate themselves. Keynote 2 offers the same chart
and graph creation available in Keynote 1. Charts and graphs in Keynote 2 follow
the design of the theme, so you do not have to worry about making adjustments to
get them to look right. Another favorite feature of mine, carried over from Keynote
1, is the automatic grid that allows you to align and distance objects precisely
in every slide.
I recently wanted to demonstrate the potential of a product niche to a small group
of people I know. I wanted a presentation with lots of eye-candy, but one that still
kept a professional tone. After I had gathered all of my data and written out the
content of my presentation, I launched Keynote 2 and got to work. I choose Titanium
Jr. as my slideshow theme, created new slides, and began entering the text content.
After the text content, I created two new slides for my data graphs. Creating the
graphs only required me to enter my data and data fields, select a type of graph,
and size it according to my preference. I then began to change the layout of each
slide to give my presentation some variation. I added pictures and background music
via drag-and-drop from the Media palette to different slides. Finally, I added transitions
to the presentation using the Inspector palette, previewed my slideshow, and saved
the file. This entire process, with 18 different slides, took just over an hour to
create. Since the presentation was displayed from my Mac, I was also able to use
Keynotes presentation tools, which allowed me to keep perfect pace during my presentation.
Keynote 2 - Sample Presentation
Keynote 2 vs PowerPoint 2004
For many people, the bottom line comes down to PowerPoint. You've always had PowerPoint
and it works, so why change? There are a number of reasons why I prefer Keynote 2
over PowerPoint, and there is a couple of reasons why some may need to stay with
Simply put, I prefer Keynote 2 over PowerPoint 2004 for the following reasons:
- It sports an intuitive
Aqua interface (nicer and easier to use than PowerPoint)
- Slideshow creation
is much faster
- It is completely
integrated with iLife applications
- It includes better
themes and transitions
- It is much cheapter
($79 vs $399)
- NOTE: To be fair,
PowerPoint comes with Excel and Word, whereas Keynote only comes with Pages.
Keynote 2 is not fully
cross-platform compatible. That is, there is no PC version, and the Keynote 2 presentations
that you export to the PowerPoint format will lose many of the cool features that
are only supported by Keynote. For those that work in an all-Mac environment, or
do not require the Keynote presentations to play on other computers (e.g., despite
being in a PC environment, you do your presentations on a Mac), this may not be an
Apple Keynote 2 is a full-featured presentation application, now part of the iWork
'05 suite, so it also includes Pages. Keynote includes several tools designed to
help you work faster creating amazing presentations and slideshows. Keynote's interface
is cleverly thought out, providing a lot of useful resources and tools quickly and
unobtrusively. Keynote 2 now features full integration with Apple iLife applications,
allowing you to quickly add to your presentation music from iTunes or pictures from
iPhoto. New presentation features greatly ease the burden of delivering your presentation,
with on-screen notes and previews of upcoming slides. I recommend Keynote 2 to anyone
who delivers presentations and wants to make the best impression on their audience.
Keynote 2 has matured incredibly from Keynote 1, so for owners of Keynote 1, this
is a must upgrade.
- Extremely easy to
- Relatively inexpensive
- iLIfe integration
- Many unique transitions
- New presentation
- Compatible with many
- Lacks creation of
motion paths for objects
- Not fully compatible
with other platforms
1/2 out of 5 Mice