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Transform Dull PowerPoint Presentations With Keynote

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Richard Harrington and the experts at RHED Pixel show you how to bring those boring PowerPoint presentations into Keynote and turn them into animated, self-running slideshows that will keep your audiences engaged.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

4 Lesson Files

  • Lessons > Lesson 04 > 04Almonic Senior Investments.ppt
  • Lessons > Lesson 04 > Almonic Senior Investments PPT Slides.pdf
  • Lessons > Lesson 04 > 04Table.doc
  • Lessons > Lesson 04 > 04Presentation Complete.key


  • This lesson takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.


  • Import a PowerPoint presentation into Keynote
  • Use Pages to convert a Word document into an iWork-compatible format and add it to a Keynote presentation
  • Modify and enhance imported content
  • Use timings and automatic builds
  • Add comments
  • Customize the presenter’s view
  • Rehearse the presentation
  • Create a self-running slideshow

Keynote has been built from the ground up to take advantage of the many powerful graphics features in OS X. Many professional presenters have switched to Keynote for its rich media playback capabilities and expert handling of text and bullet animation. Despite all of these benefits, not everyone uses Keynote. It’s thus important that Keynote be compatible with other presentation tools.

Keynote can export both PDF and PowerPoint files, so you can easily share your Keynote presentations with people using these other applications. Even more important, you can open an existing PowerPoint document and enhance it with the many features of Keynote. The conversion process from PowerPoint is relatively easy, and the vast majority of features import. Most important, the data and text are editable so you can continue to modify your presentation. In this lesson, you will modify an existing PowerPoint presentation. You’ll modify slides and content to improve the overall appearance of the presentation.

Importing a PowerPoint Presentation

Bringing a PowerPoint presentation into Keynote allows you to modify and edit the content. The conversion process is as easy as opening a file.

  1. If Keynote is not already running, open it.
  2. Choose File > Open.
  3. Navigate to the file 04Almonic Senior Investments.ppt.
  4. Click Open.

    Keynote converts the file and names it with a name identical to the original (but with the .key extension). The original PowerPoint document remains unmodified on your hard drive. A warning box informs you of any conversion errors.

  5. Click Review to see any problems with conversion.

    Depending upon fonts loaded on your system and a few other factors, you should see four errors. These are all very minor and have resulted in slight, cosmetic changes to some of the charts. We will be changing the appearance of the charts, so these errors are OK. Close the window with the warnings.

  6. Choose File > Save As, name the file 04Presentation Stage 01.key, and save it to your hard drive.

You need to resize the new document to optimize it for the screen. A converted PowerPoint file is usually imported into Keynote at 720 x 540 pixels. This is an uncommon size for Apple computers, and it is better to choose a more standard resolution to match a projector.

  1. Select the Document Inspector.
  2. Click the Slide Size menu and choose 1024 x 768.

    Your slides scale up to match the new size.

  3. Press Command-S to save your document.
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