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keynote softwareIf you have ever viewed a Steve Job’s keynote, you can’t help but be impressed by the slide show effects in his presentations. His multimedia presentations look almost effortless, as they should appear. But the effects and tricks used in his presentations are not impossible to duplicate, especially when you can use the exact same program he and Apple use””that is, Keynote. Getting acquainted with the advance features of the Keynote software, you can build presentations just as well as Jobs and his co-workers do.

I recommend that the best way to explore the features of Keynote is not when you’re working on an actual project, but rather when you have the time to launch the program and explore its features when you”˜re not facing a deadline of completing an actual Keynote project. You’re more than likely to try advance techniques when you previously practiced using them.

In this tutorial, we’ll explore three techniques.

Magic Move

Probably the easiest but most powerful Keynote technique to learn is Magic Move. This effect is used when you want to accentuate one or more graphics or objects between two slides. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Launch Keynote software and select a basic template. Delete all the default graphics and text frames.
  2. Locate three graphic files to practice with. If you click the Media Library in Keynote, you no doubt have three photos in your Photo library that you can use.

    keynote software

  3. Add those three files to the first slide and reduce the size so they fit well on the slide. Don’t worry about styling at this point. We’re just focusing the feature technique itself.
  4. Duplicate the slide (Edit > Duplicate, or select the slide — hold down the Option button and pull the slide down.)
  5. In the duplicated slide, delete two of the graphics, and enlarge the third one by a little. Re-select the first slide.
  6. Now open the Inspector (View > New Inspector) and select the “Slide inspector”. This button is for transition effects between slides, where’s the “Build selector” to its right is for effects within a slide.

    apple keynote tips

  7. Click on the Effect drop-down menu and select “Magic Move”. Next select “Automatically” under the “Start Transition” drop-down menu. Click inside the preview box above and you will see the effect. The graphic you selected for the second slide should have a zoom-in effect. You can of course, click the play button to see the effect in a larger size. If you’re not sure how it works, click here for a video demonstration.

You can also play around with the duration of the effect and time delays between the slide transition.

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Custom Move

The next technique is a little trickier. This one involves moving a graphic inside of a slide, instead of between. It enables you to customize the movement.

apple keynote effects

Create a new slide and add a single graphic to it. This time, select the Build inspector (the little yellow diamond icon) in the Inspector. Click on the “Action” button. Next, select “Move” under Effect. Click the “More Options” button to open the Build Order drawer. At the bottom of that drawer, select “Automatically after transition” from the drop-down menu.

  1. Select the graphic on the slide. You will notice a red line and ghost image appear, indicating the path that the graphic will move after the transition. Click inside the Preview window of the Builder to see how it moves.

    apple keynote tricks

  2. You can change the path by which image moves by selecting one end of the line and moving it to your desired direction. Play around with moving the lines to see how it works.

    mac keynote

  3. To make additional paths, select the tiny red plus (+) button and move the end of the path in the direction you want it to go.

    mac keynote

  4. Notice in the Build Order drawer, each path direction you set is listed. You can rearrange the order of those paths or delete them. At the button drawer, you can select how you want to activate the build — either when you click the mouse or trackpad of your computer or “Automatically after” the previous build.

Smart Build

For this last technique, we’re going to explore how to use the Smart Build. This involves showing two or more objects in one slide. Instead of having to build a slide for each object, you can use Smart Build to make a sort of mini slideshow within one slide.

  1. Create a new slide and select Insert > Smart Build > Dissolve in the Keynote menu bar.

    mac keynote

  2. A graphic frame will appear. Where it says, “Drop image here” do just that with your first image. Do the same with the other two graphics. It appears you can add as many objects as you like.

    keynote software

  3. Notice in the Build Inspector and Build Order drawer, you have options for the transition effect you want to use between object, the order and duration of the transition, and how you want to the build to be activated.

Like PowerPoint 10 Powerpoint Tips for Preparing a Professional Presentation 10 Powerpoint Tips for Preparing a Professional Presentation Read More , Keynote can be an awesome presentation tool if you spend time learning how to use its features effectively. While Apple provides many templates and simple drag-and-drop features to make the program fairly easy to use, many of its not-so-obvious features are under the hood of the program, so to speak.

If haven’t had much experience using the Keynote software, let us know how these techniques worked out for you. If you use Keynote techniques our readers should know about, please share them in the comment section.

  1. TorontoDad
    February 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    @Johnathan, Keynote is nothing at all like Prezi.
    Keynote is a close cousin of PowerPoint, a linear presentation tool, only imagine PPT is an older American car, and Keynote is a newer Japanese model. Strictly from the point of view that Keynote is well thought-out, a smoother user experience, and easier to use.
    I thought going in it was a poor cousin ... but I recently completed a complex show for a major client, where the usability alone chopped several days off the production cycle. Imagine: changing a single bar color in a bar chart in PPT involves excruciating mouse precision and timing, navigating numerous options menus, saying 'OK' ... in KYN, it was drag and drop from the color palette. Eek.

  2. TorontoDad
    February 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    @Johnathan, Keynote is nothing at all like Prezi.
    Keynote is a close cousin of PowerPoint, a linear presentation tool, only imagine PPT is an older American car, and Keynote is a newer Japanese model. Strictly from the point of view that Keynote is well thought-out, a smoother user experience, and easier to use.
    I thought going in it was a poor cousin ... but I recently completed a complex show for a major client, where the usability alone chopped several days off the production cycle. Imagine: changing a single bar color in a bar chart in PPT involves excruciating mouse precision and timing, navigating numerous options menus, saying 'OK' ... in KYN, it was drag and drop from the color palette. Eek.

  3. Bakari
    February 2, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Thanks, Jonathan, for the tip. We ran a review of Prezi: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/p...

  4. Jonathan Corcoran
    February 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I've never used this program, but it looks a lot like Prezi.

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