5 Keynote Tools You Must Know!


Presentation applications have changed quite a bit since the inception of PowerPoint in 1990. One of the hottest competitors in the market today is Apple’s version of Keynote, which has an easier interface to operate and offers some pretty impressive features that will have you looking like a rock star at your next presentation meeting.

If you’re a MAC user seeking to try Keynote on your computer for the very first time or aspiring to advance your current skills, be sure to check out these 5 awesome tools that will put you at the top of your game:

1. Instant Alpha

This tool allows you to remove an object quickly in a photograph. For example, if there is a solid white background in a picture Instant Alpha will instantly delete this area while leaving a hole or outlined section. By eliminating specific photo areas within Keynote, you will bring dimension to the images while giving them a surge of energy.

  1. Click photo to edit

  2. Select from top menu "View" > "Customize Toolbar" > Click and drag Instant Alpha tool into toolbar for easy access

  3. Position crosshair tool within solid color

  4. Click, hold and drag crosshair tool over color to eliminate

  5. Click off of photo to deselect or "Done"

2. Action, Move

Is a striking animation feature that will transport your objects to life through movement that you control keeping your audience's eyes glued to your presentation. An excellent way to command specific attention and make your information memorable.

  1. Click on object that you want to move

  2. Select “Animate” > “Action” > “Add an Effect” > “Move”

  3. Click on white dot at the end of the red line to drag object to the desired location

  4. Add another point by hovering over center of red line, then click

  5. Drag new dot to preferred location to change direction of path (repeat these steps for more maneuvers)

  6. Click “Preview” in the Inspector to review your animation and edit accordingly

  7. Add additional Actions at the end by clicking on red diamond+ and select from drop down menu

3. Front, Back, Forward & Backward

These tools may seem like a no-brainer to use, however, by pushing their limits will add more depth to your layouts or animations. A fun strategy when trying to figure out the levels between your objects is to imagine that they are ingredients in a delicious sandwich. The base layer and top layer become the bread and depending on where you want your components to lie in-between move them around to achieve a desirable result.

  1. Select from top menu "View" > "Customize Toolbar" > Click and drag all these tools into your toolbar for easy access "Front," "Back," "Forward" and "Backward"

  2. Click on the object you want to move up or down in your layout order

  3. Choose “Front," "Back," "Forward," or "Backward” depending on where you want object positioned

  4. Reflect on building your ideal sandwich!

4. Mask With Selection

This tool allows you to outline and remove a particular subject area within a photo, similar to Instant Alpha. However, this tool provides more precision with the areas you want to eliminate. Also, by utilizing this tool within Keynote, you will save time not having to exit the application and launch a photo editor to do the same thing.

  1. Select from top menu “Insert” > “Choose” (import a photo)

  2. Select “Shape” from the toolbar and “Draw with Pen”

  3. Click points to draw on the area of the picture that you want to eliminate (read dialogue box for tips)

  4. Create straight lines by adding a dot and another dot, create curves by clicking and dragging

  5. Complete section by clicking the last point on beginning point (i.e. “O” will appear)

  6. Once you close the shape, fill with any color to recognize it

  7. Select your drawn shape > Command key > select the photo, so they are both selected

  8. Select from top menu “Format” > “Image” > “Mask with Selection”

  9. Click off of photo to deselect or "Done"

5. Unite, Intersect, Subtract & Exclude

If you come across the need to create a quick logo or interesting icon within your layouts, try using this stylish tool to add some unique customization to your designs. It's not only able to produce very unusual shapes but will also provide some fun when using it while intriguing your viewers in the end.

  1. Select Shape from toolbar and create 2 or more forms (i.e. you can even draw with pen tool to customize a form)

  2. Select a shape > Command key > click on the other shapes, so they are all selected

  3. Select “Format” (from toolbar) > “Arrange”

  4. Select on bottom either “Unite,” “Intersect,” “Subtract” or “Exclude” (try them all to view their effects)

  5. To edit: select the shape > right click (or "Control" click) > "Make Editable"

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