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Take Control of Keynote
Jul 23, 2015

Take Control of Keynote

Give better presentations with this handy guide covering Keynote for the Mac!

Price Reduced! Because this book hasn’t been updated since its initial release, we’ve cut the price from $15 to $5. Although the current version doesn’t cover features Apple added to Keynote in the past couple of years—such as real-time collaboration support (as with all the iWork apps) and Keynote Live (which lets participants follow along with a presentation on their own devices)—nearly all the information in the book is still accurate enough to be useful.

Drawing on years of speaking experience, Joe suggests you start by figuring out what you want to say — and he explains exactly how to accomplish this task, even though you won’t do it in Keynote. You’ll then find advice on how to pick the right Keynote theme and learn how to create slides by filling in placeholders, adding objects, and inserting and styling text. You’ll also discover how to add build effects to slides and create transitions between slides, as well as how to make self-playing presentations designed for kiosks, and presentations with recorded narration or a soundtrack.

Finally, Joe offers real-world advice about delivering presentations, including tips on what to bring, making presenter notes and customizing the presenter display, setting up your display, and controlling your presentation.

As someone whose life (and income) is doing training presentations, this ebook is the most useful I have ever bought. I know Keynote well and have used it since its first release; however, Joe’s ebook has both challenged me to think about the way I structure my presentations and has taught me stuff about Keynote I didn’t know. –Michael Durrant, Psychologist … mental health & corporate trainer (Sydney, Australia)

You’ll learn how to use the features that go into making a great slide deck:

  • Making master slides with carefully positioned placeholders
  • Adjusting the slide order
  • Viewing more than one slide at once
  • Using fancy layout features to position objects (images, movies, sounds, tables, and charts) on a slide
  • Applying cool visual effects to photos, such as masking and Instant Alpha
  • Sorting out builds gone wild with the Build Order palette
  • Hiding particular slides from an audience without deleting them
  • Taking control of text boxes and Keynote’s many text styling options
  • Creating a presentation that requires clicks in specific places to advance
  • Commenting on slides while collaborating on your presentation

Additional advice helps you prep for a successful delivery and avoid technical glitches:

  • What to consider in advance, with respect to the screen(s) you’ll be using
  • Practicing the mechanics of delivering from Keynote
  • Viewing presenter notes while you speak
  • Playing a sound or movie from a slide during your presentation
  • Evaluating the many options for remote control instead of a mouse or trackpad
  • Packing your bag with the right set of cables and gadgets
  • Setting up once you’re at the speaking venue

You’ll find even more assistance with answers to questions like:

  • Should I store my presentation on iCloud Drive?
  • What are my options if I want to print my presentation?
  • What’s the best way to turn my slide deck into a PDF?

The bulk of the book documents Keynote for the Mac, but an appendix explains what’s similar and different about Keynote for iOS and Keynote for iCloud.


What version of Keynote does this book cover?

This book is about Keynote 6 on the Mac. Keynote also runs in iOS and as a Web app on, so the book includes an appendix explaining how those versions compare to the Mac version. It also talks about how to use iCloud Drive to access Keynote files on any device that’s signed in to the same iCloud account, or from the Web app version of Keynote.

What are Keynote 6’s OS requirements?

Keynote 6 runs on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, 10.10 Yosemite, and later.

Update Plans

March 21, 2018 – We have no current plans to update this book. It doesn’t cover some of the features Apple most recently added to Keynote, but nearly all of what’s in the book is still useful.

Posted by Lauri Reinhardt

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.