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Canadian By Choice
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use Powerpoint a lot for my work and am a fairly sophisticated user (presentations are usually in the 5-30 Mb range with lots of graphics,etc). I installed Keynote and have been playing with it. Here's a quick run-down (I should say I both like and dislike Powerpoint - like its feature set but I hate its compression scheme and clunkiness).

1. Of 18 existing Powerpoint presentations I tried to import, only three succeeded (they only needed minor corrections of some placements). The successful presentations were the smaller ones (up to 4 Mb). The others either ended up with an error after about 30 seconds of importing - file cannot be imported) or crashed the app. Take home message is that I'll probably need to break up the presentations for import to identify "problem" slides. I just hope that its not due to a common element. The imported presnetations added about 0.5 Mb to each file compared with the ppt originals.

2. Successful imports (you just "open" the Powerpoint file from within Keynote) are well converted and look better than Powerpoint. This is true of images and type.

3. Keynotes main advantage is in its beautiful rendering and transitions. This is on a 667 TiPB (16 Mb RAM). However, it is not a great app (yet) for designing slides as the tools are too limited.

4. For some reason I can't write in Symbol font on slides. Other fonts work. I can import slides with symbol font usage and these are preserved.

5. The interface is new and I'm still working out how to do stuff. For example, you define the slide presentation size at the beginning but I'm not sure how to change it (initial selection is 800 x 600 which results in a 2" margin when the show is run on-screen). There is a 1024 X 768 option too so I use that now.

6. You can only advance slides via the mouse button or the arrow keys (i.e. return key does nothing). Going backwards causes hesitation (also true for Powerpoint). Pressing the B key during a presentation gives a blackscreen (Powerpoint does this + W generates a whitescreen).

7. Keynote has the annoying behaviour that if you have it running with no window open and switch to it from another app, it automatically opens a new presentation and asks for a choice of them. Maybe there is a way of changing this behaviour but I haven't found it yet.

8. Slide navigation is nice but takes a bit of getting used to as its a long strip on the left of the screen. It allows multiple selections, but not non-contiguously.

9. Transitions do not show in reverse (i.e. if you backup a slide). There is also no way (as far as I can tell) to jump to a certain slide within a presentation. There are no on slide "buttons" for alternate slide order sequencing and no way to export to a web site as an interactive presentation (Powerpoint does a great job of this). You can export as PDF or as an interative QT movie but each require download of the whole file to see anything (unlike the HTML coded PPT export).

The bottom line is that Keynote is a good application for relatively straightforward shows and those which can be built from scratch. Imports are somewhat flakey and due to the limited object design tools this is a real limitation. The best way to deal with it (not at all optimal) is to initially design slides one by one in Powerpoint and then import them.

Hopefully Apple will release version 1.1 in the not too distant future which addresses the import issues. The investment in existing presentations for Powerpoint users is significant and there is a lot of work needed to transition that stock from Powerpoint to Keynote. I haven't tried exporting to Powerpoint yet (but I'd only want to do that to share presentations since I usually take my laptop to the talk so I will have Keynote on the system).

Finally, there is no registration code for Keynote. The license is for installation on one computer (the typical license). I installed it on my desktop and laptop since the former has a better screen, etc. and is where I usually design stuff. The laptop is obviously the computer I travel with. Upon each installation, the application sends registration info to Apple (no idea if a product keycode is transmitted). Since I won't be using the application concurrently on the two computers, this shouldn't be contravening the license and I can't use the application properly if it is restricted to one or the other.

There's a feedback submission button in Keynote and I sent in the above to Apple.
 

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UTBJW,

Nice to have a keynote review so quickly


I haven't had a chance to play with it, but I did just read an Apple technote regarding failed imports... in case this is your problem. Apparently Keynote does not like files that end in ".pps" - if you change the extension to ".ppt" it should import properly.

ciao!
:D
M
 

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Canadian By Choice
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi CM,

All my Powerpoint files are .ppt I do save at .pps if I want a one click launch into the presentation (saves the filling with the menus) but you can't edit .pps files so I don't keep em. Since my presentations contain lots of overlapping content, its possible I've got only a few rogue slides. Point being that its going to take some time to sort out. it's the same with all filters and converters. They usually fail if there's anything fancy.

I still have high hopes for Keynote though and I thin Apple will squash the bugs and add features much faster that Microsoft and its languishing suite of apps.
 

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I'm really curious about the slide-to-slide transitions. On my 550 there is a noticable lag with even non-animated transitions in PPT X that makes things pretty jerky during presentations. This is particularly noticable when you've got a crude animation that uses multiple slides with repeated graphic elements.

Under OS 9, PPT was very slick in transition but in X it just seems horribly clunky to me.

So ... does Keynote take care of this? How smooth are the animated transitions? In PPT X I get about 2-4 fps for the QT transtions which makes them simply too embarrassing to consider using. What's the performance lke?

How about animated graphics. When you're zooming in a simple image, is there the obvious jerkiness that you get in PPT X?
 

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Canadian By Choice
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mcni, drop by next week if you want to check it out. One thing that might confine your TiBook 550 is that it heavily relies on Quartz for the compositing and for best performance, 32Mb of VRAM is suggested. It works quite well on my 667 which has 16 Mb of VRAM. The 17" Al book has 64 Mb, so that should fly...... I haven't tried QT transitions or anything too complicated in terms of other transitions. The cube effect is really cool though and looks smooth on my 667.
 
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