Monday, October 11, 2010

Keynote is magical! [Updated Video]

I can't remember the last time I've ever had so much fun with any kind of software related to my education. Enter Keynote - Apple's take on the ever so infamous Microsoft PowerPoint. I had to make a presentation for a design project as part of my undergrad degree and being a Mac user right now kind of makes me feel like I'm cheating!

Using Keynote as my powerpoint presentation was such a breeze and pretty simple to use. I myself have not used MS PowerPoint many times before and yet I was still able to pick up very quickly how to play around with animations and slide transitions. In times when I wanted to find out how to do something, I would simply type it in the search box under help and my problems would be solved straight away through its helpful offline database.

Anyways, without going in-depth, here's what I managed to get going after less than a day of playing around!

[UPDATE] After actually checking the export settings, I realised there was a native option to export it as a video without the need for other screen capturing software! It's much clearer as a result: here it is again with slides advancing every 5 seconds.

As you can see, I was inspired by Apple's own keynotes and used the same theme that Steve Jobs himself uses!

On the day of the presentation I'll also be able to just advance the slides from afar using the IR remote which came with my iMac (which works on any iMac or MacBook!) without needing to tell a friend at my computer to click the trackpad, which is something I see more times than I can bear at many 21st's speeches!

However, using this software was not without its cons...

Firstly, I can't share its goodness in PPT form to anyone on a PC, due to epic fail exporting. It would be analogous to squeezing a square peg through a smaller round hole. In fact, the main reason I made this video was so my partner, a Windows user, could see how the presentation looked!

Secondly, I had to buy a $45 Mini-DisplayPort to VGA adapter for my MacBook Pro to be able to hook up to a projector!

Another weird thing is that animated GIFs aren't supported. See that Knight Rider car there? That was originally a GIF, but I had to screen capture it as a video, and put that in instead. Apple fail!

And another strange thing I noticed is that keynotes with heavy formatting (which will be pretty much all of them) that are imported to an iPad will show up with lots of things missing, which is unfortunate, and has been an unnecessarily big compatibility problem for Apple thus far.

But in the end, I was still completely blown away at how easily I was able to make such a flashy keynote presentation. I daresay it will be very hard to make a keynote presentation of similar quality using Microsoft Powerpoint in a similar amount of time. If you can, then please show me!

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