Creating Photo Slideshows With Keynote

While you can use a variety of tools to create basic slideshows, Keynote may be the most powerful tool for quickly creating interesting photo slideshows. You can instantly create a slideshow by dragging and dropping photos from the Finder into the thumbnail list in Keynote. You can then add transitions, text, shapes and other objects to slides as needed. You can also interject other types of slides. There are many export options as well, including video and HTML for your web site.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you how to create interesting photo slideshows in Keynote.

I'm using Keynote version 6.0 here and one of the great things about Keynote is that you can use it to create slideshows that are better than things that you might typically see using a video editing tool like iMovie or just using the simple slideshow tool in iPhoto. Because basically a Keynote presentation is a slideshow.

What you need to do is add a bunch of images. I've got a presentation default opening screen. I'm going to go into Media and Photos to select a bunch of photos. You can just select one and it will fill a slide.

Better than that, if you want to add a whole bunch of photos, what you can do is go into the Finder and find these photos as Files. I'm going to just select some pics here and I've got a whole bunch of them. I'm going to grab all of these and I'm going to drag them into left area here as slides.

Now what it is going to do is it is going to create slides that basically are pre populated with the photos taking up the entire screen. So we can shrink this down and see I've just created an instant slideshow. It is a lot easier than adding each one individually. I can also, as I am selecting in the left here, do Command D and select all of these slides here and I can add transitions for all of them.

So let's do an effect here and just do say Clothesline because it is fun. I've just added it for all of these slides here. So I can now play the presentation and I've got animations for all the slides without having to go and add one individually for each one. I can, of course, go into each one and customize which transition I use or don't use a transition. So there is a lot of different things that I can do on a per slide basis. I'm just trying to make it as simple as possible.

But because this is a presentation and not a slideshow I can add all the other things that I want to add. So, for instance, if I wanted to add some text here I can add a text box and caption this and put this in here. You know, just do all the normal things I would do to text to make it stand out and change its size and such. It is very easy. You can customize with anything that you want. I can even add shapes to it. So I can add an arrow. You can add a circle right here and change the border to something and change the fill to nothing to circle something. Change the border here to a better color. Like that. So all sorts of things. You can draw on each individual slide.

Plus you can create things between slides. So I can add a slide between this here and put some text. So I interject some text in between each of these. I can even duplicate a slide. Let's go into here and Duplicate it and then create the transition between it where maybe I zoom in on an element on the slide that I want. Like that. So I can show the same image twice very easily like that and put a nice transition between them.

Everything is at your disposal. Everything that you use in a presentation you can use here. You can start off by creating a basic slideshow with dumping a bunch of pictures into the thumbnails on the left and then you can add transitions, add interjections, add commentary and annotations to each of these slides and then you can continue to add more. Rearrange things very easily. Just drag and drop in there. So you have just a ton of ability to create all sorts of different slideshows and you see how fast I'm doing this. How fast I built all of this stuff here live in this video so you can imagine what you can do if you spent a little bit of time with the right set of photos creating a really killer slideshow.

That is not all! You can also go to setup here and go to Audio and record your voice narrating this slideshow. Or not even record your voice because any recording you do, you are going to not only record your voice but you are going to record the timing between each slide. Here I've got the record button at the bottom so I can record and it is going to grab my voice here, which I'm just going to talk over, but it is also going to record this timing here for each individual slide. So I can kind of linger on a slide and talk about it or quickly advance from one to the next without much hesitation like that.

When I'm done I hit that button again and close this and I've got the recording. Now I can export in two different ways. I can export the video using either a Self-Playing movie. So I can say every slide 5 seconds, go to the next build after 2 seconds; set the format. Or I can say use that recorded timing and the audio I used and export it out so I can one slide is 10 seconds, the next slide is 3 seconds, it is going to use all of that and I will end up with a custom slideshow that is kind of narrated or at least timed by me.

Then, of course, in addition you can also add audio, an audio soundtrack, in this so when you export it as video you will get say a music background as well as your voice recording.

You also have some other export options because you have the ability to export as HTML. This will create a set of HTML documents that will then allow you to upload it to a website. So, I will just do this. Create slides and it is going to export it out.

The result here is rather interesting. Here is what it created, that slides folder. I click on it and it is actually playing audio and showing the slides but it is not video. It is actually dynamic HTMLs. So no videos being played. No special plugins needed. Just basically showing images and playing an audio file back there and it should work on a wide variety of machines and browsers.

As an alternative to that style HTML I'm going to clear out the recording. So now there is really no recording. No recorded timing in there. It is just all the manual advance for a slideshow. So when I export to HTML I'm going to get something a little different. I'm going to save this as Slides2 and export it out. Now I've got a set here, in Slides2, that plays completely differently. It comes up and I actually have to manually advance it by clicking on the image. But notice how it does the transition. Again this is not a plugin. This is just dynamic HTML here. You can even use the arrow keys, at least the right arrow key, to go forward. So you have more of a normal slideshow.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Creating Photo Slideshows With Keynote”

    Don Wyman
    4/24/14 @ 10:06 am

    Keynote, any ability to stuff a video into a slide show?

      4/24/14 @ 10:09 am

      You can put a video on a slide in Keynote, sure. But not sure how it would work for a slideshow, which is a selection of pictures. What would you want to happen when the slide with the video appears? For it to play? And then what? For it to continue to the next picture when the video is over? Sounds like a task more suited to building the whole thing in iMovie, not Keynote.

    Patrick Mc Namee
    4/24/14 @ 12:13 pm

    Outstanding – captured and solved a small but nice dilemma – if you have a lot of photos should you use Keynote or Aperture/iPhoto. Obviously now for me Keynote – so much more flexible and comprehensive. So many thanks Gary.

    Kyle
    5/3/14 @ 8:36 pm

    Any way to move through consecutive pictures on the SAME slide? The smart build function is gone and I am not sure this can be done anymore.

      5/3/14 @ 9:14 pm

      Without the Smart Build, I don’t think so. So why not put them on multiple slides? What’s the downside of doing that?

    Lyn Ritz
    5/4/14 @ 4:19 pm

    I want to record voice-over in my Keynote presentation. I have version 6.2. On the inspector, I have only Format, Animate, and DOCUMENT instead of setup, as I see in your demonstration. Where do I find the option for Audio??? Has this option been removed in 6.2? Thanks much – enjoyed your video.

      5/4/14 @ 9:22 pm

      Select Document. Then you’ll see you can choose either Document or Audio under that.

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