Using the Keynote Canvas Workspace

The new version of Keynote allows for expanded use of the canvas workspace, the area outside of the visible slide. You can use this area to store items that you don't want people to see, but may want to add back to the slide later. You can also use the canvas to better orient and set up your animations that start or end outside of the slide.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using the Keynote Canvas Workspace.

A new feature in Keynote version 7.2 is an expanded workspace for canvas. What does that mean? Well, you've got this space that is outside the slide. So this area around here. This won't be visible when you're presenting on a screen but you can still use it to put objects and do things.

So in order to use this what you want to do is you want to go to the Zoom button here in the toolbar. You want to make sure Fit Slide is turned Off. You also want to turn off AutoCenter. Now you notice there are scroll bars here. I can scroll around and I've got lots of space around the slide. I can also zoom out, so like 75%, and have more space. You can hold the spacebar as well and drag. So lots of ways to get around and use this canvas here.

Now you can use it for storing things. So, for instance, say I've got a slide on my presentation and there's an item in here and I'm not sure I want to use it or not. If I delete it, well then if I decide to put it back I've got to bring the element back, resize it and all of that. So instead what I can do is simply drag it away and put it off to the side here.

This is a common thing that graphic designers do a lot in their tools. Now we can do it in Keynote. So when you present the slide here all you'll see is this area. You won't see that there's this thing off the screen there. But it's there and available for you to put back very easily. You can have a variety of different elements out there as you're working to build your presentation. So that's one use.

So another thing you can use it for is to make it easier to do animations. For instance, I've got this clip art of a plane here. It's one of the default shapes and I want it to fly across. Now without having the extra space here I've got to kind of start it on the slide so it appears, flies, and then disappears. It would be nice to have it start completely off to the side.

So let's animate it first. I'll go to Animate here, I'll do an Action, add an Effect, and select to Move. This will give me the line to animate. So what I'll do is I'll have it start way off to the left here. Now here's where I run into a kind of an issue where I need more space. You can see as I drag it actually pulls away. I can make it a little easier on myself by zooming out. I can actually put it out here and I'll have the other point go off the screen as well. So I can have it go from off the screen on the left to off the screen on the right. Now when I try to play it, it gets more of the effect that I wanted.

Of course, you can do more complex actions with this as well. You just have a lot more freedom to what the animation is going to look like by using this off screen space.

Comments: One Response to “Using the Keynote Canvas Workspace”

    Jasper Robinson
    2 years ago

    Another use:
    I usually give my slides in PDF format to my class and it’s useful to supplement slide information using the Presenter Notes, which can be added in the print options.

    The problem is that sometimes the ‘Presenter Notes’, really are just for me, not for my students. This canvas workspace feature allows us to print slides to PDF, include the ‘Presenter Notes’ (for students) and the notes on the canvas workspace get left behind (so, just for me).

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