Using the Keynote Object List

A new feature in Keynote puts all of the objects on a slide in a list so you can easily access and arrange them. You can also group and name objects easily, and move them between slides.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using the Keynote Object List.

In the new Keynote, version 7.1, there's a handy new feature that's especially useful if you've got very complex slides with lots of stuff on them. So, for instance here I've got a slide that's got a bunch of different things on it and you know if you've used Keynote a lot it can get even more complex than that. You can have things behind other things and all.

So this new feature, you can activate by going to View, and then Show Object List, puts another sidebar here on the left that gives you a list of all the items on the slide. You can select them by simply selecting the item in the list. You see it changes the selection that's there. You can hold the Command key down and Select to select multiple items. You can do things like select an item here and then delete. I'll undo that. You also have a little lock next to it so you can easily lock and unlock items. That was something that was possible before but it was a little difficult to use. Now it's very easy to use with this Object List.

The Object List stays there even when you switch slides. So you can see here I've got it and it just stays there. It's a very useful feature if you're doing lots of Keynote presentations you're going to love being able to use this. You can also drag and drop to move things over other things. So I can move like this behind. You can Control click on things to get all the same options you get when you Control click on it in here.

It's a great feature to use. You can use it, of course, with all your existing presentations and use it as you create new ones as well.

A few other advanced items here. One is there are two different ways to select something here. If I click once you can see it's kind of a light highlight there. If I double click then it's a dark highlight there. Now you've got to be careful when you double click to click on the icon there because if I simply double click on the name then I get to rename the item. Which can be very useful because this one is going to be automatically named by the file name of this image. This one will be automatically named by the text in there. But I can just call it something else to make it a little easier.

Now also when you're in this mode here while I've got the darker highlights I can use the arrow keys to move up and down on the list which is very useful. Also when you group items together, so let me select these two and I can select Arrange Group, it puts them together here with a little reveal triangle underneath it. You can also do that inside of here. So I can select two using Command click, Control click on them and Group, and it will put these two together in there.

You're supposed to be able to drag items in and out of here but I haven't seen how you can do that. It doesn't seem to work perhaps the way I have these images arranged or put on here is preventing that. You can also filter these items. Say you have a slide with a ton of different items on it. There's a filter button here at the bottom and I could say, Only Show Me Text, or Only Show Me Shapes. Then you can see that one shape. Or just Show Me the Images.

So the filtering options, let's see if I do images here, now it just filtered to only images. I can turn it on and off very easily. So I can do the same thing. Go to this slide and the image filter is still there and I can turn it on and off to easily jump to see maybe just the images or just the text on a given slide.

Here is, perhaps, the coolest thing about the Object List is it doesn't just have to be for one slide. I can select this slide and I'm going to Command click Select a second slide, select as many as you want, and you can see it says slide 2, slide 3. The objects for each one are represented. So I can actually select all the slides here and you can see 1, 2, 3, 4, and you can even drag items between slides. So I can select this image here, drag it up to put it in this slide and you can see it moved the slides. So that's a really easy way to actually move items from slide to slide. You can image in a slide show having text and images and being able to swap the text and images between the slides very easily. Of course before you just had to do lots of copying and pasting.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Using the Keynote Object List”

    2 years ago

    Very useful. Thanks!

    2 years ago

    Is there a way “turn off” an object in the list, to hide it as needed. Like turning off a layer in Photoshop or Powerpoint’s “Selection Panel”?

    2 years ago

    As a work around, I make the object transparent and “lock it”. Not the best solution.

    2 years ago

    bridjmon: You mean “hide” the object? Not directly. I would just set the object’s opacity to 0 and lock it if needed, as you suggest.

Comments Closed.