How to Create, Open, and Save Keynote Projects on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

Keynote makes slide creation easy and — believe it or not — fun! This MacBook application was designed by Steve Jobs and used for his Macworld keynotes every year, and there’s so much visual candy available that you’ll never need to shout to wake your audience again.

How to create a Keynote project on MacBook

As do the other applications in the iWork suite, Keynote begins the document creation process with a Template Chooser window. To create a new presentation project, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock.

  2. Click the Keynote icon.

    The Template Chooser window appears.

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  3. Click the Slide Size pop-up menu at the bottom of the screen to select the resolution for your completed slides.

    Although you don’t necessarily need to select an exact match for your laptop’s screen resolution, it’s a good idea to select the closest value to the maximum resolution of your projector. (If someone else is providing the projector, the default value of 1024 x 768 is a good standard to use.) If you’re using a second monitor during your presentation, select the native resolution for that monitor instead.

  4. Click the template that most closely matches your needs.

  5. Click Choose to open a new document by using the template you selected.

How to open a Keynote presentation

If an existing Keynote presentation file is visible in a Finder window, you can double-click the document icon to open the project. If Keynote is already running, however, follow these steps to load a project:

  1. Press cmd+O to display the Open dialog.

  2. Click the desired drive in the Devices list at the left of the dialog, and then click to drill down through folders and subfolders until you’ve located the Keynote project.

    You can also use the Search box at the top of the Open dialog to locate the document by name or by some of the text it contains, or click the All my Files location in the Open dialog sidebar to display your documents.

  3. Double-click the filename to load it.

If you want to open a Keynote document that you’ve edited in the recent past, things get even easier! Just choose File→Open Recent and you can open the document with a single click from the submenu that appears. (Note that the Template Chooser window has both Open Recent and Open Existing File buttons as well.)

How to save your Keynote presentation on MacBook

Because Keynote provides full support for Mountain Lion’s Auto Save feature, you no longer need to manually save your presentation every few minutes. But if you’re the prudent type and want to safeguard your work in a world of power failures, follow these steps the first time you save a presentation:

  1. Press cmd+S.

    If you’re saving a document that hasn’t yet been saved, the familiar Save As sheet appears.

  2. Type a filename for your new document.

  3. Click the Where pop-up menu and then choose a location to save the document.

    By default, Keynote will save your presentation directly to Apple’s iCloud, allowing you to open it from another Mac or from any iOS device running Keynote for iOS 1.61 or later. (You have to enter the same Apple ID on any device before using it to access the documents stored in your iCloud space.)

    To select a location not on the Where pop-up menu (such as a specific folder on your drive), choose the volume or drive on the Where menu, and then click the button with the down arrow symbol to expand the sheet. You can also create a new folder from the expanded sheet.

  4. Click Save.

After you save a Keynote presentation for the first time, you can create a version of that document by choosing File→Save a Version. To revert the current presentation to an older version, choose File→Revert to Saved. Keynote gives you the option of reverting to the last saved version, or you can click Older Version to browse multiple versions of the presentation and choose one to revert to.