Keynote for Mac: Create your first presentation

Create your first presentation

To create a Keynote presentation, you first choose a theme, which is a set of predesigned slide layouts that you use as a starting point. Each layout includes placeholder images and text styled as headlines and body content. To add your own content, you replace the placeholder content with your own.

Create a presentation

  1. To open Keynote, click the Keynote icon in the Dock, Launchpad, or the Applications folder.

    If the theme chooser (shown below) doesn’t appear, hold down the Option key and choose File > New (from the File menu at the top of your screen) to open it.

    The theme chooser, showing thumbnails of predesigned themes you can use as a starting point for your presentation.

    Note: If you want table and chart data in this presentation formatted according to the conventions of a different language, choose a different language in the Language pop-up menu in the bottom-left corner of the theme chooser. For more information, see Change a presentation’s language and formatting.

  2. In the theme chooser, scroll to find the type of presentation you want to create, then double-click the theme to open it.

  3. To use a different layout for the first slide, click the Change Master button in the sidebar on the right, then select a different layout.

    Each slide layout is a master slide you can use as a starting point for your content.

  4. To add your own content to the presentation, do any of the following:

    • Add a slide: Click the Add slide button in the toolbar, then select a layout.

    • Add text: Double-click placeholder text and type your own.

    • Add an image: Drag an image from your Mac or a webpage to a placeholder image or anywhere else on the slide, or click the Replace Image button in the lower-right corner of a placeholder image to replace it with your own.

  5. Choose File > Save, enter a name, choose a location, then click Save.

    If iCloud Drive is set up on your Mac, Keynote saves the presentation to iCloud Drive by default. You can change the name of the presentation or change where it’s saved at any time.

  6. To play the presentation, click the Play button in the toolbar, then press the arrow keys to advance through the slides.

    To end the presentation, press Esc (Escape). For more ways to show a presentation, see Play a presentation on your Mac.

  7. To close the presentation when you’re finished working, click the red close button in the top-left corner of the window.

    Keynote automatically saves your changes, so you won’t lose any of your work.

Tip: You can set a preference in Keynote to always open a new presentation in a particular theme.

Create new presentations from a specific theme

You can set a preference in Keynote to always open a new presentation in a particular theme instead of from the theme chooser.

  1. Choose Keynote > Preferences (from the Keynote menu at the top of your screen).

  2. Click General at the top of the preferences window, then select the “Use theme” button.

    The name that appears after “Use theme” is the currently selected theme.

  3. Click the Change Theme button, select a theme, then click Choose.

  4. To close the preferences window, click the red close button in the upper-left corner.

After you set this preference, you can still open a new presentation with a different theme. Hold down the Option key, then choose File > New from Theme Chooser (from the File menu at the top of your screen).

Published Date: Apr 3, 2019
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