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Keynote v PowerPoint

Keynote v PowerPoint

Yesterday I was involved in an interesting debate over the virtues of PowerPoint over Apple Keynote. The argument was more or less based on the idea that a suite of applications (iWork) can no way compete with Office that costs ?100s. The premise was ‘you get what you pay for’. The good humoured debate went on for some time and this member of the medical professional swore he could not present to the level he needed with Keynote.


We decided to convert one of his current presentations to Keynote and compare the differences. Within twenty minutes he was convinced. People are hooked on PowerPoint and a cursory glance at the minimal interface of Keynote would have you thinking it is a pretty basic presentation application. it isn’t! The obvious advantage is the massive integration with iLife allowing you to pull from your iTunes and iPhoto libraries but this is a very powerful presentation tool.

1. Alpha Transparency

We covered this in a tutorial last year. If you pull an image into Keynote that has a different background colour to the one used in your presentation the this tool will allow you to make the image look as if it was specifically created for your presentation. We won’t go into too much detail as you can watch the full video tutorial here.

2. Image Control

Keynote allows you to control images without leaving Keynote. Insert an image and you can control, brightness, contrast, exposure in fact all the fine tuning controls featured in iPhoto. It is very easy to add a blue tint to images used as backgrounds etc.

3. Export Options

Yes you can save a Keynote as a Powerpoint file but over the last year I have been exporting in a number of different options. There is the PDF handout, but better still you can export as images for use on a website, as a flash video and best of all as a Quicktime for iPod. Check out our Keynote to YouTube Video Tutorial.

Imagine at the end of your presentation saying that your Keynote is available on your blog in iPod format for revision later on! Better still it is a one click option. The quality of the Quicktime is good enough to be used in iMovie and even FinalCut.

4. Animation Control

The level of animation for both transitions and assets in Keynote is amazing. Best of all you can combine zoom and movement to create BBC style video presentations. You can zoom in on an area of a map, add lines, move around the map, and zoom back out at the end. The transitions are easy to add and offer full previews. There is a massive selection and best of all you can control the fine points such as speed etc.

5. Movie Control

Ever moved a presentation from one computer to another to find your movie no longer works. Well Keynote takes a copy of the movie and adds it to the Keynote Package. In easy terms it means your Keynote travels perfectly. Keynote offers control of the movie even while your presentation is playing so you can go back, repeat and pause without having to back to the interface.
Don’t get me wrong this is not a PowerPoint bashing post it is merely flagging the true power of Apple Keynote.

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