Keynote 3 by the numbers: 3. Further Inspection

Friday, February 3, 2006

Keynote InspectorLast time I wrote was an overview of what you’d find new in the menus. I have to admit that it helps ME greatly having written that because now, even though Format -> Mask doesn’t really go together in my mind, I know that’s where it is! I’m going to do the same thing with the inspectors, but, since there’s a lot to cover, this is going to be in two parts to give enough attention to the details. Now, let’s begin at the left and work our way to the right.

In the Document pane of the Inspector, your available tabs have changed from Document and Info, to Document and Spotlight. The Spotlight pane has changed in name only to denote that this is where to place specific information you want searchable by Spotlight. OSX still searches the entire document, though, not to worry, this is just a handy place to insert searchable text that won’t display in the document (AND an area for Keynote to put info gleaned from PowerPoint documents). On the Document side, only the Slideshow Settings saw a change. Two new Kiosk-friendly settings are Restart show if idle for with a time setting and Require password to exit show. Using these, once you’ve got your presentation going, if someone leaves your kiosk on an internal page and walks off, you can set up a time delay for the presentation to restart itself ( from .01 minutes or 6 seconds up to 999.9 minutes or 16 hours 39 minutes and 54 seconds). You can also foil the fella who wants to turn off your kiosk by requiring an administrator password to be entered before the show can be exited by using the Esc key.

Now for the Slide pane. Here, we have the two tabs Transition and Appearance. New 3D transitions are Blinds (4 directions), Doorway, Fall, Reflection (left and right), Revolving Door (left and right), Swoosh and a subtle change to the Mosaic Flip (now, you choose Mosiac Flip and get additional choices for Small, Medium and Large size).

For 2D effects, they’ve added Shutter and Fade Through Color replaces Fade Through Black. There are no new Core effects as Flash is still the only effect that can’t play on certain computers but you may notice that Burn is missing. It’s not because now your computer can play it, it’s because, well, Burn by default is omitted along with several other so-called obsolete 2D effects such as Drop, Falling Tiles, Grid, Motion Dissolve and Twirl. If you want these back, you’ll have to go into Keynote -> Preferences… and under the General tab select Include obsolete animations in choices. Why are they obsolete? Not sure, but, there ya go. Nothing’s new under the Appearance tab so we’ll cube transition over to Build.

You still have the same Build In and Build Out buttons and, at the bottom of the Builds pane, you’ll see that the Set Automatic Builds… button is now a friendly (and less technical sounding) More Options. Once the drawer is opened everything LOOKS the same until you begin setting builds. As you set them, every new build is created as On Click which is indicated with a black dot. If you change the build to Automatically after transition, or Automatically after build # it loses the dot. If you change it again to Automatically with build # then it gets a small icon letting you know it’s building with the previous build. So now, you can visually check your build settings without checking each one individually. And, of course, the same obsolete limitation mentioned previously applies to these animations too.

The Text tab of the Text inspector has the same info, but where we once had Bullets & Numbering we now have Columns and Bullets. The Columns tab allows you to set the number of columns, the width of the columns and the gutter between them and this is true for body text, titles, placed text and even shapes! If you can place text, you can give the text columns. The same is true for Bullets. Any text object including text inside shapes can have bullets now. With Bullets we get familiar options with new additions. Now, there are gadgets that allow you to set the bullet and text indents separately and, under the type of bullets, you now get to choose Tiered Numbers. This allows you to change this

to this

You can also click on each individual line and set that lines number by using the Start at gadget. So, if you’ve got 14 bullets on slide one and another 12 on slide two, you can start slide two at bullet 15 and continue from there. But that’s not ALL Keynote offers for the presenter for which bullets are the message. The list of numbering choices has grown from this

to this!

But wait, there’s more! If you can’t seem to remember that “Tab” increases the indent and “Shift-Tab” decreases it, there’s even an Indent Level gadget that allows you to set the indent with arrows or by typing in the number. There are still some bugs in the interface (selecting a bulleted box allows you to click Continue from previous in order to reset all the sub numbering, but then clicking the radio button for Start at appears to do nothing although using the increase/decrease buttons will show the change on the slide), changing the size and font of numbered text changes the text but not the numbers and some of these options don’t work as you’d expect when applied to the Title, (anyone using bulleted titles??) but hopefully these are things that can be fixed with an upgrade.

Finally, we come to the Graphic inspector. The cool new-kid-on-the-block in this pane is the Reflections setting. At first, it may seem antisocial because it isn’t active and waiting for you to click on it. This is because you just can’t apply a reflection willy-nilly to everything on a slide, you can only set the reflection of an image, masked or umasked. Adjusting the slider determines the opacity gradient of the reflection. If you’ve given your image a shadow the image isn’t reflected but it’s still a nice “free” effect. If you want to go further into mirroring movies text and more, then you’ll want to pick up KeynoteThemePark’s Reflections theme.

All of that and we’re only halfway through! There’s 5 more inspectors to be inspected and more tidbits to be delighted by when we once again pay a visit to the Keynote Inspector.