Your 30 days are over!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


If you downloaded Keynote immediately after Macworld 2009 to take a look at some of the features and you’ve been using it regularly, you’ve no doubt noticed the countdown on the days remaining of your trial. If you haven’t been using it regularly, you may want to launch it to see how many days you have left. As of a couple days ago, those first trials have begun to time out and you can no longer save or print. However, before you drag that iWork ’09 folder to the trash and delete it, you should know that the end of the trial is not necessarily the end of Keynote’s usefulness.

Unlike some other demos that lock you out of the app completely once they time out (requiring you to enter a serial to do anything), in Keynote, you still have access to all of the other features. This is where it’s utility lies. Say you’ve got an image and you want to remove the background using Instant Alpha. With Keynote, you can paste the image in as a bitmap (.jpg, .tiff, .png, etc.) perform the Instant Alpha, Copy the result, open Preview then do Command-N. Preview will display the information from the Clipboard as a PDF file that can be used in any other app on OSX that utilizes PDF’s (which is a LOT of apps). Similarly, you can use Keynote to go through your iPhoto library, grab an image, then Crop, give it a styled Frame and again Copy then do Command-N in Preview. In every case, you’ve got a high quality PDF file that can be resized and reused almost anywhere.

Another important side effect of only limiting saving and printing is that a timed out Keynote can still be used as a presentation player! If you’re creating presentations and emailing to a group of Mac users, you only need to purchase one copy of iWork. Everyone else can get the trial and they’ll be able to playback your full presentation. Add the beta, and you don’t have to clog their email boxes. Combine all that with the above Preview tip, and the recipients can copy and paste your designs into their documents, annotate and collaborate by pasting into Preview, and more!

Of course, if true editing capability is needed on both ends, then you’d do well to have full copies of iWork for everyone. But, using the above, you may find a workflow that allows you to save costs while still getting your message across. Oh, one final tip. If you’ve got a group of presenters that have a habit of wanting to change your carefully laid out presentations when they’re on the road, have them download and use the trial version. It’s not as locked down as PowerPoint’s protection in that they can still change the contents of the slides as long as they don’t try to save, but, hey, it’s a step in the right direction!