3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 16, 2008 11:37 PM by Unknown Citizen
Ron Streicher Level 3 (610 points)

Because the terminology in the Keynote Preferences menus is somewhat confusing, questions frequently come-up in this Forum asking how to assign the slideshow to a projector (or other display monitor) for the audience and the Presenter Notes and Preview to the computer playing the presentation. Following is a comprehensive set of instructions which I hope will serve to resolve these questions.

1) Connect the projector (or other display monitor) to your computer and turn both on. After they have booted and warmed-up:

2) In *Apple System Preferences > Displays > Display* menu: click on the Detect Displays button; then select the proper resolution for both your computer monitor and the projector.

3) In *Apple System Preferences > Displays > Arrangement* menu: +be sure that Mirror Displays is NOT checked.+
This menu designates which of the two displays (i.e. your computer's monitor or the projector) will be the Primary display.
If you set the menu bar icon to the top of the rectangle that represents your computer monitor, when you exit System Preferences your computer monitor will have the menu bar across the top and will be the Primary display; the projector will be the Secondary display. This is the most common configuration for giving presentations in Keynote.
If you set the menu bar icon at the top of the rectangle that represents the projector (or other display monitor), it will be the Primary display and your computer monitor will be the Secondary.

4) In *Keynote Preferences > Slideshow* menu: be sure that the button "Present on Secondary Display" is marked. This will direct the presentation to the projector (the Secondary display you designated in step 3 above) for the audience.

5) In *Keynote Preferences > Presenter Display* menu : be sure that the box "Use alternate display to view presenter information" is checked. This will put your presenter notes and preview information onto your computer monitor.
Here is where people tend to become confused by the terminology. In the context of Keynote, the Primary display designated in step 3 above is the “alternate” display because it is the display that is not being viewed by the audience as set in step 4 above.

Are you still confused? Yes, the terminology in the Keynote menus is a bit convoluted, but if you read the wording carefully, the procedure is actually very simple.

6) In *Keynote Preferences > Slideshow* menu: check all of the options that you want to use.

I recommend that you check the following options:
Scale slides up to fit display – this does just what it says
Exit Presentation after last slide – so does this
Reduce Cube transitions to avoid clipping – makes these transitions smoother
Reduce Flip transitions to avoid clipping – makes these transitions smoother
Show pointer when the mouse moves – lets you use your cursor as a pointer on the screen; eliminates the need to carry a laser-pointer

7) In *Keynote Preferences > Presenter Display* menu: check all of the options you want to use.

I recommend you check the following options:
Show current slide – this shows you what the audience is seeing
Show next slide – this shows you what will be next on the screen
Show notes – these are the cues or notes you have prepared for each slide
Show clock – this is the time of day to help you keep within your schedule
Show timer – this is the elapsed time since you began to Play the slideshow
Show Ready to Advance Indicator – this is a very helpful tool when you have automated Builds or Transitions: it places a bar across the top of your presenter display that will be red while any automated activities are running and then turns green when it is ready for you to initiate the next action by a Click.
A few additional suggestions for a better presentation:

1) Unless you want to “hold” on your final graphic slide to end your slideshow, make an all-black slide as the last slide in your presentation and do a 5-second Fade through Color (black) Transition into this from your final graphic slide. This will provide a clean "fade-to-black" ending for your presentation.

2) Create a "test pattern" slide that you can use to adjust the resolution, size, zoom, keystone correction, and focus of the projector’s image. You can download one of several professional test patterns available by Googling the phrase “video test pattern." Be creative: modify one of these or use it as a model to create your own custom test pattern with your name, company logo, etc.

3) I have found that when I use a VGA hook-up between my MacBook Pro and a projector, I need to do a lot more "fiddling" with the display settings to get everything looking right than if I make the connection via a DVI-D interface. The latter usually is just "plug and play." So, if possible, use a direct DVI-D connection to the projector. However, because most projectors have only a VGA input, +be sure always to take with you the adaptor that came with your Mac computer.+

Good luck

G5 and MacBook Pro17, Mac OS X (10.4.11), User of ProTools (formerly Sound Designer) since 1990
  • Tulse Level 5 (5,790 points)
    Thank you very much for these extremely clear instructions, Ron -- I have posted them (with credit, of course!) to my organization's internal communications system, so that everyone here can benefit from them.
  • Ron Streicher Level 3 (610 points)
    Dear Tulse:

    Thank you!

    It is too bad that Apple never has created a FAQ section for this Forum (I've suggested it to the Keynote Feedback forum several times) so that postings like this and others that provide answers to frequently repeated questions could be readily available to all with an easy search mechanism.

    However, by posting this as a separate message, with an easily searchable title, I am hopeful that future visitors to this Forum will be able to find it without having to go through the process and delay of posting a question and waiting for a response. Previously, I have posted two other "tutorial" messages with a similar goal: "Warning - Electrical Safety and your Computer" (which deals not only with AC power hookup but also provides detailed information relating to audio connections between computers and sound systems) and "Fair Use Law for Copyright Materials" (which is intended to provide some basic answers to what materials may and may not be used without obtaining formal rights of clearance from the creator.)

    Your excellent answers to people's oft-asked questions also would make good material for similar tutorial postings. Thank you for all the support you (and Kyn Drake) provide for this Forum

    Good luck.
  • Unknown Citizen Level 1 (15 points)
    Thanks so much!