My needs for the iPad were similar to yours and I went through the same issues and the same waves of immense disappointment. I will be returning the iPad today.
There is an informative thread along the same lines here:
I totally share your frustration. I'm a technical trainer and I travel/teach a lot. I had hoped the iPad would work as you did. Keynote iPad is basically a joke for our application. I reamed Apple in a review on the App Store. After my initial disappointment however, I came up with a workaround tho' it isn't very pretty.
Simply put, export your presentation from Keynote 09 to png files (saving animations as a series of images). Then, reimport the png images into Keynote 09 as a new presentation. Not pretty, uneditable, etc etc but it WILL show beautifully on iPad Keynote.
First, I'm starting from Powerpoint (Windows) because it's the lowest common denominator at my company so I have a couple more steps to jump through than you. Here's my flow (for now):
1. In Powerpoint expand animations to multiple slides using the free tool from here:
2. Save from Powerpoint to a directory of images.
3. In Keynote 09 start a new plain presentation and drag-drop the set of exported images into the slide browser (or whatever it's called).
4. Choose a transition style for your slides (or one per section as appropriate to the content). I like to reserve fancy transitions for full slide changes, dissolve for "animation steps".
5. Save the presentation, import to iPad via iTunes and voila!
Now I know this is a pain, it's inelegant, doesn't do fancy animations, may not handle your PDF's well (I haven't tried), won't work if you update your slides every day, etc etc but if we measure success by how the presentation looks to an audience... it's workable.
Perhaps someone smarter than me can automate most steps via a script or something. You might think the resulting presentations would be huge but Keynote uses "pngcrusher" or some such tool to compress png files fairly efficiently.
I'm not quite ready to take the thing back, as the kids seem to like having a $500 etch-a-sketch, and the book-reading, etc features seem to work great.
I was also thinking of doing the export of images followed by reassembly, but a bit more conservatively, keeping everything that works (or is easily fixed) and then patching what doesn't with this approach.
Ultimately, I think one of two approaches are needed:
1. Design the iPad keynote to be fully back-compatible, even if it means the ability to embed or load missing fonts and themes and transitions in a piece-wise, as-needed manner from the host Desktop computer.
2. Revise the iWork desktop Keynote.app so that you can work in a more restricted feature-set of "iPad safe" functionality.
It isn't the more limited functionality that bothers me, but rather it is the surprise of having things break. I could easily live with a subset of features as long as that subset is foolproof.
I certainly have no inside knowledge, but I can say that the folks at Apple really are interested in making this work, from what I have seen.
As end-users, I think the best thing we could do to help is identify what the most critical problems are, and if possible suggest tractable fixes.
For example, I think if the desktop Keynote could be put into a mode/option (reversibly) in which would guarantee that the output would be iPad-compatible, I would be very happy. I don't have a big problem with a reduced feature-set, as long as I don't have to guess at which ones are usable and which ones are problematic.
The only significant "bug" I think is not being able to import groups of objects.
I am glad to see this post, as presentation productivity and interchangeability are important factors for my iPad purchase decision.
I saw that there is a list of fonts supported for the iPad <http://www.michaelcritz.com/2010/04/02/fonts-for-ipad-iphone/> as well as a FAQ regarding unsupported features (such as grouping and 3D graphs<http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4066>)
I (frankly) am hoping early adopters will be able to determine which styles, fonts, chart types, etc. yield the best results for keynote presentations to play identically both from the desktop and the iPad. I do not mind altering my past presentations to meet these restrictions, as long as I know I can get "Cross Platform" reproducibility.
In iTunes go into the "Apps" pane when the iPod is connected, and scroll to the bottom. You can add the file using that interface, It gives you a pop up file browser. There may be others, but this is by far the most straightforward.
Probably the easiest thing for Apple to do is to make iPad-specific themes (or enable you to copy the ones in the iPad keynote to the desktop Keynote) and then if you build within that subset, you should be reasonably safe.
For embedded PDF illustrations that don't show up, I have been exporting these as an image from Keynote, along with the background, and then reimporting that image as a replacement slide.
I have not found a workaround for quicktime movies that will not show up. My guess is that if I remade these they would work, but unfortunately presentations are a lot like folk songs. I have some slides that predate OS X.
I am not intending to be rude, but did any of you actually try it before you bought it? It doesn't sound like it. I bought it day 1 knowing that there would be restrictions and things that didn't quite work on v1.0 as I was hoping. But it wasn't a one trick pony for me.
After every product launch I seem to see postings from people stating that they are taking it back back because **insert Product here** doesn't do this one thing it should.
*For any else reading this posting. Please find someone with an iPad, try it out first. Pay the $9.99 for your friend to download the program you want to inspect. That $10 will save you the hassle and frustration you hear here.*
Personally I was actually very satisfied with what I found in all three of the iWorks apps. But I wasn't basing my living on it.
I truly hope that everyone here finds their ideal solution to meet their needs with the least amount of frustration for things that don't work.
No, I did not try it before I bought it. Nor have I tried probably the other $50K in Apple products that I have bought, both personally and professionally, over the years.
The main issue is that many of us had the impression (and I can give you ample justification for this if you really want to waste time) we could load existing presentations onto the iPad and have it "just work." There are minor incompatibilities with a few things when I go from my desktop to my laptop, but nothing on this scale. Several of us were caught off guard, and it is sufficiently uncharacteristic that we wondered whether we were simply doing something wrong that is easily fixed.
I am 100% happy with Keynote for the iPad as long as my presentation is prepared within the confines of its feature set. That isn't the issue here. Rather, it is simply one of portability.
I spent about six hours yesterday making an important presentation work. I used several approaches in combination:
1. For any previously existing slide with incompatible fonts, I made all the changes to a set of fonts that work within the iPad realm. Similarly with themes.
2. For any slide with a figure that would not show up, I exported the original file as a tiff image, then deleted the original slide, then reimported the tiff image of the original slide. I made each step of the build a separate tiff image, so that I only needed to replace the bit that was broken, pasting in working transitions and other features from the original slide. In other words, I made what was incompatible part of a customized background for that slide.
3. I changed any broken or missing transitions in the presentation once it was on the iPad, using the iPad's own interface.
This was time well spent for a presentation I give frequently, but for lectures I give once a year, it will be easier for me just to use them as they are on my MacBook Air.
There are a few things, like embedded movies, that are still problematic (some work, some don't).
If anyone thinks they can just drop a year's worth of lectures on this thing and run out the door, they will be in for a bit of a shock.
The compatibility gap between Keynote on the desktop and Keynote on the iPad is bigger than the gap between PowerPoint on the desktop and Keynote on the desktop. I would not have predicted that.
Bill, this information is helpful to me. I can only now assume that fixing extant presentations that utilized the full desktop Keynote feature set is going to be time consuming.
What I am now looking for is guidelines for production on my desktop that will allow for portability without this time-consuming optimization you have detailed. Basically, a reduced feature set that will ensure desktop-iPad Keynote compatibility.
Thanks for taking the time to post your details. Paul