How to get at the files in a Keynote ’09 presentation

Apple’s Keynote has immense advantages over Microsoft Powerpoint. I’m always surprised if I meet Mac users that don’t favour the former. The advantages are particularly clear when you make presentations with a lot of external content – such as images and movies. Keynote handles these gracefully and never loses them (as Powerpoint does). This is mainly because Keynote and PPT have a different document model, and Keynote doesn’t rely on external plugins to render content. It is this reliance that leads Mac users to add content to PPT presentations that subsequently disappears on PCs or even other Macs, for example. Keynote is happy to hold and use vector content (e.g. pdf) which are resolution independent – helping you to avoid presenting fuzzy and blocky images. The document model that allows this is Keynote files are archives, containing the original files. This is especially useful if you want to extract original content and reuse it in another context.

In iWork ’09, these packages were changed into zip files, which can’t be explored from the services menu that you get by right-clicking on the file. To see the files inside, you must simply expand the archive – you can make this easier by changing the extension to .zip. Kudos to MacWorld for hosting this tip.


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