Putting presentations onto your iPad

Alan Cooke tells us how easy he found the iPad when looking to give a presentation.

Because of its size the iPad is naturally not for group presentations, therefore you must be circumspect with what you choose to ‘present’ .  The iPad is really slick and novel and would be a great way to run a brief presentation at an exhibition stand info table or over lunch, for example.

The most basic and free way to show a presentation on an iPad is by saving it as a ‘pdf’ file.  Of course, you will not have all of the features that make PowerPoint, PowerPoint.  All you will have is a multi-page ‘pdf’ document where each page is a slide.

The preferred way of transferring your files between your PC and iPad is the standard ‘sync’ method we all know from our iPods.  Because I borrowed the iPad I simply emailed my presentation as an attachment.

After some research I came across a recommended presentation package for the iPad – Keynote.  This is not just a viewer, it is a full-on presentation creation package for the iPad.  Not all of the animations and other effects are imported when opening a ‘pptx’ or ‘ppt’ file in Keynote so it is just as well that this application has a comprehensive set of features.

For a few pounds I downloaded Keynote and had it up and running in no time.  It automatically sets up its file associations when it installs because when I clicked on my ‘pptx’ attachment it opened in Keynote without any fuss.  The presentation I used was a photo album with automatic slide transitions and these, along with the background music, did not function.  These can be added later, although global slide transitions are not possible,  each slide must be set individually.  All the other effects embedded within a slide were imported, however.  A couple of minor tweaks to text were required as well.  I definitely did not find myself having to re-create the presentation.  Essentially it was ready to run as downloaded.

The link in the previous paragraph will take you to the Keynote page and the short video tutorial illustrates the features and functions of Keynote.  It is an exceptional package and I had loads of fun trying the various effects and tricks available to tweak my presentation.   The application makes use of ‘gestures’ extensively and manipulating objects within a slide such as enlarging, moving, copying, duplication and adding effects is a doddle.

As you can see from the photograph I took of the iPad, it came with a keypad.  Unfortunately the iPad cannot be connected to the keyboard in landscape mode; without the accessory keyboard the iPad works in both normal and landscape mode.  In addition Keynote works only in landscape mode.  This means that one cannot use the keyboard for typing text or as a stand for a presentation.  However, this is not a major problem as the screen keyboard is more than one needs to edit or add text to your imported PowerPoint show.

Figure 1 Screen dump of a 2010 template in Keynote

Figure 1 Screen dump of a 2010 template in Keynote

I am sure that MSOffice will have a suite of iPad-compatible applications in the not-too-distant future, but until then ‘Keynote’ is a perfectly good substitute.

Here is that link again to view and download Keynote.


Published On: 4th Oct 2010

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1 Comment
  1. I’m surprised with the glowing report on the Keynote app for the iPad – we’ve found it woefully underpowered…

    – integration with PowerPoint is very patchy
    – no hyperlinking available (surely one of the fancy features of the iPad is the tactile nature of the screen!)

    Apple need to up their game with this app if they want the iPad to be taken seriously as a business tool.

    Whilst we wait for this to happen, can anyone recommend a PowerPoint viewer on the iPad. The options we’ve tried todate (Leowo, Docs2Go & QuickOffice) aren’t up to scratch. All ideas and feedback welcome!

    Many thanks,

    Eyeful Presentations

    Simon Morton 4 Oct at 9:27 pm