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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Which is better: Keynote or Powerpoint?

View Poll Results: Which is the best presentation app?
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Powerpoint 13 votes (16.25%)
Keynote 61 votes (76.25%)
Neither, presentations suck 4 votes (5.00%)
There is another way... 2 votes (2.50%)
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll
Which is better: Keynote or Powerpoint?
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threestain
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Dec 12, 2003, 07:31 AM
 
I have just got Keynote, and now realise that it is to all intents and purposes the same as powerpoint with a few different themes. Anyone disagree - I've probably missed most of the special features so far!
     
voodoo
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Dec 12, 2003, 08:58 AM
 
Keynote. The Mac version of PP is so buggy (esp regarding Icelandic characters) and Keynote has much nicer transitions and clearer interface.
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Love Calm Quiet
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Dec 12, 2003, 09:15 AM
 
This is a timely poll for me as I'm about to have to acquire capability to present via a computer - a totally new realm to me.

Where do I need to look to find out what interfacing & display hardware I'm going to need to have a Keynote program display NOT *just on my PowerBook* - but projected onto a screen? (i.e., hardware that will NOT assume I have a PC laptop)

[ just trying to figure out how expensive this is going to be -- beyond the $99 Keynote cost ]
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addiecool
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Dec 12, 2003, 09:22 AM
 
Keynote of course. Yeah, maybe it does not have much of an advantage but it is much much more elegant to use and see. Also the advanced rendering also helps the presentations look great. After all presentations are meant to look great

In fact, I cant stand the look of Powerpoint presentations anymore, feels so ancient...
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iNeusch
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Dec 12, 2003, 10:23 AM
 
Keynote is better (but slow)
BUT
Powerpoint is a standard (but unstable)

And since they are not fully compatible...
     
justinkim
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Dec 12, 2003, 12:25 PM
 
Powerpoint

I use it to do site maps and quick web page mockups for clients. The tools and connectors for doing this kind of thing are far superior in Powerpoint.

I've also never had stability problems with PP and since most of my clients are on PCs, using PP is a no brainer.
     
cpac
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Dec 12, 2003, 01:24 PM
 
from the reviews I've read and my experience the answer is:

It depends.

Keynote is better IF it does everything you need it to do.

PowerPoint is better IF Keynote doesn't have some feature you need (such as being able to set pre-timed, independently timed transitions, etc.)

If you're just starting out, and don't yet depend on PowerPoint features that have no equivalent in Keynote, I'd go with Keynote. It's good now, and it's only going to get better. (maybe you'll even get an upgrade at MWSF?!)
cpac
     
threestain  (op)
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Dec 12, 2003, 03:09 PM
 
Having used keynote now I think it is slightly easier to use, and has most of the features you need. they seem to be compatible - had no problems so far importing and such-like. only problems had are in my using my microw$nk trained fingers to go to options


oh and to present - if a powerbook/ibook just plug in using the provided adaptor and bob's your uncle
     
wataru
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Dec 12, 2003, 03:50 PM
 
Originally posted by Love Calm Quiet:
Where do I need to look to find out what interfacing & display hardware I'm going to need to have a Keynote program display NOT *just on my PowerBook* - but projected onto a screen? (i.e., hardware that will NOT assume I have a PC laptop)
Most projectors have standard VGA connections, so all you need is to remember to bring along your VGA adapter (should have come with your PowerBook).
     
SupahCoolX
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Dec 12, 2003, 07:13 PM
 
Originally posted by Love Calm Quiet:
just trying to figure out how expensive this is going to be -- beyond the $99 Keynote cost
You may also want to invest in a remote control, such as the Keyspan Digital Media Remote ($20-30). This will allow you to go back and forth through slides without having to stand by your computer and press the arrow keys or click the mouse.

I voted for Keynote. Another one of its features is the wonderful PDF export option. This makes sharing/emailing presentations a breeze. You can email it to anyone, regardless of their computer/OS or whether they have PPT or Keynote (or neither) installed, and they'll be able to see it.
     
nickm
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Dec 13, 2003, 04:38 AM
 
Keynote, because of its support for PDF and Unicode. However, I wouldn't want to use Keynote alone; I need Omnigraffle and other PDF-producing apps to really make a great presentation.
     
Matt OS X
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Dec 13, 2003, 08:52 AM
 
I voted for Keynote.....

But wondering if it'll work whenever I use my keynote presentation on someone's else's mac without keynote app. in it??

And what about if I use my keynote presentation on a PC computer? will it work with the Powerpoint app. ?

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mh0ffmann
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Dec 13, 2003, 11:38 AM
 
I have worked extensively with PowerPoint for several years (on the PC), and more recently on the Mac, and recently got Keynote.

Although Windoze Powerpoint is better that its Mac counterpart, Keynote is decidedly better than either version of the M$ program... especially for a version 1.

Version 2 should work around many of the glitches and performance issues in the current version and become the presentation program that we always needed.

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Synotic
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Dec 13, 2003, 12:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Matt OS X:
I voted for Keynote.....

But wondering if it'll work whenever I use my keynote presentation on someone's else's mac without keynote app. in it??

And what about if I use my keynote presentation on a PC computer? will it work with the Powerpoint app. ?
Use the Export feature it's under the File menu.
     
SupahCoolX
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Dec 13, 2003, 04:40 PM
 
Originally posted by Matt OS X:
But wondering if it'll work whenever I use my keynote presentation on someone's else's mac without keynote app. in it??

And what about if I use my keynote presentation on a PC computer? will it work with the Powerpoint app. ?
You need Keynote installed to play a Keynote presentation. Otherwise, you can do one of 3 things:
1) Export as a Quicktime movie (assuming the other computer has QT installed. All Macs do, but not all PCs do.) You'll keep all your transitions and everything intact.
2) Export as a PDF. You'll lose transitions/builds/etc, but you get near 100% compatibility with any computer.
3) Export as a Powerpoint presentation (assuming the other computer has Powerpoint installed). Note that this won't always be a perfect translation (as QT and PDF generally are), so you should look through the presentation in PPT first before actually presenting it. Things like alignments, fonts, etc. can get screwed up. Also note that PPT will lose any transparency you've included.
     
Cadaver
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Dec 14, 2003, 12:21 AM
 
While Keynote I think is far more modern and better at rendering, there are several features PP has that are missing in Keynote (too tired at the moment to list them all here....). So for now, PP gets my vote. Hopefully, Keynote 2.0 - whenever it arrives - will address my few complaints.
     
Buck_W
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Dec 14, 2003, 12:28 AM
 
I've been using PP for a number of years. I switched to Keynote about 8 months ago and I will never go back. Working in Keynote is smoother and, as usual, Apple's attention to detail is amazing.

Keynote: thumbs up
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Truepop
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Dec 14, 2003, 12:28 PM
 
I vote Keynote for looks but if you don't have either one, buy office x for $149 and get a whole suite instead of $99 for just a presentation software.

Microsoft has intro'd some aggressive pricing with the purchase of vpc and I hope the price raises if apple release a new appleworks with a keynote upgrade and ms intro's office 2004 for the mac at MacWorld.
     
Boochie
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Dec 14, 2003, 01:46 PM
 
The things that Keynote does, it does well. Presentations that I make on it have a certain polish and professional look that Powerpoint docs lack. The transitions are pretty slick, in particular.

However, Powerpoint does a lot more. It has a much greater range of transitions and animations (more so on the PC, actually). One might argue that all the animations and transitions people put into their presentations have gotten out of hand, and I'd have to agree to a great extent. But there are a lot of things that Keynote can't do when it comes to customizing text layout. For example, you can only have one text block in a Keynote slide with bullets, unless you hack it yourself. Pretty limiting.

You can export Keynote files to powerpoint, but my experience has been that (a) graphics don't survive the trip without getting messed up; and (b) the nearest-match transition often looks pretty bad. So you end up having to hand-massage the resulting powerpoint file to get it to look right. If interoperability with the wintel world is a concern, you may end up creating more work for yourself by working in Keynote.

Given the choice though, I use Keynote in my presentations. It's unique enough that I get questions about what I used to make my presentation, which doesn't happen often with Powerpoint.
     
mkral
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Dec 14, 2003, 03:38 PM
 
Originally posted by Cadaver:
While Keynote I think is far more modern and better at rendering, there are several features PP has that are missing in Keynote (too tired at the moment to list them all here....). So for now, PP gets my vote. Hopefully, Keynote 2.0 - whenever it arrives - will address my few complaints.
I agree. I have both & use PP. Keynote has some nice features, but for my uses, PP is the better of the two. One of these features I use that is not yet available in Keynote is hyperlinking on a URL. If you try it in PP, it will launch your browser. In Keynote, nothing.

Keynote is still nice software, BTW.
     
mkral
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Dec 14, 2003, 03:43 PM
 
Originally posted by SupahCoolX:
You may also want to invest in a remote control, such as the Keyspan Digital Media Remote ($20-30). This will allow you to go back and forth through slides without having to stand by your computer and press the arrow keys or click the mouse.
I agree that you'll want some kind of presentation remote. I would vote for the Keyspan Presentation Remote, though. It is a couple of bucks more than the DMR, but I never could get the DMR to work with my iBook (700 MHz, running Jag) It could have been some kind of system glitch, but it would never change slides. I tried everything. Finally I got the PR & it works 100% better (IMHO) at giving presentations. The DMR is nice in that you can control the DVD player & itunes & such. The PR only offers a few basic features, but is COMPLETELY intuituive for giving presentations. (plus it comes with a nice carrying case)
     
DeathMan
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Dec 14, 2003, 06:18 PM
 
If you have a bluetooth phone http://homepage.mac.com/jonassalling/Shareware/Clicker/ might be a nice option for controlling your presentation.
     
torifile
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Dec 15, 2003, 12:30 PM
 
Keynote is the best presentation software I have ever used. The drawing tools are limited, but there are other better tools out there. And you can include just about any type of graphic in your presentation, so you're set (I've used .psd files without a problem).

Laying out the presentation is dead simple in Keynote, too. I've never been happy about doing presentations. But at least I don't dread having to design them anymore.
     
KP*
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Dec 16, 2003, 03:57 PM
 
Originally posted by Love Calm Quiet:
Where do I need to look to find out what interfacing & display hardware I'm going to need to have a Keynote program display NOT *just on my PowerBook* - but projected onto a screen? (i.e., hardware that will NOT assume I have a PC laptop)
My current job uses Keynote to display video and still images onto a screen for a touring play. I had never worked on Keynote before, and I've been really impressed with its ease of use, but there are times when we've been limited by what it can do. The best thing about it from my perspective is that as changes are made on the road, I can quickly adjust the presentation myself, which is very helpful since the video designer is in New York and the time and expense of overnighting DVDs or downloading huge files over dial-up would be a major inconvenience.

My personal PowerBook (a 15"Al) runs the presentation, and as far as projectors go, we have a new one at each venue, and I've used all sorts of connectors for it. Direct to S-video, RCA, VGA. Most often we use RCA because whatever the theatre has, they usually have an RCA adapter for it. Either of the included Apple display adapters has always been sufficient to hook us up.
It's hard to tell because each projector is of different quality, but the type of connection we use doesn't seem to make a difference for our purposes. The one minor bonus about using a computer connection as opposed to video is that the 'book auto-detects the projector.

When you talk about expense, I'm assuming you do not need to provide the projector. Those of course are really expensive, but if you're going to walk into a room and plug in to somebody's projector, your 'book and its included adapters should do just fine (you will need the long cable that goes from the adapter to the projector, in my case those are provided for me, but you should make sure if you need that).

Three months ago I knew nothing about presentations or projectors or external monitors, and I've been amazed at how easy it is. Hope I was able to provide some help.
     
Judge_Fire
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Dec 16, 2003, 04:07 PM
 
Keynote,

because Apple actually continues developing products after their 1.0 launch.

Powerpoint for Mac hasn't really evolved in the last years, except for perhaps adding a crude anti-aliasing hack for animated (appearing) text. (After two years of reminding them.)

J
     
Love Calm Quiet
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Oct 28, 2004, 10:41 AM
 
:bump: - just in case we've got more people in the forums now using presentation software.

Other threads have discussed the slow development of any enhancements to Keynote - along with mention that there's "not any dedicated team" for Keynote at Apple.

The suggestion was also made that new developments to Keynote will await Tiger:
"we will see a V2.0 when we hit tiger, with CoreVideo and CoreImage stuff integrated."

I expect to start doing presentations next year and would like to start learning either Keynote or PowerPoint (which people call much improved in 2004). Any new insights on the comparison of the two? inspiring rumors about an impending Keynote 2.0?
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wataru
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Oct 28, 2004, 11:06 AM
 
With Keynote I've been able to create some very visually impressive presentations. I don't know Powerpoint all that well, but Keynote definitely has a polish that Powerpoint lacks.
     
Randman
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Oct 28, 2004, 11:26 AM
 
I think Keynote is also more polished but Powerpoint remains king of the hill.
I don't think PP on Office 2004 was much of an improvement, though I would like to hear of Keynote II coming out soon, and I'd like to hear even more that Keynote users can upgrade for a minimal price and not have to buy the whole frickin' set again (though I did buy it from the .mac discount a while back).
Maybe Key2 with Tiger?

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Cadaver
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Oct 28, 2004, 08:26 PM
 
Yes, Keynote is far more polished, and its output looks better (far better text rendering), but in terms of features, PowerPoint 2004 has essentially caught up to it. Very similar transitions, Quartz-based drop shadows, etc. Plus PP 2004 has timing and animation features that are missing from Keynote.

Here's hoping for 2.0...!

Edit: I recently made a presentation where I made all the graphs in Keynote (because they look so much nicer) and exported them to PowerPoint so I could do other things in the presentation that couldn't be done in Keynote.
     
surferboy
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Oct 29, 2004, 04:47 PM
 
it is very easy to be creative and slick in keynote. i have yet to give a keynote talk that did not just "wow" the audience- and I've given quite a few.

i am dedicated to keynote and hope development continues.
     
dece
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Oct 29, 2004, 04:47 PM
 
This is my experience with using Keynote.

I have to give presentations for my job. I use Keynote because it's easy to use. Everybody thinks I am some kind of Powerpoint guru because my presenations are always so amazing. I keep trying to tell people "No, I can't tell you how to do that in Powerpoint. I don't use Powerpoint. I use a program called Keynote." Nobody believes me. In fact, they think I am a jerk who won't share his Powerpoint secrets.

So I guess the moral of the story is, if you use Keynote, everyone will hate you.

Seriously, it's easy to use and produces fantastic presentations. If you need the "advanced features" of Powerpoint, like making web pages or whatever, slap yourself in the face. It's presentation software. It does presentations. One word: bloatware.

Also, while 100% of presentations I see using Powerpoint look awful, easily 30% also have technical meltdowns. That has never happened to me using Keynote.
     
Eug Wanker
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Oct 29, 2004, 06:37 PM
 
PowerPoint: More powerful, and cross-platform.
Keynote: Easier to use, and prettier.

I use both, but prefer to use Keynote.

BTW, I expect to see Keynote updated at Macworld, as Steve was using transitions in his last presentation that don't exist in Keynote 1.
     
Love Calm Quiet
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Oct 29, 2004, 08:29 PM
 
Thanks, Wanker - you've given me hope that there's reason to celebrate New Year!
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sanderson7
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Oct 29, 2004, 08:46 PM
 
I use Powerpoint and this is why:
I teach a large lecture course and need to embed multiple mp3 files within my presentations. This is simply not possible with Keynote. I would love to be able to use Keynote and if it were possible, I would finally be able to abandon MS Office, but until Apple makes it possible to put in multiple media files on each slide, I can't do it. Too bad as Keynote looks and performs great.
     
burtonh
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Oct 29, 2004, 11:22 PM
 
I teach large sections of college classes, and have used both powerpoint and keynote. Keynote makes much nicer looking presentations, especially if you want to include graphics from pdf files, or include equations. But, powerpoint has the ability to write on the presentation 'on the fly' something that is very valuable in a classroom situation. So, sadly I am stuck using powerpoint until the writing feature is added to keynote.
     
jstein
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Oct 30, 2004, 12:17 AM
 
Right now it is 50 / 50 with me. I love the Keynote's interface easy on on the eyes and effective. However, I hope that the next upgrade brings a little bit more to the table.....


Originally posted by SupahCoolX:
You may also want to invest in a remote control, such as the Keyspan Digital Media Remote ($20-30). This will allow you to go back and forth through slides without having to stand by your computer and press the arrow keys or click the mouse.

I voted for Keynote. Another one of its features is the wonderful PDF export option. This makes sharing/emailing presentations a breeze. You can email it to anyone, regardless of their computer/OS or whether they have PPT or Keynote (or neither) installed, and they'll be able to see it.

SupahCoolX and mkral both of you bring up good points about acquiring a remote to go along with Keynote. I was wondering how often do you use your remote and how well does it work? I have seen a few presentations go astray from remotes not working properly and their are messages all over the web about this same problem..........
     
Tutman
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Oct 30, 2004, 08:55 AM
 
I use both, and while Microsoft try to bring some keynoteish stuff into PowerPoint 2004, it's not as good. The rotating cube is a poor imitation, and all the soft drop-shadows and stuff won't work when you bring it to a PC anyway. Microsoft broke compability of some eye candy in order to bring PP closer to Keynote visually.

Still, like many has noted above, the timing of several sequenced items is presently only possible in PP.

But I just love the wonderful export functions of Keynote. Several times I have created self running DVD movies based on already-made presentations.

And as Eug Wanker wrote above - did you se Steve Jobs use what must be Keynote 2 during that Apple Music Event ? Note the new transitions and stuff.
( Last edited by Tutman; Nov 4, 2004 at 04:01 AM. )
     
tuqqer
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Oct 30, 2004, 10:29 AM
 
Originally posted by nickm:
Keynote, because of its support for PDF and Unicode. However, I wouldn't want to use Keynote alone; I need Omnigraffle and other PDF-producing apps to really make a great presentation.
nickm, I'd love to see a few screenshots of some of the work you do combining Keynote with Omnigraffle. I have to do projection presentations, and I'd love to spice up the normal Keynote presentation. By the way, Photobucket.com is a great free place to place pics. Just discovered it a few weeks ago.
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GeorgeC97
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Oct 30, 2004, 11:13 AM
 
IF you get to use your MAC for your presentation, then Keynote is great.

but like everyone said, there are times when you have to give a presentation, and it's only on a PC computer !! and then you bring your keynote file (even exported) and everything is no good.

if EVERYONE you know is using mac, then stick with keynote, but if you are working in a PC world, then stick with powerpoint for now. i'd really like to use keynote, but i always get screwed in the end b/c i have to present it on a windowns laptop b/c no one wants to switch the lcd projector to a mac computer!

oh well
     
Love Calm Quiet
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Oct 30, 2004, 04:30 PM
 
And why is "switching the LCD projector" to a Mac computer a problem?

Other folks seem to be saying that with the VGA output converter a PB should have no problem with just about any projector.

(wanting to be forewarned)
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cSurfr
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Oct 30, 2004, 04:37 PM
 
To piggyback on the original poster, PP for the mac is completely different than the PC version. I just gave a presentation on our PC in class, and none of the transitions that I tried on the mac (powerpoint or keynote) would work in Powerpoint 2003 on windows. YMMV, but i'd stick with keynote overall.
     
Cadaver
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Oct 30, 2004, 06:25 PM
 
Originally posted by Love Calm Quiet:
And why is "switching the LCD projector" to a Mac computer a problem?

Other folks seem to be saying that with the VGA output converter a PB should have no problem with just about any projector.

(wanting to be forewarned)
I'm an academic and I give a lot of presentations all over the country, and while my PowerBook is usually flawless, I had ONE time where no matter what I tried, the projector supplied just wouldn't work with my PowerBook. I've got no idea why (and I'm far from being a Mac "noob") but I could not make it work. Of course, it worked just fine connected to the POS Dell PC that was present.

"We're not too Mac-friendly here," was what some a-hole said while I was trying to make it work.

That said, it really was the projector's fault, I'm sure. It was an old, crappy 800x600 LCD, and used an odd cable I've never seen before - standard VGA at the computer end, but a DVI-type connector at the projector end. Clearly it was using a DVI-I/DVI-A connection, but I suspect something wasn't right with the cable, or the stoopid projector wasn't passing DDC information correctly.

Anyway, had to export my Keynote presentation down to a PPT file and transfer it over via my JumpDrive. Of course, I lost all my animations and movie files.

Since then, I wont use Keynote to make a talk unless I know the projector I'm going to be using works properly. I can bring my own projector for some talks, but at other places where the size of the room will be unknown to me beforehand its too much trouble to try to get setup.

Also - I've given many talks where they (the hosting institution) doesn't want to have to watch the "laptop shuffle" between each talk. They require all talks be loaded on to one machine before hand and that all talks be given off that one machine. One guess as to what kind of machine that is....

Trouble is, that also produces its own problems, as I've seem more failed animations/movies from someone bringing a PPT file than with my ONE projector-Mac incident. Stupid Microsoft PowerPoint hard codes external file paths in to the presentation, so paths to video clips can get screwed up and not work correctly unless they are manually re-inserted. I've used Microsoft's "Pack and Go" successfully to avoid this issue, but too many people don't even know that exists.
     
echo mirage
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Nov 1, 2004, 03:37 PM
 
Originally posted by Cadaver:
I'm an academic and I give a lot of presentations all over the country, and while my PowerBook is usually flawless, I had ONE time where no matter what I tried, the projector supplied just wouldn't work with my PowerBook. I've got no idea why (and I'm far from being a Mac "noob") but I could not make it work. Of course, it worked just fine connected to the POS Dell PC that was present.
If the projector is old/crappy enough to only do 800x600, odds are its refresh rates are similarly antiquated. Your PB is probably putting out too-high a refresh for the projector to handle. I'd bet an Apple puck mouse it'd work if you stepped the refresh rate down to the 69.0 - 74.9 Hz range.
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cenutrio
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Join Date: Feb 2001
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Nov 1, 2004, 04:48 PM
 
Funny I found this topic.

I should be working now on my last department presentation before graduating. Instead I come to macnn to mess around.

I'll use keynote in my presentation. It is that impressive. I just love the dashboard with the cube rotation stuff. People seem to love it too.
-original iMac, TiPB 400, Cube, Macbook (black), iMac 24¨, plus the original iPod and a black nano 4GB-
     
Tutman
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Nov 4, 2004, 04:12 AM
 
It's been said already, but worth pointing out again for those who are concerned about compability and having to use PCs for presentations.

1. The new eye candy in PowerPoint 2004 for Mac is not compatible with PowerPoint 2003 for Windows, so you can't share those presentations with PC people anyway with proper results.

2. If you export your Keynote presentation as an interactive QuickTime movie (the default export option), it will work and look exactly like your original document on a PC -- builds, transitions, movies and all.

Now, there might be times when you need to go PowerPoint anyway, of course. But in my book, Keynote often gets the job done more quickly and elegantly.
( Last edited by Tutman; Nov 4, 2004 at 04:17 AM. )
     
   
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