Follow-up for MPU Episode 332

Written on July 29, 2016

In this post, Kay follows up on Mac Power Users Episode 322, detailing why Keynote interactive MOV export is not coming back and how to work around the issue, providing tips on using Guided Access with Keynote and some additional tibits on Apple Marketing’s use of Keynote.

Keynote interactive MOV export is not coming back. Relevant file format and methods are deprecated in transition from QTKit to AVFoundation. Instead, HTML export serves similar purpose - preserves vast majority of animation, compatible with Windows. Generated HTML is locally compatible with Safari, Opera, Firefox, MS Edge, IE 9 and above but not Chrome. This is due to Chrome’s security mechanism. If you want to present locally, use a supported browser. If you host it online/via web server (which you can do at Github Pages for free), it is compatible with all modern browsers including Chrome and you don’t have to carry a USB drive around, can give the address to any attendee if they prefer a digital version, and you can simply visit a link before presenting. If you have to use Chrome, there’s a workaround for local ones: Start a SimpleHTTPServer with Python, “Python -m SimpleHTTPServer” (video playback will likely crash Python’s SimpleHTTPServer, though).

If you prefer the QuickTime interactive format, you can export your slides to Keynote’09, then export to interactive MOV. However, it will not play interactively if you are using QuickTime Player built into OS X Mavericks or above. Instead, download and use QuickTime 7 for playback.

Also worth noting: Keynote exports movie files at 30fps by default. It looks a bit choppy than native presentation. You can change it to 60fps in Keynote’09 but the option is removed now. To resolve that, change animation/slide advancement duration to two times the original, then play back at 2x speed. Or drag the MOV into iMovie/FCPX and change timeline frame-rate to 60fps, and make the original clip 200% speed, then export. Alternatively, you may realize recording screen with QuickTime Player X generates a higher-framerate, more fluid MOV. Also: With the help of FCPX and some resizing/masking, you can create an Apple Special Event-esque style presentation video.

For using Guided Access, there’s a catch: They will be able to pinch to exit and modify your Keynote slides. Instead export to HTML, host on Github Pages and add it as a Web Clip to Home Screen, force Full-Screen through creating a configuration profile in Apple Configurator or modigying index.html’s HTML head to make it into a “Web App”. That way, it can be an unattended kiosk with no possibility to mess up - they can’t pinch to exit or accidentally modify.

In addition to PNG/PDF, you can export graphics to SVG (vector graphics, transparent background, unlimited scaling). To do that, simply group all the shapes/boxes/elements, then give it any build animation and export as HTML. In assets folder, you will find vector SVG files for the graphics you created. Can import to vector graphics app, e.g. Sketch, Adobe Illustrator.

Some additional tidbits: Apple uses Adobe Illustrator to create graphics they embed in Special Event Keynotes. For non-standard animations, Apple embeds ProRes videos w/ alpha layer (animation introducing Metal, butterfly mechanism). Keynote doesn’t export videos with alpha layer anymore but still supports importing them. As long as the source is modern (Moden, as in not deprecated alongside QTKit -> AVFoundation framework transition). There are some additional tricks Apple uses to mask things they couldn’t have masked - such as long, scrolling screenshot or videos inside frame of a device. They do it by exporting a static slide PNG, masking, overlaying static PNG on top of origonal slide.

Anyways, that’s pretty much it for now. Long-time Keynote user loves your show.