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How to draw on slides in Keynote on iPad

Highlight the key points of your presentation by annotating slides on the fly

Giving a Keynote presentation with an iPad really grabs people’s attention thanks to the app’s fantastic features and the integration of iOS devices. Pair the iPad wirelessly with an Apple TV connected to a display or hook it up to a projector and you’re set. As portable as the iPad is, however, you sometimes want to pick out important messages, and traditionally you’d have to use a pointer or laser pen to do that.


Thanks to Keynote’s drawing tools, though, you can now achieve this by scribbling directly on the iPad’s screen. Moreover, you can do it from anywhere in the room if you’re using AirPlay or have paired another iOS device with the iPad to use as a remote control. Here’s everything you need to know about getting interactive with your own presentation.

Step-by-step: Annotate Keynote slides while presenting


1 Open a presentation

With your iPad connected to a display device, open up Keynote and select your presentation by tapping on its thumbnail. This will open up the presentation in its own window.


2 Enable remote control

To annotate a presentation from anywhere in a room, pair the iPad it is on with another iOS device over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. On the remote control device open Keynote and tap Remote.


3 Make a connection

To make the remote control device discoverable by the iPad connected to the display, tap Continue on the former. Then go back to the latter to complete the link up.


4 Pair devices

On the iPad tap Tools and under Presentation Tools hit Allow Remote Control. When paired, annotations made on the remote control device appear on the iPad and its connected display.


5 Start presenting

Begin your presentation by tapping the triangular Play icon in the top-right. Your slides will then fill the screen and you can swipe right to left to move through them.


6 Access drawing tools

To access the drawing tools, hold your finger on the screen for a second. A row of pens in seven different colours will then appear at the bottom of the screen.


7 Draw on the screen

To create annotations, swipe over the screen with your finger. The results will appear on the device connected to the display and be instantly displayed on the projected image.


8 Change the colour

You can’t change the type of drawing tool or line width but you can mix things up with different colours. To change colours just tap a different pen.


9 Clear the screen

If you make a mistake, tap the Undo icon at the right end of the row of colours to erase the last thing you drew. When you change slides, all your annotations disappear.