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How to set and add notes in OS X Keynote

Create presenter notes for you to refer to when showing off your keynotes

Keynote makes it simple to create fantastic presentations thanks to its easy-to-use but surprisingly powerful tools. Whether you want to create a simple text-based presentation or you need something a little more creative, with images, videos and animations, Keynote gives you all the tools you need with just a couple of clicks.


But once you’ve created your presentation, Keynote doesn’t just stop helping you. When you stand up in front of a group of people and give your presentation, it can still help you. You can use the Notes tool to write down important points that will display on your Mac’s screen, so only you see them. It not only makes presenting easier, it will also make you look incredibly professional, and preparing your notes doesn’t take long at all.


Step-by-step: Add presentation notes


1 Open notes

First, you need to open the Notes viewer. Open a Keynote presentation and choose View>Show Presenter Notes to bring up the Notes section at the bottom of your window.

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2 Add a note

To add a note, simply click in the new bar and type in your notes. The Notes section will remain at the bottom of the window even when you switch between slides.

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3 Format notes

Click on the Format button in the top-right and you’ll have options for customising your notes. You can change fonts and colours, and add bullets or numbers if necessary.

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4 Start rehearsals

Once you’ve finished your notes, you can start rehearsing your presentation. Choose the Play option from the menubar and select Rehearse Slideshow to get started.

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5 Customise your screen

Before you begin your rehearsals, try customising your view. Click this icon in the top-right and choose the options that you want to appear on-screen while you present.

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6 See your notes

Make sure the Notes section is ticked from the menu and you’ll see that your slides move up to make room at the bottom of the screen for the notes you previously wrote.

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7 Edit your notes

You can change the size of the notes as they appear in your Rehearsal view by clicking the bigger or smaller letters in the top-left of the Notes bar, or click Edit to make changes.

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8 View your slides

If you want to see an overview of all your slides, or jump instantly to a specific slide, click the Show Navigator button in the top-left and type in the slide number in the top box.

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9 Play your slideshow

When you’ve finished rehearsals and you’re ready to present, connect your Mac up to an external display or projector and hit Play to start with your notes appearing on your screen.

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In-depth: The presentation screen

Click the image to view it full size.