To create a Keynote presentation, you first choose a theme to use as a starting point. A theme is a set of predesigned slide layouts that uses coordinated colors, fonts, and graphic elements for a unified look. Each layout includes placeholder images and text styled as headlines and body content.


To build your presentation, you replace placeholder content with your own content, or delete placeholders you don’t need. You can also add other elements—like shapes, photos, and charts—to any slide.

When you select text or an object on a slide—like a photo or a shape—formatting controls for it appear in the sidebar on the right. Only the controls you need to modify the selected object are visible. If you don’t see a sidebar, click in the toolbar. (Click the button again to hide the sidebar.)


You can quickly change the look of the selected text or object (image, shape, table, or cell) by applying a new style to it. For text, click the paragraph style name at the top of the sidebar on the right and choose a new paragraph style. For objects, click one of the six object styles. Style variations depend on which type of object is selected. Styles for photos have different shadows and borders, for example.


Use the other controls in the sidebar to customize the object however you like. You can save your settings as a new style, which is then available in the sidebar so you can apply it to other text or objects. You can also save the presentation as a new theme.

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