How do I copy Keynote presentations onto my Apple iPad?
Now that I have an Apple iPad, I want to use it to show customers presentations on our products and services. The presentations are built in Keynote and I bought Keynote for my iPad, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to copy the darn Keynote presentations onto the iPad! Is there some app I need to get or something?
This is a great question and one that I predict a lot of Apple iPad owners are going to have, whether it's for Keynote, or one of the other iWorks applications (Numbers, Pages). The solution is easy if you're willing to spelunk a bit, but it's certainly not obvious, particularly if you're a long-time iTunes user and think of it as "that application that helps you manage your music and video content".
It's an example of something that I've found troubling as Apple has expanded the capabilities of its consumer electronics line: iTunes is getting more and more overloaded and not only is it slowing down but it's getting more confusing too. I hope that Apple comes out with something new that encompasses the capabilities of iTunes but makes it a lot easier to figure out how to copy data files, move apps around, work with iPad books, podcasts, etc.
Meanwhile I guess we have to just live with what we've got, right? :-)
So here's the trick. Buy and install Keynote from the App Store (at $9.99, it's a killer deal, btw!) then plug your iPad into your computer. For this demo, I'll show the screen shots from my MacBook Pro, but it should work the same from any Mac.
Click on the "Apps" tab:
Now you see the screen that lets you choose which apps you want to have on your iPad and organize them as you desire:
Ready for that big secret? Scroll below this area and you'll see....
Ahhhh.... there ya go! Click on "Keynote", then simply drag and drop your presentation into the "Keynote Documents" area. I'll do that with a few of mine, and here's now it now looks:
That's all you have to do on the Mac side. Now resync your iPad with your Mac and the data files will transfer across to the iPad...
Now launch Keynote on your iPad. Your first screen will look like this:
See that little folder icon in the top right? Tap on it. Now you'll see all the documents you just transfered onto the iPad from your Mac:
Tap on the presentation you want, and it's ready to roll!
Now you can tap on the play button on the top right (the triangle) and enjoy it with your clients.
I will note that I encountered a number of problems with document portability, themes that are in the Mac version of Keynote but are missing in the iPad version, typeface problems, etc. I expect they'll be fixed, but don't be surprised if you need to tweak your preso to get it to work properly for you.
Now, still looking for iPad help? You're lucky, you found it right here!
More Useful Apple iPad Help Articles:
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Apple iPad Help
Written by Dave Taylor
apple ipad, apple iworks, apple keynote, apple numbers, apple pages, document sharing, ipad sync
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Reader Comments To Date: 68
Thanks Dave! This was a lifesaver - really appreciate it.
Hi Dave, your explanation was really helpful, but I'm still having trouble. My iTunes is on a PC and I had someone create a keynote presentation on a Mac and email it to me. Now I'm trying to load it onto my iPad. iTunes says the file is there, but it's not showing up in the Keynote Documents list and its definitely not showing up on my iPad. Is it the PC that messing things up and is there a way to get around it? thanks!
Interesting problem, Michelle. Could the filename be an issue? Try having no spaces, no punctuation and make sure it ends with .PPT or .PPTX. I have successfully loaded the latter onto my iPad, btw.
Nitpick: Typo on "ownwers" in early paragraph.
Great post! I hadn't found the "scroll down" area yet.
I had our designer export the Keynote to .ppt and I was able to load that onto the iPad. Hooray! I wish I could figure out why the original file isn't working, but glad for a quick fix. thanks!!
In keynote there seems to be no auto play on the iPad. ( you need to tap from slide to slide) Nor a way to play an embedded audio file even if it's imported from iTunes. Is this true?
Mary, that does look like the case. Keynote has a lot of power kind of hidden away, but in terms of how the show plays, seems like it's a bit weak, actually... Maybe in v1.0.1 ?
Thanks for your posting here. It certainly is helpful. I keep having problems transferring my keynote files to my iPad via iTunes.. It keeps prompting the error message that the presentation can't be open. Any idea how to resolve this.
Fred, I'd be interested in seeing one of your Keynote presentations that is failing on the iPad. I've had good luck with all of mine...
man, i had almost given up on sharing files with my iPAD because iTUNES just didnt seem to have the necessary options.. you my man, have saved my day!!
Even Apple does not have such lucid info on their support forums.. i want to say a HUGE THANKS to you for rescuing me!!
If you already purchased the iWork Suite (family pack) on disk, can it be installed on the iPad or do you have to purchase the apps again in the store?
Bryan, nope, sorry, the version of the iWork apps for the iPad are not the same as in the regular Mac distribution, so you will need to buy them in addition (or instead of)...
Sweet! THANKS for writing this great post, Dave. You are right that this is NOT intuitive. Thanks!
hi dave. does ipad keynote presentation mode also allow to have the actual slide (on the beamer/projector) and on the ipad screen there would also be next slide and presenters notes? (and actual time and time elapsed?).
as i have it on macbook pro.
best regards from switzerland,
Dave, you will not believe how many sites I visited until I saw your comments. Most helpful and I am just off to check out how the keynote is working :) Thanks! Ganesh
Also important to note, Keynote for the iPad will only open presentations made in iWorks 9.0 or higher. Almost got burned by that one!
F'In amazing.. saved my life,.. or at least carrying mac macbook on 3 plane journeys !! thanks..
The folder on the top right hand screen DOES NOT appear after I have dropped my keynote presentation into the docu area AND resynced my macbook pro with the my IPAD???? Please help!!!
the folder on the top right is not showing after i did everything and it still does not show that folder.
ok i figured it out how to put the keynote from imac to ipad. You can import from the ipad instead. Now I need to figure out the music. why it is not playing. ??
How do you import images from from keynote into ipad? I have several images I'm using in a presentation that are not coming over in the transfer- is it due to the format of the images (.psd) or something else?
Is there a way to save my keynote file from my desktop that will convert these images to the proper format if that's the case? Thanks
I have done exactly what you described in order to get my keynote presentation from my mac to my ipad but and it sits in the folder in the Itunes and behaves as though it has transferred but I can not find a folder in my keynote on the ipad, I have tried this a number of times, rebooting, everything i can think of but no go. Even went to the mac store but they were of no use. Do you have any other suggestions?
Hi, Thank you for your awesome resource. I am having an additional problem. I feel a little slow, but I followed all of the steps on your page, and now after I sync, the little folder that is supposed to appear on the upper right hand corner of the ipad screen is not there. Am I syncing incorrectly? Every step up until that is correctly completed.
Thank you so much for your help!
I was having the same problem, I also didn't see the folder icon on upper right corner, and none helped me until I found out the trick just now. After adding the file to Keynote-App through iTune in Mac, no need to sync since it does it automatically once you add the file/s. Next step: from your iPad-Keynote tap one of the 4 icons at the bottom-2nd from left with a down arrow, then tap "Copy from iTunes" and this will bring up window that shows the file/s you just added to Keynote-App thru iTune-Mac. From the window select the file/s you want to sync into your iPad.
I hope this helps.
Dave, very helpful thanks for posting this.
Thanks for the help Dave.
Alas I am doing everything as described but every single time Keynote on the iPad crashes about 1/10th of the way through transfer.
Anyone else have that occur and find a solution?
Wow amazing....It has taken half of my day to search on the internet to know how i can copy my presentation on my Iphone until i found it in your guide...
thanks man it's really useful for me, i appreciate for it.
click on the apps tab? the apps tab on what? my Ipad2 my Macbookproe, itunes and if itunes which one? , settings, if settings general or ???????? I have spent the last 45 min trying to find the apps tab that looks like your screenshot!
it only takes a few more words to be precise
helps those of us whom miss the obvious ALL THE TIME! uggh
Okay, okay, Ric. It's all okay. Deep breath. :-)
In iTunes, on the left side, click on the name of your iPad so that you're looking at it's specific setup and configuration. Now along the top center of the iTunes window are a bunch of tabs (as shown in fig 1 above). Click on "Apps" there.
Got it! THANX!! ;-)
Manifold blessing on you!
If my ipad was plug other computer to transfer document to my Ipad. So, My app on the Ipad was lost ?If i tap caccel when Itune ask me sync
You just saved my life dave, big work presentation and i literally had no idea how to get the dang presentation on to the ipad. I really hate that Apple make you use itunes for basically everything, i wish it was just drag and drop like most windows devices. Thanks for the help :)
I've been emailing my keynote presentation to myself, then retrieving it on my iPad by opening the email with the keynote presentation attached.
I seldom use iTunes and find it a bit klutzy. Just emailing the presentation to myself is quick and easy, at least for me:)
Dave, trying to add videos into my keynote presentation on my ipad2. When I moved the presentation from my mac to my ipad as you described, the videos transfered but lost the play function...essentially i could play the videos in edit mode, but not in presentation mode.
how do i add videos from keynote app? what format? I've tried to add them into my iphoto as an album but they don't appear in my media tab on the app. HELP!
Lifesaver. I was ready to forego everything Apple because of this issue. Thanks a bunch. Apple should thank you too.
You can also email them to yourself, open email in ipad, hold your finger on the keynote attachment, then click "open in keynote"....
Much easier in my opinion.
THANKS! I am a long time Mac user but couldn't understand how to get my new iPad sync'd up with documents to Keynote and Pages. This explanation made it SO easy!
Great tip - worked like a charm for me. Thanks!
Okay, I was having the same problem. Not seeing the PPT's in Keynote once I synced them from Mac. Drove me nuts. Finally went back in and hit the + sign in upper left hand corner of Keynote. Box comes up that says "Create Presentation" with three options, Copy form: iTunes, iDisk, or WebDAV. I hit iTunes and there they were! I just hit each presentation and they loaded. GEEEZe.
Still don't see a presentation folder, but that's minor!
Thanks for your site!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!! For weeks I have been tying to figure this out!
Thank you Dave. It was really helpful.
Dave! Great info! THANK YOU! BUT.... it will not copy my file from iTunes.....it starts and gets 3/4 way downloaded and stops, closes app and returns o my iPad home screen!! UGH! Why is it doing this? I have kept it awake, and re-tried 5 times...it keeps doing same thing...now what? Any ideas?
You are amazingly helpful!!
Thanks Dave. I did as you described, but I am not able to synch my iPad because my iTunes library on my iMac is too big to fit on my iPad. Any suggestions to get around this? Thanks!
Thanks Dave, You made my day. This was a lifesaver - really appreciate it
what a wonderful man you are :)) i spent a lot of time to find this stupid functionality.
Is iCloud going to make this any easier? Have a bunch of salesmen that don't tether their iPads and don't want to go to iTunes. I have to get keynote presentations on all their iPads (and they are large files, too big to download from an email). I can't take their iPads and tether to my Mac because more than one iPad can screw up accounts, Apple IDs all messed up (learned that the hard way). Salesmen are fedexing their iPads to me to upload these presentations but I need their computers too, and they are all PC's. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
The macbook with which i synced my ipad has conked off and our service team in india is unable to fix it.
And i am hard pressed for downloading keynote to my ipad,(so that i can proceed with my presentations at work, next week) but iam unable to do so, since it needs ios5, which is not there on my ipad 2.0.
Need a suggestion as to how i could update my ipad to ios5 and have keynote installed, without the macbook, with which it is synced to.
Gun, I think you're stuck. If you have iOS 5 on your iPad, you could update the operating system without a computer involved, but you don't. I would suggest that you find a new computer and resync the iPad with that until your MacBook is fixed. You'll lose all your music, photos, and apps, but you can reinstall them and at least reinstall Keynote and have that part working. Good luck!
Thanks Dave for the suggestion, that's what i am gonna do.
Have a nice day
Dave: How do i remove keynote files i have loaded on the itunes, i am not able to delete them. The delete option in itunes is inactive.
Good work Dave! You made my life much easier than downloading my 250mg Keynote preso from Dropbox.
This was terrific -- I have the new Keynote and the new iPad and it still all worked. That's the great thing about Apple-based stuff--- get the basics and it's really quite easy. Your directions via iTunes were spot on. Thank you so much!
thanks for the post
BTW, if I use hiperlynks on my Keynote (mac) and export it to iPad (keynote file) - can I still using the linked buttons?
Thank you so much for this posting. I never would have figured it out and was stressing this am needing to take a new presentatation I received yesterday from my factory on the road with me.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate people like you taking the time to make things work for the rest of us!! I am so grateful!!
Thank you. The little tip to scroll was what I needed. Doesnt seem very intuitive, especially being a Mac. Oh well. Thank goodness for you.
Thank you soooooo much man. you are a life saver. saved soooo much time. thanks again
We have been trying to bring the presentation to our iPad and not working. We don't have the little folder icon on the top right of Keynote after sync. HELP!!
Thanks a BUNCH! You are SUPER!
Thank you man, this was so easy to learn.......
Thank you for your posting.... it was really great.. I never used Itunes to transfer my keynote from my IMac or MacBookPro. I had a "primitive" way. I used sending as attachment from my yahoo to gmail and open it on my iPad ... download and BANG..... go ..
You are awesome Dave. Thank you
Dave, Great Presentation!
I thought I would add that the Keynote App on the iPad does have the ability to autoplay your presentation.
When you have your presentation open on your iPad, look in the top right of your screen and you will see four icons. Click on the Wrench icon. When the window appears, click on the Transitions and Builds. Now click on any slide and a black bar appears. Click on the + sign at the end of this bar.
Here you can choose Effects for that slide or you can click on Options and set the run time for that slide. Do this to each slide and then click on Done in the upper right.
Now, when you hit play, the presentation will autoplay as per your commands.
Great site, Dave. Keep up the good work!
I was just one second away from being frustrated then I saw this tutorial!
just one remark.. uploading PDF files is not possible. Make sure your transfer file is a ppt or key. At least from PC to Ipad
great info, Dave! thanks bro!
Thanks!!!! I was getting frustrated!
I am trying to transfer a Keynote presentation from my PC to my ipad. I went through the steps you described, and on iTunes on the PC, it shows the proper presentation file under the Keynote App in File Sharing. The problem is on my ipad, I cannot select the file. On the ipad, I open Keynote, select "+" at the top left, select "Copy from iTunes". My file is in the list, but it is grey and cannot be selected. Can you help?
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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