Use Presenter Display to enhance your Keynote presentations

A great feature of Keynote is the Presenter Display. If you are giving a presentation with two displays (one for you and one for the audience), this allows you to display notes and other useful tools like a timer on your screen while the audience just sees the slides as usual. Even if you don’t have two displays, the Presenter Display can be really useful for rehearsing your presentation before you give it.

To get an idea of what Presenter Display looks like, just open your presentation in Keynote and choose “Rehearse Slideshow” from the Play menu. It should look something like the screenshot below, with the current slide, the next slide, the current time and the amount of time elapsed.

Default Keynote Presenter Display

If you don’t like the default setup, they you are in luck as Keynote allows you to customise what is displayed. To add some extra stuff and move and resize things, go to the Play menu again, but this time choose “Customize Presenter Display”. The Presenter Display will appear again, but now you can drag and resize the different objects.

Customize Keynote Presenter Display

In addition you will also see an extra window that allows you to add and remove items. Most of them are self explanatory, but a couple aren’t so obvious. The “Ready to Advance Indicator” is a bar that appears along the top of the screen that turns green when any animations on the current slide are finished and the next slide is fully loaded and ready to be displayed. The “Build Markers” are useful if you have set the slide to appear bullet point by bullet point, or have an image or chart that is set to animate in after the rest of the slide. They are essentially little blue dots that appear below the current slide to indicate how many more times you have to press “Next” before everything on the slide has appeared. Also, if you are wondering how you add notes to your slides, just choose “Show Presenter Notes” from the View menu.

Custom Keynote Presenter Display

To make sure Presenter Display appears in your screen (and only your screen!) when you come to give your presentation, you will need to change a few things in the Keynote Preferences. Go to the Preferences (in the Keynote menu) and click on the “Presenter Display” tab. In here, make sure the “Use alternate display to view presenter information” checkbox is checked. If you find the displays are the wrong way around, go to the “Slideshow” tab and click “Present of Secondary Display” at the bottom.

Now, just choose “Play Slideshow” as usual, the Presenter Display should come up on your screen and the audience will never know!


Mail Merge in iWork '09

iWork ’09 has a great mail merge feature that allows you to create documents in Pages that gather data from a Numbers spreadsheet or from your Address Book. This is really useful for creating templates for things like letters and envelopes that automatically fill in names and addresses for a large amount of people. Here's how you set up mail merge using Pages and Numbers.

Before you start writing your document you need to create your data. If you want to get information from Address Book, this is as simple as just creating a new group containing all the contacts whose information you want to use. If you want to get information from a spreadsheet, you need to open up Numbers and create the data that will be added into your document. Normally this will be a list of names and addresses, but in theory it can be anything.

Pages requires quite a specific layout for your data, so if you don't set it up right, it won't work. With a blank spreadsheet open, make sure there is one header row and zero header columns. You can do this by going to the Table menu and setting Header Rows to 1 and Header Columns to 0.

Header Columns

Next, fill in all your data, using the grey header row at the top to enter the header titles such as First Name, Last Name, Address, etc. Your data can be anything, including mathematical formulas. For example you could have a column containing a person's monthly salary, and another column that works out their annual salary by multiplying the monthly column by 12. Once you have finished, save you spreadsheet somewhere you will remember.

Numbers Spreadsheet

Now you can open up Pages and start creating your document. At every point where you want to import some information, just write something like TheFirstName or TheAddress. Later on you can link these up to your spreadsheet or Address Book. If you are using one of the envelope or letter templates, you might find that this placeholder text already exists, and by default this is already linked into your Address Book. You can either delete it and create your own, or leave it and then later modify the settings to point it towards the specific data you want.

Once you have created all your placeholders, open the Inspector Window (Command-Option-I) and click on the Link Inspector tab, which looks like a blue circle with a white arrow in it. Then click on the Merge tab below that. This is where you can link your document to your spreadsheet or Address Book.

Merge Inspector

The first thing that you need to set here is the Merge source, which you do by pressing the “Choose...” button. You can either leave “Address Book” selected and choose a contact group from the drop-down menu, or select “Numbers Document” then navigate to the spreadsheet you created earlier.

If you are using a template and have kept the default placeholders, you might find that there are already a load of “Merge Fields” set. Generally these were made to work with Address Book, but Pages will do its best to link the fields to columns in your spreadsheet that have names like “First Name” or “Title.” Any fields that haven’t been linked will show up red.

To create a new merge field, select your placeholder text (for example, TheFirstName) then click the plus (+) icon in the Merge Inspector window. From the menu choose “Add Merge Field” and then select the data you want to import from the drop-down menu in the Target Name column. This will either be a field in your Address Book, or a column in your spreadsheet. You can also add sender fields, which import data from your own Address Book card.

Once you have finished created your document, go to the Edit menu and choose “Mail Merge.” From here you can either choose to print your document right away, or create a new document that has separate pages for each recipient of your letter.


Display multiple inspector windows at once

Inspector windows are small windows that allow you to change settings for whatever happens to be the currently selected object. They are the ones that have a thinner title bar, they always hover above other windows and they disappear when you change to a different application.

In most applications they contain information and settings about whatever object is selected. As you select different things, the contents of the inspector window will change, so you can always go to the same place to change the properties of that object.

Now you don't want multiple inspectors popping up, containing settings for different objects, because they are designed to keep all the information and properties in one location, so you always know where to find it. However, you might want multiple inspectors that contain different sections of the settings. For example, you might want one inspector for text settings, and one for graphics settings.

In most Apple applications, there is a single inspector with tabs along the top that allow you to change between different groups of settings. If you find yourself constantly jumping between different tabs while you work, there is a simple way to separate each tab out into its own inspector. Simply hold the Option key while clicking on a tab, and another inspector window will appear with the contents of that tab.

Using this, you can arrange the different inspectors around your screen for easier access. For example, in Pages you might want to keep separate Graphic, Text and Table inspectors always open.

inspector windows


20 tips and tricks for iLife and iWork '09

A lot has changed in the recently released iLife and iWork '09. Here are the top 20 tips and tricks to help you make the most of all the new features. Most of the iWork tips will work for Pages, Keynote and Numbers. The iLife tips are separated into the individual applications.

iLife iWork


1. Enable scrolling zoom in Places maps
The new Places feature in iPhoto allows you to explore your photos on a map. Photos taken on a GPS enabled camera (i.e. the iPhone) will be automatically geo-tagged, or you can enter the location information manually. Annoyingly, by default the maps don't allow you to zoom using the two-fingered scroll on the trackpad or a scroll wheel on your mouse. To enable this, just open up Terminal (in Applications/Utilities), type the following line and hit enter:

defaults write MapScrollWheel -bool YES

To disable the scrolling zoom again, just repeat the command with NO at the end instead.

2. Include location information in uploaded photos
The default setting is for iPhoto to remove the geo-tagging information from your photos when you upload them to the web, presumably so people don't unwittingly broadcast their location to the world. If you want to keep the location information in uploaded photos, go to the Web section of iPhoto preferences and check the box next to "Include location information for published photos."

3. Set a key photo for someone
Changing a person's key photo is exactly the same as changing the key photo for an event. Just move your mouse from left to right over their photo on the corkboard to cycle through all the photos of that person. When one you like is displayed, just hit the space bar to make that the new key photo. If you can't find the one you want this way, just go into that person's photos, right click on the new key photo and choose "Make Key Photo" from the contextual menu.

4. Enter information about a person
When you hold your mouse over someone in Faces, an small i appears. Clicking on this will allow you to enter a full name and email address for that person. It will also show you the number of photos with that person in, and the range of dates of photos they're in.

5. Batch accept or reject faces
If you look at a person's photos in Faces, there will be a group of unconfirmed faces that iPhoto has identified for you. To confirm a large group of faces at once, just drag across all the photos. To reject a group of photos, hold the Option key while doing this. You can also just Option-click on photos to reject them individually.

6. Corner-achored resize when adding faces
iPhoto's default behaviour when adding a missing face is a centre-anchored resize. To change this to the usual corner-anchored resize, just hold down the option key when dragging over a face.

7. Easily switch between multiple libraries
iPhoto libraries are now double-clickable from the Finder. If you want to open a different library in iPhoto, just open up your Pictures folder and double-click a different library file. iPhoto will then load up with the new library. No need for holding Option on launch anymore.


8. Create iPhone ringtones
To create a free ringtone from any MP3 or AAC file just choose "Example Ringtone" from the iPhone Ringtones section in the New dialog. Delete the example that Apple has provided, then select a song from your iTunes library by clicking on the Media button in the bottom right. Drag your chosen song into your GarageBand project. Move and resize the yellow bar at the top to choose the section of the song you want to loop for your ringtone. Finally, choose "Send to iTunes" from the Share menu.

9. Use Learn to Play on PowerPC or Core Solo Macs
The new Learn to Play lessons in GarageBand require a dual core Intel based Mac to run. If you are running an old PowerPC Mac or Core Solo Mac Mini, you can get around this by going to /Library/Application Support/GarageBand/Learn to Play/Basic Lessons. Once here, double-click on one of the .mwand files to open it in GarageBand. Consider closing all the other applications on your Mac if the lessons run slowly.


10. Get movies from other locations
If the videos you want aren't in the Event Library, just right-click below your list of events to import videos from anywhere on your hard drive or from within an older iMovie file.

11. DVD chapters are back
One feature that disappeared for a while was the ability to add DVD chapters in iMovie. For a while you had to do a laborious work around involving GarageBand. Now you can add chapter markers in iMovie, and they'll be carried across when you export to iDVD.

Travel Maps

12. Add a location to travel maps
If you want to use a location in the travel maps feature that iMovie doesn't have listed, you can add it to the locations file. Find iMovie in your applications folder, right-click on it and choose "Show Package Contents." In the Resources folder find WorldLocations.txt and open it up in TextEdit. On a new line, enter the place name followed by a tab, then the region followed by a tab, then the country followed by a tab, and finally the latitude and longitude separated by a comma. For example you could add

Duxford   Cambridge   UK   52.093851,0.184870


13. Get the free trial
As well as the boxed version, Apple offers a free 30 day trial of iWork to download from their web site. One thing to remember though is if you don't intend to upgrade after 30 days, remember to save any new or changed files back in the iWork '08 format just in case they don't work any more once your trial expires. You can do this by choosing iWork '08 from the "Save copy as" menu in the Save As dialog.

14. Enable hidden picture frames
Pages, Keynote and Numbers all have various different styles of picture frame that you can place around any object by choosing it from the stroke menu in the Graphic Inspector. However, it turns out there are loads of frames that are disabled by default. You just need to edit a single file to enable them.

Choose the application where you want to enable the hidden frames (Pages, Keynote or Numbers), right click and choose "Show Package Contents". Look in the Resources folder for one of the three following files:

For Pages, look for SLGraphicInspectorFrames.plist
For Keynote, look for BGGraphicInspectorFrames.plist
For Numbers, look for LSGraphicInspectorFrames.plist

Open it up in TextEdit, and notice how the names of the different picture frames are listed. The new frames available with iWork '09 are Fine_Artist, Jet Set, Moroccan, Nature, Nature2, Typeset, Venetian, Venetian2, and Venetian3. For example just add <string>Fine_Artist</string> to the end of the list. As well as these new frames available in iWork '09, there are many more that also work in iWork '08 listed here.

15. Temporarily disable guide lines
When moving objects around, all the iWork applications helpfully give alignment guides that will snap the objects so they are perfectly in line with each other. Sometimes, when you don't want objects aligned or you want to align them in a different way, this can be quite annoying. The way to temporarily disable the guide lines is to hold down the command key while you are dragging the object. Now your shape, image or text box can be freely dragged to whatever position you want.

16. Password protect iWork documents
This is something that has been annoyingly difficult to do on the Mac for a long time. Generally previous solutions involved creating encrypted disk images, however, now all the iWork applications have a "Require password to open" option in the Document section of the Inspector.

17. Export has moved
The export command that used to be in the File menu has now moved to the Share menu. Also, remember that if you want to export to Microsoft Word format, you can now do this directly from the Save As... option.

18. Using the keyboard to create formulas in Numbers
When creating functions and formulas in numbers, you almost always want to refer to another cell or group of cells. In Numbers '08 you had to use the mouse to select these cells, but now you can use the keyboard to select them. Simply hold down the Option key and use the arrow keys to move about. To select a group of cells, hold down Shift as well as Option, and continue using the arrow keys to make the selection. To change the reference from relative to absolute, just hit Command-K to cycle through all the different possibilities.

19. Advanced Gradients
The gradient fill options in iWork '08 were fairly limited. In iWork '09 you can now create linear or circular gradients with as many colours as you like by choosing "Advanced Gradient Fill" from the Fill menu.

Advanced Gradients

20. Applescript in Numbers
One of the great new features of Numbers is Applescript support. Here are a few example scripts to give you an idea of what kind of thing is possible.


Add content to every page in Pages

This tip was submitted by Tom from OS X Gear.

Often on Mac forums users ask how to put watermarks in their Pages documents without having to copy and paste them on every page. Doing this for headers and footers doesn't present a problem, as Pages provides you with a neat little box to place content for every page. Here's how to do it for any media, anywhere on the page:

1. Arrange the media you want as a watermark (or text box, shape or image) as you want it on one of the pages. The only limitation to this method is that they cannot be inline objects. To ensure they are floating, select the objects and go to the "Wrap" tab in the inspector and use the radio buttons to correct this setting to "Floating".

Floating Wrap

2. With the watermark object selected, open the Format menu, go down to Advanced, and select "Move Object to Section Master". This deselects the items and displays them on every page in your document.

Move Objects to Section Master

You will notice that you now cannot select these objects. If you need to move them around go to the Format menu, then select "Advanced > Make Master Objects Selectable". This lets you treat them as normal objects, though locking them is often useful as it prevents accidental modification.