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Extracting speakers notes from Keynote

[NOTE: A couple of weeks after posting this, Bruno Amaral wrote an Apple Script that does a far better job of it. Check the comments for his script and instructions. Thanks, Bruno!]

Here’s a very simple Automator script that extracts the speakers notes from a Keynote file and writes them into a text file on your desktop. The text file it makes is very ugly, and I’m sure someone better at this than I am (= everyone) could have Automator do some cleanup of it.

To install it, download it (duh), unzip it, and then put it into MacHD/your_account/Library/Services (where MacHD and your_account reflect the actual names of your setup).

To run it, in Finder select the name of the Keynote file, and right click for the context menu. Go to Services > extract_keynote_notes.

8 Responses to “Extracting speakers notes from Keynote”

  1. Why not just print it to a PDF showing slides and notes?

  2. Because sometimes you want just the text, and you want it to be editable.

  3. I see what you mean about the text, it doesn’t split the text based on each slide.

    the workaround is to make sure there is an extra linebreak at the end of each slide’s note.

    or you can work backwards:

  4. The script inserts a comma and a space at the end of every slide, maybe the worst delimiter choice in history.

    Just for the record, this script uses the “extract notes” service that Keynote makes available to the Mac OS. As far as I know, there is no way to alter it to get it to behave more usefully.

  5. Download this:

    use it like this:
    1 ) open your presentation on keynote

    2 ) open the application

    your slideshow notes will go to a new file on the Desktop.

    Format of notes so far is:
    Slide #

    Slide Title


    if you want a different layout, you can add or remove information by editing the app on AppleScript Editor.

    It took me a while to figure out the best way to do this, and ironically I used apple’s own scripting language.

  6. Beautiful! Way better than my Automator script.

    I’ll link to it in the body of the post.

    Thanks, Bruno!


    You save my life so many times and you help me save trees! Because, usually, I see easily my slides, but my notes are too long and doesn’t show well (or to tiny) on the computer!

  8. fair warning: i used bruno’s script and it stripped preferred formatting from all my notes and now I can’t seem to make them the right size again

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