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Keynote animation weirdness

Keynote’s ability to animate objects has gotten much better in the new version (Keynote ’08, v 4), but it’s still not up to PowerPoint. The biggest gap at this point is it’s inability to loop actions. This may be because Keynote apparently doesn’t let users interrupt animations, so a loop would loop forever, making for an especially ineffective but oddly hypnotic presentation. Also, and less important, Keynote is surprisingly sparse with the graphic shapes it provides, and those shapes aren’t as manipulable as PowerPoint’s. E.g., PPT gives control points for block arrows so you can adjust the head, provides “smart” workflow connectors, etc.

Way more important to me: Keynote doesn’t always let you say two effects should run at the same time. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I was finding this frustratingly unpredictable until I realized that in some cases it would allow simultaneous actions that were in slide sets I imported from PowerPoint. (Keynote’s import and export facilities are awesome.) As soon as I altered the action in Keynote, the “do action with” option went away, leaving only the “do action after” choice. If I’ve diagnosed this correctly (and, really, what are the chances?), then Keynote can display behaviors it doesn’t allow users to create.

Weird. But it does leave the possibility of exporting the deck to PowerPoint, doing the animation work, and importing back into Keynote…except you’ll lose Keynote’s over-the-top eye candy, especially for slide transitions.

(I’m not a Keyspan expert, although I’m pretty good at PowerPoint. If I’m wrong about any or all of this, please set me straight. Thanks.) [Tags: keynote powerpoint animations ]

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