MACWORLD - Apple presents new Keynote presentations app

During his keynote address at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2003, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a "new generation of presentation software". The aptly named Keynote includes professionally designed themes, fully anti-aliased typography, pro-quality image resizing, animated charts and tables, and cinematic-quality transitions.

Available immediately for US$83, Keynote imports and exports PowerPoint, QuickTime and PDF files.

"Using Keynote is like having a professional graphics department to create your slides," said Jobs. "This is the application to use when your presentation really counts."

Apple's digital dozen

Keynote includes 12 Apple-designed themes -- such as Blackboard, Pushpin, Parchment, and Notebook -- featuring co-ordinated backgrounds, fonts, colours, bullets, tables and charts. Users can change the theme of their presentation any number of times, modify an existing theme to their liking, or create custom themes to give their presentations a totally unique look.

Keynote takes advantage of the Mac OS X-only technology Quartz as well as OpenGL to create presentations with pro-quality graphic elements such as fully anti-aliased text, transparency, drop shadows and transitions between slides. Users can drag-&-drop graphics, digital photos, QuickTime movies and audio into slides. Keynote's alignment guides and rulers ensure that all text and graphic elements are placed precisely where users want them, according to Apple.

Keynote supports full alpha-channel graphics, and formats such as PDF, PSD, TIFF, JPEG, AI 10, and Flash. Over 100 images such as a variety of clocks with customizable times are included with the package.

Apple also claims that Keynote makes it easy to create impressive charts and tables in seconds. Users can choose from eight flexible chart types, progressively disclose chart and table information, and create animations, shadows and labels on any chart or table. Chart and table data can be imported from applications such as Excel and AppleWorks or organized directly in Keynote's Chart Data Editor.

Apple claims that Keynote makes managing large slide shows "incredibly simple". The slide Navigator gives users a quick visual overview of the whole slideshow at all times. Slide thumbnails can be grouped into sections that can be collapsed or expanded, making it easy to see and organize the big picture. For text-oriented presentations, Keynote provides a text outline view and speaker's notes.

Minimum system requirements include Mac OS X version 10.2 (OS X v. 10.2.3 recommended), PowerPC G3 processor, 256MB RAM and 8MB video RAM.

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