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iWork: The Missing Manual by Josh Clark, Jessica Thornsby

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Chapter 15. Customizing Keynote Themes

Don’t be fooled by the good looks of Keynote’s theme library—it’s a lot more than a pretty face. Sure, Apple’s elegant themes look great (and they make you look great, too), but deep down, they’re all about productivity and efficiency. Using one of these themes lets you skip the big-picture design phase and get right to work on your material. And when you use a theme, each of your slides is based on a master slide, which means that you can instantly apply changes to a whole batch of slides by updating that master layout—or by changing the standard look of the theme’s text, charts, and other objects. Customizing themes, in other words, lets you work smarter and faster, sidestepping the need to make changes to individual slides, object by object, over and over again.

When you customize a theme—or build one from scratch—you only have to do it once. You can save your creation as its own theme to use it again for other documents, and Keynote adds it to the Theme Chooser, giving you yet another starting point for building your slideshows: a standard theme for your company’s marketing presentations, your school’s slideshows, or just a blank slideshow with the standard settings configured the way you like. Share your theme with others or, if you suffer from a debilitating fear of document design, install a theme created by someone else. You can find lots of additional themes online, for free and for sale (see Sharing and Buying Themes).

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