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Keynote is Apple's iWork application for creating effective and impressive presentations. In Keynote '09 Essential Training, presentation designer Craig Syverson teaches new and experienced Keynote users how to apply this program to its full potential. Craig demonstrates the entire creative process, from building basic slides with text and images and using the new built-in themes, to distributing the final product. Exercise files accompany the course.
Stacking order is a relationship of one object to the next, and in Keynote, we also have to consider the implications of stacking order with backgrounds and master slides. So let's first look at some object relationships here and how that works. I am going to click here on this object called 2, and I'm going to do Ctrl+Click and choose Duplicate, and then I'm going to take this over, and I'm going to align it up with the other side of that previous slide. Now one of the interesting thing about the duplicate function, if I Ctrl+Click and then duplicate again, it will follow the same distance that I done from the previous action. So here, I created a few extra boxes and I'm going to renumber them. This one is going to be 3. This one will be 4, 5, and 6 here.
I am going to select this object, Ctrl+Click, and go to bring to front. What that does is it brings this object to the front of the other objects. So in other words, I only have 6 objects on this slide and when I told this one to go to the front that means it's on the very top, and you can see these other 5 below it are all layered on top of each other. So this one being on the top, let me Ctrl+Click and do send backward. You can see now that this one went behind number 5, which makes sense. I do this Send Backward again, and now this one number 6 is between the Layer 3 and the Layer 4.
So it is very important to keep track of your stacking order so you can understand how to select objects. For instance if I take this one, and now I say Send to Back, it puts it behind all those other objects and really you can't see it and if I click on any of these because they are on front, you can't select object 6, it's gone. Well, it's not gone. It is just down there behind the back layer. So one way to get at that in Keynote is to first select an object like I did here with the one label number 1. Now I'm going to hit the Tab key. Now you see I have object number 2 selected, Tab 3, Tab 4, Tab 5. Tab one more time, you can see these handles of this object, but you can't see it, well that is object 6. That is the one that is at the very back.
But because I Tab through the objects, I can now go and Ctrl+Click on that one, and say Bring to Front and I can bring that particular object to the front. So you can see that if you have an object that is hidden or behind other objects using this Tab key technique is a great way to get access to that object again and bring it to the front, so you can manipulate it more. So let's take a look at the relationship between objects and masters. I'm going to call up my Inspector, and here I'm on the Slide Inspector for the slide. I'm going to change the master slide for this one we are working on to 2x3 master slide. I bring that in as such. I'll close up my Inspector.
If I grab this object, let's say, bring it down here and say Send to Back, we still see it. Why did it not go behind these other objects? Well, in Keynote, the master slide is in a sense it's like a piece of glass between the slide and the master slide. So you can see what is underneath it, but there is not a stacking order relationship with the objects on the master slide. Like I can click here on the master slide and you will notice that these photographs are not being selected.
Let me get rid of these objects here now. So how can I have an object relate to something in a master? Let me show you. I'm going to go to Slide 2 and there is this rectangular shape here, I'm going to copy this from Slide 2, go back to Slide 1, and paste it in. So we still have the same issue. This particular object is in fact now the only object on this slide that is not in the master slide. In fact, if I Ctrl+Click on it, you will see all these are grayed out that I don't have a choice to go forward or backward because it is the only item on the stacking layer on this particular slide.
But I can tell Keynote to have the master slide have a stacking relationship with the slide in front. To do that, I'm going to go down and edit the master slide, pull down the Inspector, and I'm going to go to Slide Inspector, and there is this check box here called Allow objects on slide to layer with the master. Now, when I go back to the slide, and let me close the Inspector. Notice if I click on this and do Ctrl+Click, I have these choices now, Send Backward, Send to Back or Send it to Back, and you can see now that this object that was alone on the front slide now can stack with items in the master.
So if want to create a frame like look around any of these photographs, all I need to do is take that particular object and drag it behind those slide images. What this allows me to do is create a master slide with these photographs that stays consistent throughout my presentation and for each individual instance of where I want to create a frame around a slide like this I can just have an object in the front relate to the master. It is a much easier way of keeping a group of photographs consistent throughout a whole presentation as to have them locked into a master and if you need to do any of the stacking relationship, you can.
Now, the last thing to think about is that every slide has a background associated with it, and the background is not an object. It is an image or it's a color, but it's always in the background. So keep that in mind is that the background doest not get involved in stacking order, but it's always there and is always persistent. So by staying aware of your stacking order and using it to your advantage, you can have a great degree of flexibility and how your slides are laid out.
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