Sunday, November 08, 2015

Keeping the real Apple Keynote alive

Apple officially discontinued development of its first-rate presentation software, Keynote, in October, 2013. The final version was Keynote 5.3, and was originally released as part of iWork '09. So some people think of it as Keynote 09 or Keynote 5. (MidCap enthusiasts errantly refer to the program as KeyNote.) I posted a death notice/rant here.

Confusingly, Apple now produces Google-docs-esque productivity software, including a presentation program named Keynote (technically, Keynote 6). The vast majority of legacy Keynote users despise Keynote 6 for many, many reasons. Apple promised to throw extant users a bone. Too little; too late. Or never. Apple lost the thread on what Keynote was supposed to be, and I have to presume they'll never get it back.

My school district does its best to keep teachers' computers from aging into obsolescence, so my 2010 MacBook Pro 13" was replaced this week with a 2015 MacBook Air 13". My own computer is a 2012 MacBook Pro 15". Making the new computer useful to me was not a trivial matter. Since it's not my own personal computer, I could not initialize it as a mirror of my "old" computer or restore from a Time Machine backup. But I did need fully functional Keynote 5. And I needed Keynote 6 not to be there: among the disasters incorporated into Keynote 6 is its tendency to automatically "update" working Keynote 5 files into broken husks (misshapen, ill-fitting Keynote 6 files).

So I do have a paid-for copy of Keynote 5.3 with a valid serial number/license key. (When Keynote is open, click the Keynote menu and select "About Keynote" to see the serial number/license key.) But the new Mac has the new Keynote installed and does not have the discontinued, functioning version of Keynote.

Here's what I did to ditch the awful Keynote 6 and install the functional Keynote 5 on a new Mac that wasn't really mine.

Step 1: Delete Keynote 6. Drag it to the trash. Empty the trash. Putting that terrible code-cobble out of its mystery should be the very first that one does at first light with any new Macintosh. Yes, really. Flush it now.

Step 2: Download the disk image (.dmg) for the iWork '09 free trial. (It works as of this posting; nothing on the Internet is guaranteed to work forever in the future.)

iWork '09 Free Trial Installer

I found the link on this page.

Step 3: Run the installer and install the software. This will get you to Keynote 5.0. But you don't really want Keynote 5.0. You want Keynote 5.3 with all the improvements that occurred between 2009 and 2013.

Step 4: Find and run the iWork 9.3 updater. I found the updater on this page. (Same caveat as above).

Step 5: Register the software with your serial number/software key.

So far, so good.

I did run into another problem owing to my old fascination with fonts. It turns out, I own and use a grand symphony of fonts. Horses for courses. I thought I successfully created a Dropbox folder with all the fonts in my computer's Library. (You then drop all the fonts into the new computer's Library/Fonts folder and opt to skip all duplicates. But opening Keynote documents revealed that my new computer was missing fonts I used.

I discovered the location of these fonts was in my User directory. But when I opened my User directory, there was no Library folder to be seen. I learned that Apple, in its oft-to patriarchic tendencies, hid the User Library from Users. One way to work around this foolishness is to hold down the option key while accessing the Finder's "Go" menu. Second batch of fonts ferried over via Dropbox and… success!


bc said...

That's strange. Mine is 6.2.2 - and I've found very little difference. So I tossed the iWork (09) disk. My OS is 10.9.5 (an ~ four year old MacBook Pro)

Then I tried opening a xxx.key and it wouldn't, with the note save w/ 09. Since I didn't have 09 I restored w/ time machine. Curiously the last 09 time machined was the last time I saved (oct.29) So between then and now it was replaced w/ 6.2.2; curious. So on Dean's advice, I'm keeping both and if I edit, I'll save w/ 09. Next new one I'll try 6 to find it it's as bad as Dean claims.


Chetan Sachdev said...

Thanks for this post. I can't find any option to buy Keynote 5.3. How did you managed to register?

Could you recommend some tutorial and tips for Keynote. I can't find good material to use Keynote.

Dean Baird said...

My solution was for those who already owned Keynote 5 to get a working copy onto a newer Mac. I don't know how to start from scratch on that. That is, if you are beginning right now, I don't know how to get going on Keynote 5 rather than Keynote 6.

When Apple released Keynote 6, it seemed to do so with the mindset that nobody had ever used Keynote before Keynote 6. Their redesign of the app decimated presos created in K5.

If you're just starting, go ahead with K6, I suppose. It won't destroy your K5 presos because you don't have any K5 presos. And you won't miss the features stripped from K5 because you never had them to begin with. From time to time, Apple ladles an old K5 feature into K6 and they herald it as a "new" feature. Maybe by 2018, they'll approach the functionality of Keynote 5 circa 2009.

Then again, maybe they won't. It's post-Jobs Apple. They care deeply about iPhones, but not so much about software and apps. And to the extent they provide apps, they're targeted toward consumers, not professionals.