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  1. #1
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    Keynote & iCloud - Preparing Ultra-Portable Presentations

    As you can see from the listings below, I have access to useful hardware and software. I am writing this to seek advice on how to leverage these tools to give business (and personal) presentations while I'm on-the-road and may (or may not) be carrying hardware with me. If I'm forced to travel light, I was wondering if simply taking a thumb drive and/or using my iCloud account may be enough.

    I work for a small construction business that does projects in eight surrounding counties. I work as a "Producer", which means I'm both an office manager (writing up contracts and job estimates, arranging business with customers, contractors and suppliers over-the-phone) and a project manager (working with those same business contacts in-person on remote project sites). I am also applying for work outside of our business, and want to be able to use visual aids if/when necessary to illustrate what I do during an interview.

    I recently started taking a Lynda.com course on "Setting Up Your Mobile Office to Work from Anywhere", and it got me to thinking about how I could use iCloud and Apple's iWork apps to create business presentations that could be played in a variety of portable scenarios. My goal is to be able to travel light and still be able to make presentations to individuals or groups.


    MY CURRENT PERSONAL/BUSINESS HARDWARE & SOFTWARE
    iMac 13,1 : late-2012 slimline model, 2.9 GHz Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard disk, USB SuperDrive
    MacOS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    iLife 2011 (including iPhoto 9.2.3)
    iWork 2009 (including Keynote 5.3, Pages 4.3, and Numbers 2.3)
    Microsoft Office 2011: Mac
    Final Cut Studio 3, including Final Cut Pro 7
    Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
    Apple iCloud account, free-tier service
    DSL high-speed connection to internet
    Have been shooting digital photos since November, 2001; manages iPhoto library of over 52,000 images

    OTHER HARDWARE AVAILABLE
    white MacBook 2006 vintage, 1.83 GHz Intel processor, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB hard disk, SuperDrive, MacOS 10.6.8, iLife 2011, iWork 2009, Microsoft Office 2011 (MacBook is not my machine; used by someone else in my office. This computer has battery issues; it must be plugged into AC power.)

    Epson EX7200 projector, with USB thumb-drive port (for JPEG presentations), VGA port, and HDMI port.


    Scenario #1: If I prepared a Keynote presentation on my iMac and transferred it via WiFi or thumb drive to the old MacBook, do I need to copy just a single Keynote file over and that's it? No attached files or folders with files in them?

    Scenario #2: I have successfully, in the past, used the Epson projector and a thumb drive loaded with photos and also a USB camera card reader with an SD card attached to show simple JPEG photo slideshows. If I wanted to just use the Epson's USB port to show Keynote slideshows, they would have to be stored in folders as JPEG files. How easy is this to prepare with Keynote? Are there any pointers available on designing a useful workflow for preparing such slideshows without a lot of fuss?

    Scenario #3: Forget the projector; too much bulk. If I had just a small iOS device like an iPod touch, and I wanted to plug into someone else's projector (or if I wanted to just show a slideshow of images to one person with no projector) what do I need to be prepared for, hardware-wise? What do I need to do with Keynote, both on the iMac for production and on the iOS device to make it look right?

    Scenario #4: Let's say I'm going to carry everything on a USB thumb drive as a backup. What is the best way to set it up to play on someone else's hardware? (I assume three tiers of compatibility: I do network with Mac/iOS users, so Tier #1 would be Apple compatibility with Keynote. Tier #2 would be general compatibility with Microsoft Office 2003/4 for pre-XML file formats. I guess that Tier #3 would be general-purpose PDF files, or maybe the JPEG file approach with thumb drive ports on projectors.) If I'm doing Tier #1 and I'm plugging my thumb drive into someone else's MacBook, are there any pointers to avoid font conflicts or other issues? If I'm doing Tier #1 and I'm borrowing someone else's iPad to show a slideshow, how do I get the files off of a thumb drive to show on the iPad?

    Scenario #5: ** iCloud ** Let's say I'm traveling VERY light, and I want to give a presentation that's stored on my Apple iCloud account. How can I organize files and folders so that Tier #1, #2 and #3 files are available (assuming I have an internet connection) so I can play a presentation off someone else's hardware, be it a tablet or laptop. Is there anything I should know about how to prepare this and how to reliably be able to log-in and access my iCloud files? Are my iWork 2009 apps going to function in preparing and saving presentation files with my iCloud account?

    Scenario #6: Scenario #6 is Scenario #5, but substituting another service instead of iCloud, like maybe Google Drive. Is there any way to set up an account with files so I can reliably be able to access said files for a presentation?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    MtnMan, I prepare Keynote presentations on my iPad and save it to iCloud so I can also access them from my MacBook and iPhone -- but I rarely do so. When actually presenting, I load the Keynote file as a PDF onto Dropbox in a public folder easily accessible via a web link, as well as on a thumb drive for backup.

    Most of my presentations are at conferences, where they provide a notebook and projector, so I do not have any experience with having to lug equipment with me. I like to PDF my presentations so that there is no problem with font, formatting, compatibility, etc... However, the one problem I have noted is that Keynote conversion to PDF results in a HUGE file, especially since I tend to use lots of photos (and few words) in my presentations.

    Edited to add: for one-on-one mtgs, I have also used just my iPad for presentations.
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  3. #3
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    ^ Thanks for the insights, taminca.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  4. #4
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    There's a new article out on MacWorld magazine: "Apple updates iWork for Mac, iOS, and iCloud" by Dan Miller Apr 2, 2014.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  5. #5
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    I'm still not clear on everything...

    If I create business or personal presentations in Keynote 5.3 on my iMac, will I be able to store these documents on iCloud for easy access while I'm on the road? And will iWork for iCloud and iOS be able to open them and handle them without any compatibility issues? What if I'm travelling light and I want to playback one of these iWork documents on someone else's device? Would they work?

    How can I make ultra-portable documents that I can access via either iCloud or thumb-drive that will work reliably while traveling light on-the-road? Is taminca's PDF solution the way to go? Is it the only way?

    There has to be a way to harness this technology.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  6. #6
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    MtnMan, my answers are in bold below, after each of your questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    I'm still not clear on everything...

    If I create business or personal presentations in Keynote 5.3 on my iMac, will I be able to store these documents on iCloud for easy access while I'm on the road?

    Yes. I save documents on iCloud and can access them thru any of my Apple devices as long as I have WiFi or cellular service. I have not tried to access them using someone else's devices, although in theory you should be able to access them by logging into your iCloud account via the webpage.

    And will iWork for iCloud and iOS be able to open them and handle them without any compatibility issues?

    Yes.

    What if I'm travelling light and I want to playback one of these iWork documents on someone else's device? Would they work?

    In theory, yes. (See answer above.) And if they have the same version of iWorks, there should not be incompatibility.

    How can I make ultra-portable documents that I can access via either iCloud or thumb-drive that will work reliably while traveling light on-the-road? Is taminca's PDF solution the way to go? Is it the only way?

    Depends on what you want to do with the file and what equipment you have access to.

    If you want to edit the document, whether on iCloud or thumb-drive, then you need equipment (yours or someone else's) with iWorks. In theory, Keynote will convert files into PowerPoint for use with Microsoft programs but you run higher risk with formatting problems.

    If you want to show the presentation using your Apple device, just do so, either from iCloud or local storage. If you want to show the presentation using someone else's equipment, you should be able to do so if they have iWorks and you can access iCloud thru WiFi.

    If, like me, you have to give the presentation to someone else to run on their equipment and projector, and you do not know whether they have iWorks or WiFi (or even Apple devices), or there is the possibility that you have to give them a copy to post online or share with meeting participants, then the safest way is to save the file as a read-only PDF and give it to them on a thumb-drive.


    There has to be a way to harness this technology.
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

  7. #7
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    ^ Great insights! Thanks again, taminca!
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  8. #8
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    ^ Great insights! Thanks again, taminca!
    You're welcome. Just one other thing... Many times, I would get asked for the presentation days or even weeks before the conference -- when I cannot just hand over a thumb-drive and the PDF file is way too large to email -- that's when I load the file to a Dropbox public folder and email the link to the conference people so they can download it. There are other cloud services (like Google Docs) that you can use to do the same...I have not checked but it is likely that iCloud has a similar feature also. Have funny exploring with this!
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

  9. #9
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I would just add that the iOS versions of iWorks programs tend to be rather limited in their functionality - e.g. a lot of spreadsheets will open fine in Numbers for Mac, but be missing formulas, graphs, etc in Numbers for iOS. I don't know how this translates to Keynote, as in our project we generally use PowerPoint because of cross-platform compatibility issues (team members have a free choice of hardware, within budgetary constraints, so we have a mix of Windows, Mac and Linux!).

    You might therefore have issues with scenario #3 - note that taminca has an iPad, not an iPod, and the screen size makes a big difference to how apps look and behave.
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  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    For presentations, I used to like Keynote more than PowerPoint, but it was very difficult to predict how it would behave. The PDF option works but only if you are positive you won't need to make any revisions or that you have access to a Mac with iWorks. Being ready ahead of time is probably not an issue for anyone but me, though: I'm always working on presentations until literally the last possible minute.

    For the past three years, I have done all presentations using Prezi. It's web based so I can get to it from any computer with Internet access, but it's also possible to download a copy as well. While I have never tried to edit a Prezi on my iPad, I have used the Prezi viewer app on my phone.

    I will say that if you are responsible for giving a presentation, you're also responsible for making sure you have the hardware, including all the required cables and dongles. I am currently researching portable projectors just because I have shown up in conference rooms only to find no AV equipment. It depends on your line of work, of course, but I've found that many AV providers seem to use Microsoft compatible hardware. If you don't want to be at the mercy of whatever technology happens to be around on site or chance that someone else has the right version of iWork, it may be that your "ultra-light" travel set up includes your laptop and cables or you move to a web-based, cross-platform presentation system.


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  11. #11
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    What is the cost of Prezi? Is it freeware, shareware, or commercial software? What is the name of the outfit that makes/sells Prezi?

    I understand that iWork apps for MacOS X (Keynote, Pages and Numbers) are all $20 apiece from Apple's app store.

    I assume that if I bought a refurb iPad Mini or iPod Touch, that would also come with iWork for iOS (or I could get it for free). I'll have to check that one out...

    What about iWork for iCloud? Any word on what that costs?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  12. #12
    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    Prezi is free. I use it when I want to take advantage of its animation capabilities. As Badger mentioned, using it also circumvents all sorts of compatibility issues. Most of the time though, I use Keynote. I create the presentation on my laptop and save it to icloud, which I can then access through the iOS version of keynote. In class, I just bring my iPad mini and my lightening to vga adapter, which works with standard VGA projectors. In general I try to rely on my own ecosystem, so I use my own hardware and software except for the projector.

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  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Prezi.com has all those answers. Whether it's free depends on a number of user factors that I can't answer.

    I would never assume that any refurbished computer would come with any software. If you get a refurb from Apple, it will come with the current OS and whatever is standard on other new Macs. Currently iWork is not standard.

    Not sure about iWork for iCloud--it's still in beta testing.


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  14. #14
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    What Badger said re refurbs - they come with the bare bones OS. That said, I think iWork apps for OSX Mavericks might be free through the App Store?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  15. #15
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    @scribe, I think you are correct. From what I've seen anyone who is buying a NEW apple/ios device gets iWork for free, and there are some workarounds in Mavericks to get it for free.

    For those buying a refurbished Mac, here are the ones that qualify for free iWork downloads:

    http://www.apple.com/creativity-apps...d-systems.html



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