Keynote as a document builder
At Monkey Dog Design, Apple's free presentation app, Keynote, is our document layout tool of choice.
Vastly easier to use than the Adobe Suite and able to handle high res imagery, Keynote is perfect for worksheets, posters and project mockups.
We frequently suggest (and use) it to create certificates, handouts and social media posts. Say buh-bye to twitchy layouts in word processors, and hello to fast and awesome designs!
Where do you start? By setting up a simple letter-size Keynote document template.
Set the slide size to letter
- Start with a plain white theme. Under Document > Slide Size select Custom Slide Size and reset the slide dimensions to your paper standard:
- US Letter — Width: 612 and Height: 792
- A4 — Width: 592 and Height: 842
- The slide will change to horizontal.
NOTE: If the resolution is to low when you export to PDF, just double the slide dimensions.
Create layout master guides.
- Access the master slides under Format > Edit Master Slides.
- Delete all the master slides until only the Blank slide remains.
- If you get a notice asking you to select an alternative side, select the Blank slide.
- Insert a table on the blank slide and set it to 3 columns and 4 rows.
- If you cannot see the outlines of the slide, set the lines under Cell > Border. Center the table on the slide.
- Create guides by clicking and dragging from the Rulers onto the borders of the table.
- If you don't see the Rulers, reveal them under View > Show Rulers (or Command + R).
- Delete the table. You will see the guides in a grid pattern on the slide.
- Exit the master slide by clicking Done at the bottom.
Save as a theme
- Add the document you just created to your custom Keynote themes with File > Save Theme.
- Choose to Add to Theme Chooser to install it on your Mac (or save it to a folder to share with others).
- Rename your theme after adding it to Theme Chooser.