View Keynote Presentation Files Without Keynote Installed Using Preview in OS X

Jul 9, 2012 - 3 Comments

View Keynote presentations in Preview app without having Keynote installed

If you don’t have Keynote installed and you need to view someones keynote presentation slides, don’t fret – you can view them all directly in Preview, the bundled image app in Mac OS X.

Nothing special is required, just download a keynote presentation (.key file extension) and double-click it to launch the slides into Preview. From there you can view each slide independently, and if you put Preview into Full Screen mode you can even view the presentation as a slide show.

You won’t be able to make changes to the presentation slides, but if all you need to do is review slides this is more than adequate and saves you a couple bucks instead of buying the Keynote app.

This has been tested and confirmed to work in OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion, it may work in past versions but I just accidentally stumbled across it when looking at the 7″ iPad templates. If you’re having difficulties or want to try on an older version of OS X, try forcing Preview to open the file by holding down the command+option keys while dragging the .key document onto the Preview apps icon the Dock.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

3 Comments

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  1. Alex says:

    FYI Quick Look and Safari also opens the Keynote files. I never use Keynote to build anything, it’s wonderful that Apple gives us a way to see the documents without purchasing the software. Quite different than a certain Redmond company!

  2. David says:

    Safari in iOS loads Keynote docs too

  3. Richard says:

    Yes, I like it but you have a problem with transitions, additional fonts and gradients. Better is to always export it to pdf.

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