Keynote Scrapbooking – Anastasia Park Edition

Anastasia Park scrapbook page screenshot
Anastasia Park – click image for larger view

Keynote – the presentation graphics app for Mac/iOS users – is also a great scrapbooking tool. It supports layers and offers lots of text options, photo layout and framing features. Yes, you can use digital scrapbooking background papers and graphic elements, but its almost easier to make your own.

In this example, I turned a recent post at Moultrie Journal into a scrapbook page to be added to my Behind the Alligator Farm project. It talks about childhood memories of Anastasia State Park and how things have changed.

This page began on my iPad with a recent photo taken at the park. I used two of my favorite apps – DistressedFX [iOS – $0.99] and Glaze [iOS – free/$2.99] – to turn the photograph into photo art with a nostalgic flavor. The result was added to a new slide in my working Keynote scrapbook file which I keep stored in iCloud so I can work from either my desktop or my iPad. I reduced the opacity of the image so it wouldn’t compete with the photos and text placed over it.

The next steps were performed on my desktop since that is where the old photos reside. They were layered on top of the background image and rotated a bit. I added a grungy border, selecting a color from the background, and each got a different shadow style.

Next came the text. The background image is a bit busy so it took some work to fit all the text onto the page in such a way that it would be readable. I wound up placing a graphic shape – a rectangle with rounded corners – behind the text. The shape is filled with white and the opacity was reduced down to 15% so it’s almost invisible, but it does help the text stand out.

As a certified font fanatic, this is the one short-coming I’ve found with Keynote. Yes, the desktop version supports any font you have on your computer, but the minute you open that presentation in iCloud or on your iPad, you’re in trouble. The number of fonts available on those platforms means “unsupported” fonts will become something entirely different as soon as you open the presentation. No, you can’t work with your favorite fonts on the iThings, but there are work-arounds for displaying the finished product anywhere you want. First, you can export your presentation as a PDF file which can be viewed on just about anything. Another option is to export the slides as images – one image per slide – then create a new presentation by copy/pasting those images into it. With this method, you can still use slide transitions, but you won’t be able to use actions within the slide itself. If you plan to include multimedia items in your scrapbook, they can always be included on their own slide.

I use the image export feature for a number of reasons. First, the presentation file will be smaller and easier to share/transfer. Even more important, however, is sharing with others who don’t have the font collection I have. When a presentation is opened on their computer, it will try to find appropriate substitutes fonts on that person’s system. My system insures they will see my work the way I built it.

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