The Keynote Photo Album

Keynote, the presentation app for Mac [$19.99] and iOS [$9.99], is also a great platform for building and sharing digital photo albums. Jumsoft, a company that designs themes and graphic elements for all the iWork apps (Keynote, Pages and Numbers), has created some gorgeous themes with that in mind. Their Toolbox for Keynote apps [Mac & iOS– free] are catalogs of their themes and other design elements for use with Keynote. From these apps you can purchase themes, backgrounds and all kinds of graphic elements to enhance any creative project.


Here’s a look at some of the layouts in Jumsoft’s Bulletin Board theme. Building a photo album is as easy as choosing a slide layout, dragging photos onto the image placeholders and making a few adjustments. You can caption photos by adding text boxes right on the photo or you can choose a layout like this one to include more description.

MailCarrierThemeThe Mail Carrier theme could make a great travel journal by combining text layouts and photo layouts. Note: the themes you see here are also available in the iOS app – at $3.99 each.

I tend to create my photo albums on the iPad by taking advantage of the iCloud Photo Stream to pick up the photos I’ve taken with my iPhone. Just tap on the plus (+) icon in any image placeholder and you’re taken to the Photos app to select the photo you want to put there. Double-tap the image once it’s placed and you can manipulate it (enlarge it or move it around within the placeholder frame) to suit you. That’s it. Now use the template’s text boxes – or create your own – to add details about the photos and you’re done. Create another slide, choose a layout and continue adding photos until your album is complete.

In my family, we’ve got lots of tablet users – iPads and Kindle Fires – but not too many Keynote users (yet!). Your best bet is to export your photo album to PDF and post it in a shared cloud storage folder. When a family member opens the PDF photo album on their tablet, each slide will fill up the screen beautifully and your photos will be crisp and sharp. If you’re a Scribd user, you can post it there and make it private so only friends and family with the direct link to the document can view it.

Keynote makes great presentations, but it also does a lot of other things – photo albums being one of them. Jumsoft’s Toolbox provides lots of creative ideas along with the supporting themes and graphics to make them happen. What a delightful way to capture your family’s history as it happens!


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