From the Archives: Scrapbooking with Keynote

I love the scrapbook format for telling family stories. It supports lots of photos yet provides room for captions and journaling. I discovered I already had a great scrapbooking app installed on my desktop – my presentation software. Since I’m a Mac user, my presentation app is Keynote, but all of the presentation apps [PowerPoint, OpenOffice’s Impress and WordPerfect’s Presentations] have the features needed to scrapbook.

Create custom family charts by taking advantage of the shapes tool that allows you to include any number of different shapes on your slides. This chart was made using the rounded box shape. Once the first shape is created, just copy/paste it wherever you want it.

In this example, shapes were used for design elements – the frame for the photo and the circles for the ampersand. Not only can you add color to your shapes, but you can also “cover” them with other graphic images. In this case the frame is covered with a purchased “paper” graphic. Both the paper and the graphic elements above and below the photo are from Paislee Press.

Keynote offers tools that make it easy to do lots of cool things with your images. Both the blurred frame around my grandmother’s portrait and the torn frame for the class picture are standard Keynote elements. Keynote even has the function (it’s called Instant Alpha) that let me remove the sky from the schoolhouse photo so it could become part of the slide’s background.

But design isn’t the only way presentation software is so versatile. You have lots of distribution options too. If you’ve used high-resolution images and graphics, you can print and bind your scrapbook. You can also convert it to PDF and share it easily by email or online download. Most presentation apps let you export each slide as an image which can then be presented using a digital frame. Another export option is as a movie although this is better when there’s less text involved. Of course the best way to view these scrapbooks is on a tablet where the reader can enjoy every detail at his own pace. Yes, scrapbooking with Keynote is a great way to combine images, text and charts to create a family history that few can resist.

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