Most of my family history projects could best be described as text-heavy scrapbooks. I want something that will catch their eye and pull them in to read the story. I use the Ulysses writing platform to organize, write and manage my text and I’ve found that Keynote – the presentation software for Mac and iOS – is a delightful layout platform for combining that text with photos, scanned documents and ephemera to complete the story. The first step is the title page.
One of the very nice things about Keynote is that I can work on these projects using either my Mac desktop or my iPad. The story text in Ulysses is saved in iCloud and is accessible to both systems. So are my photos and graphical elements. This title page was created on my iPad. Here’s how it was done.
The photo of the moorings was taken several years ago on my way to work. It not only makes a great background for my title page, it also sets the color scheme for this entire section. I tapped the + icon in the toolbar, selected the Photos panel and wandered through the albums to find the image I wanted. I’ve found it’s a good idea to first select the photos I plan to use for a story project using the Photos app. I “favorite” them by tapping the heart icon so they will be easily accessible in the Favorites album. Once this project is finished, I’ll go back and un-heart them so that the Favorites album doesn’t get out of control.
Dad looks quite “commanding” in the small photo. After inserting this photo on the slide, I resized it and put it in the top left corner of the slide. With the photo selected, I tapped the paintbrush icon to bring up the formatting panel. Notice there are actually three panels available: Style, Image and Arrange. I’m using the Style panel to create a border around the photo. I’ve chosen the rough edge style in one of the darker gray colors found at the bottom of the moorings photo. Using the Width slider, I gave the border enough thickness to make the photo stand out without being overpowering.
Still in the Style panel, I scroll down to see the Shadow options. I selected the shadow option I liked best and left the opacity at 100% because of the dark background.
Now for the title. Here I’m using the same gray color I used in the photo border. Although the lighter background behind the text does make it stand out, I added a narrow black shadow to add dimension. The font used here is an “antique” font called Blackbeard. Yes, you can install custom fonts on your iPad. The delightful AnyFont app makes that happen. See Managing Fonts on Your iPad for details.
If you want a custom color for your font, tap the > icon you see just to the right of the Color box in the example above. It will display a color wheel similar to the one you see below so you can swirl and twirl the wheel until you find just the color you want. There’s even an eyedropper icon at the bottom of the panel to pick out a color from a photo or image.
It’s amazing what you can create using Keynote on your iPad. It has an impressive range of tools and features just waiting for you to put them to work. If you’d like to learn more about Keynote on your iPad, open your iBooks app and search for Keynote for iPad Starter Guide from Apple Education. It’s free and full of great information.