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The Key to Sharing a Keynote File Across Platforms

In the world of computer technology, the majority of us are used to working on one of two main platforms. There are those who strictly use Apple based devices and those who prefer Windows based. While there is no right or wrong choice, there is some confusion when you need to share, open, or edit a document that was created in the platform other than the one you use.

So the question becomes, is it possible to work with these document across the different platforms? The simple answer is yes. But let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you can open, edit, and create a Mac Keynote file in a Windows based program such as Microsoft PowerPoint.

Let’s Start Out Easy

One of the easiest methods to creating a Keynote document from a Windows machine is through the use of iCloud. Through iCloud you will have access to iWork from your PC via your web browser. Here are the steps you would need to follow for this option:

  1. Using your chosen web browser, visit www.icloud.com and either login or create a free Apple ID account. You can use any of the following web browsers to access iCloud:

    1. Google Chrome (version 7 or newer)

    2. Microsoft Edge

    3. Firefox (version 9 or newer)

    4. Safari

    5. Microsoft Explorer (version 11 or newer)

  1. There is no requirement to purchase an Apple device and signing up includes 5GB of free storage with your account. You will be able to store multiple documents in your iCloud account to access from any location.

  2. Now that you have your iCloud account, simply login to have access to your iCloud drive.

  3. Look for and select ‘Keynote’.

  4. Once you have Keynote open you can create your presentation just like you would with Microsoft PowerPoint. You will also be able to edit an existing Keynote files simply by uploading them to your iCloud account.

  5. To upload an existing file, select ‘Settings’ and then ‘Upload Presentations’. This will allow you to upload any Keynote presentations you may already have on file.

  6. Once you have created or uploaded a Keynote presentation in your iCloud account you will be able to view the file inside your web browser.

  7. From here, you will be able to convert the file to a PowerPoint format such as .ppt or .pptx if you wish. If you choose to convert the presentation, here are the steps to follow:

    1. Look for a select the ‘Tools’ icon.

    2. Find the option that says either ‘Download’ or ‘Copy’

    3. Once you make your selection you will have the option of what file format you want to download your presentation as. The options for format should be one of the following:

      1. Keynote

      2. PowerPoint

      3. PDF

    4. After you have made your selection your presentation will begin to download.

    5. Once you have completed all of your changes in PowerPoint you may want to send the file out as Keynote presentation. You will simply need to re-upload the file into iWork (see above steps) and convert it back to the correct format.

    6. After converting back to a Keynote presentation, go to your Tolls and select ‘Send a Copy’.

Let Someone Else Do the Work

Another option you have to accessing a Keynote file from a PC is to ask the person who sent or created the file to send it to you as a .PPT or .PPTX file. This is an option for those who, for whatever reason, do not wish to create an Apple ID account. If this is the option you prefer, here are the steps the Mac user will need to follow in order to convert and send your preferred format.

  1. On their Mac computer or device, open the Keynote app

  2. They will want to go to File, then Export To, and select PowerPoint

  3. From here, they can select .ppt or .pptx for the format type

  4. If an older version of PowerPoint is being used, then .ppt will be the best option

  5. Next, they will want to select ‘Advanced Options’

  6. Now select ‘Next” and finally ‘Export’

  7. Once the file has been exported it can be sent

What’s in a Name

Our final method will involve changing the name of the presentation file. If this is the option you want to go with you will only be able to view the presentation. You will not be able to edit the file contents. For this option, here is what you will need to do.

  1. Save the file as regular Keynote file on your computer (ie. filename.key)

  2. Next, you will need to Right Click on the filename

  3. Select the ‘Rename’ option

  4. Here you will change the extension of the file name to .zip (ie. filename.zip)

  5. After renaming and pressing Enter, double click on the Zip file

  6. Inside, you will see several folders and files

  7. Double Click on the ‘Preview’ file

  8. This will allow you to preview the presentation

Now that you have a few options on accessing, creating, and editing a Keynote document on different computer platforms you can apply this to other file types as well. While not all programs have a cross-platform capability or counterpart, you will find that the most popular ones do. Whatever method works best for you, there are options available with a little time and effort.