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August 19, 2005

Editable Equations in Keynote

Ever since the program came out, I’ve been bitching about what a pain it is to do equations in Keynote. There are a plethora of little utilities that let you type a LaTeX equation, render the result to PDF, and then drag the resulting PDF fragment into Keynote.

Many people, who’ve experienced the pain of trying to incorporate LaTeX equations into alternative presentation software, think that is the cat’s pajamas.

But I find it incredibly clumsy.

  1. If you want to re-edit the PDF equation, you can’t. You ought to be able to just double-click on the equation, bringing up the equation-editor, type your changes, and resave it. Until now, none of the solutions I’d tried allowed for this.
  2. There’s no good way to do inline equations. The PDF objects can’t be inserted into the “flow” of a Text object. There’s no way to get the baselines to automatically line up, and there’s no way to automatically leave the correct amount of horizontal space in the text to accommodate the equations.

At least for the first problem, I’m happy to say I’ve found a solution. You need to install the Keynote 2 Linkback Plugin, which allows external applications to edit objects in Keynote. Then you can use LaTeXit to create and, subsequently, manage the equations in a Keynote presentation.

Here’s an example of editing a display equation in Keynote. That was easy, wasn’t it?

Now look at the inline equation on the same slide. It was created by layering the PDF object on top of the Text object. I left the requisite space for the equation in the Text object by the crude contrivance of hitting the spacebar a few times. This screws up, if you re-edit the text or, for that matter, re-edit the equation.

The search for a useful solution continues …

Posted by distler at August 19, 2005 4:15 PM

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Re: Editable Equations in Keynote

Thank you for the tip. It allows me to prepare a presentation stuff much easier.

Posted by: Jaeyong on August 23, 2005 1:43 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Editable Equations in Keynote

and what about pages?
it has the same problem, doesnt it?

great tip anyway. thanks :)

Posted by: mathias on October 28, 2007 6:00 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Editable Equations in Keynote

Inline equations do flow properly in Pages. Which makes it EXTREMELY frustrating that they do not in Keynote.

Posted by: Alex on November 2, 2007 12:53 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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