Q: I create slideshows for companies using Keynote from iWork on a MacBook Pro. Often, I upload shows to iwork.com where clients can download them to their PCs or Macs. When I read of the iPad, I figured it’s a natural for creating slideshows on the Mac, uploading them to iwork.com and downloading them to the iPad for road presentations. Now I am told by my Mac people here in Norfolk, VA that this can’t be done. They said, “You can create a show on iPad and download it to the Mac, but not the other way around.” Who’d want to do that!? I am hoping you will tell me that what I suggest IS possible. If so I will go screeching out of here to get an iPad. If not, I’ll be scratching my head wondering why Apple wouldn’t make this happen, it seems such a natural.
A: It is certainly possible to transfer slideshows created in Keynote on the Mac to your iPad and open and edit them from there, although there are some limitations to this.
Firstly, the iPad version of Keynote does not support all of the features of the Mac version. Notably, things like Speakers Notes do not yet show up on the iPad, and non-standard fonts and transitions may not be supported either. The iPad will notify you when you open the Keynote presentation as to which items are not supported.
Secondly, although the Keynote app on the iPad allows you to save your presentations to iWork.com, it doesn’t provide any direct method of opening files from iWork.com. Instead, you need to visit iWork.com in your Safari web browser on the iPad and open the file from there—when viewing a Keynote presentation in Safari, and “Open” button will appear in the top-right corner to allow you to open the file into Keynote.
So basically, depending upon how complex your presentations are and whether you need access to your speaker’s notes, Keynote on the iPad may work quite well for you for this purpose. You can read more information about Keynote for the iPad and its supported features in our review of Pages, Numbers and Keynote 1.0.