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How to Convert Keynote to PowerPoint (PDF, & More) on Export

This post is part of a series called How to Use Apple Keynote (Ultimate Tutorial Guide).
How to Use Apple Keynote Live to Stream Presentations on the Web
How to Convert PowerPoint (PPTX) for Mac Keynote Presentations

When I switched to using a Mac a few years ago, one of the apps that I enjoyed the most was Keynote. After years of using PowerPoint in both my professional and personal work, seeing a different approach to presentation software was refreshing. I quickly found myself using Keynote for most of my presentations, thanks to its great interface and just overall intuitiveness. 

The only problem is that not everyone uses Keynote. Let's face it: the world is dominated by Windows users who typically use PowerPoint as their go-to presentation software. PowerPoint doesn't play nice with other formats, so when collaborating, you'll need to convert your Keynote to PowerPoint. 

If you've ever wished for a Keynote to PowerPoint converter, this tutorial can help. While we don't have such a converter, it's not difficult to convert Keynote to PPT when you know what to do.

In this tutorial, we're going to focus on how to convert Keynote to PowerPoint so that your Windows-based friends can work with your presentations.

Keynote to PowerPoint and More

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If you're interested in making the most of your Keynote presentations, you'll also want to grab a copy of our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. Learn all about the complete presentation process from developing your initial idea to the delivering your Keynote presentation with impact.

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Now let's jump into the tutorial on how to convert Keynote to PowerPoint.

Why Convert Keynote to PowerPoint?

Because Keynote works so well, you might be wondering why it's essential to change the file format.

Simply put, there are far more PowerPoint users than Keynote users. Even though I love Keynote's ease-of-use and interface, much of the corporate world is going to use in the Microsoft ecosystem for the foreseeable future. 

You've got to find a way to ensure that the person on the other end of your email can open the file and work with it. In this tutorial, you'll see how to convert Keynote to PowerPoint along with other general-purpose file formats that anyone can open. Read on to find out how.

Convert Keynote to PowerPoint (Watch & Learn)

In the screencast below, I'll show you how to convert your Keynote presentation to a PowerPoint format. You'll see the step-by-step instructions you need to take a Keynote file and convert into a PPTX or PPT format file.

Want to learn more? Keep reading the tutorial below to see a step-by-step guide with screenshots.

How to Convert Keynote to PowerPoint

Let's learn how to export Keynote to a PowerPoint format. First of all, start by working in Keynote with your presentation open.

Rockefeller Presentation
In this tutorial, you'll see me using the Rockefeller presentation template from Envato Elements.

Now, find the File menu, and then choose Export To > PowerPoint. On the pop-up window, there are a few options that warrant consideration before you convert the Keynote file:

  • Require password. You might have seen this option in PowerPoint before, but I was impressed that you can add it to a file on conversion. Consider adding a password if your document is sensitive and you don't want it falling into the wrong hands.
  • Advanced options. Click on this dropdown to enable the option to save the presentation in either PPTX or PPT format. Both are PowerPoint-compatible formats, but the PPT format works with older versions of PowerPoint (at the cost of some modern features not working.)
Export to Format
Choose to add a password and change the format to PPT from this menu before you save the presentation.

Believe it or not, that's it! Just finish saving your file by setting a filename and destination, and you've now converted the presentation to PowerPoint format.

Test Your Presentation

Now, let's jump over to PowerPoint and test out the presentation. Although this conversion generally works very well, it's important that you preview the PPTX version to make sure it appears the way you expected.

If you don't have PowerPoint, don't forget that you can edit the presentation for free in PowerPoint Online. This can serve as an excellent way to test the presentation's appearance in PowerPoint. 

Make sure to check out the tutorial below to learn more about PowerPoint Online and how you can use it: 

Make sure to play back the presentation in its entirety in PowerPoint so that there are no missing graphics or issues.

While the conversion makes most aspects of the presentation work, there's no guarantee that everything will translate one for one. Check features like advanced animations and graphics to ensure they're working.

These details make a difference when you convert a presentation, so check them out before sharing the PPTX. You can always return to Keynote and remove animations or other specifics so that there are no issues converting.

How to Convert Keynote to PDF 

Maybe you don't want the recipient to be able to open and edit the presentation. In this case, I think it makes perfect sense to export the Keynote presentation to a format like a PDF. While the PDF format doesn't support animations and many of the advanced PowerPoint features, it's "good enough" for many use cases.

To export your presentation to a PDF format, jump to the File > Export To > PDF. 

Notice on this export dialogue that there are a few options you can adjust to tweak the finished PDF:

  • Include presenter notes. If you've added notes that help cue you add this to the PDF.
  • Print each stage of builds. Did you build the slide in many stages using animations? Tick this box if you want each PDF slide to be a single step in the build-up.
  • Include skipped slides. If you've skipped slides in Keynote, you can tick this box to add them back to the exported PDF.
  • Image quality. Do you want to save some space? Set the image quality to a lower 
  • Require password. Much like the PPTX conversion, you can add a password that protects your presentation from prying eyes.

Now, save your presentation and preview it in your favorite PDF app. Make sure that there are no conversion errors or issues before you attach and share it.

PDF version of a presentation
Keynote does a great job exporting most presentations to PDF format to share with someone on practically any platform.

Convert to Other File Formats

These aren't the only formats that you can export a presentation to. Let's learn two more file formats that might be useful for a finished presentation.

1. Convert Keynote to Google Slides

Google's browser-based presentation app has rapidly risen to popularity for its ease-of-use and cost (free!) The nice thing about Google Slides is that it supports PPTX as a format, so you can drag and drop the PPTX file we created earlier in this tutorial to work with it in Slides.

Google Slides in Rockefeller
You can drag and drop a PPTX file into Google Drive to "convert" it to a Google Slides version of the presentation.

Just drag and drop your presentation to Google Drive, and that's it! You'll see the presentation, and make sure that you check it to ensure it appears correctly. 

2. Convert to Flat Images

Have you ever seen a big digital display in a restaurant or shopping mall for example? Believe it or not, it's not uncommon that the software that powers these boards requires flat images, like JPEG files for example. 

If you need to save your presentation to a simple and flat image format, go to the File > Export To > Images, and choose an image format for your finished slides.

Another Option: iCloud and Keynote

If you can't convert your presentation to another format, there's another option: the browser-based version of Keynote. All that the recipient needs is an iCloud account (which is free), and they can edit and work with a presentation in a web browser.

Even if your recipient doesn't have a Mac, they might have an Apple device and therefore an iCloud account. You can use Keynote inside a web browser to review, edit, and work with a presentation.

To work with your presentation in iCloud, start by uploading it your iCloud account. You can do this by choosing File > Move to in Keynote, or just copying it to your iCloud account.

Now, click on Collaborate. I recommend choosing Copy Link to create a URL that you can share with others. Send that URL to others, and they can then work with the presentation in a browser.

iCloud Keynote Rockefeller
You can work with Keynote in iCloud for free, and that makes it accessible to many other users without a macOS or iOS device.

While this isn't technically converting the presentation to another format, the outcome is the same: you've taken a Keynote file and made it available to work with. Regardless of platform, the recipient can now open it in a browser and review the presentation.

Recap & Keep Learning

In this tutorial, you learned how to convert Keynote to PowerPoint and a few other formats. These techniques ensure that others can collaborate and work with your presentation files.

Want to learn more about Apple Keynote? If you're a macOS user, you might be missing out on just how easy it is to use for building presentations. Try out any of the tutorials below to learn more about Keynote and its unique features. 

We also have the perfect complement to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations is available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.

free presentation ebook

How do you work with others that might not be using Keynote? Do you convert your Keynote to a PowerPoint format, or publish the presentation to iCloud so that any browser user can work with it? Let me know in the comments section below.

Now that you've learned how to convert Keynote to PowerPoint, PDFs, and more—why not grab a template from Envato Elements or GraphicRiver today and start creating your own Keynote slideshows?

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