Thursday, June 02, 2011

How to Put a PowerPoint onto an iPad

Say you already have some PowerPoint presentations that you use for classes (I mostly have pictures for the class to analyze), and you want to try using them on the iPad. Here's the problem: even if you have Keynote on your iPad, if you don't have Keynote on your main computer because it's not a Mac, Apple won't let you transfer the files via iTunes.

Here is a workaround that's probably known to thousands of people, but since I just figured it out, you get to read about it here.

1. Using Dropbox, go to the presentation. (You can also email it to yourself and open it on the iPad.) Once it's downloaded, click on the little box with an arrow in the upper right-hand corner ("Open in"). Choose Keynote.

2. It will download into Keynote, with a few warnings that the font might look different.

3. Tap on the presentation to open it. That's all there is to it.

4. You can edit the presentation in Keynote (add presenter notes, change the text, etc.), but apparently you can't save it back to Dropbox. To get the new edition on your main computer, click on the little wrench and go to Share and Print. You can save it as a keynote file, as a .pdf, or as a PowerPoint file and email it to yourself.

5. Now here is the awesome part: say you want to leave your iPad up at the podium and walk around while you show the PowerPoint. If you have an iPhone,you can use your iPhone as a remote control for the slides if you download and install Keynote Remote. Both devices have to be on the same wireless network, which shouldn't be a problem in a classroom.

If you have a separate Bluetooth Apple remote, it doesn't appear to work with the iPad (or at least I couldn't get it to work).

I learned about this in the comments on one of Pogue's posts at the NYTimes. Pogue also talks about something called "presenter view," which I had never heard of before: although the audience sees just the slide, you can see your notes and a preview of the next slide. You get to "presenter view" by going to Slide Show, Set Up Show in PowerPoint.


Prof. Poirot said...

You can save it back to Dropbox, provided you are using DropDAV, a web-based service that turns your Dropbox into a WebDAV server. iWork can talk to a WebDAV server, both to download files and to upload them.

undine said...

Thanks, Prof. Poirot! This looks useful.

Anonymous said...

iomtom: undine, I've spent hours trying to figure out how to do this - even with the folks at the Apple Store with no success... Frustrating! Thank you very much! The work around is perfect!

undine said...

Thanks, iomtom--I'm glad it helped!