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Keynote From an iPad to a Mac

Control keynote on mac from ipad

I just finished a several hour mediation (I’m a lawyer by day), during which I used Keynote as a presentation tool. The mediation happened in another lawyer’s office, so I had to take any technology with me that I planned to use. This was my first time to take presentation technology into a completely new environment, and I was very pleased with how things went.

My setup involved these components:

  • 15 inch Retina MacBook Pro. I ran Keynote on the MacBook, and spun the screen around to face the three people that needed to see it.

  • iPad Air. I controlled Keynote on the Mac using the Keynote Remote that is built into the iPad version of Keynote. I was able to move between slides, in any order that I wanted.

  • Stylus. The remote feature in the iPad version of Keynote lets you mark up your slides as you are doing your presentation. My Keynote presentation consisted of photos, a diagram, and highlighted deposition testimony. I was able to write directly on the diagram and the photos, in order to call attention to important pieces of information. As I wrote on the iPad, my markings showed up on the Mac screen.

  • Travel router. You need some way for your iPad to be able to connect to your Mac. You could do it via a cable, which might be in my future as a failsafe. This time, though, I put them on the same LAN using a portable router. I have the Satechi Travel Router/Adapter, which I plugged into the wall upon arriving at the mediation, and then connected my devices to it. I didn’t have an Internet connection on it, but that wasn’t necessary in order for me to be able to control Keynote on my Mac through my iPad.

I brought paper copies of my exhibits as a backup, as I was concerned that the 15 inch screen wouldn’t be big enough for three people. It worked fine, though. The end result was better than paper. As I marked up the diagram, for example, I only had to do it once, instead of reaching over the shoulders of three different people.

The part that was surprising to me was that I found it easier to get my content into the Keynote iPad app than into the Mac app. All of my material was already in my iPad, in the PDF Expert app. As I was reviewing documents in PDF Expert, and came across an exhibit that I wanted to use at the mediation, I took a screenshot of it (after hiding all the screen controls). I could then very easily import the screenshot from the Camera Roll into Keynote for iPad.

Tech doesn’t always find its way into my job, but when it does, it’s beautiful.