How to add presenter notes in Apple Keynote

Is it important to have notes in a presentation?

As we mentioned before, the notes for the presenter, or the notes of a presentation are one of the most important elements, since, on many occasions, they can save the presenter’s life by remembering any important point or not, of the presentation. However, not all users, despite how useful the slide notes can be, use this function, and often it is due to a lack of knowledge about the tool. Hence, our goal with this post is to teach you, as clearly and simply as possible, how to use notes in Keynote, a fantastic and essential tool if you want to make an impressive presentation. In this way, after having read this post, you will be able to carry out the following points.

  • Add notes to your presentation from Mac and iPad.
  • Add notes to your presentation from the iPhone.
  • Edit your notes from your Mac or iPad.
  • Edit the notes from the iPhone.
  • Tips for making good use of your presentation notes.


Create presenter notes in Keynote

The good thing about using Keynote is that this is a free and cross-platform application in the Apple ecosystem. That is why you can use it on both Mac and iPad and iPhone. Here we explain how to add the aforementioned presenter notes in the app regardless of the device you are using.

Add notes from your Mac or iPad

Really the process of creating notes in Keynote on Mac and iPad for each of the slides, or only for those in which the user sees necessary, it’s not complicated at allOn the contrary, it will only take you a few seconds to access them and fill your presentation with important information that you do not want to be left without mentioning if you go blank during it. Below you can find the steps you have to follow to create notes for each of the slides in Keynote.

  1. Click on the toolbar (upper left corner).
  2. Select “Show presenter notes.”
  3. In the white or black area below the slide, write the notes you want.

Show presenter notes

As you have seen, the steps to generate your notes are really simple and will not take more than a few seconds. In addition, for change font size or even apply a specific text format, you can use the controls that you have available in the sidebar on the right. In case you do not see the sidebar, or that the label Ā«Presenter’s notesĀ» is not included in it, all you have to do is click on the brush icon located on the toolbar.

How to do it from an iPhone

In the same way that you can add notes to your slides on Mac and iPad, you can do the same on iPhone. It may not be the best device prepared for creating slides or these notes due to size issues, but at the end of the day you have the option there and it can be extremely interesting in emergency cases where you cannot access the note from other device. The steps to follow are practically identical to the Mac and iPad, only with a slight difference:

  1. Click on the three dots that appear on the top right.
  2. Select “Show presenter notes.”
  3. In the white or black area below the slide, write the notes you want.

Presenter Notes on iPhone

We once again emphasize the importance and impact that making good use of notes can have for the presenter in your presentation. Later, in this post, we will also give you some small tips when using this fantastic function that you can get so much benefit from it in each and every one of the presentations that you have to make both in your academic and work life.

Do you need to edit them? No problem

Who has a mouth is wrong and who has fingers too. It is possible that after having generated all the notes that you wanted to have for your presentation, you have the need to edit those of a specific slide. Obviously, this process can be done, and the steps to follow are just as simple as to create the notes themselves. In fact, the steps you must follow to carry it out are the same as to create them, both on Mac and on iPad and iPhone.

Write notes

Of course, we recommend that before closing the note you have checked that it does not contain errors. And, of course, that you make a save of the note so that all the changes that you have made after editing are saved. It should be noted that you can edit the notes as many times as you want.

Set up your presentation to see the notes

Obviously, it would be useless to create notes on all the slides if, later, you cannot visualize or support them during the development of the presentation. Therefore, it is vitally important that, in addition to knowing how to create and edit these notes, you also know what you have to do to be able to use them. First of all, if during a presentation you want to see your notes, it has to be shown on a connected screen, that is, the device with which you are presenting, be it a Mac or an iPad, is connected to a external screen where the different slides are displayed, so that, on the screen of your device, you can see the notes that you have previously created for each of them. Here are the steps to follow in order to have access to the presentation notes.

  1. Click on the “Play” icon on the toolbar.
  2. Click on the display icon. If you don’t see the icon, move the pointer anywhere on the presenter’s screen to make it appear.
  3. Select the “Presenter Notes” option.
  4. Click outside the dialog to close it.
  5. In case you want to modify the appearance in which the presenter’s notes are displayed, you can change both the font size and invert the colors of the text and the background.
  6. Finally, if during the presentation you want to edit the notes on any of the slides, you just have to move the pointer over the “Presenter Notes” window and then click on “Edit”.

Change note text color

Tips when making these annotations

Previously we have commented on the importance of using the notes in each of the slides of your presentation, however, you have to know how to make good use of them. Undoubtedly, it is a fantastic tool to be able to add a quality bonus to your presentations, however when used wrongly they can be really useless.


  • Don’t fill the notes on each slide with a huge amount of text. Actually during a presentation you will not be able to stop to read a text that you have written in the notes of the slide or at least you should not do it if you do not want the viewers to notice it, since it would swear against you.
  • Use keywords that can help you, at a glance, know what you are going to comment on.
  • Perform various trials and make modifications if you think it is necessary, since it will be essential that you arrive as prepared as possible at the exhibition.
  • Use capital letters, since that will help you to put the focus much more quickly on them and therefore it will be helping you to save a few seconds when you need to make use of the notes on that slide. Of course, do not abuse it if you do not want it to have the opposite effect.
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