How to make cool looking slides using a MacBook, an iPad, and ‘Paper 53’.

Einstein adapting to change

This is a sample of a slide that I created using a MacBook, iPad, and an iPad app called, ‘Paper 53’. The entire process is outlined in this post!

During my sabbatical last year, one of my objectives was to find other alternatives to using PowerPoint to create my slides. I experimented with different techniques until I came up with a winning combination that involved using a Mac, an iPad, and a very cool drawing app called ‘Paper 53’.

In order to do this, you’ll need to have ‘Keynote’ on your Macbook, and both the ‘Keynote’ and ‘Paper 53’ apps on your iPad. You will also need an ‘iCloud’ account. Mac works seamlessly, so this entire process is very smooth. Don’t worry if you don’t have any artistic ability; your slides will be so different and ‘cool’ that they will impress your students, regardless if you’re Van Gogh or not (as you can see, I am not). I would also suggest buying a Wacom CS100K Bamboo Stylus for iPad (affiliate link). You can see a picture of the orange stylus I use in my ‘Amazon Affiliate’ box along the side bar of my blog.

Here are the steps for you to go from ‘concept to completion’ and begin to create your own customized slides:

-Open up Keynote on your MacBook.

-Select the ‘White’ theme on the theme chooser option. For this purpose, we’ll just have a heading on the slide, so select the ‘Title-top’ template format (6th one down). If you don’t want any text on the slide, you will simply select the ‘Blank’ format that has the no text option.

-Now open up the ‘Paper 53’ app on your iPad. I recommend purchasing all of the drawing tools; it’s only about $10 for all of them. When you open up ‘Picture 53’ there will be 3 drawing pad options. It doesn’t matter which one you pick, but I always seem to pick the ‘Sketches’ book. Double-tap on it and it will open a blank page for you to begin to draw.

-Start creating! My example, as shown, is the (very) quick drawing I created as a slide when I talked to my class about ‘adapting to change’ (Einstein said that we’d all be dead in 4 years if bees couldn’t adapt to change and disappeared, hence the drawing!). Once you have created your masterpiece, it’s time to send it to yourself in an email so that you will be able to drop it into your Keynote slide.

-Tap the middle icon at the bottom (there are 3) of your screen that has an image of an arrow in the middle of a rectangle. When you do this, it will give you different options on where to send the drawing. Tap the ‘Send Email’ option. Send to your email address.

-Go to your email and open it on your ‘MacBook’, not your iPad (the email you have just sent will say ‘sketches’ in the subject line).  You will now see your picture.

-Now, hold down, ‘COMMAND/SHIFT/4’ and let go. This will create a small ‘target cursor’. Line up the target cursor to the top left corner of your picture and do a ‘left click hold’ and drag the target icon over the amount of picture surface that you want to capture. As soon as you let go of the drag, you will hear a ‘picture snap’ sound; this means that it just saved it to your desktop as a ‘screen shot’ as a ‘png’ file.

-Go to your desktop and find the screen shot file. Double-click on it to open it.

-Click on ‘File’ and ‘Export’.

-‘Export As’: Now name your file.

-‘Where’: Save it to your Desktop

-‘Format’: Select ‘JPG’ and slide the ‘Quality bar’ to ‘Best’. Click Save. It will save to your desktop.

-Now go back to your Keynote slide and put in your ‘heading’ text (you can see mine says ‘Adapt to Change’).

-Go to the JPG file on your desktop and simply drag the file onto your Keynote slide.

-Now it is in Keynote, drag the corner of the image to resize if necessary.

-In Keynote, go to the ‘graphic inspector’ icon; it’s the 5th one from the left (beside the ‘T’ icon).

-Click on your picture.

-Select a picture frame that you like; there are several to choose from. Click on the frame and it will put it around your picture.

-Click on the ‘shadow’ box.

Go to your slide heading and select your size and font style that you want.

-Save it.

Now, this is the part where you can send your Keynote to your iPad and run your slideshow in class using your iPad.

-Log in to ‘iCloud’ (assuming you have set up an account)

-When you are in, double-click on the ‘iWorks’ icon/image; it will open up.

-Find your Keynote file that you just created and drag the file onto the iCloud. It will download within a short time.

-Once it is downloaded and you see the file in ‘iWorks’, go to your iPad and open up your Keynote app.

-Tap the ‘Presentations’ icon on the top left corner. As soon as you do this, your presentation will automatically load onto your iPad from iCloud.

-Double-tap on your file and it will open. There may be a message stating a font or something will be altered but open it anyway. You can always adjust things (this is why I recommend you use basic fonts and a white theme background).

VOILA! You now have a cool looking slide show that will leave everyone wondering “Wow, how’d you make those slides?”  Several students asked me during the semester how I made my slides “look like that”.

Follow this step-by-step process a couple of times and in no time, you’ll be creating customized images/drawings on your slides that are limited only to your imagination!

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