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In Keynote '09 on the Mac, how can I create a list of bullet points such that:

  • At first, the bullets are all dimmed or grey
  • When I click, the next bullet becomes undimmed or black

This is similar to the 'appear' effect, which uncovers bullet points one by one. The difference is that I want the uncovered bullets to be partially visible instead of completely hidden.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I figured out a way to do this. It isn't perfect. It's limited to being useful against solid colour backgrounds. If you're using a gradient background or a complex image this won't work.

Add a mask in the form of a rectangle over top of each bullet point. You don't need to be super precise. Just get the rectangle to cover all of the bullet point text. Do one rectangle for each bullet you want to reveal. I used an obvious colour in the screen show below so you could see what I mean.

The Masks

Open the Inspector window and select actions. For each rectangle set the action to dissolve and set the triggers to be however you'd like (on each key press, one after the other, etc.).

The Actions

Now change the rectangle fill colour to match your background and set the opacity level of each rectangle to be something dim. 80% or so should do it.

Now when you play the slide, each click will cause a rectangle to disappear revealing the text below it at its full brightness.

Here's a Keynote presentation that illustrates the concept for you to play with. And here it is in action:

The End Result

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Actually, you can do this exact thing over textured backgrounds and photos. Make an extra copy of the background, position it the same as the actual background, and use the Mask tool to limit it to the area you want to expose, then add the fade out action. Granted, if you change the background, you'll have to change all your masks too. –  CajunLuke Mar 29 '12 at 3:21
More work than I anticipated (when doing this for a full presentation), but it certainly solves my problem. Thanks! –  Guy Gur-Ari Mar 30 '12 at 0:22
@CajunLuke nice idea with the mask layer. –  Ian C. Mar 30 '12 at 2:34

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