So. I'm using keynote to build slides for church music overheads. This means I need to build a different slide deck for each song we sing, so that we can change out the songs from week to week.

The baseline file size for a keynote presentation is about ½ MB, which is huge once you get a library of up to 40-50 presentations. And it's completely unnecessary, because all I have is simple text on a solid background.

I did a little digging, and the culprit is the default background images for slide masters that I'm not using. Eliminate these images from the package contents, and my baseline file size drops to under 100K, which is to say, reasonable.

The problem is that Keynote really wants those images to be there, and it puts up an error message every time.


1 Answer 1


So you went to your Keynote presentation document file and used the Finder to "Show Package Contents" then you deleted the image files you found in there. That would cause problems. Try this:

Open a new Keynote document and select the Theme that you want to use as the basis for your presentation. Now do...

  • View -> Edit Master Slides
  • Delete all Master Slides that you don't need.
  • If you need a Master Slide with an image, replace the image with a small place holder image. For example, a JPG file with a solid color.
  • Remove the Back Ground Image from All Remaining master slides, and remove any other unneeded elements from the slides.
  • Click the Done button at the bottom of the Master Slide editing screen
  • File -> Reduce File Size (which will probably do nothing)
  • File -> Save Theme...
  • Give it a name such as "Church Music"

Now you can create a new presentation using the "Church Music" theme. Your theme will be on the "My Themes" tab of the theme browser. After you save, you can now view the presentation's Package Contents to make sure that there is no unused items. Keynote will generate a variety of slide previews and other images which you need to keep, but these should be very small. If there is stuff that you really don't need, you might try re-editing the Themes Master Slides.

  • Survey says: 92 KB. Thanks! I had already tried deleting slide masters and replacing all images with gradient fill, with no result. But apparently both together did the trick!
    – user48622
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:43

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