Is there a way to have keynote play full screen on one display and just let me have access to my desktop on a second display? It always shows the presenter notes. I want to just be able to access my desktop while the presentation is running.
I had a similar problem and found a surprisingly simple workaround on the Apple Support Forum (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5522746?tstart=0)
I needed a way to show my presentation on a webinar and still have access to the webinar control panel so I can see questions when they come in without having to close the presentation first.
The SOLUTION: You basically just need to export your completed Keynote presentation as an HTML file and open it in a browser. Then simply make it full screen on the screen or projector you're showing it on.
I used Chrome and found that the address bar still appeared in full screen view. To fix this I simple unchecked the "Always show toolbar in full screen" option in Chrome's View menu.
Solved the problem for me. Transitions worked too.
I know this thread is pretty old but I hope that helps someone searching for help with now (like I was)
This issue has been bugging me for ages. However, Apple has finally updated Keynote, half-assed but still.
In Keynote 10.1, there is finally the
Play > Play Slideshow in Window option which does exactly that.
You'll have a window (where still the window bar shows up when you move the mouse, well done Apple!) with your presentation, you can resize it and move it wherever you want, share it with Zoom or another video conference tool and still be able to see your Desktop.
After tons of research around the web, I found a way to run other applications while running a Keynote presentation. Within Keynote's preferences, be sure the box for "Allow Expose, Dashboard, and others to use the screen." Next, set up Mission Control (formerly known as Spaces) do have your Keynote window on Desktop-1 and your other application's window on Desktop-2. Now hit "Play". At any point during the presentation, press "F" (to pause the slide show); Command-2 (to switch to your alternate application); Command-1 (to switch back to Keynote); and Space Bar (to resume). Your clients will see only one slide for the duration, and will not see anything you are doing on virtual Desktop-2.
Although Keynote can't, there are other options to keep your computer free for use. Transitions and some media may not work identically to Keynote on macOS.
iOS: You can have a pair of iOS devices doing the presentation (one to control, one to present). Then your computer is free to you to use during the presentation.
Virtual Machine: setup a virtual machine—like VirtualBox, Parallels, or VMWare—and have that virtual machine use one or two monitors and have the other monitor(s) free for use.
Export to Web: @Ricky gave a good description of how to export to web and view in a web browser.
I couldn't find a way to do get the second screen to become usable, either. However, there are more alternatives that may work for you.
Switch to full-screen mode in Keynote (Ctrl+Cmd+F). You can now hide the navigator bar (the slide previews on the left) and the Format/Animate/Document settings bar (on the right). This way you are left with the main bar (on top), but it's pretty close to full screen. The biggest problem is that you can not "play" the slides this way (so, no animations or transitions), but you can play videos in this view (double click).
Export the slides to QuickTime and play them as a full-screen movie. You may have press pause/play a lot, but it works. Just play the QuickTime movie in full screen on whichever display you want. (Alternatively, export them to HTML and use your browser in full screen mode or even PDF, if you don't have animations, videos or transitions).
The best way I've been able to do this is to have Spaces turned on, start the presentation, then use Exposé to take the presenter's display from the second screen and drag it to the primary monitor (same one that is doing the presentation). However, be aware that clicking on anything on your desktop will loose focus of Keynote.
You could potentially use PowerPoint and start the presentation in a Window using the
Slide Show > Set Up Show menu, but you'd have to use PowerPoint.
Another option that I've seen mentioned, but not in this thread, is doing an export to QuickTime and using the Manual Advance feature. You'll be limited though by not being able to do last minute edits.