I've recently moved from Powerpoint to Keynote. While I am overall satisfied with the transition, I feel that there is too much clicking to do simple things. For instance:

  1. If I want to align objects after selecting them, I need to press the Arrange tab > Align dropdown > Left. In powerpoint I just click Align left on the Quick access toolbar.

  2. If I want to change the fill color or outline color of a shape, I need to press Style tab > Fill. In powerpoint I simply have to click the Fill color in the Quick access toolbar.

While this doesn't seem much, it is tedious to have to click on every single tab just to do something that would otherwise be done with a single click. This becomes worse if I am working with an animation and then need to work with a shape, adding 1 more click at the top to select Format

So my question is: is there such a thing as a "shortcut toolbar" or "quick access toolbar" in Keynote in the same way as there is in Powerpoint?


Simple answer: no. Apple removed the PPT-like quick format bar when iWork '09 was replaced by the current versions.

Anyway, here are my workarunds/best practices:

Question 1

a) You can keep the "Arrange" tools palette open for quick access to – well – the Arrange tools.

View menu -> Show Arrange Tools

Keynote Arrange Tools Palette

b) Most Arrange menu items /Align, Distribute) don't have keyboard shortcuts by default. But you can set custom menu shortcuts for virtually any menu item function in a Mac application. Please refer to this guide from Apple for more info:


Question 2

Again, you can enable the Arrange Tools palette and have the Format bar switched to the Style tab so you have both toolsets available at the same time.

Personally I try to work as much as possible with custom-defined Shape Styles (I usually delete all the default styles and then create my own)

Keynote Format Bar Shape Styles

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