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In Keynote you can create custom themes that show up in the Keynote theme chooser. Apple's (newer) themes support all 16:9 resolutions (like 1920x1080) but also all 4:3 resolutions (like 1024x768).

BUT...

if I create a custom theme at a resolution of 1920x1080 and save it, the theme chooser will only give me options of resolutions with a 16:9 aspect ratio, no 4:3 resolutions.

So there's a 1920x1080 option and a 1280x720 option BUT there's no option for 1024x768 or 800x600.

Same goes the other way around.

How do I create a custom theme that supports ALL resolutions/aspect ratios, like Apple's own themes?

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There does seem to be a way to do this, but it involves mucking around inside the theme packages, so proceed at your own risk.

  1. Create the theme you want in 1920x1080 and 1024x768 sizes. (Also at 1650x1050, if you'd like that as an option).
  2. Save the themes with simple descriptors: theme_1920x1080, theme_1024x768, theme_1650x1050.
  3. Navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/iWork/Keynote/Themes/. Keynote Themes Folder
  4. Use Unarchiver to extract the package contents. You can now delete the initial theme files. Keynote Themes Extracted
  5. In each package, navigate to /Contents/Resources/en.lproj/ and open the name.strings file in the text editor of your choice. name.strings location
  6. Delete the resolution part of the name.
    i.e.: "name" = "theme_1920x1080" => "name" = "theme". name.strings before name.strings after
  7. After you have done so to the name.string files in each of the packages, return to the Themes folder and add ".kth" to each of the folders. Finder will ask you if you're sure. Click "Add." Themes before Themes after

These themes should all appear under one title in Keynote and you should be able to select both 4:3 and 16:9 resolutions. Keynote Theme Selector

  • Bruce, YOU ARE MY HERO! I could not find any information about this anywhere, so now there's finally a great source of information for everyone who wants to do this including myself. THANK YOU SO MUCH! – JBX_6 Jun 21 '13 at 20:36
  • Welcome. :) Had to hunt around Keynote's default themes (located inside the .app bundle, /Applications/iWork '\''09/Keynote.app/Contents/Resources/Themes/) to figure out how they did it. A good place to look in the future. – Bruce Jun 22 '13 at 12:41
  • @grgarside. Thanks for the edits. Looks much better now. :) – Bruce Jun 24 '13 at 15:18

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