Ryan Carmelo Briones

mostly harmless

Making Curved Lines in Apple Keynote 2008 August 03, 2008

When I was working on my slides for OSCON 2008, I really wanted to have a curved line in my presentation. Unfortunately there is no simple tool that creates curved lines or allows you to curve straight lines in Apple Keynote 2008. So I went to Google and search for a way to do it. I came up with a lot of results for people asking how to accomplish this and an almost equal amount of results saying it wasn't possible. Then I found this post in the Apple Discussion Forums. The first time I read it, I breezed through it and immediately went to test it out in Keynote. It didn't work for me. So, I went searching farther. Later in the day, after much failure, I found that posting again and read the directions more carefully and tried each step. The results were flawless. At that point, I decided that the internet could use at least one more resource on the subject, and this blog post was born. Here's the instructions on making a curved line in Apple Keynote 2008 with screenshots.

1. While working in your Keynote presentation, choose the "Draw a shape" tool by click on the "Shape" icon in the toolbar, then choosing the "Draw a Shape" icon at the bottom. Alternatively, you can go through the menu (Insert -> Shape -> Draw a Shape) to achieve the same results.

Curved Lines in Apple Keynote 2008: Step 1

2. Click on the presentation to set the first point. This is where your line will start. Then, when setting the second point, click and hold the mouse button. This will give you the ability to adjust the curve of the line. While holding, move your mouse downwards on the screen and adjust the mouse left and right accordingly to get the curve that you want. When you're happy with the curve, let go of the mouse button. Hit the Escape Key (esc) to stop the drawing process.

Curved Lines in Apple Keynote 2008: Step 2

3. Your "shape" should now be selected. If it's not (has no white boxes around it), click on the shape once. Now open up the Inspector. (⌘⌥I or View -> Show Inspector) Click on the "Object Inspector" button. Now select the drop down for "Fill" and choose "None." This will turn your shape into an empty path.

Curved Lines in Apple Keynote 2008: Step 3

4. Last, select the drop down for "Stroke" and choose "Line". This will make your line look like a real line. At this point you're basically done!

Curved Lines in Apple Keynote 2008: Step 4

5. From here, you can customize your line line any normal line. In my example below I added a 15px stroke and an arrow head on the end point.

Curved Lines in Apple Keynote 2008: Step 5