Google images. Copy. Paste. So many of us (and our students!) use this method to acquire images and graphics for presentations, documents, and other visual aids. It’s a quick and easy way to enhance a presentation. I mean, who actually has time to create their own graphics and what program would you even use?
But here’s the thing—students are potentially learning bad habits when they search for Google images and do that copy and paste. It’s so easy, right? Except there’s text that appears in those searches. Many of the images that appear could be protected by copyright. Can you find the copyright message, below?
One solution may be to ask students to create their own photographs. But sometimes it isn’t a photograph that they’re looking for. They need a graphic—something we might categorize as clip art. Fortunately, all students and teachers have access to Keynote, a program on both laptops and on iPads, where they can easily create their own graphics to level-up presentation designs and personalize their work.
Where do I begin?
You may want to think about Keynote as a version of Photoshop, the industry standard for making graphics and editing photos. Keynote isn’t Photoshop, but like Photoshop, you can create graphics that can later be exported as JPEG, PNG, or PDF files. The difference is all your graphics will be the same size and shape as slides, right? Wrong! If you’re thinking of exporting something that will become the whole canvas of your slide, you’ll want to first change the size of the slide in Keynote so that it matches your final requirements. Clicking or tapping on “Document” in the upper, right-hand corner within Keynote will offer you the “Slide Size” drop-down menu to pick a size or create your own.
In this example, John used a custom square shape to prepare graphics for marketing our upcoming job fair.
Each of the elements in this “slide” are separate objects. Text boxes that are rotated form the backdrop and bottom third of the square. A rotated square forms the diamond for Niche.com. A PDF graphic is inserted for the Goochland logo, and we can cut our models by using the Instant Alpha tool—made easy when you photograph someone against a plain, white background.
Click the video below (10 minutes) to see three features together: Instant Alpha, masking, and slide exports to graphics like JPEGs.
Moving Beyond Rectangles and Squares
The shapes library in Keynote not only offers a multitude of attractive icons, but also the ability to combine, separate, and edit those shapes to save to your own shapes library for easy access. You can even draw your own clipart to use in animations (check out our post on Keynote animations here!)
See for yourself how easy graphic design can be by clicking on the video below (11.5 minutes) for some tips.