Launched in 1990, Microsoft Powerpoint is the most popular presentation application in the world. Released as part of the Microsoft Office software package, the application is the de facto standard for presentations. Allowing the user to create dynamic, animated slides, the tool is intuitive and allows for text, images and graphics to be added. The tool benefits from being consistent with Word and Excel in terms of layout and toolbars. The tool also allows the user to incorporate Visual Basic code so that user defined macros can be implemented to allow for non-linear slide transitions. Microsoft have reported that Powerpoint has been installed on over 1 billion computers, emphasising its huge market dominance.
PPT is a binary file format that was used by all Microsoft Powerpoint releases between 1997 - 2003. This has been superseded by Microsoft's open source XML based file formats initially released with Office 2007. The latest version of Microsoft Powerpoint, Powerpoint 2010, allows the user to undertake advanced editing such as embedding video within slides. The XML based file format results in a more efficiently compressed file, thus saving the user storage space.
Designed to let users easily create, play and share presentations, Keynote contains most of the features found in modern presentation software, such as a slide navigator, the ability to add tables, shapes and charts to slides and a powerful media browser which allows users to drag and drop music from from iTunes, and photos from iPhoto and Aperture into their slides.
Keynote also contains over 40 pre-designed themes to let users select common presentation formats, and powerful graphics tools to manipulate embedded images and provide advanced 3D transitions between slides (powered by OpenGL). The major Keynote releases are summarised below:
First version - basic features - Import Powerpoint presentations, slide navigator, graphics support for rotations, resizing and opacity, charts and slide transitions.
Released in iWork '05. Contained improved animations for slides and text, iLife media browser, new themes, more presenter controls, embedded hyperlinks and the ability to export presentations to Macromedia Flash.
Released in iWork '06 with new themes, HD-capability, improved graphing and table features, cinematic transitions and 3D graphs.
Released in iWork '08 with easier to use animation features, new templates, smart builds (for predefined animations), instant alpha (for removing backgrounds from photographs), and a new narration to add a voiceover to slideshows.
Released in iWork '09. Contains support for MathType equations, a new share menu, trackpad support, "magic move" (for easier transitions), improved presenter tools, but removed support for exporting to Flash.
Added support for Mac OS X Lion, and included support for full screen functionality, auto-save, resume and versioning. Also with improved compatibility with Microsoft Office.
A "QuickLook" directory with a "Thumbnail.jpg" of the document. The directory may also contain a PDF file named "Preview.pdf" if the user chose to save the original document with additional preview information in Keynote.
A "Thumbs" directory with a JPEG thumbnail images for each slide in the presentation.
The index.apxl is the core component of the file format, containing the presentation's content and all of the metadata for formatting it and applying transitions to it. This XML is not standards-based as Keynote does not support the OpenDocument file format used by Microsoft.
Files created by Keynote in iWork '09 are not backwards compatibile with earlier versions of iWork. Keynote files cannot be opened by programs other than iWork.