How to Overlay Objects in Keynote

Updated March 23, 2017

Keynote is Apple's custom presentation software included in the iWork suite of graphics programs. Because it's a Mac program, iWorks is known for its ability to handle complex graphics. Its simple interface and 32-bit graphics capabilities enable Keynote to blend and layer images smoothly. By overlaying objects in a Keynote presentation, you can bring texture and transparency to the appearance of your slides.

Click on the "Keynote" icon in your dock to open a new Keynote presentation. Click on a theme icon when the "Choose a theme for your presentation" window opens.

Select a slide size, or use the default of "1024x768." Click the blue "Choose" button. Alternately, click on the "Open an Existing File" button to work with a saved Keynote document. Click on your file name within the "Open" window.

Click on an object to work with on your slide. Select "Text Box" from the menu bar to add text. Click on "Shapes" to choose a free-form or geometric shape. Insert a table by clicking on the "Table" icon. Click on "Media" followed by "Audio," "Photos" or "Movies" to place media elements on your slide.

Click on any element you've placed on your slide. When an element is selected, it is bounded by a box with white handles. Move elements around on the slide to your liking.

Click on "Arrange" from the menu when one element is selected and overlapped by another on the slide. Scroll down through the "Arrange" menu, and then click "Bring Forward" to bring the element forward by one layer. Scroll down to the "Bring to Front" menu option to bring that element to the very front layer.

Select "Send Backward" from the same menu in Step 5 to move the object behind one layer. Select "Send to Back" from the "Arrange" menu to move that element to the very back of all other elements on the slide. Alternately, select the "Front" or "Back" icon in the toolbar to position or overlay your objects on the slide.

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About the Author

Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.