New Presentation from Outline

Part of the fundamental magic of Automation, is its inherent ability to express the data contained in one application, in a different way in another application. What would normally be an intricate laborious process when done by hand, is reduced to a quick effortless operation through AppleScript’s ability to control and link the targeted applications.

The following example script demonstrates these concepts perfectly as it builds a Keynote document from an OmniOutliner outline document.

NOTE: OmniOutliner is productivity software from the Omni Group, and is available for purchase from the Mac App Store, or as a trial version from the Omni Group website.


To try the demo, follow these steps:

DO THIS ►DOWNLOAD and open the OmniOutliner example document.

DO THIS ►If it isn’t already activated, turn on the system-wide Script Menu and create a OmniOutliner scripts folder (details here)

DO THIS ►Open the example script  (⬇ see below )  in the AppleScript Editor, and save the script into the OmniOutliner scripts folder.

DO THIS ►With the example document open in OmniOutliner, select the saved script from the Script Menu.

The script will create a new Keynote document and add a slide, with transitions, for each of the outline sections, filling in titles and body content as indicated. Once the document is created, the presentation will be played from the beginning, and auto-advanced throughout.

IMPORTANT: For non-English language users. In order for the script to work as expected, you will need to replace the master slide names in the script with versions using the current language of your computer. For example:

English-German"Title - Center""Titel - Mitte"
English-German"Title & Subtitle""Titel & Untertitel"
English-German"Title & Bullets""Titel & Aufzählung"
English-Norwegian"Title - Center""Tittel – sentrert"
English-Norwegian"Title & Subtitle""Tittel og undertittel"
English-Norwegian"Title & Bullets""Tittel og punkttegn"
English-Japanese"Title - Center""タイトル(中央)"
English-Japanese"Title & Subtitle""タイトル & サブタイトル"
English-Japanese"Title & Bullets""タイトル & 箇条書き"

If you are not sure what the master slide titles are for the current document, then run this script:

tell application "Keynote" to get the name of every master slide of the front document