How to Open Keynote in PowerPoint

Keynote and PowerPoint are two of the most popular presentation software programs available today. Keynote is developed by Apple exclusively for macOS and iOS devices, while PowerPoint is developed by Microsoft and available on both Windows and macOS.

Although they have some similarities in features and functionality, Keynote and PowerPoint use different proprietary file formats that are incompatible with each other. Keynote files use the .key file extension which cannot be opened directly in PowerPoint.

Fortunately, there are several methods to successfully open Keynote presentations in PowerPoint.

Export Keynote as PowerPoint

The easiest way to open a Keynote file in PowerPoint is to export the Keynote presentation as a PowerPoint (.pptx) file. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Keynote presentation on your Mac
  2. Go to File > Export To > PowerPoint
  3. The presentation will now open in PowerPoint format
  4. You can edit and work with the presentation just like any other PowerPoint file

This method converts the Keynote file directly into the PowerPoint format. The presentation content and basic formatting will be retained, but some transitions, builds, and complex animations may not be supported in PowerPoint.

Save Keynote as PDF

Another method is to first save the Keynote presentation as a PDF file, then open the PDF in PowerPoint. Here is how:

  1. In Keynote, go to File > Export as PDF
  2. Open PowerPoint and go to File > Open
  3. Browse and select the PDF file exported from Keynote
  4. PowerPoint will automatically convert the PDF into an editable PPTX presentation

Saving as PDF retains all the content and enables PowerPoint to accurately convert into its native format. This method works quite well in most cases.

Use iCloud Drive

If you have an iCloud account set up on both Mac and Windows, you can utilize iCloud Drive to open Keynote files in PowerPoint. Follow these steps:

  1. On your Mac, upload the Keynote file to iCloud Drive
  2. On your Windows PC, open iCloud Drive in File Explorer
  3. Right click on the Keynote file and select Open with PowerPoint
  4. The file will be converted to PowerPoint format

This method utilizes the built-in integration between iCloud Drive and Microsoft Office to enable cross-platform compatibility.

Online File Converters

There are many free online file conversion tools like Zamzar, CloudConvert, etc that can be used to convert Keynote to PowerPoint. Simply upload your Keynote file to the website and download the converted PowerPoint file.

Most online converters are completely free and easy to use for one-off file conversions. However, for bulk conversions, limits may apply on the file size and number of files.

Third-Party Converter Apps

Apps like Wondershare PDFelement provide advanced tools to convert Keynote files to PowerPoint on both Windows and Mac systems. Typically, a free trial is available to test the software.

Paid third-party converters ensure reliable and efficient batch conversion capabilities without restrictive limits. But they can be overkill for individual file conversions.

Collaboration with iWork on iCloud

If you have people collaborating on the Keynote presentation using the iWork suite of apps from Apple, you can utilize iCloud collaboration features.

To do this:

  1. Save the Keynote file to iCloud Drive
  2. Share the file and add collaborators
  3. Collaborators on Windows can open the shared iCloud file using PowerPoint online to view and edit the Keynote presentation after conversion to PowerPoint format

This method allows seamless collaboration using the cloud storage capabilities of iCloud Drive. However, the features may be limited compared to full desktop apps.

Tips for Best Results

When opening Keynote files in PowerPoint, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Simplify animations/transitions – Complex builds and transitions in Keynote may not work well when converted to PowerPoint. Simplify them as much as possible.
  • Limit media content – Too many large videos or audio files lead to a bloated file size after conversion.
  • Check fonts – Use common, cross-platform fonts for maximum compatibility.
  • Review on Windows – Preview the converted file on Windows to ensure everything converted properly before presenting.
  • Retain original – Always keep the original Keynote file as backup in case something doesn’t convert accurately.

Convert PowerPoint to Keynote

While this article focused on opening Keynote in PowerPoint, you can also convert PowerPoint presentations to the Keynote format.

To convert PowerPoint to Keynote:

  1. Open PowerPoint on your Mac
  2. Select File > Export > Export as Keynote Presentation
  3. The presentation will open in the Keynote app where you can edit and save it as a .key file

The process for PowerPoint to Keynote conversion is much more straightforward as Keynote can directly recognize and import the PowerPoint file format.


Despite being incompatible formats, there are many straightforward ways to successfully open Keynote files in the PowerPoint program. This enables seamless collaboration between Mac and Windows users.

The easiest method is to simply export the Keynote file as a PowerPoint presentation before opening and editing in PowerPoint. Additionally, leveraging online conversion tools, iCloud Drive, or third-party converter apps provide alternative mechanisms with slightly varying capabilities.

With the right technique chosen based on your specific needs, opening Keynote in PowerPoint can become an easy, quick process.