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Tags again

Jeez, it would save me a lot of time if Keynote (or Powerpoint, if you insist) let me tag slides and objects in slides (especially images). I spend way too much time looking for that slide of a “smart room” or the one that shows business vs. end-user use of Web 2.0, or that photo of an old broadcast tower.

Instead, I have two hacks, both a pain in the butt. First, I keep a humungous file of slides I think I’ll want to use again. Second, I’ve started putting tags into the speaker notes by putting the tags in brackets. But I use the speaker notes to speak from, so larding them up with tags is sub-optimal.

And especially if you save Keynote files in the pre-2009 multi-file formats, then it’d be a snap for third parties to build tools that extract the tags and manage them. (I have a fussy home-made utility that extracts the text from the speaker notes and builds an editable file of them. If you want it, let me know.)

Tags are easy! Tags are useful! Let tags be tags!

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5 Responses to “Tags again”

  1. on 07 Aug 2009 at 3:31 pmLuigi Spagnolo

    The question is that tags are usually applied to leaves, with the purpose of dynamically arrange them in trees.
    If in the music domain is quite clear that the “unit of consumption” is the track rather that the album, in the case of presentations, which plays the role of the leaf? The presentation, as usually conceived, or the slide? Or both, depending on the context?
    In some scenarios the distinction between structured and atomic information is very fuzzy.
    If we dealing with multimedia contents we consume, it’s clear that we are interested in presentations. A single slide would be like a story without beninning and end…
    If we are dealing witch concepts we (re)use to build a discourse, the slide (or even an image in in it or a sentence) becomes the unit we want to tag and retrieve.

    The question I would like to ask you is: can we dynamically use tags applied to slides and/or speaker notes to build dynamically (and automatically) a keynote from them? Can search on metadata be used to structure information in a rhetorical sense?

  2. on 08 Aug 2009 at 1:38 amEmlyn

    Try a google docs Presentation, they’re searchable, and you can download them as .ppt files.

  3. on 10 Aug 2009 at 7:04 amJohn

    David – Here’s a crude tag hack for PowerPoint (It may work in Keynote as well)

    1 – Put the tags you want for a given image in a text box on the slide itself.
    2 – Drag that text box on top of the image – it will remain selected
    3 – Click the “send to back Button” alternately click Draw > Order > Send to Back

    The text box with the tags will now be under the image and hidden from view. (You can further hide it by making the text the same color as the background)

    You can then search for a tag by performing a normal find (ctrl-F)

    Also, since the tag is text within the file, you can search for text in files and find the file(s) with that image tag

    Hope this helps

  4. on 12 Aug 2009 at 8:38 amTom Kennedy

    If you are using a Mac, and it sounds like you are, why not import the images into iPhoto and tag them there. It supports tagging and would be useful for those images you do plan to use again. Of course the tags would only work for you and would not be part of the presentation, per se.

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