Put a countdown timer on a presentation slide

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This past week as I was working on a presentation, I had a slide where I
asked the participants to discuss among themselves. I wanted to set a
time limit, but I didn’t want to have to switch out of Keynote, I wanted
it on the slide. It took me a couple of minutes, but I finally came up
with a quite clever solution, if I do say so myself. πŸ™‚

The first thing I needed was a little countdown video that would count
down from 10. I started a new Keynote project, and created a ten second
countdown. Originally I used ten slides, with the transition taking a
second, so that when played it would count down in ten seconds. The
problem came when I wanted to export the movie. The minimum amount of
time I could show a slide was two seconds, and since I didn’t want to
count down by two a new solution had to be made. So I deleted all the
slides in my presentation save one, and put 11 text boxes on it (10-0).
I then did a pop build in and out, and set the time for the build to be
one second. The out build would happen concurrently with the in build of
the next number, so I got a pretty cool effect as a bonus. I exported
this out as a Quicktime movie
.

Now in my presentation, I added a question text box with a build in
transition to occur after a click. Next, I added my movie with a build
in transition to appear. The secret is to set the movie to appear
however many seconds you want to wait. I set it at 60 seconds, so
participants actually had 70 seconds until it finished. It doesn’t
appear until the 60 second mark has passed, and then counts down to 0.

Works better than I had hoped! You can download the movie
here
. (right click and use Save
as…)

[]: https://ryancollins.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/countdown.png

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