Separate Shapes in Keynote

In issue 18 of the Technology Update Newsletter, I highlighted the new shapes library in Keynote. In a recent update, Apple made the shapes library even more powerful. Now, in addition to changing the colors of shapes, you can break a shape apart into it’s smaller components.

Why would you want to do this? Pretend that you are teaching geography and want to showcase where each US state is located. You can now use Apple’s shapes library to add a US map, and then break out the states that you want to showcase.

How do I do this?

First, look through Apple’s shape library and locate the shape you would like to us. Once you have the shape added, either hold down the control key and click the shape and select ‘Break Apart’, or select Format->Shapes and Lines->’Break Apart’ from the menu bar.

Now that the shape is broken apart, you can customize each part, as well as use it to make incredible transitions and animations.

Note: Most, but not all shapes can be broken apart. It only works with those shapes that have multiple visual components.