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by ryan davis

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Fixing Keynote Presentation Display

Published 2016-03-28 @ 12:00

Tagged keynote

I’ve been having periodic problems with Keynote when I finally get on stage and plug in. Detecting the display is never an issue, and I can see my normal desktop image when I plug in. For some unknown reason when I start my presentation I will periodically get presenter notes but no actual presentation on the projector. It stays black.

I figured out that I can fix this on the fly by nuking Keynote’s preferences in the container (ugh) via:

% rm ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iWork.Keynote/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iWork.Keynote.plist

This absolutely works, but I also lose a lot of tweaks like shortcut customizations that help me do my work. It is the nuclear option that I’d rather not take.

After doing some investigation and good-versus-bad plist diffing I think I have a less destructive fix:

% /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Delete PlaybackDisplayAllocations" ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.iWork.Keynote/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iWork.Keynote.plist 

This is untested, as I’m not on stage having the problem… but I highly suspect it should work. I always have the nuclear option if I need it. This is just in place so I can panic a bit less and google my own solution.