How to loop slides within a keynote presentation

Apple Keynote

This is a feature that is sorely missing in Apple keynote. The ability to create a loop within Keynote. For example you may want have a loop of 4-5 slides at the start of a presentation while people are waiting, and then start the presentation without having to exit and open a new presentation.  Or you may want to have a loop in the middle of a presentation, for example some photos that rotate while someone is singing, and then continue on with the presentation when you are ready.  There is no way of doing this within Keynote itself but here is a workaround that will get you out of trouble.

The way to do this is to make 2 keynote presentations. One has the slides that you want to rotate. The other is your main one.  You need to export the rotating presentation as a QuickTime movie and then import it  into your main Keynote file and tell it to loop. Here’s how to do it step by step.

  1.  Create the looping part of the presentation and export it.

Make a  keynote with all the slides  that you want  in the repeating section. Export it as a quicktime movie.

Select export to QuickTime from the file menu to convert this keynote presentation into a movie.


When you export you can choose the timings for when the slides advance, alternatively you can set them in the keynote presentation before you export it.

This will save the keynote presentation as a movie.  Strictly speaking, it is not a movie,  it is a collection of still images that automatically advance when you want to.  It is kind of like a self playing keynote presentation wrapped inside a QuickTime movie file.  You can import this keynote movie into another keynote presentation.


2.  Import this looping part back into your main keynote presentation.

Open a new keynote presentation that is your main keynote presentation and insert the QuickTime movie into the new keynote presentation. (You can simply drag the movie into your keynote presentation,  or you can select ‘Insert’, ‘Choose’  and then choose the movie file.)

Inserting the movie back into keynote.
Inserting the movie back into keynote.


3.  Tell Keynote to loop the looping part.

Click on the movie in Keynote, then in the Inspector,  in the Movie panel  under repeat select ‘Loop’.

Tell Keynote to loop the movie.
Tell Keynote to loop the movie.

That’s it!

Your main Keynote presentation will play like a normal keynote presentation, but when you come to the movie those slides within the movie will repeat endlessly in a loop until you click.  When you click it will move on to the next slide. This is the way to make a loop of slides within a keynote presentation.

The main downside of this method is that if you want to edit one of the slides in the looped part of the presentation, you need to open the original looped Keynote file, make the changes re-export the file to a movie, and reimport it into the new presentation.




12 responses to “How to loop slides within a keynote presentation”

  1. Thanks for this – first thing that came up in my search. It is dismaying that I cannot set Keynote to loop back to a prior slide at a certain point.

    This solution will not work in the instance where we are creating a deck that needs to be cued live because it is for a background stage element that only changes when a speaker finishes presenting. The entire thing then needs to seamlessly loop back to the start.

    I take it there is no way to set up Keynote to do this, but if you learn of any would appreciate tips, thanks!

  2. Wait, I take that back (so go ahead and kill my comment) … I looked this up online before discovering there is a global “loop slideshow” setting under Document tab that will return it to the first slide. I feel dumb for not having checked first.

    1. yes there is – glad you found it!

      1. Matt

        This Global “loop slideshow” still does not appear to work with mine. I imported a powerpoint presentation into Keynote, Clicked Loop slideshow, still stops at last slide. Help!!!

  3. Ski

    Great article. 15 minutes to midnight and I’m wanting to enhance a presentation for tomorrow morning.
    Clear instructions and it worked the first time.

    Thank you so much!

  4. Ruth

    Thank you! I was working entirely in PowerPoint and was able to apply parallel instructions to accomplish this in PowerPoint. It worked immediately!!

  5. This was very helpful!

    I’m using dissolves, and for some reason my final slide fades to black, and I’d prefer it faded to white. Any tips for how to solve this?

    1. Just put a completely white slide at the end and fade to it, does that work?
      Make sure the ‘Master Slide’ is white not black.

  6. Meg

    I tried this, but for some reason my video will play in edit mode but when I hit play it jumps to the next slide without playing the video loop. It is set to play automatically.

  7. Diana

    This DID NOT work. :(. Going to have to move the presentation to ppt.

  8. Jerome

    Thank you ! It work very well. Clear instructions and it worked the first time.

  9. Thankyou enormously! Your advice might be 5 years old, but it came up among the first googles, and it’s saved my cardio-vascular system and sanity! (Of course, I first had to tell MacOS15 Monterey not to open the movie in TV, but in Quicktime).

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