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File Format
Name Keynote
Extension(s) .key,
PRONOM fmt/646
Released 2005

Keynote is part of iWork, an Apple application suite available as apps for OS-X and iOS as well as in a cloud-based version on iCloud. It is a presentation program.

The web-based cloud version can be run in a browser (Not all browsers are fully supported; when you try it in Firefox, it says that it is an unsupported browser, but seems to work anyway, though it is possible some features aren't fully functional), and is free for iCloud users. The app version is paid, though apparently it comes free with newly-purchased iOS devices since late 2013; it will sync automatically with iCloud to access cloud-stored documents.

The current version can load and save the corresponding Powerpoint PPT file type (using, apparently, the 2003 file version). It can also save as PDF, producing a static document that can be useful for viewing, but not so much for editing or import into other software. And then there is the native iWork format, bearing a .key extension, or a double extension when saved in a ZIP file.

iWork files, when saved under Mac OS-X, are in a bundle format that is actually a directory/folder. Saved in other systems, or exported as e-mail attachments, they are ZIPped and use the double extension as noted above.


File format info

The basic file format is consistent across the iWork suite, and is documented more fully in the iWork article. In the 2013 version of the format, the different apps mostly differ in what IWA files are stored in the file (a ZIP within the bundle).

Keynote (2013) files have Slide1.iwa, Slide2.iwa, etc., for all the slides of the presentation, and also a series of MasterSlide-1.iwa, etc., files (which are in a different numbered sequence that can exceed the number of actual slides). Other files include DocumentStylesheet.iwa, ThemeStylesheet.iwa, Document.iwa, AnnotationAuthorStorage.iwa, CalculationEngine.iwa, Metadata.iwa, and Document.iwa. The Tables subdirectory has DataList.iwa.

Graphics imported into Keynote documents are stored in Apple's PICT format.


  • Keynote version 6.6 released on Oct 15, 2015 added compatibility with Keynote ’08 and ’06 documents
  • Keynote version 7.0 released on Sep 13, 2016 added compatibility with Keynote '05 documents

See also

Software, tools, and utilities

Programming libraries

  • libetonyek (library to process Keynote v2-5 documents)

Sample files


Personal tools