KeyJnote is an interesting program that allows you to display presentation slides with style. It offers many unique tools that are useful for presentations. Creating presentations for KeyJnote is quite simple. Basically, you create slides in the presentation application of your choice and then use KeyJnote for displaying them. However, you need to export your presentation in a PDF format before using KeyJnote. In addition, you can use KeyJnote to make a slideshow with your favorite photos. With KeyJnote, you may either play a PDF file, a directory containing image files or individual image files (JPEG, PNG, TIFF and BMP).

KeyJnote is written in Python, a feature-rich interpreted scripting language. Rendering is done via OpenGL, which allows for some “eye candy” effects. Python is available on numerous platforms. Because of this, KeyJnote works with most operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.

KeyJnote contains some unique features that come in handy when giving presentations:

  • Page transitions
  • Overview screen
  • Multiple highlighting boxes
  • Spotlight effect

To start a presentation, you type something like at the command line:
keyjnote -t PagePeel demo.pdf

Available transitions:

  • Crossfade – simple crossfade
  • None – no transition
  • PagePeel – an unrealistic, but nice page peel effect
  • PageTurn – another page peel effect, slower but more realistic than PagePeel
  • SlideDown – Slide downwards
  • SlideLeft – Slide to the left
  • SlideRight – Slide to the right
  • SlideUp – Slide upwards
  • SpinOutIn – spins the current page out, and the next one in.
  • SpiralOutIn – flushes the current page away to have the next one overflow
  • SqueezeDown – Squeeze downwards
  • SqueezeLeft – Squeeze to the left
  • SqueezeRight – Squeeze to the right
  • SqueezeUp – Squeeze upwards
  • WipeBlobs – wipe using nice “blob”-like patterns
  • WipeCenterIn – wipe from the edges inwards
  • WipeCenterOut – wipe from the center outwards
  • WipeDown – wipe downwards
  • WipeDownRight – wipe from the upper-left to the lower-right corner
  • WipeLeft – wipe from right to left
  • WipeRight – wipe from left to right
  • WipeUp – wipe upwards
  • WipeUpLeft – wipe from the lower-right to the upper-left corner
  • ZoomOutIn – zooms the current page out, and the next one in.

About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
This entry was posted in Open Source, Software Tools. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to KeyJnote

  1. James M. Thompson says:

    After reviewing this blog, it appears that KeyJNote would have many great uses across various types of educational setting. As a former middle school teacher, I know how I could actually implement KeyJNote into my instructional strategies. For instance, when teaching a complex unit, such as chemistry or physical science, to a group of seventh graders, using KeyJNote would help to add some excitement to the content. Many students spend countless hours sitting in front of a television playing some type of videogame. Students enjoy being entertained! In order to catch their attention and keep their focus, integrating technology into a routine lesson plan could help to break the customary routine of teacher-centered classroom. When teachers use illustrations and other types of “eye candy,” students are intrigued and engaged in learning. Teachers can also allow students to access previous classes PowerPoint presentations using KeyJNotes if they were absent due to unforeseen circumstances. This would enable students to make up previous class materials without falling to far behind their classmates.
    In a student-centered classroom, KeyJNote would be an excellent use of technology to empower students to become lifelong learners. A teacher could assign students to work in cooperative learning groups of no more than four people. Each group would be assigned a chapter out of the book in which they would become experts. Students would have to present a PowerPoint presentation integrating several types of transitions. During their oral presentation, each person would have three minutes to present on a specific number of slides.

  2. Amy Thornton says:

    Upon first look at this software, I thought, wow, this would be really cool to have. Unfortunately, when I went to download, I found out it it’s not quite as simple as to download this on a Mac. To run this application it requires that you are running Python and have access to its libraries. That’s fine for downloading on Windows machines because apparently the .zip file that is used to install the application includes python and its libraries to make it simple. It’s not the same for the Mac version. After doing a little bit more research, it told me that I would need to download Python separately and make sure I had all of the appropriate libraries to make it run properly, this included downloading Xpdf, GhostScript and pdftk via Fink. I decided to not bother with this especially since I don’t have a complete understanding of what all of the above is.

    Although I have not used it much myself, I believe that Keynote, which is a part of iWorks for Mac does many of the same functions as KeyJnote, which might be why their names are so similar. Keynote is not free, but it is included in iWork along with Pages and Numbers for $79 and you receive a 30-day trial version with every new Mac. Keynote includes features such as an array of already designed themes to choose from. You can export to youTube, iPhone, and iPod. You can import many other presentation files, including PowerPoint. Keynote includes powerful transitions and text effects. Smart building allows you to drop photos in and it will instantly create a presentation for you, create smooth animations by scaling and dragging images across a path and voice over recording are some of the features included as well as all of the normal presentation tools you would expect to have.

  3. N G Rao says:


    I want to try KeyJnote on windows. Can you please send me the link to down load. My efforts to locate a download for windows on google failed. the project /file is reportedly missing.


    N G Rao

  4. Steve Yuen says:

    KeyJnote, now renamed as “Impress!ve.” You can download it at:

  5. Amey says:

    Thanks, even I was having a lot of trouble locating the Windows version

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