Toying with Keynote 3 textures

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous is having a heck of time putting Keynote 3’s chart textures to good use. He writes:

Last January Steve Jobs showed off Keynote 3’s cool new charts—the ones with the wood and marble textures. I’ve been trying to change the textures on my charts and can’t figure out how to do it. What’s the trick?

Two tricks come to mind.

Let’s say you’ve created a bar chart—the one that appears by default when you choose the White theme and then click the Chart button in the toolbar. Lovely as those gray and brown paper textures are, you’d like to change the colors to something cheerier. To do so, follow these steps:

Click on one of the bars—say, a gray one. This selects all the gray bars. Open the Inspector, choose the Graphic tab, and from the Fill pop-up menu, choose Tinted Image Fill. Click the Tint color icon (next to the Choose button). In the resulting Colors palette click a new color. The gray bars will change to that color while maintaining their texture.

Now on to the textures.

Textures are theme-based. For example, if you choose a 3D bar chart in the White theme, you get marble bars. Change that theme to Black and you get the wood texture. The Gray theme produces plastic-looking bars.

You can’t use the Inspector to change the textures of 3D charts. Instead, you must invoke a theme that uses the texture you want, create your chart, copy it, choose the theme you really want, and paste the chart into this theme.

Note that Apple likely tied textures to themes so you wouldn’t create ugly presentations. If your audience groans because you’ve mixed wooden charts with a Formal theme, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Update: Reader GMunson offers a more efficient (and more flexible) way to go about this:

Click any shape or a bar in the default graph with the texture you want then go to Format > Copy Style. Next, click on the shape or bar with the texture you want changed and go to Format > Paste Style.

This simple trick works great for all kinds of things; text format, bullets, etc.

This technique still requires you to flip from theme to theme if you want to grab a wooden bar for a marble theme, but it allows you to mix and match textures. For example, in a chart that uses three bars, you can copy the wooden style for one, the marble style for another, and the plastic style for the third.

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