Looking for a solution for FileMaker to Keynote automation

Discussion created by dburnham on Feb 6, 2013
Latest reply on Feb 6, 2013 by BowdenData

It could be a plug-in that I am not yet familiar with, or maybe it's a solution that deploys AppleScript or Automator. I found something online that allegedly did this with FileMaker 6.04 and Keynote 1.1


The challenge:

I need to create a unique slide presentation for each of several hundred 2-hour meetings. Each presentation will consist of about 150-200 slides. The specific slides for each meeting will be different.

A FileMaker database will be online to allow content to be contributed by various authorized people.

The format of each and every slide will be essentially the same: one photo, a headline, several bullet points, and some narrative text in the NOTES field.

There will be three meetings running each day, each one with a different slide presentation.


The FileMaker database will have all the necessary variables to allow a script to select the 150-200 records necessary for each slide presentation.


Now, the easy solution would be to make an attractive FileMaker layout in landscape mode for a 1024x768 image, and create a PDF file that can be sent as an email attachment, using a server-side script, at midnight each night prior to the scheduled meeting. The presenter for each meeting would receive by email the PDF file that could be presented using a laptop or an iPad with a connected video projector.


The problem with the PDF method is that it doesn't provide a way to use Keynote files. The reason to use Keynote files is that the narrative text in the NOTES are visible to the presenter, not the audience. This will enable the presenter to be able to read the text corresponding to each slide.


Without Keynote, the next best solution is to use 2 devices for the presentation: one to project the slides on the screen and the other to read the narrative text. FileMaker could export and email 2 PDF files, one for the presented images and the other for the narration.


What I would rather do instead is somehow use AppleScript to create the Keynote file on-the-fly and then attach that file to the email. A script written in FM could select the records, export the text and images to a designated folder, trigger the Applescript to create the Keynote file, then transmit it by email.


Is there a way to do that?


I thought of a less elegant solution which would do the entire thing in FileMaker, using two windows, one on the projection screen and the other on the laptop with the displays set up without mirroring. I don't think this can be done on an iPad because FileMaker GO shows only one window at a time, unless I'm mistaken.



Anybody have any ideas or suggestions? (Searching this site for the word "keynote" just gives me a lot of posts about Devcon)