Use bidirectional text

Keynote supports bidirectional text, so you can enter and edit text written from left to right (such as in English or Chinese) and from right to left (such as in Arabic or Hebrew). You can use bidirectional text in paragraphs and in a selected shape or table cell.

To use another language in your presentation, you must set up an input source for it in Keyboard preferences (in System Preferences on your Mac). For more information, click the desktop to switch to Finder, choose Help > Mac Help, and search for “input sources.”

Note: If you add a new input source to your computer while Keynote is open, reopen Keynote so that it recognizes the source.

Use another language in Keynote

  • Choose an input source from the Input menu on the right side of your computer’s menu bar.

    The Input menu in the upper-right corner of the menu bar.

Change paragraph text direction

The ruler and its tab stops always match the direction of a paragraph, so when you change the text direction, the ruler also changes.

  1. Click in a paragraph or list, or select text in a paragraph or list.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Change the language using the Input menu.

    • Click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar on the right, then click Paragraph direction button to enter text in the current language. (If you don’t see a sidebar, or it doesn’t have a Text tab, click Format button in the toolbar.)

    The insertion point moves to the other side, and the paragraph direction changes.

    Bidirectional button
  3. Enter text, then press Return at the end of the paragraph.

    The next paragraph continues in the same direction. To change its direction, click Paragraph direction button, or choose the language in the Input menu.

If you select multiple paragraphs with different text directions then click Paragraph direction button, the paragraphs are formatted to match the first paragraph in the selection.

Changes to margins and indents apply proportionally to both text directions. For example, if you increase the first line indent on the right for a right-to-left paragraph, the first line indent on the left also changes for left-to-right paragraphs.

To learn how to type and edit bidirectional text and to use some of the supporting features in OS X, click the desktop to switch to Finder, then choose Help > Mac Help, and search for “bidirectional text.”