How to Use the R800 Presenter with Keynote (Update)

2 05 2017

After several MacOS updates, the purchase of a new MacBook Pro Touch Bar and some tinkering around, the R800 Professional Presenter keyboard previously created to work with Keynote no longer worked for my presentations. I was frustrated and missed using the remote. Finally, after (too long) I figured out how to create and save the keyboard layout to use with the presenter and Keynote. These are the steps and reasoning.

The problem with the R800 and similar presenters is that when you press the blank screen button on the remote, a “.” symbol is sent to Keynote. You really want a “b” to be sent to blank the screen to black. (If you want the screen to blank to white, you will need to use the “w” key instead of the “b” key described below.)

Using an app called Ukelele and the process described here, you will create a keyboard layout that will replace the “.” with a “b” so your remote will work. The process will create an extra keyboard layout to use during presentations so that you can accomplish the blank screen effect with the presenter.

First, if you have a more recent portable Mac with a USB-C port, you will need a USB adapter dongle to plug the USB connector from the R800 into.

You can use the USB-C to USB adapter or one of the Multiport Adapters depending on which kind of projector you will be using (VGA, HDMI, etc). The multipart adapters allow you to plug in multiple connections like a VGA or HDMI cable and a USB fob. This Adapter is for an HDMI connection. This Adapter is for a VGA connection. Both have an extra place to insert the USB R800 fob to talk with your presenter. As with any presenter that relies on a USB receiver, you will need to make sure the dongle adapter is plugged into the computer and then the presenter USB fob is plugged into the adapter.

This is the update for the process of how to make the R800 presenter work with Keynote.

First, you will need to download a program called Ukelele which is going to allow you to map your keyboard to change the “.” to a “b” so that the blank screen will work during Keynote. The Ukelele app is available here.

Once you have downloaded the app, move it to your Applications folder. Then, open the app and if requested, allow it to open.

When it opens, regardless of the keyboard you have, you will see something like this. (You will not see green keys and but the keyboard will probably be blank.)

In Ukelele, go to File > New from Current Input Source and double click on the Keyboard Layout name. Here, it is U.S.

The onscreen Ukelele keyboard will then populate with the keys from your keyboard. If you do not have an extended keyboard, do not worry about the extra keys.

Next, using your trackpad or mouse, double tap on the “.” on the onscreen keyboard to select and change the input.

Change the “.” to a “b” by typing “b” in the window. If you want the screen to be white when you press the blank screen button on the remote, then type “w”.

Next, in the Ukelele menu, choose Keyboard > Set Keyboard Name and Script. A sheet will appear. Now, name the new Keyboard layout something like R800 and click OK.

Save this keyboard layout in Ukelele by choosing File > Save. Name the file something like R800. When given a choice for a location where to save it, you can save it in your documents folder, desktop or somewhere else.

At the bottom of the sheet, choose File Format: Keyboard Layout Bundle.

You will now see something like below for your keyboard layouts. You can close that window. The keyboard layout window should still be visible.

In Ukelele, choose File > Install and decide whether you want your newly created keyboard layout to be available for all users of the computer or just you by selecting “Install For Current User” or “Install for All Users.”

Once you have made that choice, the file will be save in the Library for System Preferences to access it. You can now quit Ukelele.

The keyboard will not be available for use until a couple of other steps are complete.

First, you will need to restart your computer to allow the new keyboard to be seen in System Preferences. (There may be another way, but I have not figured that out.)

After restarting, open System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources. System Preferences is located under the  symbol on the top left of your menu bar.

Choose System Preferences and then choose the Keyboard icon to pull up the window below. Click on Input Sources.

Now, click on the “+” in the lower left.

You should see the R800 file as an available Keyboard source. Select it and then click on Add. Now, there should be two keyboard choices.

You can choose the R800 to use your presenter with Keynote. You can go through the process of selecting the keyboard via System Preferences each time you go to present or create a menu bar short cut.

To easily switch between your regular keyboard layout and your “Presenter” keyboard layout, you can add a menubar input choice.

Click on “Show input menu in menu bar” and you will see an icon in the menu bar to allow for easy switching between keyboard layouts.

At the top right of your menu bar, you should see something like this when you click. Choose the R800 to use your new keyboard layout with the presenter.

Remember, after you choose R800, every time you press the “.” on the keyboard, a letter “b” will appear. So, you should only use this keyboard selection when you are getting ready to play your Keynote presentation.

Open your Keynote presentation. Now, with the R800 keyboard selected, Keynote running in presentation mode, your presenter receiver and dongle plugged into the computer, when you press the blank screen button on your remote, the screen should go black. To go back to the slide show, press the blank screen button on the remote again.

After you are finished with your your presentation, click on the menubar and choose your regular keyboard.

This process make take 5-10 minutes to set up. Experiment with it before your presentation.

Hopefully, this will work for you.


How to Make Logictech’s R800 Remote Work with Keynote

18 08 2013

Professional Presenter R800

This post will walk a Mac user through how to get the Logictech Professional Presenter to work with Keynote. The initial steps take about 5 minutes. After that, you simply plug in your remote antenna, select the Presenter Keyboard and present.

The Logictech Professional Presenter R800 has some great features:

  • Green laser pointer
  • 100-foot (30-meter) effective range with 2.4 GHz wireless technology
  • LCD display with timer, battery-power and reception-level indicators
  • Built-in slideshow buttons
  • Storable plug-and-play receiver
  • On/Off switch
  • Carrying case

One glaring absent feature is the ability to work perfectly out of the box with Apple’s Keynote program. Logictech does not even list Apple OS X as being compatible. Using the steps in this post, let’s take care of that.

Before discussing how to fix the remote to work with Keynote, it must be noted that out of the box, the remote works fine with Powerpoint.

Button Problem

The problem with the remote is related to 2 of the 4 buttons on the remote not working as Keynote expects. After plugging in the USB antenna into your laptop and pressing the buttons on the remote, Keynote interprets the 2 lower buttons differently that expected.

Control Buttons

The button on the lower left should “Play Slideshow” and the one on the right should “blank” the screen (the equivalent of pressing the letter B on the keyboard in Keynote). However, the “button” signal sent from the presenter to the USB antenna is not what Keynote expects. That creates the problem.

We can train Keynote so that the buttons will work as expected. The left and right slide advance work fine out of the box.

If you have a few minutes and want to use this device with Keynote on your laptop, here is what you can do:

Fixing the Play Slideshow Button

This is the easiest button to “fix”. On you computer, go to System Preferences (under the ) and select Keyboard.

System Preferences Keyboard

Next, select Application Shortcuts and Keyboard Shortcuts and click the + button.

Keyboard Shortcuts

You are going to want to navigate to your applications folder to where Keynote is. This is typically in the iWork folder within Applications. Once there, select Keynote.

Play Slideshow

After selecting Keynote, you are going to want to type “Play Slideshow” (Capitalization may matter so use the exact form “Play Slideshow” of one of the menu selections in Keynote under the menu item Play.) This is the menu item you will be giving the F5 shortcut to for the Play Slideshow button.

To enter the “Keyboard Shortcut” on a laptop keyboard, you will need to press the fn key at the bottom left and press the F5 button at the top of the keyboard just above the 5. You need to press and hold down the fn and then press the F5. You should see F5 appear in the Keyboard Shortcut area as shown above.

Once you plug in the USB antenna and turn on your remote, if you open a Keynote presentation now,  pressing the play slideshow button on your remote should work fine.

If that’s all you want to do and you do not use the b button to blank the screen, you can stop here.

b for Blank

Next, we need to make the . on your keyboard be interpreted by Keynote as a b. When you press the blank screen button on the remote, it sends a signal that Keynote interprets as a period (although this works fine for Powerpoint). You can test this out by opening up a Keynote slide and putting the cursor where text will be entered. Insert the USB antenna, turn on the remote and press the blank screen button. You will see a .

Keynote with Period

We need to get the . to be a b. Now, there may be other ways to accomplish what you are about to do, however, this is the one that works for me. It takes a little bit of time and you will need to take one quick extra step before each presentation but, I think it is worth it to use this device.

First, in System Preferences, select “Language & Text”.

Language & Text

Then, you will need to make sure a couple of items are selected and turned on. Click Input Sources, then check on Keyboard & Character Viewer and Show Input menu in menu bar.

Language and Text

Next, download an app called Ukelele which allows you to edit your keyboard layout. Open the dmg file that was downloaded and drag the app into your applications folder. Open Ukelele.

You will see something that looks like this.

Blank Keyboard

In Ukelele, select File > New From Current Input Source.

File > New From Current Input Source

You will see a keyboard layout that shows your current keyboard. (Something like this if you have a MacBook Pro or similar laptop).

Current Keyboard Layout

Using your mouse or touchpad move the pointer on top of the . and double tap. This lets Ukelele know you want to edit the .

Select .

You will then be asked to enter the new output for this key. Type b and press OK.

Mapping the b

The keyboard will now look like this.

2bs and no .

There is no . on the keyboard now.

In Ukelele, go to File > Save As.

Here, you need to save the file to the Library Folder located at the top level of your Hard Drive. Look for the folder Keyboard Layouts within Library. The path is Your HD > Library > Keyboard Layouts.

Keyboard Layouts Path

Name the file something like R800 Presenter and save it.

You will need administrator privileges. Enter the Admin name and password. You can save the file in the user library if you wish.

Quit Ukelele.

Now, open System Preferences > Language & Text and click on Input Sources.

Add Input Source

You should not see “Presenter 800” available as an input source. Check it to make it available to you.

Now, whenever you want to use the remote with Keynote, start Keynote, plug in your device and from the top menu bar keyboard viewer (close to the spotlight symbol), select this keyboard layout.

Select Presenter 800

When you are finished your presentation, reselect your other keyboard so every time you type a . it does not have a b.

Hope this helps.