Apologies if this is the wrong forum for my question. I'm having a difficult time importing vector graphics (svg flat icons) into Keynote 6.6.1. Any pointers are greatly appreciated.

Here are some things I've attempted:

  • Opened svg in demo version of EazyDraw 8 and tried to save .key file but that option does not exist and I'm not quite ready to shell out for a subscription
  • Installed AI2Key AI plugin and successfully saved .key file but the file is too old for Keynote 6.6.1 and I don't have older Keynote versions
  • Opened svg in Inkscape and saved pdf but Keynote opens the pdf as an image vs an editable (fill, size, etc) vector graphic

13 Answers 13


Pasting paths will usually rasterise you graphic - which does not scale well.

If you want a smooth scaleable graphic (but one you still can't edit in Keynote) you can import PDFs. Those will scale smoothly, and Keynote is pretty good at preserving things like transparency.

You will need to design and edit the graphics in another program. (Also most design programs can expert selected objects - which I recommend you always do because it leaves no unwanted white space around the graphic when you import it.

Not ideal but it does the job.

For graphics I use all the time I have a couple of Keynote files that I just use to hold all my vectors - most of the time I just copy paste these from keynote to keynote so I don't have to mess around with the finder or open my graphics program and do an export.

Keynote would definitely benefit from a good shape library feature and an import SVG capability - can't imagine why Apple hasn't provided this.


Well, this may sound crazy, it's a bit of a work around but it works. So, you copy and paste from Illustrator into PPT on a PC as an enhanced meta file. Ungroup it, save the doc. Then on your mac open the PPT in keynote and BOOM, you have a live scalable and changeable vector in keynote. It requires having both a mac and pc but so far that is the only way we have found it to work.

  • 1
    If this actually works, one workaround from having both a Mac and a PC would be to use emulation software, such as Remote Desktop. Of course, that would require having MS Office installed there, but still cheaper than buying a PC.
    – DLev
    Oct 21, 2016 at 18:09

Keynote 6.6.1 does not support importing vector graphics. You’ll need to rasterize the graphic to a supported format (PNG is a good choice; both lossless and relatively space-efficient) and insert that. In Inkscape, which it sounds like you already have, it’s just File > Export PNG Image....

  • To be clear, you can draw vector graphics within Keynote, but can’t import them. You can open the PDF version of your graphic in Preview and Copy/Paste into Keynote and you’ll get a rasterized image. Feb 20, 2016 at 8:19
  • @SimonWhite Good point about draw v. import; I’ll update. Regarding Preview, at least on my system (El Capitan), it can't open SVG. Inkscape can though.
    – duozmo
    Feb 20, 2016 at 15:57

Keynote is clever enough to deal with vectors from 3rd parties, but sadly the import/edit side is not. Copy paste your vector (just like that).

  • Select your paths.
  • Copy them (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C)
  • Go to your Keynote file and just paste it (Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).

Keynote will detect the pasted info as vector, meaning you will be able to scale it all around without loosing any bit of the image or messing up with pixels, sadly though you won't be able to edit the pasted vectors within keynote (no path editing nor color, etc...) the whole pasted vector info will be treated as an image element when it comes to editing.

  • Any idea how to do this so that color editing still works?
    – Makoto
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:59

What worked very well from me:

Open the SVG file in Affinity Designer.

Select All.

Paste in Keynote.

Pastes as vectors (scales well without pixelation).

So far no problems.

  • Also works with Sketch Nov 20, 2016 at 15:44
  • An incorrect answer! Yes, you can copy elements from AD, but copied element will be rasterised image, not vector graphic!
    – D.A.H
    Oct 23, 2017 at 15:18

There is another very easy way to get vector shapes into Keynote.

For first download and install app SvgToKeynote.

  • Launch application
  • Select desired SVG file for conversion
  • Open new .key file and copy shapes into your presentation.

You can download SvgToKeynote here:

SvgToKeynote Homepage

  1. Export Vector Graphic as an .emf file
  2. Insert .emf file into an OpenOffice Presentation (free software). Top menu » Insert » Picture » From File
  3. Right click placed .emf file and select "Break"
  4. Save OpenOffice Presentation as a .ppt
  5. Open that .ppt file in Keynote. All graphics will be editable, native vector graphics.

NOTE: this method does not work well for small vector graphics (smaller than 5"x5" for example). The point placement will get all messed up. The conversion to .emf does not work smoothly. Scale up your vector in Illustrator (to like 10"x10") if you encounter this issue, then re-save.

This method also works for getting native, editable vector graphics into PowerPoint.


There is a way to do this using AI2Key AI plugin for Adobe Illustrator and Keynote '09. Find/Buy a copy Keynote '09 (good luck with that)

  1. Istall AI2Key AI and Keynote '09
  2. Export vector from illustrator as a keynote file.
  3. Open in Keynote '09
  4. Save file in Keynote '09
  5. Open in Keynote 6 and vectors are editable and colorable.

There's youtube videos demoing this technique. I keep a copy of Keynote '09 just for this purpose and it's how most people that make keynote templates for sale do it.


With latest Keynote you can use SVG2KEYNOTE, which is a command line utility to create Keynote files from SVG files. Latest Keynote is able to open old Keynote files, so you can easily get whatever vectors again into Keynote.


This is quite an old thread but it might still be worth replying to. I succeeded to workaround this limitation by importing the SVG image into PowerPoint, saving the file and then opening the .pptx in Keynote. Now I have the vector image fully scalable and editable (shapes, colors). (note : PowerPoint v.16.48, Keynote v.11.0.1)

I hope this might help some of you. Although not a solution, this workaround is fast and hassle-free (provided you also have MS Office installed).

By the way, the other tips to open the SVG within an editor (e.g., Sketch or others) and Copy and Paste do not work. Neither does the PDF import. The imported image still is a bitmap.


I open SVG files with LibreOffice since it's free. LibreOffice can't save directly in Keynote file format though, so I save it in PPTX and then just import that into Keynote. Works like a a charm, and it results in a real shape object in KeyNote. (Just remember to use the "Break" command in LibreOffice on the SVG image before saving it.)

  • Works with OpenOffice as well (but it's not free anymore).
    – Rul
    May 17, 2021 at 9:52

Proceed as explained here:


After that, download the google slides presentation as PPTX and open it in Keynote. Works perfectly. ;)


just open svg file with photoshop than select whole image using rectangular marquee tool and copy paste it to keynote


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