Presentations with LaTeX
With the availability of notebook computers supporting high-quality graphics and good X/SVGA projectors it becomes more and more appealing to replace the good old slides with more modern presentation tools. This page is dedicated to the preparation of presentations with LaTeX. The emphasis is on online presentations, but some of the material is also useful if you finally print everything on slides.
Some may ask: Why use LaTeX, when there are specialized online presentations tools available? Here are some good reasons:
I use the following software packages on a GNU/Linux machine:
LaTeX Styles and Packages
For both presentations that I print on slides and online presentations, I have written my own LaTeX2e class, which essentially customizes the seminar style. It also adds support for running footers as well as itemized and numbered lists with a layout that fits nicely to the sans serif PostScript font that I use for the main text. Finally, there is some support for overlays, which most importantly includes a hack that allows to accumulate overlay images for online presentations (this is essential if you want to use seminar styles overlay mechanism, which in turn builds on PSTricks, in an online presentation). The current version of the class file is chaksem 1.7b. (The class depends on at least the following packages: seminar, pstricks, newcent, palatino, helvetica, and pifont.) You may download the following versions:
The preformatted documentation is also available.
I usually do my graphics with PSTricks. This is a bit more work in the beginning when compared to using a WYSIWIG graphics program; but it allows me to easily use LaTeX fonts in my graphics and it makes reuse of graphics much easier in my experience. If you prefer a more traditional graphics program, I recommend The Gimp for bitmap graphics and Dia for vector graphics.
Displaying a Presentation
I generate a PostScript version of my presentation with dvips and display it with pspresent, which is a front-end to the PostScript interpreter ghostscript that displays slides in fullscreen mode and uses double buffering to avoid any flickering during slide transitions.
If pspresent is not available, an alternative is to use gv or ggv (which
I use to preview the slides while I am writing a talk). I use a tiny script called
During the presentation with gv, I move the mouse cursor into the right half of gv's display. This allows me to move to the next slide with a double click of the left mouse button.
At lower colour depth, there may be problems with using gs'
anti-aliasing (in gv, it can be toggled with the
As pointed out by Toshiyuki
Yamada, the Helvetica font is sometimes better suited than the
Avantgarde font, which chaksem uses by default. Since version 1.2d,
Helvetica can be selected with the
If you want to see, how a presentation with the discussed tools looks like, here is an example. You can also get the LaTeX code for this presentation (to compile it, you need to use my Haskell style, which eases setting functional programs). Another talk works fine with anti-aliasing and demonstrates that code fragments look way better when they are set in a nice proportional font and are placed on a light gray background, which visually separates them from the rest of the slide. The LaTeX source is also available, but it is quite a bad hack in some places - I just didn't have the time to make it nicer before I had to give the talk.
IMHO, the LaTeX/gv combination can still be significantly improved for online presentations. Some interesting features would be the following:
If you have some ideas, e-mail email@example.com.
system allows for some rather impressive presentations with
|• Copyright 2005 Manuel M T Chakravarty • Last modified: Sat Feb 25 01:16:23 EST 2006 •|