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The Grumpy Editor's guide to presentation programs

The Grumpy Editor's guide to presentation programs

Posted Sep 26, 2004 4:45 UTC (Sun) by kcannon (guest, #4867)
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's guide to presentation programs

It looks like it hasn't been mentioned yet, so I'd like to draw people's attention to pdfscreen. I've tried litterally dozens of these presentations programs, and pdfscreen provides by far the best solution for me. I'm not sure where pdfscreen's real homepage is, but typing "pdfscreen" into Google brings up lots of useful information.

My most important needs are: (i) the ability to display technical information (I'm a physicist, so I need to display math and graphs), (ii) the ability to interoperate with the software with which the original work was done, eg. import .eps and .pdf graphics, import ASCII source code, import mathematics typeset in AMSTeX/LaTeX, (iii) the ability to make a copy of my presentation available online. *None* of the purpose-built presentation packages provide the first two features, which leaves LaTeX as the only workable solution for me. The question then is which LaTeX presentation system is best, and I've found pdfscreen to be it.

pdfscreen is a LaTeX package designed specifically for use with pdflatex. When this package is included in your document, it sets the page size to something that matches the size of your screen, and provides the "slide" environment (eg. \begin{slide} ... \end{slide}) which does something obvious. Upon processing the document with pdflatex, the output is a .pdf file which you can display during the presentation using xpdf's fullscreen mode. Being a LaTeX package, all of LaTeX's power is available: structure based mark-up rather than visual mark-up, very high quality typesetting of math, etc. The output being a .pdf file, a copy of the presentation is easily made available online by simply linking directly to it (no "export to HTML" step required 'cause everyone can read a .pdf).

A package option turns on and off the creation of a navigation bar on one side of the pdf document. The navigation bar is placed on each slide and has what look like buttons that are links to other slides within the document. This lets you navigate through your presentation by clicking on the buttons.

pdfscreen uses the hyperref package to perform the internal linking, which means you can easily use hyperref commands yourself in your presentation. You can use this as a hack to add movie clips or sounds to your presentation: as long as the movie clip or sound file is in a format that your web browser knows how to handle, just add something like

\href{file:///path/to/movie.avi}{Click here to watch the movie}

to your document. A link will be added to the .pdf file which will launch your web browser when you click on it, which in turn will do something appropriate to play the file. Then, exit the web browser to return to the presentation.

Anyway, everything else will have to come a long way before I'll leave pdfscreen...


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The Grumpy Editor's guide to presentation programs : pdfscreen

Posted Oct 4, 2004 4:17 UTC (Mon) by shashikiran (guest, #25186) [Link]

pdfscreen and other tex/latex software/manuals/tutorials are available from . Get pdfscreen style files and manual from here

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