PDF Classroom Demonstrations
Last Update: 6/16/2001
The traditional way to create presentations using LaTeX is to use such classes as foiltex or seminar. These were originally designed to create overhead tranparencies. In the age of laptop presentations, powerpoint seems to dominate. Powerpoint, though, does not handle the complexities of mathematics. This being said, there are now several packages that can aid the development of presentations rich in color and special effects.
- Slide Development Packages
- People who use pdftex, can use pdfscreen, written by C. V. Radhakrishnan, (Catalogue Description). PSTricks cannot be used with pdftex. (Note: pdfscreen works well with my exerquiz package.)
- An alternative (for pdftex users) to pdfscreen is pdfslide, also written by C. V. Radhakrishnan,(Catalogue Description). You can use PPower4 to enhance the presentation. PSTricks cannot be used with pdfslide.
- David Wilson of Utopia Precision Typesetting has written Utopia Presentations Bundle. With this bundle you can design your own presentation with different backgrounds, various transitions effects and line by line presentation of talking points. This package is very nice. (Available for a nominal charge.) The Bundle comes with a post-processor that helps to create an almost powerpoint look. This system uses Acrobat Distiller to produce the PDF file. PSTricks can be used with the Presentations Bundle. (David's Bundle works well with my own web/exerquiz package)
- The Web Package, which defines screen friendly page, can also be used in presentations (I have given several talks and workshops using Web). Additional enhancements can be made to the document using the Utopia Presentation Bundle, PPower4 or TeXPower.
- Slide Enhancement Tools
- PPower4 (Catalogue Description) by Klaus Guntermann is used to post process (La)TeX files formatted with pdf(la)tex to be able to build pages step by step during a presentation. The software is written in Java and it is free. PPower4 can be used to enhance the presentations created by some of the packages listed above.
- TeXPower by Stephan Lehmke can be used as an add-on to any document class, for creating dynamic effects. It works well in conjunction with pdfslide and pdfscreen, as well as with seminar, foils, or any other class/package for designing slides. It is meant as an alternative to PPower4 for those who can't use pdfLaTeX (for instance, because they're using PSTricks), but can also be used with tex -> dvi -> ps -> pdf workflow.
- Beamer is a LaTeX class that can be used with the tex -> dvi -> ps -> pdf workflow or tex--> pdf workflow (pdftex)..
- Prosper is another LaTeX class can be used with the tex -> dvi -> ps -> pdf workflow or tex--> pdf workflow (pdftex)..
Other Links on this topic: See Michael Wiedmann's Screen Presentations. This page discusses PDF/LaTeX solutions as well html based solutions. The page is still in construction stage.