Friday, April 27, 2007

Making Slides Using LaTex

Recently I'm preparing for my dissertation slides. I used to create transparencies with PowerPoint because of its simplicity, but it is really difficult to cope with mathmatical equations. You have to reserve space for equations in the text, and if you modify some equations later, you may have to readjust their reserved space one by one.

So I transfer to LaTex, although I need some time to learn it, it is powerful. It has rich overlay and dynamic effects. The layout, the colors and the fonts can easily be changed. The most important thing for me is that it can merge text and mathematical formulae smoothly and can reuse LaTex codes of my previous papers.

There are some well-known existing packages for slides making in LaTex, such as Beamer, Proper, Foiltex etc. I didn't spend too much time on investigating and comparing those packages pros and cons. I just select the Beamer.

After half day's learning, I can create slides with Beamer quickly. Beamer can handle graphics but with less flexibility, e.g. locating the position of figures freely is not that easy. Fortunately, I found another package called 'pstricks' which can do this kind of work easily. However, pstricks does not support PdfLaTex. The workflow of pstricks is LaTex->dvips->pspdf.

The following figure is a demo of the slides created by Beamer.

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