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To see the corresponding video for this blog post click here.

In the last post we looked at animating our slides using overlay specifications. In this post we’re going to look at editing the way our presentation looks using themes. We’ll also look at printing handouts.

Presentation Themes

In the first video we set up our presentation with the ‘Boadilla’ theme like this:

\usetheme{Boadilla}

There are lots of different predefined presentation themes available for us to use. Here are a few of them. This is the ‘Bergen’ theme:

br1 br2 br3 br4

This is the ‘Madrid’ theme:

md1 md2 md3 md4

There are also themes that include navigation bars, for example the ‘Antibes’ theme:

an1 an2 an3 an4

We could also use a theme that includes a table of contents sidebar, like the ‘Hannover’ theme:

hn1 hn2 hn3 hn4

The ‘Singapore’ theme is one that includes what beamer calls a ‘Mini Frame Navigation’:

sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4

Finally there are also themes like ‘Warsaw’ that have the section and subsection titles at the top of each frame:

ws1 ws2 ws3 ws4

Colour, Font, Inner & Outer Themes

The presentation themes control everything about how the presentation looks. However beamer gives us more flexibility by allowing us to change the colour theme, font theme, inner theme and outer theme, all separately. This is really handy as it means if we like a theme like ‘Warsaw’ but, for example, want to change the colour theme, then we can load the ‘Warsaw’ presentation theme and then override the colour theme with one of beamer’s predefined colour themes. We change the colour scheme using the \usecolortheme command followed by the colour theme in curly brackets. Note that these themes are different to the presentation themes we used earlier. For example, the ‘crane’ colour theme:

crane1 crane2 crane3 crane4

The inner theme dictates the style of the title and part pages, the itemize, enumerate, description, block, theorem and proof environments as well as figures, tables, footnotes and bibliography entries. For example we could also load up the ‘rectangles’ inner theme. We do this using the \useinnertheme command. This has made our table of contents and lists use rectangles as bullet points:

rec1 rec2

The outer theme dictates the style of the head and footline, the logo, the sidebars and the frame title. We can specify this theme using the \useinnertheme command. As we’re using ‘Warsaw’, by default we are using the ‘shadow’ outer theme, but we could change this to the ‘tree’ theme if we wanted to change the top navigation bar to a tree like structure:

tree1 tree2 tree3 tree4

Finally, I could also change the font theme using the \usefonttheme command and a predefined font theme like the ‘serif’ theme.

serif1 serif2 serif3 serif4

All the information about the different themes available can be found in the documentation.

Handouts

Now let’s briefly look at creating handouts for our presentation. To do this we add the keyword ‘handout’ into square brackets in the document class command. We then use the ‘pgfpages’ package to help us print multiple slides on a page. After loading the package we use the \pgfpagesuselayout command. In the curly brackets we specify how many frames we want on a sheet. In the square brackets we specify the paper size and how much border shrink we want:

\documentclass[handout]{beamer}
\usepackage{pgfpages}
\pgfpagesuselayout{2 on 1}[a4paper,border shrink=5mm]

handout

If we wanted to put four frames on a sheet we could simply change the 2 to a 4 and then add the ‘landscape’ keyword into the square brackets.

\pgfpagesuselayout{4 on 1}[a4paper,border shrink=5mm,landscape]

handout

This concludes our discussion on themes and handouts and also our series on creating presentations with beamer. If you want to play around with the presentation we created in this series you can access it here. Do have a look at the video series we produced alongside these blog posts here. Please do keep in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter & Google+.

pt 1 - Getting Started

pt 2 - Lists, Columns, Pictures, Descriptions & Tables

pt 3 - Blocks, Code, Hyperlinks & Buttons

pt 4 - Overlay Specifications

Posted by Josh Cassidy on 22 Aug 2013

To see the corresponding video for this blog post click here.

In the last post we looked at adding some more interesting content into our presentation. In this post we’re going to look at animating our slides.

The Pause Command

Often when when doing a presentation we’ll want to reveal parts of a frame one after the other. The simplest way to do this is to use the \pause command. For example, by entering the \pause command before every entry in a list we can reveal the list point by point:

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{List}
\begin{itemize}
\pause
\item Point A
\pause
\item Point B
\begin{itemize}
\pause
\item part 1
\pause
\item part 2
\end{itemize}
\pause
\item Point C
\pause
\item Point D
\end{itemize}
\end{frame}

L1 L2 L3 L4

L5 L6 L7

This brings us on to the difference between a frame and a slide. A single frame is defined as what we build up in a single frame environment, whereas a slide is a single page in the resulting pdf. This means that a frame can be made up of multiple slides. For example, this frame with the list that we’ve just animated is made up of seven slides, but the frame number in the bottom right hand corner of each slide remains unchanged for all of the seven.

Overlay Specifications

The pause command is useful but isn’t very versatile. To get more flexibility we use what beamer calls ‘overlay specifications’. These specifications can be added to compatible commands using pointed brackets after the command name. For example I can add them to the \item command in a list structure like this.

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{More Lists}
\begin{enumerate}[(I)]
\item<1-> Point A
\item<2-> Point B
\begin{itemize}
\item<3-> part 1
\item<4-> part 2
\end{itemize}
\item<5-> Point C
\item<6-> Point D
\end{enumerate}
\end{frame}

ML1 ML2 ML3 ML4

ML5 ML6

The numbers inside the pointed brackets tell LaTeX which slides the item should appear on. For example, in this list we’ve told each list item which slide number it should first appear on and then told them to appear on all subsequent slides in the frame using the dash. Here’s an example of a more complicated overlay:

\item<-2,4-5,7>

This makes the item appear on slides 1,2,4,5 & 7.

There are a number of commands that enable us to use overlays on text. The main one is the \onslide command which can be configured to achieve a few different outcomes, details of these can be found in the documentation.

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Overlays}
\onslide<1->{First Line of Text}

\onslide<2->{Second Line of Text}

\onslide<3->{Third Line of Text}
\end{frame}

When we simply give this command text as an argument, it acts in the same way as the \uncover command making the text fully appear only on the specified slides. On unspecified slides the text is covered, so will still take up space but won’t be visible.

ON1 ON2 ON3

To make the text transparent on unspecified slides we use the \setbeamercovered command and enter the keyword ‘transparent’ above the code where we want it to have an effect:

\setbeamercovered{transparent}

OT1 OT2 OT3

Please be aware that this command will affect all of the code following it, so if we want to change it back to the default setting later in the presentation we can simply use the same command again but with the keyword ‘invisible’.

Another command we can use is the \visible command which does the same as \uncover except it leaves the space blank on unspecified slides instead of transparent even if we’ve set the transparency as we did a moment ago. The \invisble command does the exact opposite to of the \visible command. The \only command does the same as the \visible command except it doesn’t take any space up. This means that if we change the \onslide commands to \only commands and get rid of the dashes in the overlay specifications our three lines of text will appear in the same place on the frame in turn.

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Overlays}
\only<1>{First Line of Text}

\only<2>{Second Line of Text}

\only<3>{Third Line of Text}
\end{frame}

only1 only2 only3

Overlays and Text Formatting

There are a number of commands to do with text formatting that are compatible with overlay specifications. These commands are simply ignored on slides not declared in the specification and will therefore just print the text as normal. Here are some examples:

\textbf<2>{Example Text}

\textit<2>{Example Text}

\textsl<2>{Example Text}

\textrm<2>{Example Text}

\textsf<2>{Example Text}

\textcolor<2>{orange}{Example Text}

\alert<2>{Example Text}

\structure<2>{Example Text}

Which will produce text like this on the first slide:

before

And then like this on the second slide:

after

First the \textbf command which makes the text bold, then \textit which puts the text in italics, then \textsl which make it slanted, \textrm which uses the roman font family, \textsf which uses the sans serif font family but this doesn’t change anything because we are already using this font. Next the \textcolor command which puts it in the specified colour, then \alert which puts the text in red by default and finally the \structure command which formats the text in a way that indicates the presentations structure.

Overlays and Environments

Overlay specifications often work with environments as well. For example we could animate the environments on the maths blocks page like this:

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Maths Blocks}
\begin{theorem}<1->[Pythagoras] 
$ a^2 + b^2 = c^2$
\end{theorem}
\begin{corollary}<3->
$ x + y = y + x  $
\end{corollary}
\begin{proof}<2->
$\omega +\phi = \epsilon $
\end{proof}
\end{frame}

Notice that with environments we put the overlay specification after the curly brackets instead of before.

MA1 MA2 MA3

You will also notice that turning the transparency setting on earlier in the document has affected the overlays here.

Overlays and Tables

Finally we may want to animate a table so that the rows appear slide by slide. To do this we use the \onslide command like this. We also need to make sure we reset the \setbeamercovered{} command to the default for this to work:

\setbeamercovered{invisible}
\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Tables}
\begin{table}
\begin{tabular}{l | c | c | c | c }
Competitor Name & Swim & Cycle & Run & Total \\
\hline \hline
John T & 13:04 & 24:15 & 18:34 & 55:53 \onslide<2-> \\ 
Norman P & 8:00 & 22:45 & 23:02 & 53:47 \onslide<3->\\
Alex K & 14:00 & 28:00 & n/a & n/a \onslide<4->\\
Sarah H & 9:22 & 21:10 & 24:03 & 54:35 
\end{tabular}
\caption{Triathlon results}
\end{table}
\end{frame}

TA1 TA2 TA3

This concludes our discussion on animating our presentation. In the next post we’ll look at the different themes available in beamer and we’ll look at printing handouts. Please do keep in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter & Google+.

pt 1 - Getting Started

pt 2 - Lists, Columns, Pictures, Descriptions & Tables

pt 3 - Blocks, Code, Hyperlinks & Buttons

pt 5 - Themes and Handouts

Posted by Josh Cassidy on 20 Aug 2013

To see the corresponding video for this blog post click here.

In the last post we looked at adding some basic content into our presentation. In this post we’re going to look at adding some other types of content.

Blocks

One of the ways beamer lets us display information on slides is using ‘blocks’. To do this we use the ‘block’ environment.

\begin{block}{Block Title}
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
\end{block}

At the end of the begin command we simply enter the block’s title in curly brackets. Then whatever we enter in between the begin and end commands, forms the content of the block. This is what it looks like:

block

There are quite a few variations of the block environment that help us produce blocks for different purposes. The first is the ‘alertblock’ environment which is similar to the block environment except its colour is red instead of blue.

\begin{alertblock}{Block Title}
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
\end{alertblock}

alertblock

Then there’s the definition environment which produces a standard blue block but with the title already specified as ‘definition’.

\begin{definition}
A prime number is a number that...
\end{definition}

definition

Next there’s the example environment which produces a green block with the title ‘Example’.

\begin{example}
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
\end{example}                                                                   

example

There is also a group of blocks that are especially useful for presenting mathematics. For example the ‘theorem’ environment, the ‘corollary’ environment and the ‘proof’ environment.

\begin{theorem}[Pythagoras] 
$ a^2 + b^2 = c^2$
\end{theorem}
\begin{corollary}
$ x + y = y + x  $
\end{corollary}
\begin{proof}
$\omega +\phi = \epsilon $
\end{proof}

maths

The theorem and corollary environments automatically put their content in italics. These two also allow us to add extra content to the block title in parenthesis by adding text into square brackets at the end of the begin command. It’s worth mentioning at this point that beamer automatically loads the amsmath package so you can add more complicated mathematics straight away.

Code

Now let’s talk about adding code into slides. This is particularly important for any computer science related presentation. To do this we use the ‘semiverbatim’ environment. In order to use this environment on a frame, we need to add the ‘fragile’ option into the \begin{frame} command. Now whatever text we enter in the environment will appear as written, except for the backslash, open curly bracket and close curly bracket characters, which will continue to behave as they normally would in LaTeX. Therefore if we want to print some code which includes these characters we need to add an extra backslash before each of them. Here’s an example printing the code we used for the title slide.

\begin{frame}[fragile]
\frametitle{Including Code}
\begin{semiverbatim}
\\begin\{frame\}
\\frametitle\{Outline\}
\\tableofcontents
\\end\{frame\}
\end{semiverbatim}
\end{frame}

code

Finally I want to discuss adding hyperlinks to our presentation. Before we can create any hyperlinks we need to tag the frames we want to link to using the \label command. For example, we’ll add a label to the contents frame, the columns frame and the pictures frame. E.g.

\begin{frame}
\label{contents}
...

Then we use the \hyperlink command to insert a link.

\hyperlink{contents}{click here}

In the first set of curly brackets we enter the label of the target frame and in the second set we add the text that we want to be clickable. Now if we compile the document you’ll see the text is now a clickable link. Beamer also allows us to use buttons. To do this we simply add a button command into the second set of curly brackets. For example, we’ll swap the ‘click here’ text for the \beamerbutton command and enter in curly brackets the text we want to appear on the button.

\hyperlink{contents}{\beamerbutton{contents page}}

Here are some other button commands we can use.

\hyperlink{columns}{\beamergotobutton{columns page}}

\hyperlink{pictures}{\beamerskipbutton{pictures page}}

\hyperlink{pictures}{\beamerreturnbutton{pictures page}}

The beamer go to button, the beamer skip button and the beamer return button.

buttons

This concludes our second discussion on adding content to our presentation. In the next post we’ll look at animating our presentations. Please do keep in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter & Google+.

pt 1 - Getting Started

pt 2 - Lists, Columns, Pictures, Descriptions & Tables

pt 4 - Overlay Specifications

pt 5 - Themes and Handouts

Posted by Josh Cassidy on 16 Aug 2013