Beamer is a LaTeX document class for creating structured presentations that are held using a projector, but it can also be used to create transparency slides. It provides a lot of easy-to-deploy commands, tricks, templates and libraries for producing presentations.
Preparing presentations with Beamer is different from the way they are created with WYSIWYG programs like OpenOffice.org’s Impress, or Calligra Stage. A Beamer presentation is created like any other LaTeX document: It has a preamble and a body, the body contains \sections and \subsections, the different slides (called frames in Beamer) are put in environments, they are structured using itemize and enumerate environments, and so on.
The downside is that the user needs to know LaTeX to use Beamer. However, if you are LaTeX proficient or want to be, this knowledge can be used to create presentations as well as writing papers with beautiful typesetting.
Source code for beamer presentations, like any other LaTeX file, can be created using any text editor, but there is specific support for beamer syntax in AUCTEX and LyX.
Beamer supports syntax of other LaTeX presentation packages, including Prosper and Foils, by using compatibility packages.
Beamer provides the ability to make ‘handouts’; a version of the output suitable for printing, without the dynamic features, so that the printed version of a slide shows the final version that will appear during the presentation.
- Create slides featuring overlays, animation, and more
- Use Beamer with pdflatex, LaTeX + dvips,& lualatex and xelatex.
- The standard commands of LaTeX work as expected.
- Easily create overlays and dynamic effects.
- Themes allow you to change the appearance of your presentation to suit your purposes.
- Themes are designed to be usable in practice, they are not just for show.
- The layout, the colors, and the fonts used in a presentation can easily be changed globally, but you still also have control over the most minute detail.
- A special style file allows you to use the LaTeX-source of a presentation directly in other LaTeX classes like article or book. This makes it easy to create presentations from lecture notes or lecture notes out of presentations.
- The final output is typically a PDF file.
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