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    Mon, 21 Aug 2006

    Beamer the heir to the Magicpoint throne ?

    I'd pretty much always used Magicpoint for any presentations I've needed to do. Always liked the simplicity of the file format and the ability to separate, at least to a large extent, content from presentation. What wasn't so pleasant was occassionally having to fiddle with X11 fonts and the fairly crude output if you generated postscript or PDF.

    I've been doing more and more stuff in LaTeX of late and so cast around for a way to use it for presentations as well, having seen a couple of my lecturers at Uni doing so. While the style sheets they used worked pretty well they were a bit hard to customise - I'm by no means a LaTeX guru. Enter Beamer

    Beamer provides an amazing degree of flexibility, indeed with care you seem to be able to use the same source file to spit out your thesis, the slide show for your work as well as your speaker notes. For screen based presentations (usually rendered as PDF files) it can do transitions and all sorts of funky stuff - not things I use personally but I guess if you're into eye candy it's covered. Even though it's very flexible it's dead easy to get going - the hello world equivalent runs to 20 lines and is mostly content rather than setup.

    The documentation is excellent and includes a bunch of examples to help you get going. Well worthy of your time to take a look :)

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