T. W. Shield

Computer Presentations Using LaTeX

Or how to avoid using PowerPoint™

To give presentations using a computer I use the Seminar style under LaTeX and then use Ghostscript to generate an image for each page that fits my portable's screen. I have written a simple Qt based program to display these images under either Windows or Unix. With the Windows packages listed below I have been able to generate my slideshow starting from the LaTeX file under Windows.

Note that the script below is setup for 1024x768 images, you will have to tweak some of the settings in the pstoimgs.pl script to use a different size screen.

See why PowerPoint™ (and any slideshow) is bad for teaching http://www.ntlf.com/html/sf/cyberspace.htm

Other altenatives to PowerPoint™ are here and this page presents some TeX based alternatives.


What You Need

Item Unix/Linux Windows
LaTeX (standard) MikTeX
Seminar LaTeX Package part of LaTeX part of MikTeX
Perl (standard) ActiveState Perl
ImageMagick (included in many) or here http://www.imagemagick.org/www/windows.html
GhostScript (standard) http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/ (I used GNU GS v7.05)
my perl script converts
PS to PNG image files
pstoimgs.pl pstoimgs-win.pl
Need the path for gswin32.exe at the top of the file adjusted to match your installation. Assumes convert.exe is in your path.
QtSlideShow source is below slideshow.exe

For Windows you can also check out the Cygwin which gives you lots of Unix tools under Windows, including LaTeX, Ghostscript and an X-Server. I need to check this out.

Note that if you generate your slideshow images on another machine (linux, etc.) you only need these images and slideshow.exe on your Windows portable to give your presentation.

Seminar Example

An example tex file showing how to use the seminar package is here along with all the output from running the commands below.

How To Use It:

Assuming you have seminar-example.tex in you current directory, run the following commands:

latex seminar-example.tex
xdvi -paper usr seminar-example.dvi
dvips -t landscape seminar-example.dvi
pstoimgs.pl seminar-example.ps

This example uses the slides in landscape mode, thus the -paper usr (US rotated) option to xdvi and -t landscape to dvips.

Finally run slideshow.exe in the directory in while the seminar-example-###.png files were created by pstoimgs.pl.


This is the program I wrote to display the PNG images created by my pstoimgs.pl script.

Using qtslideshow

Starting qtslideshow in a directory with no command line parameters will cause qtslideshow to load all the PNG files in the current directory. Or you can give it a list of PNG files to load on the command line.

Mouse Clicks
Key Strokes

If your images are smaller than your screen, QtSlideShow will center the image on the screen.


QtSlideShow is written for Qt 3.x from TrollTech.

qtslideshow-0.0.1.tar.gz (approx 1MB, includes Windows executable, which is available separately above)

What about Movies, etc...

To play a movie, I hide the SlideShow widow (H key) and have the Windows MediaPlayer (or what ever you want to use to play the movie, etc.) running in the background. When the movie is done, pick the SlideShow from the task bar and click in its window to make it full screen again.

To remind myself that I should play the movie, I put the following image on a blank slide:

Last modified 12/17/02