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Manual for version 1.0

1. Quick start

Type latex2slides in a terminal. Then choose the following options from the menues:
  • File -> Open. Choose a TeX or LaTeX file to process.
  • Slides -> Make. Ask the program to make the slides.
  • Slides -> Show. The program will run mozilla and show you the slides.
Your slides are now stored at: $HOME/.latex2slides/ . If you are not happy with the slides, you can go to Settings -> Configure and change your settings (image resolution, image magnification, etc.). Make your slides again and see if they look better.

2. Invoking latex2slides from the command line

Just type latex2slides --help to see the available command line options. For more information, please see the UNIX man page.

3. Using the graphical interface

Latex2slides is intended to be an easy to use graphical program. Even though there are several command line options are available (see above), part of the functionality is only available through the Graphical User Interface (GUI). After invoking the program (see previous section), a window (the GUI) will appear on the screen. The following options are available through the menues.

3.1 Menues

  • File
    • Open - Choose a LaTeX (or TeX, or multipage postscript, DVI or PDF) file to make slides from.
    • Open new - Same as above, but also reload user preferred settings from disk.
    • Open Sample - Choose a LaTeX sample file to make slides from.
    • Exit - Quit the program.
  • Slides
    • Make - Actually make the slides, and store them in the output directory. Each set of slides overwrites the previous one.
    • Make one - Same as above, but only make the first slide. Useful when you are exploring different settings for your slides
    • View - Display the slides using the web browser chosen in Settings (mozilla is the default).
  • View
    • Slides - Same as Slides -> View (see above).
    • Log file - Display the log file
  • Settings
    • Configure
      Files and directories
      • Source file type - The program tries to autodetect the file type by default; if it fails, choose LaTeX or TeX here.
      • Output directory - The directory where the slides will be stored.
      • Cascading style sheet - Latex2slides uses a CSS, named style.css. You may want to modify it to customize the look of your presentations. If you do so, you can set here the name and location of your CSS file.
      Slide options
      • Image resolution - Postscript resolution, in pixels per inch. Higher resolution gives nicer but bigger (thus slower to download) slides. This option corresponds to -density in ImageMagick's convert.
      • Image magnification - Adjust the size of the slides' images; magnification=100% leaves the slides unaltered.
      • Presentation title - To appear in the index.html page and in every html page.
      • Presentation author - To appear in the index.html page.
      • Orientation - Page orientation in the latex source (portrait, landscape, etc.)
      • Image format - Either PNG or JPG.This is the format for the slides themselves.
      Slides layout
      • Navigation bar style - You can choose a graphical bar (using icons for navigation) or a text based one.
      • Navigation bar position - Choose where to place the navigation bar (top, bottom or both)
      • Info bar position - The info bar shows the slide title and slide number. Choose where to place it (top, bottom, both or none)
      • Header - A header for all your slides. You may use HTML here.
      • Footer - Idem above. Note that you can display graphics with the "img" tag.
      Index page
      • Slide index style - Choose whether to use slide-thumbnails or a text list in the index.html front page
      • Thumbnail magnification - Relative size of the thumbnails with respect to the slides. A value of 100 (%) means that they are the same size.
      Misc. options
      • Web browser - Choose your favorite web browser (mozilla, konqueror, etc.)
      • Apply - Use the selected options.
      • Save - Use the selected options, but also save them to disk as user preferred settings . The presentation title is not saved.
      • Reset - Use program defaults for all the options.
      • Cancel - Quit the Configure Dialog without applying any change.
  • Help - Documentation and information about latex2slides.

4. Customizing your slides

You can change the look of your slides in many ways:
  • The index.html produced by latex2slides is really a template. You may want to modify it once you are happy with the slides set.
  • To improve the visual quality of your slides, try different values of Image resolution and Image magnification.
  • Customizing the CSS for the slides, as shown below.

4.1 The Cascading Style Sheet

Part of the look of the slides is controled by a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). The easiest way to customize it to your needs is:
  • Make your slides as usual
  • Edit the "style.css" file in the output directory, until the slides look as you please.
  • Copy this "style.css" file to a safe place (for instance ~/.style.css) (latex2slides always overwrites the output directory)
  • If you want to use this CSS for all your presentations, choose it as your user preferred CSS in the Configure Dialog (see above).

5. Misc. notes

  • Using landscape mode is very convenient for a screen based presentation, since most likely you will not have to scroll with the browser when displaying the slides.
  • Depending on your presentation, latex2slides (in fact convert) may be very resource-demanding. You may want to call latex2slides with a high niceness, i.e. nice -10 latex2slides
  • It is always a good idea to have a hard-copy of your slide presentation just in case :-).

6. Bugs and limitations.

The best approach for publishing LaTeX documents in the web would be to use a translator from LaTeX to HTML (for the text) + MathML (for the equations). However, as for Mid 2003 MathML is not fully supported by web browsers. Also, LaTeX to HTML translators not always give a nice output when the LaTeX source imports images.

7. See Also

convert (ImageMagic's) - LaTeX2HTML - TtH (TeX to HTML)