Beamer, by Till Tantau with contributions from many others, is a LaTeX class file and support files that can be used to create high-quality presentations and slides. The input file is a LaTeX file which is converted to a PDF presentation using pdflatex. The PDF file can be displayed using a PDF viewer in full-screen mode.

Figures (in the form of PDF, JPG and PNG files) can also be incorporated into the presentation). Note that EPS files can be converted to PDF using the epstopdf program, which is installed on the CS client machines.


The local CS machines at MUN already have beamer installed, but it is not upto date, unfortunately. A copy of the most recent version of beamer (v 3.07 as of December 2007) as well as the auxiliary support packages have been instead in ~donald/texmf. To use beamer, you need to copy these files to your home directory.

$ cp -a ~donald/texmf.beamer ~/texmf

(This assumes that you don't already have a texmf directory in your home directory!)


A demo.tex LaTeX file which demonstrates including graphics, columns and itemized lists is available. To use this, you'll also need to save a copy of MUN's logo and put it in the same directory as the demo.tex file. The PDF file can then be generated with:

$ pdflatex demo.tex

The resulting demo.pdf can then be viewed by a PDF reader.

Note that beamer supports a wide number of themes which can change the overall appearance of your presentation (the demo above uses the CambridgeUS theme). Different themes can be tried with the \usetheme{...} command in your presentation. Several of the available themes can be viewed here.


The samples.tar.gz file contains three sample presentations. Unarchive it with the command:

$ tar zxvf samples.tar.gz

This will create a directory called samples that contains three subdirectories. Each of these subdirectories contain the presentations .tex and .pdf files and a figures subdirectories containing PDF figures used by the presentations.

Note that these sample presentations demonstrate a very small fraction of the feature set of beamer. For more information on the capabilities of beamer, please consult the resources below.



The beamer homepage
Beamer's Wikipedia Page
Contains links to several tutorials
Beamer User Guide [pdf]
Very comprehensive documentation (~200 pages) included with the beamer package.
Beamer by Example [pdf]
A brief introduction to beamer.
Beamer Guide [pdf]
A beamer presentation that demonstrates many of its features.
Making Presentations with LaTeX [pdf]
A comparison of various LaTeX presentation packages (including beamer).
A Beamer Quickstart
An overview of using beamer from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UMBC.
Making LaTeX Beamer Presentations
A quick introduction to getting started with beamer.

Donald Craig (
Last modified: May 4, 2010 17:45:23 NDT
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