Presenting a Beamer Talk the Right Way

I sometimes use Beamer (a LaTex package) to prepare slides for conference or seminar presentations, and sometimes I use Keynote.

Keynote has a simple but very desirable feature: during the presentation, the laptop screen, instead of going blank or showing a copy of the current slide, shows the current slide, and the next slide, and a timer. If you have ever used Keynote, you know how useful it is to have the time and the next slide always in front of you.

When a slide presentation is prepared with Beamer, the output is a pdf file which is then displayed using Acrobat Reader, or the OS X Preview application, and one gets a blank screen on the laptop during the presentation. Since pdf handling is built natively into OS X, and since a timer and a next-slide display are really simple things, I assumed there would be some program that would do a Keynote-style presentation from a pdf file.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any such thing for OS X. (Interestingly, there is a program for Windows that does that.)

Thankfully, Melissa O’Neil has done the next best thing, or maybe an equally good thing: a program that converts a pdf file into a Keynote file. So you can create your pdf with Beamer, then convert it to the Keynote format, and use Keynote to display the presentation.

Not the cleanest of workflows, but it works. Thanks, Melissa O’Neil!

LaTeX2WP Update

I have posted a new version of LaTeX2WP, a program that converts a LaTeX file into a format that is ready to be copied into WordPress.

The new version fixes some bugs and has some new features:

  • Thanks to code contributed by Radu Grigore, it is now possible to nest bold inside italic, and there is a better overall support for font styles. (Which is also easier to customize.)
  • eqnarray* is now supported.
  • LaTeX commands are correctly “tokenized” before certain macros are applied. For example, LaTeX2WP recognizes the macro \P for \mathop{\mathbb P}. In the previous version, however, the above transformation would also be applied to the initial \P in \Phi. Thanks to Terry Tao and “ccarminat” for noticing this bug.
  • Commands such as \$ and \% now work in math mode. (\& does not work, but this seems to be a WordPress problem.) Thanks to Atri Rudra for noticing this bug.
  • Quotation marks are applied to the URL in \href and \hrefnospan. The lack of such quotation marks sometimes creates problems with \hrefnosnap.

Converting LaTeX to WordPress

Last month, I have written a program that converts a LaTeX document into a format that is ready to be copied and pasted into the WordPress editor.

I have been using it to post the notes of my cryptography class here, as well as some other posts.

Terry Tao has tested it on a couple of posts. Thanks to his feedback, the current version, while surely bug-filled and very limited, is stable enough to be used by other people. It is now available to anybody who might be interested.

What is the point of this program?
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