[petsc-dev] making Beamer easier to start than Powerpoint

Matthew Knepley knepley at gmail.com
Fri Sep 7 21:48:47 CDT 2012

On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Jed Brown <jedbrown at mcs.anl.gov> wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 10:37 PM, Barry Smith <bsmith at mcs.anl.gov> wrote:
>>    The allure of Powerpoint is I can just start it up and poke around the
>> menus to put together a few slides that look ok very quickly. If I want a
>> table I just hunt for table and do it, same with graph etc etc. But like
>> all/most GUI based systems for anything once you want more detailed control
>> or to automate something or to do something real complex Powerpoint becomes
>> a massive pain.
>>     Is there, or could we set up, a repository of Beamer "templates" that
>> would make Beamer almost as easy as Powerpoint to quickly throw something
>> together. Basically the source for a bunch of INDEPENDENT slides that do
>> standard things people want to do with Powerpoint?
> Unfortunately, despite LaTeX being better than the alternatives, it's
> still terrible for libraries. Slides don't stand alone all that well
> because they need certain preamble includes (like TikZ packages). The
> latex-beamer manual has lots of good examples. For TikZ, the manual and
> texample.net both have good examples. Unfortunately, the huge volume of
> documentation still doesn't make the learning curve particularly gentle.
> There are some reasonable beamer-poster examples on the internet and I
> have done several posters that way over the years. If high-res versions of
> the various logos and "official colers" are available somewhere, I can do
> up a theme that will make poster creation fast in the future. I should
> probably do this before December in any case because a couple of us have
> posters at AGU.

I want that. I usually shy away from making posters for two reasons: no
good templates
and the ridiculous hardship of printing them.


>  Where we can easily add new ones?  Also crude placement of multiple
>> things in Powerpoint is so simple, just move things around, it is painful
>> to have to place things by exact location specifications in Beamer; on the
>> other hand exact placement in Powerpoint is difficult. It takes me three
>> seconds to put four different size images on a slide in Powerpoint. Are
>> there ways to do that in Beamer that are almost as fast?
>>    Barry

What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their
experiments is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their
experiments lead.
-- Norbert Wiener
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