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I made a presentation using the latex beamer class. Now I have a problem displaying notes only on my screen while presenting the slides to the audience. Beamer notes produce very wide pdf pages, each half page should be presented on its own screen. A single page looks somewhat like this:

latex beamer presentation with notes

Currently I use the smaller screen of my notebook for notes (hah!) and the larger screen for the presentation in my test settings. The second screen is extending the desktop, the screen order doesn't really matter. I don't know what the real screen's/projector's resolution will actually be. A solution that is independent of screen resolutions would be very nice.

I've tried way to many things and should probably just print the notes (and also finish my presentation first before worrying about this at all).

Most application support full screen viewing, but it always applies to only a single screen. full screen issue

I would like to avoid distracting borders in window modes, also I don't get the desired result as either parts of what should be on the other screen is visible or way to much of the desktop is seen. window mode issue

Here some applications I've tried, got fullscreen/window issues above if not otherwise explained.

  • Adobe reader X
  • Foxit reader
  • PDF-XChange Viewer
  • evince
    • single display fullscreen, task bar still visible
  • impressive
    • impressive
    • single display fullscreen
    • window mode: large resolution not supported by graphic card (only about 3/4 of both monitors)
  • PDF presenter
    • most promising, if I extract all notes into text files
    • plain text notes, too small, would need zoom tool
    • no keyboard shortcuts, must click button
  • Open-PDF-Presenter
    • similiar to above one, notes in text files (?) couldn't compile on windows yet.
  • PDF presenter
  • PDF presenter (yeah, it's a popular name)
    • somewhat promising; displays fullscreen on one screen while other screen is in window mode
    • notes are more a whiteboard feature, can't be hidden to audience
    • notes cant be saved

I also tried the default Ubuntu pdf viewer using virtual box. Unfortunately virtual full screen also uses only a single screen, window mode has one more distracting window border.

My Question: Are there any pdf viewer applications that support fullscreen over multiple screens, able to display large-width pages? I can't imagine why the beamer class supports this when there isn't any (windows) software that can display it properly.

If not, are there better/other ways to display notes on one screen an the presentation in full screen on the other? Not necessarily single large page over two screens, but maybe two separate presentations, which progress synchronized. I would like to keep latex notes and formatting. If nothing else works, I think something like PDF presenter (the one hosted on google) with better options how to display the notes would be ok.

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Just a remark: If you used PowerPoint, then it already has this mode, called Presenter view. This is simpler than your current complex solution. –  harrymc Sep 27 '11 at 13:12
How many features are required for making a presentation ? You might be underestimating PowerPoint. –  harrymc Sep 27 '11 at 14:45
@harrymc Not that many features on second though, mainly it's having a progress-bar like overview of the presentation, basically like a table of contents on (almost) every slide that highlights the current section. Also source code syntax colouring (rtf copy&paste would work, but not when linking files I edit externally). Not really required, but portability with pdf is better than ppt.I also just like to type more and click less. –  kapep Sep 27 '11 at 15:11
You might look at the free IguanaTex or the commercial TexPoint. –  harrymc Sep 27 '11 at 15:51
Use some more LaTeX magic and make it generate the notes and slides into different PDF files? –  billc.cn Oct 29 '11 at 21:08
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3 Answers

It seems that on windows you could do it with http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/free-pdf-reader.html as described http://bartvanbeek.net/?p=129

I run Linux only so I cannot test if this actually works.

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I found a nice little tool called VirtualScreenMaximizer, which does exactly that. Works like a charm!

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You can achieve this under Linux with a combination of xrandr and impressive.py

First use xrandr to set the screens' resolutions, eg:

xrandr --output LVDS --mode 1024x768 --output CRT1 --mode 1024x768 --left-of LVDS

where LVDS would be your laptop's screen and CRT1 the projector. You can verify your device identifiers and available resolutions by just running: xrandr

Once you have the screens set up, run impressive.py with the -g flag signalling the complete workspace size, eg:

impressive.py -g 2048x768 beamer_with_notes.pdf

Source, Phillip Merensky's blog: http://www.phillme.de/cms/node/14

That post also points to a more complex example of xrandr usage for multiple-projector presentations: http://tug.org/pracjourn/2010-1/dohmen/

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