I need to create a technical presenatation (just a few slides but with formulas etc.). It seems that LaTeX is a natural choice.

However - which package should I use and why (the second part is important as probably for the first one there is no right answer)?

As far I found

I know that I can use either but:

  1. There may be better one which I'll use in future
  2. There may be a kill-features I have no idea about

Thank you in advance for answers and lack of flames ;)

4 Answers 4


I use an extremely stripped-down version of beamer since it allows me at times to have some bling like overlays and possibly nice navigation bars (I use these at most for uploaded slides).

The default beamer templates seem to be a little too much for people in my community (though default powerpoint templates seem to be fine), and with beamer I can easily make a simple black/white version.


For my last couple of presentations, where I've been under time pressure and it HAD to be done quickly, I used MultiMarkdown fed into beamer.

It resulted in a pretty quick development time, although the default output is pretty bland. It was pretty easily sorted once I got the .tex file out the far end. Beamer is incredibly powerful, but as others have said, is a bit too featureful for beginner use. Multimarkdown as a front-end resolved most of those problems for me :)

Here is an example.

  • Hmm. Looks interesting but I have never learned Markdown - I feel much more comfortable with plain LaTeX (I use it everyday as opposed to Markdown). Mar 24, 2010 at 2:34

I actually just use the slides class with various brown bird hacks I've accumulated over the years. The result is a very plain look, but I want the users to care about the content, not go "Ohhh...." about the pretty graphics anyway.

presentation title page

presentation lots of math

presentation images

presentation graph

Slides is one of the base classes that should be available with any latex distribution, and is documented in the usual places.

Partial code:



% ... various other includes ...
\usepackage{myslides} % hacked environemnts for setting up slide titles and similar stuff

% Try to prevent hyphenation...



  % messing fiddling to layout the title page

\rfoot{\theslide} % rather than \thepage
  % ... define the page style to set up my footers here

  % ...slide content...


The basic slide is generated with a slide environment, which I have extended (in myslides) for my own purposes like so:

        \fbox{\large \color{red}{#1} }\\[0.5cm]
  • Hmm. Could you add some links how to use it? At least in TeXLive 2009 all examples in web seems to miscompile (A4, dvi only - no native pdf as it complains about commands). Mar 24, 2010 at 2:32

I'm using LaTeX-beamer-PDF because of its comprehensive and partly unique features:

  1. Math: With LaTeX the best mathematical layout is available
  2. Sketches: With the tikz package any technical sketch or diagram is possible
  3. Graphs: With the pgfplots package you font consistent, complex graphs with overlay effects are possible
  4. Videos, Animations and 3D objects: With the media9 package even embedding of 3D objects, animations and youtube videos into PDFs is possible
  5. Overlay effects: With beamer you can overlay even between formulas and tables
  6. Hyper linking: With beamer you can link and connect anything, formulas, table of contents
  7. Layout: Total control of any layout aspect (theoretically)
  8. Self-contained: All information, all layout controls in one single text file and all media content embedded in one single output file
  9. Standardised: With the PDF output format you are independent of proprietary viewer formats and software versions! (I started with beamer after I was forced to present my PowerPointless presentation with a different PowerPoint version: Some formatting changed and my animations didn't run!)
  10. Typography: The default beamer layouts and font selections guide you in good presentation techniques (not too cramped, etc.)

By the way, lately I discovered Reveal, the html presentation framework. Which is also looking interesting when considering to publish the presentation on the web.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.