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LaTeX presentations with notes on Windows 7

Last year I started creating my presentations with LaTeX instead of OpenOffice Impress. I really like it since you have all the advantages you have on normal documents too, like WYSIWYM, easy integration with version control… Plus there is a really nice LaTeX beamer theme for the corporate design of my university. The only thing I miss is the Oracle Presenter Console (formerly known as “Sun Presenter Console”…). That nice piece of software enabled you to see your presentation, some notes and the next slide on your laptop screen while the audience watches the normal presentation. This feature is build-in in LaTeX beamer too. Just add

\setbeameroption{show notes on second screen=left}

to the preamble and LaTeX will generate slides that are twice as wide as normal (actually you can use either left, right, top or bottom but I like my desktop to be on the left so I prefer left). So if your monitor and your projector have the same resolution the wide slides will be spread over both when your PDF Reader switches to fullscreen.

BUT: It is required to have  a virtual monitor spanning over both real monitors. And that is not possible since Windows Vista. If I got it right, the new driver model Microsoft introduced with Windows Vista doesn’t allow the graphic card driver (which should care about this) to provide this feature.

Fortunately the solution is quite  simple: you just need a program that sends Ctrl+L to the Acrobat Reader and resizes the upcoming fullscreen window to fit both screens…but you wont find anything on Google that works (except of impress!ve but that one was very bloated and uncomfortable).

So I decided to write it on my own…and I like it. :) Just follow the instruction, they are clear. (I guess – “Every time you make it fool proof  they invent better fools.” :D )

After dropping the  icon into Acrobat’s window the presentation starts. The example from here looks like this:

As you can see I added a little stop watch since this isn’t easy to implement with LaTeX. :D  The little window gives the focus to the presentation window as soon as it gets it so that all know hotkeys will work, especially Space and the arrow keys to navigate through the presentation. If you need to demonstrate something (like a little program) don’t worry to hit ESC. This will close the fullscreen so that your projector screen is free to use it for something else. After this you have to use the presentation icon to the right of the stop watch to continue the presentation by dropping it into Acrobat’s window again.

One last word to screen resolutions: your laptop screen should have at least the resolution of the projector. It helps if the resolutions are the same on the edge where the notes and the slides fall together (e.g. if you enabled show notes on second screen=left the height of both monitors should be the same). In my example I used 1366x768px on my laptop (which is native) and 1024x768px on the projector. You will see the taskbar if that differs – which is a problem one can live with… ;)

Download: launchpad.net

  1. 11. Juni 2012, 21:39 | #1

    The notes page has to have the same width and height as the slide itself. If your second display is larger than your first one Acrobat will fill it up with black bars.

    If you want to see the slides on both screen I’d recommend mirroring the screens. If you don’t want to use that you could probably modify [1] to your needs.

    [1] http://freakazoid.teamblind.de/2011/09/17/latex-beamerpresenter-console/

  2. Stephan
    12. Juni 2012, 07:35 | #2

    Thanks, that works really well.

  3. Julian
    8. Januar 2013, 14:15 | #3

    Mit Adobe Acrobat Reader 9 Pro scheint es auch zu funktionieren. Nur die Uhr läuft bei mir nicht. Aber cooles Stück Software! THX

  4. 8. Januar 2013, 14:28 | #4

    Ja, wird wahrscheinlich auch noch mit anderen Versionen funktionieren, aber ich habe es nur damit getestet. ;)

    Zur Uhr: du musst auf das Uhr-Symbol klicken, damit sie los läuft, weil man ja meistens schon das Deckblatt an die Wand wirft und dann wartet, dass es losgehen kann. Ich dachte ursprünglich, das wäre selbsterklärend, aber du bist nicht der erste… ;)

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