Elpres: electronic presentations with (PDF)LATEX

Volker Kiefel1



1  Introduction
2  Installation
3  Usage
4  Enhancements to elpres
    4.1  Include graphics files
    4.2  Arrange text and pictures in two (or more) columns
    4.3  Create a "handout" from a presentation
    4.4  Create presentations with hypertext elements
    4.5  Fill background of a presentation with bitmaps
        4.5.1  Wallpaper package
        4.5.2  Eso-pic package
5  License
6  Versions

1  Introduction

Elpres is a simple class for presentations to be shown on screen or beamer. It is derived from LATEX's article class. Elpres is primarily intended to be used with PDFLATEX or with LATEX, dvips and Ghostview/Ghostscript. The "virtual paper size" of documents produced by this class: width=128mm, height=96mm. Elpres requires that the fancyhdr and geometry packages are available on the system. Enhancements to the elpres class are easily made available by other packages, these include hypertext elements (hyperref package) and slides with a background from a bitmap (wallpaper, eso-pic packages).

2  Installation

Copy elpres.cls into a directory, where your LATEX-system can find it.

3  Usage

The class is used with

Options of the article class are also available to elpres, e. g. 10pt, 11pt, 12pt for selection of font size. Elpres-specific options allow selection of the font: tmrfont (Times Roman), helvetfont (Helevetica), cmfont (Computer Modern), sansfont (Sans Serif: default). However, not all options of the article class will be appropriate for a presentation class, e. g. twocolumn.
A simple example document:

     \Huge \bfseries \textcolor{blue}{Title of the presentation} \par
     \vspace{1.3ex} \large

   \begin{psli}[Title of Page]
   The first page

   The second page

The title page can be created within the titlepage environment, the \maketitle command is not available. Slides may be created with the psli-environment2, you may add the title of the slide with the optional parameter. The contents of the slide are centered vertically.
Another environment generating a slide is rsli3: slides are written without title, contents are not vertically centered.
The \distance{number} command allows to introduce vertical space into slides constructed with the rsli and titlepage environments. You should use pairs of \distance{} commands with numbers indicating the relative height of empty space, see the titlepage in the example above.
The package provides a "vertically compressed" itemize-environment:
     \item  one
     \item  two

Similarly, a cenumerate and a cdescription environment may be used.
Pictures can be included with the includegraphics-command of the graphicx-package. Please be aware that the dimensions of the pages are 128mm 96mm and therefore included graphics are scaled appropriately.

4  Enhancements to elpres

4.1  Include graphics files

Graphics files may be included with the includegraphics command of the graphicx package. If you create pdf-files with pdflatex, both .pdf and .png files can be included, if you create pdf files with LATEX and dvipdfm or if you create ps files with LATEX and dvips you may include .eps files:
   \usepackage{graphicx} % (in preamble) 

4.2  Arrange text and pictures in two (or more) columns

Text and graphics may be arranged in two or more columns with minipage environments:
      \item ...
      \item ...

Details on the minipage environment may be found in the LATEX documentation.

4.3  Create a "handout" from a presentation

If you wish to create a handout from your presentation, you should create a PostScipt version of your presentation and convert ot with the psnup-tool. This is possible, if you create your presentation as .ps file from a .dvi-file with dvips. If your primary version is a pdf-file, e. g. created by pdfLATEX, either
  1. convert the pdf-file with the command pdf2ps (part of the ghostscript package)
  2. or convert it with Acrobat.
The following command creates a handout with four slides on one page with the psnup-command line program4.
   psnup -4 -H96mm -W128mm -m15mm -b6mm old.ps new.ps

Details of the command line options can be found in the short documentation of psnup. You may print new.ps with ghostview or gsview32/ghostview.

4.4  Create presentations with hypertext elements

You may use the hyperref package. As you normally will not insert \section{}-like commands, it is easier to define links with

which can be addressed by

The hyperref package will produce a warning message, if you use the titlepage-environment (this is inherited from the article class). To avoid the warning you can use the rsli-environment for the titlepage and use \thispagestyle{empty} to suppress the page number on the title.

4.5  Fill background of a presentation with bitmaps

4.5.1  Wallpaper package

To create a background with color gradient, with pictures or with a "tiled" background using bitmaps you may use the wallpaper package5. Load the wallpaper package with

in the preamble. In order to generate a background gradient on the basis of the bitmap file gradient2.png6 enter

before the contents of the presentation7. This works best with bitmaps with a width:size ratio of 4:3, the included bitmap files have a size of 640:480 pixel. Similarly bitmap files may be used as tiles as described in the wallpaper documentation like

More details on this topic may be found in the wallpaper documentation.

4.5.2  Eso-pic package

Another package which allows you to paint the background with a picture is eso-pic8:


\AddToShipoutPicture{} puts the picture on every page, \AddToShipoutPicture*{} puts it on to the current page, \ClearShipoutPicture clears the background beginning with the current page. Details of eso-pic's commands can be found in the documentation.

5  License

This class is distributed under the LATEX Project Public License (LPPL) which may be downloaded from http://www.latex-project.org/lppl.txt. No warranty is provided for this work (as stated in the LPPL).

6  Versions

v0.1 (19.6.2004): initial version. v0.2 (1.9.2004): page numbers now changed to footnotesize, left and right margins slightly changed, `cenumerate' and `cdescription' environments added. v0.2a (19.9.2004): Section "License" added to the documentation. v0.2b (17.10.2004): Documentation completed: description of the \distance{} command included. v0.2c (28.11.2004): Documentation completed (section 4.4 added). v0.2d (25.12.2004): Documentation completed (section 4.5 added). v0.2e (15.04.2005): Documentation completed (sections 4.5.2 and 4.3 added). v0.3 (12.08.2005): new (class) options for font selection: tmrfont (Times Roman), helvetfont (Helevetica), cmfont (Computer Modern), sansfont (Sans Serif: default). Documentation updated, sections 4.1 and 4.2 added.


1volker dot kiefel at freenet dot de
2psli: plain slide
3rsli: raw slide
4A win32-version of this tool can be obtained from the website http://people.freenet.de/vkiefel/compiled-SW.html. Psnup may be bundled to your TEX/LATEX distribution
5written by Michael H.F. Wilkinson and available on CTAN
6included in this elpres-distribution
7i. e. following begin{document}
8written by Rolf Niepraschk and available on CTAN