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I am trying to create some notes for a presentation I created with beamer. I am using \note{...} to do this, and when configure it to print only the notes, I can get it to produce one page per slide that is containing notes.

However I do not have much notes, so mostly the notes page is half empty, which would be a lot of wasted space. I have been looking around and found lots of ways to influence the notes page itself (making it contain notes only, or some hacks/tricks to make long notes span multiple notes pages), but I could not find any way to "condense" multiple note pages into one.

I have played with beamerarticle too, but there you always get the complete content of the slides, which is not what I want. The ideal solution would be to create a document that looks like the beamerarticle one, just that it has only the section headings, empty sections headings removed, and the content shall not be the slides content, but only my notes. This would be approximately 3 pages instead of 20...

Is there anything like this, or something near?

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Sorry for altering the meaning of your title. However, it's probably better to edit your question to make the distinction between the two possible approaches clearer instead of explaining this in the edit reason where few people will see it. This will help clarifying the situation as multiple questions in one are somewhat unusual here. –  diabonas Apr 7 '12 at 19:45
    
@diabonas: It is not really a multiple question in one. And it is probably hard to read it since I don't know how to properly express myself here. What I want is just my notes on as few pages of paper as possible. I dont really care if it is done with the notes pages feature, or with the beamerarticle. I tried both, and tried to describe the limitations I ran into, so as to show people where they might want to start. –  PlasmaHH Apr 7 '12 at 21:57
    
I understand that the two alternatives are closely related, so it's perfectly fine to have them in one question. However, from the technical point of view, they are completely different: One is about using the existing note pages and gathering all the notes on one frame, while the other one is effectively about implementing a note page feature in beamerarticle. The difficulties I had with your wording is probably due to the fact that you talk about "[t]he idal solution" when it comes to the beamerarticle approach, which seems to give a very strong preference to that solution. –  diabonas Apr 7 '12 at 22:36
    
@diabonas: I see. The "ideal solution" wasn't meant as a preference for the beamerarticle version, I just tried to explain what I wanted to be in the document (and what not). (In case you wondered, I am on vacation and could not try your solution yet). –  PlasmaHH Apr 8 '12 at 20:56
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1 Answer

A look into beamerbasenotes.sty, responsible for generating for the notes, is quite disappointing at first: In article mode, the \note command is simply defined to do nothing at all! However, big parts of the file are actually usable in a beamerarticle nevertheless, so my code is quite short:

\newif\ifshowonlynotes
\showonlynotestrue

\makeatletter
\newif\ifbeamer@inlecture\beamer@inlecturetrue
\def\beamer@currentmode{beamer}
\input{beamerbasenotes.sty}
\def\beamer@currentmode{article}

\renewcommand\beamer@outsideframenote[2][]{%
  \def\beamer@noteenvstart{}%
  \def\beamer@noteenvend{}%
  \setkeys{beamernotes}{#1}%
  \par
  \beamer@noteenvstart#2\beamer@noteenvend%
  \par
}

\addtobeamertemplate{frame begin}{\beamer@framenotesbegin}{}
\addtobeamertemplate{frame end}{}{\beamer@setupnote\beamer@notesactions}

\ifshowonlynotes
  \let\beamer@dosingleframe=\beamer@donoframe
  \g@addto@macro\beamer@endframe{\usebeamertemplate{frame end}}
\fi
\makeatother

Add this code to the preamble of your document, after having loaded beamerarticle. It reinputs beamerbasenotes.sty, but this time, the definitions are executed as if it was an actual presentation. Afterwards, some customizations are necessary to adapt the macros to the article mode, of course.

By default, the frame contents are hidden to display only the notes, as you requested. If you also want to see the actual frames, change \showonlynotestrue in line 2 to \showonlynotesfalse.

Example code:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{beamerarticle}

\newif\ifshowonlynotes
\showonlynotestrue

\makeatletter
\newif\ifbeamer@inlecture\beamer@inlecturetrue
\def\beamer@currentmode{beamer}
\input{beamerbasenotes.sty}
\def\beamer@currentmode{article}

\renewcommand\beamer@outsideframenote[2][]{%
  \def\beamer@noteenvstart{}%
  \def\beamer@noteenvend{}%
  \setkeys{beamernotes}{#1}%
  \par
  \beamer@noteenvstart#2\beamer@noteenvend%
  \par
}

\setbeamertemplate{frame begin}{\beamer@framenotesbegin}
\setbeamertemplate{frame end}{\beamer@setupnote\beamer@notesactions}

\ifshowonlynotes
  \let\beamer@dosingleframe=\beamer@donoframe
  \g@addto@macro\beamer@endframe{\usebeamertemplate{frame end}}
\fi
\makeatother

\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
This is a frame with a\note{Note in frame 1} note.
\end{frame}

\note{An external note}

\begin{frame}
A frame with notes as items.
\note[item]{notes}
\note[item]{as}
\note[item]{items}
\end{frame}

\note[itemize]{
  \item External note
  \item with items
}

\begin{frame}
Last frame.\note{Last note.}
\end{frame}
\end{document}

Output:

output of the example code: some notes in article mode

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