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I came across this code.


What does parent=structure do exactly?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

For colors

According to the beamer manual, in the context of colors, structure is a beamer color in which all sorts of elements inherit from it.

The name reflects its meaning in the template: it's the structure. :) For example, when using \usecolortheme{default}, the main colors set in the theme are the following (from the manual):

  • normal text is black on white.
  • alerted text is red.
  • example text is a dark green (green with 50% black).
  • structure is set to a light version of MidnightBlue (more precisely, 20% red, 20% green, and 70% blue).

When we use parent=structure, we set the element color to derive from the structure color. If we alter the color theme, the derived color will also reflect the change.

For fonts

Now, for the context of fonts, which is our case, structure is the base font setting in which all sorts of elements inherit from it. If we use \usefonttheme{serif}, for example:

  • structure is set to beamer's serif font.

Then, similarly, when we use parent=structure, we set the element font to derive from the structure font. If we alter the font theme, the derived font will also reflect the change.

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Your answer was very clear, but there is one thing I still don't understand: \setbeamerfont is meant to change fonts, not colours (there is \setbeamercolor for that). Yet in this case, we seem to be inheriting a colour property via \setbeamerfont.. – Edward Stumperd Jul 31 '12 at 18:28
@EdwardStumperd: I checked it again and found out that structure is also defined in the context of fonts. It's similar to the color idea: the font theme sets the structure, which holds the default font setting for that theme. When we use parent=structure, we are inheriting the base font setting. I wrote an addendum to my answer, I hope it's better now. Sorry for the confusion. – Paulo Cereda Jul 31 '12 at 18:47
Once again a very clear explanation. – Edward Stumperd Jul 31 '12 at 18:54

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