# Problem with \overlays

I latex the following tex. I got error in the line below \end{slide} as Undefined control sequence }

I found out that the problem is related to \overlays.

\documentclass[pdf,umbc4,slideColor,colorBG]{prosper}
\begin{document}

\overlays{5}{%
\begin{slide}{Outline of the talk}

\begin{itemstep}
\item Introduction
\item Statement of the main theorem
\item Technical lemmata
\item Proof of the main theorem
\item Conclusions
\end{itemstep}

\end{slide}
}

\end{document}

• Why do you use the optional argument pdf? – user2478 Nov 28 '13 at 17:00

Use

\documentclass[umbc4,slideColor,colorBG]{prosper}
\let\scaleboxto\psscaleboxto
\begin{document}

\overlays{5}{%
\begin{slide}{Outline of the talk}

\begin{itemstep}
\item Introduction
\item Statement of the main theorem
\item Technical lemmata
\item Proof of the main theorem
\item Conclusions
\end{itemstep}

\end{slide}
}

\end{document}


I can confirm that recent changes to PSTricks have made it incompatible with Prosper (unmaintained sice 2001 it seems). (I am running Fedora Core 20, but I should think this is not platform specific.)

The immediate problem is that the overlay functionality has been separated out into a separate package, pst-ovl. That can be worked around by an explicit

\usepackage{pst-ovl}


Having done that, it turned out some tools for building the slides were missing. Apparently a missing dependency in some package. Installing texlive-pst-tools solved that:

sudo yum install texlive-pst-tools


But having done all of this, it turned out that the generated postscript was flawed leading to an error:

Error: /undefined in BOL


At this point, after some further fruitless Googling and pondering of options, I decided to heed the above advice and downgrade to an earlier version of PSTricks. I opted for:

texlive-pstricks-svn29482.2.37-20.fc18


Old enough to not incorporate the breaking change for sure, but hopefully not too old. I also decided to try to downgrade ONLY "pstricks", even though lots of others depend on it, hence a forced downgrade:

sudo rpm -U --oldpackage texlive-pstricks-svn29482.2.37-20.fc18.noarch.rpm


This appeared to solve the immediate problem: I could generate slides with overlays using Prosper again. But I have not tested the interaction between the old PSTricks package and all the newer dependencies on my system. Maybe a more thorough downgrade of the entire collection of PSTricks-related packages would have been better.

Finally, positioning and paper size no longer worked as before, cropping off the left-hand-side of my slides. Not unusably much, but enough to look strange. I'm going via postscript, and fiddling with dvips parameters helped. Specifically, I had to add the options

-t a4


and

-O 0cm,-1cm


to "dvips".

Now things look acceptable. But it all appears very brittle, and who knows what might break next. The way to go is likley to switch to a more modern slide package, like Beamer, that is actively maintained. However, that is painful if one has lots of "legacy" propser slides (as I do). Another option might be to try to figure out how to patch the old Prosper package.

Hope this is helpful to someone.

• You do not need to install packages "by hand". Run your update manager and it should be done. – user2478 May 22 '14 at 7:54
• But this was not an update, but a downgrade to a specific older package. How can the update manager do that automatically? – Henrik Nilsson May 22 '14 at 7:56
• As far as I know the latest Ubuntu can also run the tlmgr. Which TeX distribution do you have installed? 2013? – user2478 May 22 '14 at 7:57
• I am on Fedora 20, texlive. I did try using yum first, but it did not seem to know about the package I wanted. Maybe it is limited to only look for packages available for the current distribution. Or maybe I have to read the manual page very carefully to figure out how to install packages from earlier distributions using yum. To me, the most important was to quickly try to see if a downgrade of PSTricks might help as a stop-gap measure. It seems it did. But if there is an easier way to downgrade, that would be good to know. – Henrik Nilsson May 22 '14 at 8:04
• pst-ovlis loaded by seminar anyway, no need for loading it explicitely! prosper loads seminar.bg3_and_ seminar.bg2 which makes no sense, both define commands of the same name. – user2478 May 22 '14 at 13:01

I have encountered a similar problem after updated the pstricks package. Falling back to an older version of pstricks worked for me.

• I don't know how useful this is. What version did you update from/fall back to? Did you file a bug report with the package author? – Werner Sep 18 '13 at 20:28
• to @Werner, I observed the issue when updating MacTex (texlive for OS X) 2012->2013. Strictly speaking, it is not a bug, but incompatibility between pstricks and prosper packages. – liuyu Sep 19 '13 at 6:06