# I need a beamer theme simulating blackboard presentation

I always remember the school days, when the teacher used to write on a blackboard. I want to revive the feel of "blackboard" teaching in one of my presentation. But I do not know how to customize the existing theme or create a new one. The black board theme should have

1. Slightly grayed out background.
2. Date on left upper corner (I remember the monitor/ class room captain) used to put date there - to occupy the corner creating a sort of triangle.
3. Hand-writing font. (Should be legible off course!)
4. The animation as if someone is writing there but fast enough to justify electronic presentation. Other standard beamer things.

May be someone like the idea and help.

Based on the example found here: https://www.writelatex.com/20113zpkgkf#/1569932/

So far, it only deals with the following topics:

1) Slightly greyed out background.

2) Date on left upper corner (I remember the monitor/ class room captain) used to put date there - to occupy the corner creating a sort of triangle.

3) Hand-writing font. (Should be legible off course!)

5) There should be some chalk powder remaining after the board is cleaned

Answer to 1) To get a more realistic blackboard look, the original wallpaper can be replaced by e.g. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black%28green%29board.jpg.

Answer to 2) The date was inserted by defining a custom headline with the short version of the date in order to not occupy too much space. The long version is displayed on the title page

Answer to 3) Nothing to do, the great example already took care of this :)

Answer to 5) In the updated version of this answer, the remaining chalk powder is realised by randomly placing a semi-transparent picture of a paintstroke. (http://i.stack.imgur.com/KDHds.png)

\documentclass{beamer}

\usepackage{calc}
\usepackage{ifthen}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{emerald}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usepackage{pgf}
\usepackage{pgffor}

% set text colors for different objects
\setbeamercolor{frametitle}{fg=white}
\setbeamercolor{structure}{fg=white}
\setbeamercolor{normal text}{fg=white}
\setbeamercolor{example text}{fg=white}

%% set fonts
\setbeamerfont{frametitle}{size=\Huge, series=\ECFAugie}
\setbeamerfont{framesubtitle}{size=\large, series=\ECFAugie}
\setbeamerfont{title}{size=\huge, series=\ECFAugie}
\setbeamerfont{author}{size=\large}
\setbeamerfont{date}{size=\large}
\setbeamerfont{institute}{size=\large}
\setbeamerfont{caption}{series=\ECFAugie}

%% Green Background Colour
\setbeamercolor{background canvas}{bg=green!20!black}

%% Random Dust Trails
\pgfmathsetseed{\number\pdfrandomseed} % seed for random generator
\setbeamertemplate{background}{
\begin{tikzpicture}
\useasboundingbox (0,0) rectangle (\the\paperwidth, \the\paperheight);
\foreach \i in {1,...,30} {
\pgfmathsetmacro{\x}{random(0,10000)/5000-1}%
\pgfmathsetmacro{\y}{random(0,10000)/10000-0.1}%
\pgfmathsetmacro{\r}{random(0,10000)/1000-5}%
\rotatebox{\r}{
\pgftext[at=\pgfpoint{\x\paperwidth}{\y\paperheight}, left, base]{\includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{paintstroke.png}}
}
};
\end{tikzpicture}
}

%% use a small dash ('-') for a bulletpoint list
\setbeamertemplate{itemize item}{\usebeamercolor[fg]{item}\small\ECFAugie{-}}

%% Frametitle
\setbeamertemplate{frametitle}{
\begin{beamercolorbox}{frametitle}
\vskip17pt
\usebeamerfont{frametitle}
\insertframetitle \\
\usebeamerfont{framesubtitle}\insertframesubtitle
\end{beamercolorbox}
}

%% Date in the Corner
\rotatebox{30}{
\ifx\insertdate\empty\else
\hspace*{0.25cm}\ECFAugie\insertshortdate\hspace*{0.5cm}
\fi
}
\vspace*{-1cm}
}

\title{The Theory of Everything}
\author{A. Einstein}
\date[14/3/14]{March 14, 2014}
\institute{University of Magratea}

\begin{document}

% set handwritten font
\ECFAugie

\begin{frame}[plain]
\maketitle
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}[t]
\frametitle{Testpage}
\begin{itemize}
\item Bla
\item Bla
\item Blub
\end{itemize}
\end{frame}

\end{document}


## Open topics

4) The animation as if someone is writing there but fast enough to justify electronic presentation. Other standard beamer things.

Apparently this is possible, see Typewriter Animation Using the 'Animate' Package. But I personally don't think that the audience gains anything by this kind of animation, so I won't add it to this template.

## Previous Version

\documentclass{beamer}

\usepackage{beamerthemeblackboard}
\usepackage{graphics}

\rotatebox{30}{
\ifx\insertdate\empty\else
\hspace*{0.25cm}\ECFAugie\insertshortdate\hspace*{0.5cm}
\fi
}
\vspace*{-1cm}
}

\title{The Theory of Everything}
\author{A. Einstein}
\date[14/3/14]{March 14, 2014}
\institute{University of Magratea}

\begin{document}

% set handwritten font, necessary packages are loaded in beamerthemeblackboard.sty
\ECFAugie

\begin{frame}[plain]
\maketitle
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}[t]
\frametitle{Testpage}
\begin{itemize}
\item Bla
\item Bla
\item Blub
\end{itemize}
\end{frame}

\end{document}


## Edit April 2018:

In order to simulate the typical readability of text on blackboards, I suggest the DarwinFont which is available from https://www.wtnschp.be/wetenschap/natuur/biologie/darwin-day-on-the-origin-of-the-darwin-font/

% !TeX TS-program = xelatex
\documentclass{beamer}

\usepackage{fontspec}
\usepackage{calc}
\usepackage{ifthen}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usepackage{pgf}
\usepackage{pgffor}

% set text colors for different objects
\setbeamercolor{frametitle}{fg=white}
\setbeamercolor{structure}{fg=white}
\setbeamercolor{normal text}{fg=white}
\setbeamercolor{example text}{fg=white}

\usefonttheme{serif}

%% Green Background Colour
\setbeamercolor{background canvas}{bg=green!20!black}

% use a small dash ('-') for a bulletpoint list
\setbeamertemplate{itemize item}{\usebeamercolor[fg]{item}\small -}

%% Frametitle
\setbeamertemplate{frametitle}{
\begin{beamercolorbox}{frametitle}
\vskip17pt
\usebeamerfont{frametitle}
\insertframetitle \\
\usebeamerfont{framesubtitle}\insertframesubtitle
\end{beamercolorbox}
}

%% Date in the Corner
\rotatebox{30}{
\ifx\insertdate\empty\else
\hspace*{0.25cm}\insertshortdate\hspace*{0.5cm}
\fi
}
\vspace*{-1cm}
}

%% Random Dust Trails
\setbeamertemplate{background}{
\begin{tikzpicture}
\useasboundingbox (0,0) rectangle (\the\paperwidth, \the\paperheight);
\foreach \i in {1,...,30} {
\pgfmathsetmacro{\x}{random(0,10000)/5000-1}%
\pgfmathsetmacro{\y}{random(0,10000)/10000-0.1}%
\pgfmathsetmacro{\r}{random(0,10000)/1000-5}%
\rotatebox{\r}{
\pgftext[at=\pgfpoint{\x\paperwidth}{\y\paperheight}, left, base]{\includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{paintstroke.png}}
}
};
\end{tikzpicture}
}

\title{The Theory of Everything}
\author{A. Einstein}
\date[14/3/14]{March 14, 2014}
\institute{University of Magratea}

\setmainfont{DarwinFont}

\begin{document}

\begin{frame}[plain]
\maketitle
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}[t]
\frametitle{Testpage}
\begin{itemize}
\item Bla
\item Bla
\item Blub
\end{itemize}
\end{frame}

\end{document}


• How do I get the bibliography to appear in numerals? – mark haokip Dec 26 '20 at 21:38
• This is pretty cool! One question - it seems when "revealing" text on the blackboard, the background still changes between slides, when the random changes should probably just take place when you actually start a new frame in beamer. Is there a way to change the implementation so that the latter behaviour is used automatically? – Lasse Rempe Feb 24 at 23:33

Maybe a look at beamer blackboard theme by Guido Diepen can be a start. My "original" url is no longer avaiable, but you can look at https://www.wlu.ca/docsnpubs_detail.php?grp_id=1063&doc_id=43282. An example of usage (without sources) can be viewed at http://luisrguzmanjr.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/five-lemma-on-blackboard-beamer-theme/

• We need to add date, author name, presentation short name. Wallpaper (background) looks more like a paper. But I never thought someone might have already attempted it. Amazing! Great attempt. Can we have further improvement, please? – Vaibhav Feb 28 '14 at 11:46
• There should be some chalk powder remaining after the board is cleaned – Vaibhav Feb 28 '14 at 11:57
• The source can be downloaded from the writelatex link @samcarter provided in his comment (click on menu in the top bar, project, download as zip). The font is not included, though (but frankly I find it too hard to read for any (half-)serious presentation anyway). You could try one of the fonts from fontspace.com/category/blackboard with xelatex or lualatex. – Christian Clason Feb 28 '14 at 14:00