# How to change author alignment in Beamer?

It appears that different classes set up author layouts using tables. I would like to render one of these outputs:

Equivalent to \begin{tabular}{rl}:

  Joe Schmoe My Boss
Jane Doe His Boss


or, equivalent to \raggedleft:

  Joe Schmoe My Boss
Jane Doe His Boss


from something resembling this M(N)WE:

\documentclass{beamer}

\author{%
Joe Schmoe, My Boss%
\and
Jane Doe, His Boss%
}

\begin{document}
\maketitle
\end{document}


I don't mind using \institute or something equivalent for job title, and I can even drop the job title to see a simple solution.

In some other document classes there is a nice solution involving \preauthor, which I could modify in my style file. Unfortunately, I get an unknown command error in Beamer 3 on \preauthor with that code. Are there equivalent constructs in Beamer?

There is also another approach that uses a tabular environment but that also fails in Beamer.

Ideally, I would like to change \defbeamertemplate*{title page}{default theme}{... in my beamer style file, so that I could still use \author{} with all its trimmings in the main file, but since I do not use authors anywhere else on the slide, a solution using some kind of box in the main source would work as well.

One option redefining the internal \beamer@author defined in beamerbasetitle.sty (in this way, the definition will be theme-independent) to use a tabular with the desired alignment; you need to use the optional argument to provide a proper information for the author bookmark:

\documentclass{beamer}

\makeatletter
\long\def\beamer@author[#1]#2{%
\def\insertauthor{\def\inst{\beamer@insttitle}\def\and{\beamer@andtitle}%
\begin{tabular}{rl}#2\end{tabular}}%
\def\beamer@shortauthor{#1}%
\ifbeamer@autopdfinfo%
\def\beamer@andstripped{}%
\beamer@stripands#1 \and\relax
{\let\inst=\@gobble\let\thanks=\@gobble\def\and{, }\hypersetup{pdfauthor={\beamer@andstripped}}}
\fi%
}
\makeatother

\title{The title}
\author[Joe and Jane]{%
Joe Schmoe, & My Boss \\
Jane Doe, & His Boss
}

\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
\maketitle
\end{frame}
\end{document}


Change \begin{tabular}{rl} to \begin{tabular}{r} above for the other alignment required.

In a comment it has been requested to redefine \and so that it acts as \tabularnewline to separate author rows in the mandatory argument of \author; here's the required modification:

\documentclass{beamer}

\makeatletter
\long\def\beamer@author[#1]#2{%
\def\and{\tabularnewline}
\def\insertauthor{\def\inst{\beamer@insttitle}\def\and{\tabularnewline}%
\begin{tabular}{rl}#2\end{tabular}}%
\def\beamer@shortauthor{#1}%
\ifbeamer@autopdfinfo%
\def\beamer@andstripped{}%
\beamer@stripands#1 \and\relax
{\let\inst=\@gobble\let\thanks=\@gobble\def\and{, }\hypersetup{pdfauthor={\beamer@andstripped}}}
\fi%
}
\makeatother

\title{The title}
\author[Joe \and Jane]{%
Joe Schmoe, & My Boss \and
Jane Doe, & His Boss
}

\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
\maketitle
\end{frame}
\end{document}


• Thanks! Is it possible to use \and instead of \\  to separate authors, so that, when the template changes, the \author field doesn't need to change? I see that there are references to \and in your MWE \def. I tried redefining \and, so that it could retain its usual role in separating authors, but my changes (using \renewcommand) were ignored. – Leo Mar 20 '14 at 12:27
• @Leo yes, it's possible. Please see my updated answer. – Gonzalo Medina Mar 20 '14 at 15:28
• Thank you. Not only did that work great, but more importantly I can understand it and modify it too. – Leo Mar 21 '14 at 13:05