I am working as a professor at a German university of applied sciences. Next year there are 2 great new courses to prepare (Manufacturing Engineering). I decide to use the advantages of BEAMER. The size of the lecture notes is approximately 20 events, each with about 30 slides.

Now I'm looking for assistance in order to make the workflow efficient: A large file vs. include of partial files? Separately managing the TikZ pictures? How to deal with the amount of external graphics (pdf and jpg)?

Has anyone had any experience with these issues or knows of a particular community? Thanks for hints!

  • For sure would be good to split the code into parts and sections and input the files using \input{}.
    – Sigur
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 12:56
  • Use a version control software, for sure.
    – darthbith
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 12:56
  • 2
    In my experience, students beg me to use chalk, and never put up any overhead transparencies or beamer slides. But I teach mathematics, not engineering, so maybe my teaching is very different. Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 13:21
  • Definitely use input files, not one large file. You may need to rework the lecture for a different schedule (at least in the US, a 3-hour course might meet 90 minutes for 2 days per week, or 60 minutes for 3 days per week). External graphics can be dealt with with \graphicspath{}. Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


I have taught a course myself this year and had to prepare all materials from scratch. I have decided to go for a double strategy:

  1. Have one big file and
  2. files per lecture in addition

I have created individual TeX files which only contain the real content for a certain topic. In the first line of each file I have added the name of the master file, so in greasemonkey.tex there is a line like the following at the top

% !TeX root = Folien-WebProgramming-Greasemonkey.tex

Folien-WebProgramming-Greasemonkey.texcontains \documenclass, the \input{configuration} command for a common preamble, author/title settings as well as \input{greasemonkey} to include the lecture text.

In addition I have one file Folien-WebProgramming.tex which contains \input commands for the content TeX files of all lectures.

I have added a simple batch file which compiles all the master TeX files as well as the overall master. Thus I have pretty easily an up-to-date version of my slides.

All files sit in a Subversion repository, external code listings are pulled dynamically using the listings package and of course the slides look pretty good.

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