# Which alternatives to the beamer class exist?

The title is pretty much self-explanatory. Do you know any LaTeX based beamer alternative? In my university, everyone is using beamer, and every presentation has the same layout, I'm sick of it. I was even wondering to create the individual slides in inkscape and merging them afterwards...

• See the question: Are there alternatives to Beamer for slides. Sep 2, 2011 at 15:23
• Worth pointing out here that like anything one can overdo the 'effects' in beamer. I go for very 'light-weight' slides, much of the form of real printed slides of the past. Such things are not aimed at being 'advertising'/'sales' but just having what needs to be on the board/screen available. Oct 6, 2016 at 11:54

Is everyone using the same beamer theme? You could select a different one, or even design your own (e.g. see the Beamer guide by K-J Kim and look at the docs and examples on CTAN).

Sites that show examples of common themes include:

http://www.pletscher.org/writings/latex/beamerthemes.php

http://www.hartwork.org/beamer-theme-matrix/ (can take a while to load but gives an easily-absorbed overview)

http://deic.uab.es/~iblanes/beamer_gallery/ (select by theme, color or font)

Many users have made themes they have developed available (check the licensing before using them), e.g. http://juluribk.com/2010/04/18/beamer-themes/

• Absolutely! There's nothing wrong with beamer that a new theme won't fix. Sep 2, 2011 at 20:19

Yes there are. Here are some choices (with descriptions taken from CTAN), in decreasing order of recommended usage:

• powerdot document class

powerdot is a presentation class for LaTeX that allows for the quick and easy development of professional presentations. It comes with many tools that enhance presentations and aid the presenter. Examples are automatic overlays, personal notes and a handout mode. To view a presentation, DVI, PS or PDF output can be used. A powerful template system is available to easily develop new styles. A LyX layout file is provided.

• prosper document class

Prosper is a LaTeX class for writing transparencies. It is written as an extension of the seminar class by Timothy Van Zandt.

Prosper offers a friendly environment for creating slides for both presentations with an overhead projector and a video projector. Slides prepared for a presentation with a computer and a video projector may integrate animation effects, incremental display, and so on. Various visual styles are supported (including some that mimic PowerPoint) and others are being contributed.

• seminar document class

A class that produces overhead slides (transparencies), with many facilities. The class requires availability of the fancybox package.

seminar is also the basis of other classes, such as prosper. In fact, seminar is not nowadays reckoned a good basis for a presentation — users are advised to use more recent classes such as powerdot or beamer, both of which are tuned to 21st-century presentation styles.

• In reality, powerdot is the only full-featured LaTeX alternative to beamer. It is meant to be a replacement for prosper. From the documentation "[...] the start of a new project set up to make a new class to replace the prosper plus HA-prosper combination. You’re currently reading the result of that project.". And seminar is even older, and can't really be recommended. Sep 2, 2011 at 15:38
• @Alan: Thanks for the suggestion. I've updated my answer to reflect a recommended preference of usage.
– Werner
Sep 2, 2011 at 15:53
• You can find some more under "Presentation Slides" topic in The TeX Catalogue. Sep 5, 2011 at 9:02
• One issue I have with Beamer is the slow compilation of listings-heavy slide decks due to the need for fragile frames, which write and create external vrb files. Does powerdot take a similar approach with its support for code listings? Dec 13, 2019 at 12:46
• @user4417: I have not used powerdot myself so cannot comment on that.
– Werner
Dec 13, 2019 at 17:52

The overlays package allows to write presentations with incremental slides. It does not presuppose any specific document class. Rather, it is a lightweight alternative to full-fledged presentation classes like beamer.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[% ...taken from beamer.cls
papersize={12.8cm,9.6cm},
hmargin=1cm,%
vmargin=1cm,% beamer.cls uses 0cm
foot=0.5cm% might be changed later
]{geometry}
\usepackage{overlays}

\begin{document}

\pagestyle{empty}
\sffamily

\begin{overlays}{4}
This\only{2-}{ is}\only{3-}{ an}\only{4}{ overlay.}
\end{overlays}

\end{document}


There is an interesting PracTeX Journal article which describes how to create a presentation with KOMA Script.

• This looks useful for me: +1
– DJP
Sep 2, 2011 at 15:59

Search CTAN for "slide" and you'll find you have several to choose from (prosper, slides, uwmslide, etc)