I have just discovered that LaTeX can be used to create presentations as PDF files. My question is: once I have created the presentation as a PDF file, will it work 'out-of-the-box' on most Windows machines for the purpose of giving presentations? Has anyone encountered any issues while doing this? Is this a 'standard' way where PDF files are opened using Adobe Reader on a Windows machine (that is what is mostly used for giving presentations) and an overhead projector? I have only used Powerpoint before to make and give presentations so I know there are issues with different 'versions' - the version in which the Powerpoint presentation was made and the version on which the actual presentation is given. They have to be similar or compatible otherwise there are formatting issues, etc. PDF files should not have this problem.

I guess my question boils down to: are there any issues that I might encounter if I create a PDF presentation using LaTeX Beamer class to present using a Windows 7, 8 or 10 machine and an LCD projector? Will Adobe Reader be the only software I would need to give the presentation?

  • Are you talking about a beamer connected to the computer? A overhead projector is something that can not handle pdf-files.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 7:56
  • @Johannes_B: I meant LCD projector. I have edited my post. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 8:10
  • It depends a bit on the content of the pdf. "Normal" pdf should never give a problem (but it is a good idea to have a portable sumatra with you just in case ...) but if you use javascript or embed videos or 3d graphics or link to external files you will perhaps need a current adobe reader and some external software so it is a good idea to do some tests before the presentation. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 9:41
  • It will be just a "normal" pdf - no videos, script etc. Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 10:04
  • One common cause of fuss with pdf presentations is finding out how to go to full screen - as opposed to modern versions of powerpoint, there's no big button to do it. Be sure to figure out how to do this before you go on stage, and you'll eliminate at least one source of things that can get you flustered and on edge at the start of your talk.
    – E.P.
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


LaTeX may create several type of document: DVI, PS or PDF for example.

You ask for PDF in particular so to be short: have no worries, you can use it without having trouble.

PDF format is built to be portable and to give the same result whatever the computer, OS and PDF viewer used. Of course some minor change can occur but most of the time you'll not notice them.

You can only use Adobe Reader (or other PDF viewer) to give your presentation. Of course you'll need other software to make your presentation.

  • @JakeClawson Glad that my answer help you. If you have some other question feel free to ask and I'll edit my answer if needed Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 8:02

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