I have recently built a custom beamer theme using tikz and wanted to add notes to my slides. Without notes it looked like this:

Without Notes

After inserting

\setbeameroption{show notes on second screen}

it looked like this:

With Notes

I prepared a small example



\setbeameroption{show notes on second screen}

% Colors

% Define section page layout
\setbeamertemplate{section page}%
  \begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture, overlay, show background rectangle, background rectangle/.style={fill=gray}]
      \draw[green, fill=green]
        (-1,0.375) rectangle (13.66,-1.25);
      \node[text width=14.21cm, minimum width=14.66cm, minimum height=1.625cm, anchor=south west]
        at (-1, -1.25)
      \draw[lightgray, fill=lightgray] (2.2,-1.335) rectangle (13.66, -2.2);
      \node[text width=11.01cm, minimum width=11.46cm, minimum height=0.865cm, anchor=north west]
        at (2.2,-1.335)


\section{Some section}
\subsection{Some subsection}


I have really no idea what happened here. I compiled it with pdflatex but latex -> dvips -> ps2pdf, xelatex und lualatex produce the same output. The text is still there, you can copy and paste it. It looks like the background moved itself to the foreground...

Does anybody have an idea how to solve this problem?

  • It seems like the background library is not compatible with pgfpages. Not surprising because both involve post-processing the picture. What you can do is, since you are using remember picture,overlay already, you just draw a ridiculously big rectangle as background. Or you use beamer's protocol to set bg color. At least I saw what you expected when I remove show background .......
    – Symbol 1
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 20:57
  • Thanks for your suggestion. Adding \draw[gray, fill=gray] (current bounding box.north west) rectangle (current bounding box.south east); as first command within the tikzpicture environment yields to the same result. Changing the beamer color for background canvas by simply using \setbeamercolor{background canvas}{bg=gray} works. However, all frames have a gray background and I want only the section page to have a gray background. I have not found a solution applying this change only to the section page.
    – Vanessa
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 14:45
  • Can you set \setbeamercolor{background canvas}{bg=white} back after the section page? It's verbose I know. But at least get it to work.
    – Symbol 1
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 17:12
  • 1
    I don't know what current bounding box means in this situation. \fill[yellow](current page.south west)rectangle(current page.north east); would make more sense
    – Symbol 1
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 17:18
  • Interestingly with \fill[gray](current page.south west)rectangle(current page.north east); it works. Would be the preferred solution.
    – Vanessa
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 10:41

2 Answers 2


Instead of using

\begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture, overlay, show background rectangle, background rectangle/.style={fill=gray}]


\begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture, overlay]
\fill[gray](current page.south west)rectangle(current page.north east);

the problem does not occur.


This has been fixed in https://github.com/josephwright/beamer/commit/2e0b09acb735abf0b45856534bd5ff8c01bf7a5d

Please update to beamer v3.58 or newer.

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