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I'm a mathematician, who uses almost exclusively Beamer for giving talks. There are two problems with Beamer, which are being highlighted to me again at the present time, now as I watch online talks:

  1. If you are trying to take notes (which one often does in a Maths talk) then it's very common to find that the speaker has skipped on to the next slide before you have managed to copy down the bottom of the last slide.

  2. It never feels like a great fit for trying to present a long proof-like argument.

Both these problems seem to me to down to the fact that a traditional maths talk, on black/white board (which is still how I much, much prefer to teach) typically makes use of a lot of space, and deliberately leaves things visible for some time. This is just not a good fit for the "slide" approach that beamer takes.

Has anyone any suggests for LaTeX packages, or even just presentation styles using beamer, that might mitigate these problems?

For example, an extremely crude solution would be to avoid full-screen mode in your PDF viewer, and to literally scroll down through the slides in a "continuous" view. But this would seem to be terribly ugly.

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  • "Use a bigger hammer" method: Ask the lecturer to make the beamer slides available online. – barbara beeton Mar 27 '20 at 17:57
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Only Acrobat Reader lets you scroll the document in FullScreen Mode.

Here is a proof of concept with a single beamer slide of 2 metres height. (The allowed maximum is 5.7583 m.)

Clicking "Start" puts AR to full-screen and zooms to page width. Then, the arrow keys are used to continuously scroll up and down.

\documentclass{beamer}

\geometry{paperheight=2000mm}

\usepackage{pdfbase}
\ExplSyntaxOn
   % a usable PDF-destination macro
   \let\pbsPdfdest\pbs_pdfdest:nnnn
   \let\pbsPdflink\pbs_pdflink:nn
\ExplSyntaxOff

\usepackage{eso-pic}
\AddToShipoutPictureFG*{\AtPageUpperLeft{%
  \pbsPdfdest{zoomtarget}{fith}{}{}%
  \raisebox{-\height}{\pbsPdflink{
    /Subtype/Link /A <<
      /S/Named /N/FullScreen
      /Next << /S/GoTo /D (zoomtarget) >>
    >>
  }{Start}}}}

\usepackage{kantlipsum}
\hypersetup{pdfstartview=FitH}

\begin{document}

\begin{frame}[t]{A long treatise}
\kant[1-26]
\end{frame}

\end{document}

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