Beamer's "show notes on second screen" option is for giving talks on a projector, while showing something different (speaking notes) to the presenting author.

For remote delivery of talks, one needs:

  • the audience view to be generated at normal/custom size, NOT scaled up to the entire screen, so that the conference software (e.g. Zoom) can be fed a reasonably-sized image for screen-sharing

  • possibly separate but synchronized windows for displaying the audience view and presenter view

This sounds like a request for

  • screensharing software, e.g. Zoom, to allow showing less than an entire window, or

  • a presenter software like pdfpc to change its behaviour substantially.

However, more generally, I'm looking for advice: how do you give (beamer) presentations online when you have speaker notes associated with each slide? Or even ideas for the simplest new / to-be-developed approach?

  • 2
    I discovered and used pympress lately. Worked really well! – Steradiant May 28 at 17:43

Use pympress:

It has a "windowed" mode. Get into it by simply pressing f or untick the Presentation > Fullscreen menu item. You can then resize the window as you like by dragging a corner like any other window. The audience and presenter views are in separate windows. By default, it detects the existence and location of beamer notes.


You can resize each of the two windows to your liking. Thus, decent views of current slide, next slide, and beamer notes.



Use pdfpc:

with pdfpc -w you also get separate windows.


  • It preloads slides nicely.
  • It renders my matplotlib-created PDFs perfectly.


  • However, pdfpc prefers you to use its own notes system rather than beamer's, ie it leaves space for pdfpc-notes, making for a small preview rendering.
  • You cannot resize the presenter's window, which makes the current-slide unreadably small on my screen. I have to squint to see what I'm presenting.

Thus, overall it fails to let me see both the next slide and your notes and your current slide in reasonable size on my own screen.

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  • Whoever downvoted, please add your constructive critique! – CPBL Jul 16 at 15:48

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