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
    Commented May 28, 2020 at 17:43
  • Can someone answer the question how to stop the reviewer swiping the screen every time \pause was used? Commented May 4, 2022 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


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.


  • Does not seem to preload slides as well as pdfpc
  • It fails to render some of my matplotlib-created PDFs correctly. Therefore, if you are including any PDF graphics in your presentation, make sure to test it before going live and replace any problematic graphics with a .png version or a rasterized PDF


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 (consider workaround below).
  • 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.

In addition, consider modifying Beamer's use of the second screen:

For pympress, I include this in my .tex header:

% Lots of notes? Get rid of preview (not needed in pympress)!
\setbeamertemplate{note page} 
%\color{blue} \scriptsize

For pdfpc, I include this in my .tex header:

% This one INCREASES the size of the slide preview
\setbeamertemplate{note page}
\scriptsize \small
  • Another tool with similar features that tries to solve the problems of pdfpc is BeamerPresenter. The interface is modular and very flexible. It is optimized for quick response and includes tools for drawing in the presentation. For best rendering results you can choose mupdf as PDF engine.
    – phys-pol
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 12:29

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