I have seen presentations in Power Point which contain a timer. Can this be done in Beamer using a simple command, or maybe a package? If not a timer, is it possible to at least get a clock on your slides?

  • Do you want to have a timer for the presenter or a timer that the audience can see? – Jukka Suomela Jul 30 '10 at 21:26
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    Please think carefully before you use such a device. I've never found it helpful as an audience member to have my efforts to follow a talk "assisted" by having the constant presence of moving gunk on the slides. – vanden Jul 30 '10 at 21:28
  • @vanden: yeah, I agree... but I would like to have a timer on my presentation that I could see (answering @Jukka's question), but I don't think that this is possible... – Vivi Jul 30 '10 at 21:31
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    I go old school. I put a travel alarm clock beside the monitor. – vanden Jul 30 '10 at 21:42

See the tdclock package, for which there is a demo beamer tex file and resulting pdf (works only with Adobe Reader, I think).

  • I don't have adobe, and would rather not have to install it. I opened your pdf file and I can see no clock... Thanks for the answer, I believe this will be the one, I just want to wait in case there are other options. – Vivi Jul 30 '10 at 21:00
  • by the way, the link for the resulting pdf is actually the manual. I compiled the demo tex file and got the presentation, but yeah, the clock doesn't work with neither Preview nor Skim. – Vivi Jul 30 '10 at 21:06
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    I've corrected the link to the PDF. I'm afraid that most of these 'effects' require Reader, as it is the only editor that fully supports the scripting necessary to get PDFs to do these things, I think – Joseph Wright Jul 30 '10 at 21:21
  • I haven't tried compiling this myself, but I did load up Acrobat Reader to look at the example PDF... It didn't look very good because each component of the clock (h,m,s) seemed to be on a partially transparent blue rectangle. The rectangles slightly cover other components of the clock, and don't even all have the same height. If the cursor happens to go over one of the rectangles, it gets outlined in black... Is all of this avoidable? Here's an image that's probably more useful than my description: imgur.com/kgbIZ.jpg – Michael Underwood Jul 30 '10 at 21:36
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    Michael Underwood: Turn off highlighting forms in Adobe Reader setup (Preferences -> Forms -> unmark Highlight color) – robert.marik.cz Dec 4 '12 at 15:27

The PDF presentation software http://impressive.sourceforge.net/ has a timer overlay. It takes any PDF file and displays the pages in sequence, with optional transitions between pages.

Once in the software, press "t" to enable and disable the timer overlay. You can control it's position by using the command line options to the program. e.g. here is my command line

impressive pres.pdf -L margin=16,time=BL --fontsize 16 --transition None

This means it'll show the file pres.pdf with the timer on bottom left (after I press "t"), make the font a bit larger, and disable any transitions.

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    This looks nice -- a Python scripting front-end to PDF files, instead of pseudo-script hacks that only work with Adobe software. Unfortunately on Mac OS X, Impressive wants to use X11 (either via Xpdf or Ghostscript) to render the file. A scripting frontend to Skim or the native PDF widgets would be great, if someone is up to it... – András Salamon Aug 4 '10 at 16:12
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    There is other software like it. pdf-presenter-console for example or open-pdf-presenter. – Christian Sep 21 '13 at 12:01
  • Is it possible to make a Windows batch to store this command with these settings and apply it at any PDF file of interest? – Diaa Jul 26 '16 at 16:21

To get a nice "presenter display" (dual monitor support, clock and timer, displaying the following slide, etc.), I have used the following solution:

  • Use PDF to Keynote to convert the output of Beamer into Keynote format.

  • Then simply use Keynote to give the presentation.

Works very well in practice; quick and easy. Of course this approach requires Mac OS X.

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    Mac OS X is not a problem for me, but keynote definitely is!!! It is not free, is it? – Vivi Jul 30 '10 at 23:39
  • OK, I don't know whether I will get keynote, but I appreciate your solution. Also, "PDF to Keynote also exports to OmniGraffle", and I happen to have OmniGraffle, so this might be very useful indeed! – Vivi Jul 31 '10 at 0:15
  • for plain *nix users nice funktionality can be used with pdf-presenter-console, e.g. timer, overview, pointer, freez, blackout and preloading for no lag. – vv01f Nov 24 '17 at 19:20

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