I am using beamer for writing my presentation. I was initially using latex+dvipdf, then with the help of other tex.exchange users I recognized that I cannot use transparency in this way. So now I am switching to pdflatex.

Because I use personalized colors and didn't want to use RGB names, I was using names from dvipsnames, but now I have to switch to svgnames, and the color names are of course different. I would like to use a variable that stores the color name, so that I can choose a color to be defined either in svgnames or in dvipsnames, depending if I am using pdflatex or not.

I tried this

\ifpdf color1=cyan
\else color1=PineGreen \fi

but it doesn't work, what should I do?

  • 2
    Since beamer uses xcolor, I suppose that \colorlet{color1}{cyan} should work.
    – egreg
    Oct 8, 2012 at 14:03
  • It isn't clear to me why you can't use dvipsnames with pdflatex. Do you have a MWE (ie small complete document that shows the problem) Oct 8, 2012 at 14:15
  • @David Carlisle you are right, it works. I must have been mistaken earlier. I suppose I should delete this question? On the other side the question still makes sense, regardless if dvipsnames work or not with pdflatex
    – simona
    Oct 8, 2012 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


You can load the dvipsnames option:


Since beamer already loads xcolor with the svgnames option, you can't say \usepackage[dvipsnames]{xcolor} (or color); in order to overcome this limitation, one can specify that option to the class.

If you still want to use different colors based on the compiler, then


will work.

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