Latex


Latex/Beamer: Notes page would not use whole space when in 16:9 aspect ratio

In a recent presentation we did, we added a lot of long notes…
At the specific document we had changed the aspect ratio to 16:9 using the following documentclass.

%[aspectratio=169] changes aspect ratio for slides from 4:3 to 16:9, should be better with columns
\documentclass[aspectratio=169]{beamer}

When we compiled the presentation showing the notes on the second screen, we noticed that the notes were not utilizing all of the white space. There was a huge empty column to the right, most probably it was the space that was added after changing the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9.

The template we were using for the notes page was plain. To fix this issue we used the following commands to create a new version for the plain template, called wideplain.

\makeatletter
\defbeamertemplate{note page}{wideplain}{
	\vskip.25em
	\nointerlineskip
	\begin{minipage}{.9\paperwidth}
		\insertnote
	\end{minipage}
}
\makeatother

After we used this new template, the notes became wider and they used all of the available space.

%Enable to produce notes
\usepackage{pgfpages}
\setbeameroption{show notes on second screen=right}
\setbeamertemplate{note page}[wideplain]

Note:

In the code we defined the new template, initially we used \textwidth instead of \paperwidth which resulted in the same result as the plain template. So we assume that there is an issue somewhere that the notes template does not adapt its \textwidth properly when changing the paper aspect ratio.


Latex/Beamer: Do you type too many notes?

We most certainly do!

For that reason we needed to make the template for the notes as simple as possible. To avoid developing our own template for the notes page, we used one of the three basic predefined templates named plain.

Using plain we got an empty slide in the notes page which allowed us to add a lot more content!

The basic 3 template options for the notes slide are the following

  1. default The default template shows the last slide in the upper right corner and some information that should help you match a note page to the slide that is currently shown (e.g. title of section and subsection).
  2. compress The option produces an output that is similar to the default, it fits more content onto each note page at the price of legibility.
  3. plain An empty page to add notes to.

Usage example:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{pgfpages}
\setbeameroption{show notes on second screen=right}
\setbeamertemplate{note page}[default]
\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
Some content.
\note{Some note for the content}
\end{frame}
\end{document}

Beamer: Reasons to avoid allowframebreaks

Recently we were relying too much on allowframebreaks to automatically split a frame to multiple slides.

We were trying to make our notes spread across all slides that were automatically generated. After reading the Beamer User Guide, we learned a couple of new things.

A) Once you use allowframebreaks then you cannot use overlays.

B) Any notes for the frame created using the \note command will be inserted after the first page of the frame and will not be split among other pages.

C) We should refrain from using the option allowframebreaks except for long bibliographies (which by the way should be avoided anyway in presentations).

D) The use of this option is evil ^___^ as it promotes bad design and lack of thought when creating a presentation.

Anyway, back to the drawing board!


Latex / Beamer: Automatically split the content of a frame to multiple slides

Did you ever wrote too much content for a frame?

Did that content spill out of the slide?

Were you too bored to create a new slide and split the content between them?

If the answer is yes, which most probably is, you will love the allowframebreaks parameter for the \begin{frame} directive.

\begin{frame}[allowframebreaks]{Bibliography}
	%Include a working bibliography of key texts that inform your study and methodology.
	%Your appendices may include Experiment Diagrams, Permissions for Human Subject Testing, etc.
	%Both bibliographies and required appendices tend to be discipline specific: know what the requirements are.
	\bibliography{bibliography}{}
	\bibliographystyle{IEEEtran}
\end{frame}

The \begin{frame}[allowframebreaks]{Bibliography} directive creates a new frame name Bibliography, if the contents of the frame exceed the size of the slide, it will automatically create new ones to accommodate the requirements.

Note: Using the allowframebreaks parameter automatically appends to the title of the slide Latin numbering (e.g. the first slide will be Bibliography I).