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##  Class files

Beamer is a LaTeX class to create powerful, flexible and nice-looking presentations and slides. This article explains the most common features to create a presentation: make the title page, add a logo, highlight important points, make a table of contents and add effects to the presentation.

##  Introduction

A minimal working example of a simple beamer presentation is presented below.

\documentclass{beamer}

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

%Information to be included in the title page:
\title{Sample title}
\author{Anonymous}
\institute{ShareLaTeX}
\date{2014}

\begin{document}

\frame{\titlepage}

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Sample frame title}
This is a text in first frame. This is a text in first frame. This is a text in first frame.
\end{frame}

\end{document}

After compilation, a two-page PDF file will be produced. The first page is a titlepage, the second one contains sample content.

The first statement in the document declares this is a Beamer slideshow: \documentclass{beamer}

The first command after the preamble, \frame{\titlepage}, generates the title page. This page may contain information about the author, institution, event, logo, and so on. See the title page section for a more complete example.

The frame environment creates the second slide, the self-descriptive command \frametitle{Sample frame title} is optional.

It is worth to notice that in beamer the basic container is frame. Frame is not exactly equivalent of slide, one frame may contain more than one slides.

##  Beamer main features

Beamer class offers some useful features to bring your presentation to life and make it more attractive. The most important ones are listed below.

###  The title page

There are some more options for the title page than the ones presented in the introduction. The next example is a complete one, most of the commands are optional.

\title[About Beamer] %optional
{About the Beamer class in presentation making}

\subtitle{A short story}

\author[Arthur, Doe] % (optional, for multiple authors)
{A.~B.~Arthur\inst{1} \and J.~Doe\inst{2}}

\institute[VFU] % (optional)
{
\inst{1}%
Faculty of Physics\\
Very Famous University
\and
\inst{2}%
Faculty of Chemistry\\
Very Famous University
}

\date[VLC 2013] % (optional)
{Very Large Conference, April 2013}

\logo{\includegraphics[height=1.5cm]{lion-logo.png}}

The distribution of each element in the title page depends on the theme, see the Themes subsection for more information. Below, a description of each command:

\title[About Beamer] {About the Beamer class...}
This is important, the title of you presentation must be inside braces. You can set an optional shorter title in between brackets, in the example this shorter title is About Beamer.
\subtitle
Subtitle for you presentation, you can omit this if unnecessary.
\author[Author, Doe]{A.~B.~Arthur\inst{1} \and J.~Doe\inst{2}}
First, a short version of the authors's names, comma separated, is inside brackets; this is optional, if omitted the full name is displayed (at the bottom of the title page in the example). Then inside braces are the full names of the authors, separated by an \and command. There's also a \inst{1} command that puts a superscript to reference the institution where each author works at; it's optional and can be omitted if there is only one author or the listed authors work a the same institution.
\institute[VFU]{\inst{1}Faculty...
In this command you declare the institute each author belongs to. The parameter inside brackets, the acronym of the institute/university, is optional. Then inside braces is the name of the institute; if there's more than one institute they must be separated with an \and command. The \inst{} is optional, this is for the superscripts in the previous command to work.
\date[VLC 2014]{Very Large Conference, 2014}
In this declaration you can set the name and date of the event where you are going to present your slides. The parameter inside brackets is an optional shorter name, in this example is displayed at the bottom of the title page.
\logo{\includegraphics...}
Here you define a logo to be displayed. In this theme the logo is set at the lower right corner. You can use only text or include an image.

Usually when you have a long presentation, it's convenient to divide it into sections or even subsections. If this is the case, it's also recommended to add a table of contents at the beginning of the document. Below is an example of how to do it:

\begin{frame}
\tableofcontents
\end{frame}

As you see, is simple. Inside the frame environment you set the title and add the command \titlepage.

It's also possible to put the table of contents at the beginning of each section and highlight the title of the current section. Just add the code below to the preamble of your LaTeX document:

\AtBeginSection[]
{
\begin{frame}
\tableofcontents[currentsection]
\end{frame}
}

If you use \AtBeginSubsection[] instead of \AtBeginSection[] the table of contents will appear at the beginning of each subsection.

###  Adding effects to a presentation

In the introduction was presented a simple slide using the \begin{frame} \end{frame} delimiters. It was mentioned that frame is not equivalent to slide, the next example will illustrate why, by adding some cool effects to the slideshow.

 \begin{frame} \frametitle{Sample frame title} This is a text in second frame. For the sake of showing an example.   \begin{itemize} \item<1-> Text visible on slide 1 \item<2-> Text visible on slide 2 \item<3> Text visible on slide 3 \item<4-> Text visible on slide 4 \end{itemize}   \end{frame}

In the final PDF file this code will generate 4 slides. This is intended to provide a visual effect in the presentation.

In the code there's a list, declared by the \begin{itemize} \end{itemize} commands, and next to each item is a number enclosed in two special characters: < >. This will determine in which slide the element will appear, if you append a - at the end of the number, the item will be shown in that and the subsequent slides of the current frame, otherwise it will appear only in that slide. Check the animation for a better understanding of this.

The effects can be applied to a any type of text, not only to the itemize environment. There's a second command whose behaviour is similar, but it's simpler since you don't have to specify the slides where the the text will be unveiled.

{
\begin{frame}
In this slide \pause

the text will be partially visible \pause

And finally everything will be there
\end{frame}
}

This code will generate three slides to add a visual effect to the presentation. \pause will prevent the text below this point and above the next \pause declaration to appear in the current slide.

##  Highlighting important sentences/words

In a presentation is a good practice to highlight the important points to make it easier for your audience to identify the main topic.

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Sample frame title}

In this slide, some important text will be
\alert{highlighted} beause it's important.
Please, don't abuse it.

\begin{block}{Remark}
Sample text
\end{block}

Sample text in red box

\begin{examples}
Sample text in green box. "Examples" is fixed as block title.
\end{examples}
\end{frame}

If you want to highlight a word or a phrase within a paragraph, the command \alert{} will change the stile of the word inside the braces. The way the highlighted text will look depends on the theme you are using.

To highlight a paragraph with, concepts, definitions, theorems or examples; the best option is to put it inside a box. There are three types of boxes and is up to you to decide which one better fits in your presentation. Below a description of the commands:

\begin{block}{Remark} \end{block}
A block box will wrap the text in a box with the same style as the rest of the presentation. The text inside the braces after the \begin{block} code is the title of the box.
\begin{alertblock}{Important theorem} \end{alertblock}
The same as block but the style contrasts the one used by the presentation.
\begin{examples} \end{examples}
Again, is very similar to block, the box has a different style but less contrasting than alertblock.

##  Customizing your presentation

There are some aspects of a Beamer presentation that can be easily customized. For instance, you can set different themes, colours and change the default text layout into a two-column format.

###  Themes and colorthemes

To use a different themes in your slideshow is really easy. To set the theme you want is straightforward. For example, the Madrid theme (most of the slideshows in this article use this theme) is set by the next command in the preamble:

\usetheme{Madrid}

Below are are two more examples:

 Berkeley beamer theme Copenhagen beamer theme

The themes can be combined with a colortheme. This changes the colour used for different elements.

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usecolortheme{beaver}

You must put the \usecolortheme statement below the \usetheme command.

Check the table of screenshots of different themes and colorthemes at the Reference guide.

###  Fonts

You can change several parameters about the fonts. Here we will mention how to resize them and change the type of font used.

The font size can be passed as a parameter to the beamer class at the beginning of the document preamble. Below is an example of how a 17 font size looks like.

\documentclass[17pt]{beamer}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\usecolortheme{beaver}

Available font sizes are 8pt, 9pt, 10pt, 11pt, 12pt, 14pt, 17pt, 20pt. Default font size is 11pt (which corresponds to 22pt at the full screen mode).

To change the font types in your beamer presentation there are two ways, either you use a font theme or import directly a font from your system. Let's begin with a font theme:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\usefonttheme{structuresmallcapsserif}
\usetheme{Madrid}

The \usefonttheme{} is self-descriptive. The available themes are: structurebold, structurebolditalic, structuresmallcapsserif, structureitalicsserif, serif and default.

You can also import font families installed in your system.

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\usepackage{bookman}
\usetheme{Madrid}

The command \usepackage{bookman} imports the bookman family font to be used in the presentation. The available fonts depend on your LaTeX installation, the most common are: mathptmx, helvet, avat, bookman, chancery, charter, culer, mathtime, mathptm, newcent, palatino, pifont and utopia.

###  Columns

Sometimes the information in a presentation looks better in a two-column format. In such cases use the columns environment:

\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Two-column slide}

\begin{columns}

\column{0.5\textwidth}
This is a text in first column.
$$E=mc^2$$
\begin{itemize}
\item First item
\item Second item
\end{itemize}

\column{0.5\textwidth}
This text will be in the second column
and on a second tought this is a nice looking
layout in some cases.
\end{columns}
\end{frame}

After the frame and frametitle declarations start a new columns environment delimited by the \begin{columns} \end{columns}. You can declare each column's width with the \column{0.5\textwidth} code, a lower number will shrink the width size.

##  Reference guide

Below is a table with screenshots of the title page and a normal slide in Beamer using different combinations of themes (rows) and colorthemes (columns). To have a complete list of themes and colorthemes see the further reading section for references.

default beaver beetle seahorse wolverine
default
AnnArbor
Antibes
Bergen
Berkeley
Berlin