LaTeX and Beamer - Hints, Tips and Templates

Latex Hints and Tips

Just some useful stuff I've picked up along the way - add some!

  • Macros: In the preamble, add (for example) 
            \usepackage{xspace}
      \renewcommand{\fol}{\textit{Argulus foliaceus}\xspace}
        Now when you type \fol 
            Argulus foliaceus will appear
          Note: xspace is included so that spaces work immediately after the macro. 
 
  • Tables and columns: When you want a table to span the whole page, but the rest of your document is split into columns, use

            \begin{table*}        
                I hear this works with tabular too.       

  • Sections and subsections: You can have unnumbered sections
        \section*{}
        You can also label and refer to them just like figures using \label{} and \ref{}
 
  • URLs: Insert URLs using
            \url{http://www...} 
      
         and make sure you have 
\usepackage{url}
         in your preamble.
  • Columns: Display a section of text, or images, in columns. Another popular approach is minipage, which I think has a lot more options, but I find this easiest.
       \usepackage{multicol} %in your preamble
       \begin{multicols}{#of columns you need}the stuff you want split into columns\end{multicols}

Beamer

Some people have mentioned that they write articles with latex, but do their presentations in powerpoint.

Attached is a small beamer template (Presen.txt) that includes most of the things I use when I'm writing a presentation (output = Presen.pdf). I've added some comments to the code which I think should explain most of it, and there's a couple of tips like how to remove navigation symbols, add background images and number your figures if anyone's interested. If you have a decent tex install then this should work like a normal tex file without you having to add any other packages.

Note: it probably won't compile until you replace the picture filenames with stuff you actually have, or comment the figure out altogether. I've left it in because I thought some people might find the scale/trim/two images side by side stuff useful.