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LaTeX Beamer class

[If you plan to use the development code, please read the entire text below carefully.]


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Code in repository is always in release candidate stage for next version. It's usable (because authors use it :-) ), but not all features have been extensively tested. After bugs targeted nextrelease are fixed, and it's proven that no standard features were broken in the process, it will be uploaded to CTAN.

After that, some of the bugs targeted futurerelease will be moved to nextrelease and the process will go on. We will consider odd numbered versions somewhat more unstable and containing experimental features, while even-numbered versions will contain mostly bug fixes.

Note, however, that we are very willing to accept contributions from outside, so feel free to fix any bugs that are interesting to you at any time and send us patches.


This version of Beamer is a continuation of the work done by Till Tantau, with some new features, bugfixes and code cleanups. The main drive behind this is improving compatibility with modern LaTeX packages and adding frequently requested new features.

This code is mostly developed when we (Vedran and Joseph) have free time to do it. We care about every bug reported, even if we don't triage it right away. If you want to be notified when a change occurs, become a follower of this project.

This repository currently holds a development version of Beamer that has been tested, to an extent, but it can still break in weird ways and produce different results from older versions. We treat those as bugs, and would like to hear about them.

Patches are also very welcome. This also includes dozens of Beamer patches scattered around the Internet, some of which were already merged; if you find any of them usable, please report an issue that it fixes and attach it. You can do so even if you are not the author of the patch.

To use this code, you need KeywordExtension. After pulling the repository, just add to .hg/hgrc (of the Beamer repository):

keyword =
**.cls =
**.tex =
**.sty =
Header = {root}/{file},v {node|short} {date|utcdate} {author|user}

And then use hg kwexpand to expand the keywords. You can even put it in .hgrc, but it's not recommended because it will affect all Mercurial repositories you have.

Of course, all released versions that will be put on CTAN will certainly have it sorted out and require no user intervention.

Bug Reports

You can report bugs in our issue tracker even anonymously, but we encourage everyone to register prior to reporting.

About Beamer

Beamer is a LaTeX class for creating presentations that are held using a projector, but it can also be used to create transparency slides. Preparing presentations with Beamer is different from preparing them with WYSWYG programs like's Impress, Apple's Keynote, or KOffice's KPresenter. A Beamer presentation is created like any other LaTeX document: It has a preamble and a body, the body contains \sections and \subsections, the different slides (called frames in Beamer) are put in environments, they are structured using itemize and enumerate environments, and so on. The obvious disadvantage of this approach is that you have to know LaTeX in order to use Beamer. The advantage is that if you know LaTeX, you can use your knowledge of LaTeX also when creating a presentation, not only when writing papers.

Main Features

The list of features supported by Beamer is quite long (unfortunately, so is presumably the list of bugs supported by Beamer). The most important features, in our opinion, are:

  • You can use Beamer both with pdflatex and latex+dvips.
  • The standard commands of LaTeX still work. A \tableofcontents will still create a table of contents, \section is still used to create structure, and itemize still creates a list.
  • You can easily create overlays and dynamic effects.
  • Themes allow you to change the appearance of your presentation to suit you purposes.
  • The themes are designed to be usable in practice, they are not just for show. You will not find such nonsense as a green body text on a picture of a green meadow.
  • The layout, the colors, and the fonts used in a presentation can easily be changed globally, but you still also have control over the most minute detail.
  • A special style file allows you to use the LaTeX source of a presentation directly in other LaTeX classes like article or book. This makes it easy to create presentations out of lecture notes or lecture notes out of presentations.
  • The final output is typically a PDF file. Viewer applications for this format exist for virtually every platform. When bringing your presentation to a conference on a memory stick, you do not have to worry about which version of the presentation program might be installed there. Also, your presentation is going to look exactly the way it looked on your computer.