for making slideshows in PDF format
Last update: 12/21/2002
NEW VERSION 1.4
new in version 1.4:
- Slidemaker PDF is now adapted to screen size, rather than to
- Some programming improvements
Slidemaker is a utility for creating presentations in a very simple
and time saving way. Presentations are saved in the highly portable and reliable
PDF format, which can be viewed on nearly every computer. The main idea of
slidemaker is that you first make a bunch of images with your favourite
drawing programs. With Slidemaker you can then make a PDF file out
of these image files. The end result can be presented with PDF viewers, like
Acrobat Reader, in fullscreen mode. Slidemaker is a unix alternative to
other well known commercial procucts (see below a comparison). Slidemaker
is especially for people who don't have a lot of time to spend, but want
a good digitally portable presentation.
Slidemaker is not a program to make physical slides on film.
Let us start
with showing what slidemaker produces. Before you watch the demonstration
PDF presenation, please read these tips on how to display the slide show optimally
with Acrobat reader:
- If you want
to see the slideshow in full screen mode, you have first to save the pdf file
on your computer. Use the right mouse key to save the pdf file. After
saving the file, open it with Acrobat reader and select View->Fullscreen
from the menubar (or press control-L).
- If you want
to see the pdf file within your browser click the link below. Click on the
"fit in page" symbol on the acrobat reader plugin toolbar.
Example slideshow made with slidemaker.
If you want
to make a presentation with slidemaker, you would usually go through the
- You create
pictures with your favourite drawing program in one of the following formats:
- call slidemaker
on the command line
creates a pdf file (using all kinds of other programs, under which latex,
- view slideshow
with a PDF viewer, for example Acrobat Reader
Who should use
would like to make a slideshow for a speech, teaching, business meeting, or
any other seminar. You can also easily put the slideshow on the internet.
You might ask
what the advantage of this simple utility over other powerfull presentation
software might be. So far, powerpoint (PP) dominates the market, so I will
list some of the important differences between PP and slidemaker:
is not a drawing program! Slidemaker creates a slideshow from a number of
files that represent images. Thus, you have to create your images with other
programs, and save them in one of the aforementioned formats.
allows animation like buildups of images with xfig and latex. See the man
page for how to do it, and see the example slideshow.
is very simple to use.
creates PDF files. PDF files can be viewed on nearly every operating system,
can be easily integrated in web pages, and PDF viewers are freely available.
PDF files are to my knowledge and experience also much more reliable than
- The file
size of the slideshows is relatively small.
is free software, licensed under the Gnu Public License.
What about transitions
and other special effects?
does not support animated transitions between slides, like some other presentation
programs do. The reason is that most people do not use all those cool transitions
and animations anyhow, and often they only distract from the content of the
comes with the distribution in the form of a man page (i.e. unix formatted
manual page, see download).
for creating a slideshow with slidemaker
OS: Linux, any
other Unix, Cygwin (runs with Microsoft Windows), GNU.
for showing slideshow made with slidemaker
You can view
slidemaker slideshows with any PDF viewer, for example Acrobat Reader. You
can also integrate PDF files in webpages. Just put the PDF file in your webdirectory
and make a HREF link in that file, like in the next section.
Click here to download the latest version of slidemaker
for making slides
for displaying PDF files
If you want
to contact me about bugs or problems, do not hesitate to send an email
I would like to thank those who have send me emails with ideas of how to
Other free presentation
If you know
of other free presentation software, please let me know and I will update
this list accordingly.
Please click here to go to
my e-marks project