Disclaimer: This file is my own and doesn't engage *Timothy van Zandt at all. Errors and misunderstandings are mine...

Seminar FAQ - Version 1.1 - December 1996

By Denis Girou (Denis.Girou@idris.fr)


  1. - Documentation
    1. - User's Guide (Timothy van Zandt)
    2. - Préparer des transparents avec Seminar (Michel Goossens and Sebastian Rahtz)
    3. - Réaliser des transparents en LaTeX avec la classe de documents Seminar (Jalel Chergui and Denis Girou)
  2. - How to choose the orientation of the slides?
  3. - How to change the frame style?
    1. - With the fancybox package
    2. - With the semcolor package
  4. - Color usage
    1. - How to use the standard color package?
    2. - How to change the background color of the slides?
    3. - How to have a gradient color background instead of a uniform one?
  5. - How to personalize the headers and footers?
  6. - How to change the dimensions of the slides?
  7. - Notes and slides
    1. - How to define personal notes with the slides?
    2. - How to generate the slides only?
    3. - How to generate the notes only?
  8. - List of slides
    1. - How to generate a list of slides (similar to a table of contents)?
    2. - How to personalize the format for the list of slides?
    3. - How to generate a list showing the position of the slides in the presentation?
  9. - Miscelleanous
    1. - How to indent the paragraphs?
    2. - How to justify the lines on the right side?
    3. - How to generate only some slides inside all the file?
    4. - How to not center vertically the text in the slides?
    5. - How to change the slide number to a specific value?
    6. - How to rotate the headers with the text itself?
    7. - How to change the inter row space?
    8. - How to write a text in the background?
    9. - How to generate some special slides which must overlaid?

1 - Documentation

1.1 - *User's Guide

By Timothy van Zandt. The source of this documentation is included in the distribution as sem-user.tex.

1.2 - * Préparer des transparents avec Seminar

By Michel Goossens and Sebastian Rahtz, Cahiers GUTenberg, number 16, April 1994, pages 71-82 (in french).

1.3 - *Réaliser des transparents en LaTeX avec la classe de documents Seminar

By Jalel Chergui and Denis Girou, Internal note of CNRS/IDRIS, 24 pages, Version 3.4, December 1996 (in french).

Note that a lot of commands described are only local and not distributed. But this document show some examples of useful functionnalities and show some interesting personalizations of slides.

2 - How to choose the orientation of the slides?

We suppose here the semcolor package loaded (it's different without).

By default (i.e. without the portrait option) the slide environment define a landscape orientation (US usage) with horizontal text and the slide* environment a landscape orientation with vertical text. Take care in this case to use a landscape option when formatting the resulting file (for instance "-t landspace" with dvips).

With the portrait option, the slide* environment define a portrait orientation (european usage) with horizontal text and the slide environment a portrait orientation with vertical text (for instance useful to show a table larger than the width of the slide).

Note that if you ask for vertical (rotated) text, only the material inside the frame is rotated but not the headers and footers (see question 9.6).

Example without the portrait option (landscape orientation by default):

\documentclass{seminar}

\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

\begin{slide}
  The slide environment WITHOUT the portrait option.
\end{slide}

\begin{slide*}
  The slide* environment WITHOUT the portrait option.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}
with the portrait option:
\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

\begin{slide}
  The slide environment WITH the portrait option.
\end{slide}

\begin{slide*}
  The slide* environment WITH the portrait option.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

3 - How to change the frame style?

3.1 - With the fancybox package

Using the \slideframe macro, you can choose an oval, shadow or double frame.
\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\input seminar.bug
\usepackage{fancybox}

\begin{document}

% \slideframe{plain} is the default with fancybox.sty
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\slideframe{oval}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\slideframe{shadow}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\slideframe{double}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\slideframe{none}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

3.2 - With the semcolor package (which use itself PSTricks)

Using the \slideframe macro, you can choose a scplain (default), scshadow or scdouble frame.
\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage[dvips]{pstcol} % To use the standard "color" package with Seminar
\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

% \slideframe{scplain} is the default with semcolor.sty
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\slideframe{scshadow}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\slideframe{scdouble}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\slideframe{none}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

4 - Color usage

4.1 - How to use the standard color package?

By default, Seminar used the PSTricks package to define and manage colors. However, today the standard color package is a better solution to support color with LaTeX. But if you want to use this package with PSTricks also or with the semcolor.sty package (which load PSTricks), you must take care to some incompatibilities between color and PSTricks. To solve them you must load the pstcol package written by David Carlisle in place of both color and PSTricks (load it before semcolor if you need this one too).

Example:

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage[dvips]{pstcol} % To use the standard "color" package with Seminar
\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug

\definecolor{Blue}{rgb}{0.,0.,1.}
\definecolor{Pink}{rgb}{1.,0.75,0.8}

\begin{document}

\begin{slide*}
  Written in \textcolor{Pink}{pink} and now with my own \textcolor{Blue}{blue}.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

4.2 - How to change the background color of the slides?

You can use the \slideframe command for that.

See the following example (here we also define an optional parameter to change the foreground color too):

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage[dvips]{pstcol} % To use the standard "color" package with Seminar
\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug

\newcommand{\SlideColours}[2][black]{%
% #1 = foreground color (optional, default=black), #2 = background color
\slideframe[\psset{fillcolor=#2,fillstyle=solid}]{scplain}
\color{#1}}

\definecolor{Pink}{rgb}{1.,0.75,0.8}

\begin{document}

\SlideColours{Pink}
\begin{slide*}
  My slide with a pink background.
\end{slide*}

\SlideColours[white]{red}
\begin{slide*}
  My slide with a red background and a white text.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

4.3 - How to have a gradient color background instead of a uniform one?

Easily with the semcolor and gradient (available in the PSTricks distribution) packages. Look at the following example:
\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage[dvips]{pstcol} % To use the standard "color" package with Seminar
\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug
\usepackage{gradient}

\definecolor{Gold}{rgb}{1.,0.84,0.}

\slideframe[\psset{fillstyle=gradient,gradbegin=Gold,gradend=yellow,
                   gradmidpoint=0.5}]{scplain}

\begin{document}

\begin{slide*}
  My slide with a nice gradient background.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

5 - How to personalize the headers and footers?

You can define your own headers and footers for slides and notes (you can have different ones for these) using the \newpagestyle command (see the seminar documentation, page 26).

For more sophisticate needs, you can use the *fancyhdr package (formely fancyheadings) from Piet van Oostrum (just take care to change the page style - using the \pagestyle or \slidepagestyle macro - after the \begin{document}). Here is an example with fancyhdr:

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\input seminar.bug
\usepackage{fancyhdr}

% Headers and footers personalization using the fancyhdr package
\fancyhead{} % Clear all fields
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0.2mm}
\renewcommand{\footrulewidth}{0.2mm}
\fancyhead[C]{\Large\textbf{Using Seminar and fancyhdr}}
\fancyfoot[L]{\tiny\thedate}
\fancyfoot[C]{\small My organization}
\fancyfoot[R]{\tiny Page \theslide}

% To avoid that the headers be to close of the top of the page
\renewcommand{\slidetopmargin}{2cm}

% To center horizontally the headers and footers (see seminar.bug)
\renewcommand{\headwidth}{\textwidth}

% To adjust the frame length to the header and footer ones
\autoslidemarginstrue

\begin{document}

\pagestyle{fancy}

\begin{slide*}
  My first word.
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  My last word.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

6 - How to change the dimensions of the slides?

To do a local change, we can define the dimensions of the chosen slide as parameter of the slide or slide* environment.

To do a global change, we must inscrease or decrease the \slidewidth and/or \slideheight values.

Example:

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

% Default size of the frame
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

% Global change of the frame size
\addtolength{\slidewidth}{1cm}
\addtolength{\slideheight}{1cm}
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

% Local change of the frame size
% [height,width] in portrait mode
% [width,height] in landscape mode
\begin{slide*}[15cm,10cm]
  My text.
\end{slide*}

% We return to the preceding size
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

7 - Notes and slides

7.1 - How to define personal notes with the slides?

Put the notes outside the slide/slide* environments or use the note environment.

If you don't want the headers and footers for the notes, use \slidepagestyle{fancy} instead of \pagestyle{fancy}.

Example (there is a bug in the note environment that we must correct defining \@savsf - see the Seminar bugs list):

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\input seminar.bug
\input seminar.bg2 % See the Seminar bugs list

\usepackage{fancyhdr}

% Headers and footers personalization using the fancyhdr package
\fancyhead{} % Clear all fields
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0.2mm}
\renewcommand{\footrulewidth}{0.2mm}
\fancyhead[C]{\Large\textbf{Notes and Slides}}
\fancyfoot[L]{\tiny\thedate}
\fancyfoot[C]{\small My organization}
\fancyfoot[R]{\tiny Page \theslide}

% To avoid that the headers be to close of the top of the page
\renewcommand{\slidetopmargin}{2cm}

% To center horizontally the headers and footers (see seminar.bug)
\renewcommand{\headwidth}{\textwidth}

% To adjust the frame length to the header and footer ones
\autoslidemarginstrue

\begin{document}

\pagestyle{fancy}

\begin{slide*}
  My first word.
\end{slide*}

If I have time tell them my second word.

\begin{slide*}
  My second word.
\end{slide*}

\begin{note}
  If really there is one still not sleeping, tell them my last word.
\end{note}

\begin{slide*}
  My last word.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

7.2 - How to generate the slides only?

Use the slidesonly option for the seminar class (for instance \documentclass[a4,portrait,slidesonly]{seminar}).

But if you want the headers and footers, replace \pagestyle{fancy} by:

\begin{allversions*}
  \pagestyle{fancy}
\end{allversions*}

7.3 - How to generate the notes only?

Use the notesonly option for the seminar class (for instance \documentclass[a4,portrait,notesonly]{seminar}).

But if you want the headers and footers, replace \pagestyle{fancy} by:

\begin{allversions*}
  \pagestyle{fancy}
\end{allversions*}

8 - List of slides

8.1 - How to generate a list of slides (similar to a table of contents)?

Use the slidesec package (there are several bugs related to it - see the Seminar bugs list)

Example (you must compile it twice to format the list of slides):

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage{slidesec}
\input seminar.bug
\input seminar.bg2 % See the Seminar bugs list

\begin{document}

\begin{slide*}
  \slideheading{Section one}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection one of one}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection two of one}
  \slideheading{Section two}
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  \slideheading{Section three}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection one of three}
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  \listofslides
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

8.2 - How to personalize the format for the list of slides?

Redefine the \listofslides macro.

Example (here we print the entry number of the section or subsection, we put dots between labels and slide numbers and we indent the subsections entries - you must compile the file twice):

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage{slidesec}
\input seminar.bug
\input seminar.bg2 % See the Seminar bugs list

% Personalization of the format of the list of slides
\makeatletter
\def\listofslides{%
  \def\l@slide##1##2##3{%
    \slide@dottedcline{##1 -- ##2}{\slidenumberline{##3}}}%
  \def\l@subslide##1##2##3{%
    \slide@dottedcline{\ \ ##1 -- ##2}{\slidenumberline{##3}}}%
  \@startlos}

% To avoid Overfull messages on each line of the list...
% \def\slide@dottedcline{\@dottedtocline{1}{1.5em}{2.3em}}
\def\slide@dottedcline{\@dottedtocline{1}{0.3em}{1.5em}}
\makeatother

\begin{document}

\begin{slide*}
  \slideheading{Section one}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection one of one}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection two of one}
  \slideheading{Section two}
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  \slideheading{Section three}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection one of three}
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  \listofslides
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

8.3 - How to generate a list showing the position of the slides in the presentation?

The macro \Slidecontents generate a list of the slides (using the entries defined with \slideheading and \slidesubheading) to show the preceding slides and the following ones. The \slidesubheading entries of the preceding ones are omitted. And, of course, you can generate several lists inside the file, to show respective positions in the talk.

Example (you must compile it twice):

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage{slidesec}
\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

\begin{slide*}
  \slideheading{Section one}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection one of one}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection two of one}
  \slideheading{Section two}
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  \Slidecontents
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  \slideheading{Section three}
  \slidesubheading{Subsection one of three}
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide*}
  \Slidecontents
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

9 - Miscelleanous

9.1 - How to indent the paragraphs?

By default, they are not. Redefine \slideparindent for that, for instance \renewcommand{\slideparindent}{5mm}

9.2 - How to justify the lines on the right side?

By default, they are not. Use \raggedslides[0mm] for that.

9.3 - How to generate only some slides inside all the file?

With the \onlyslides macro. For instance \onlyslides{11-16,25}.

9.4 - How to not center vertically the text in the slides?

By default, they are. Use \centerslidesfalse to change that.

9.5 - How to change the slide number to a specific value?

Define the value of the slide counter (to the specific value less 1).

Example:

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

\setcounter{slide}{34}
% Must be slide number 35
\begin{slide*}
  My text.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

9.6 - How to rotate the headers with the text itself?

By instance, in portrait mode, you can rotate the text with the slide environment, using the semcolor package (see question 2). To turn also the headers, use the \rotateheaderstrue command before.

Example:

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug
\usepackage{fancyhdr}

% Headers and footers personalization using the fancyhdr package
\fancyhead{} % Clear all fields
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0.2mm}
\renewcommand{\footrulewidth}{0.2mm}
\fancyhead[C]{\Large\textbf{Rotation of slides}}
\fancyfoot[L]{\tiny\thedate}
\fancyfoot[C]{\small My organization}
\fancyfoot[R]{\tiny Page \theslide}

% To avoid that the headers be to close of the top of the page
\renewcommand{\slidetopmargin}{2cm}

% To center horizontally the headers and footers (see seminar.bug)
\renewcommand{\headwidth}{\textwidth}

% To adjust the frame length to the header and footer ones
\autoslidemarginstrue

\begin{document}

\pagestyle{fancy}

\begin{slide*}
  My first word.
\end{slide*}

\begin{slide}
  My sedond word.
\end{slide}

\rotateheaderstrue
\addtolength{\slideheight}{-2cm} % To adjust vertical position
\begin{slide}
  My last word.
\end{slide}

\end{document}

9.7 - How to change the inter row space?

For that, just redefine the \slidestretch command before a slide or slide* environment. But if you want to change it inside a slide, you must call the macro \slidebox@restore too.

Example:

\documentclass[portrait]{seminar}

\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

\begin{slide*}
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
\end{slide*}

\renewcommand{\slidestretch}{0.5}
\begin{slide*}
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
\end{slide*}

\renewcommand{\slidestretch}{1}
\begin{slide*}
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.

\renewcommand{\slidestretch}{0.5}
\makeatletter\slidebox@restore\makeatother

  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.

\renewcommand{\slidestretch}{2}
\makeatletter\slidebox@restore\makeatother

  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
  Here is what I have to say.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

9.8 - How to write a text in the background?

With the FancyBox package, you can easily put any text in the background of some or all slides. You can use all LaTeX commands to build it (tabular environment, color macros, insertion of graphics, etc.).

Example (here we use the color package to define the color of the text and the graphics one to scale and rotate it):

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage[dvips]{graphics}
\usepackage[dvips]{pstcol} % To use the standard "color" package with Seminar
\usepackage{semcolor}
\input seminar.bug

\usepackage{fancybox}

\definecolor{LightGray}{gray}{0.9}

\begin{document}

\newslideframe{DRAFT}{%
  \boxput{\rotatebox{54}{\scalebox{6}{%
    \textcolor{LightGray}{DRAFT 4}}}}{#1}}
\slideframe*{DRAFT}

\begin{slide*}
  My draft text.
\end{slide*}

\end{document}

9.9 - How to generate some special slides which must overlaid?

With the overlay environment defined in the semlayer package.

Example (we will generate here four slides):

\documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

\usepackage[dvips]{pstcol} % To use the standard "color" package with Seminar
\usepackage{semcolor}
\usepackage{semlayer}
\input seminar.bug

\begin{document}

\begin{slide*}
  \LARGE

  \psframebox{\shortstack[l]{%
    The winner is:\begin{overlay}{1}{\textcolor{red}{Caroline}}\end{overlay}\\
    The second is:\begin{overlay}{2}{\textcolor{cyan}{Jane}}\end{overlay}\\
    The third  is:\begin{overlay}{3}{\textcolor{green}{Mary}}\end{overlay}}}

\end{slide*}

\end{document}


Comments to (put the word Seminar in the subject, please): Denis.Girou@idris.fr

Last modified: Tue Feb 18 15:19:02 MET 1997