I want to create a PDF that can look like¹:

a slide show

This kind of format is good for presentation, since you can reveal items as you read downwards.

I would like to know which application I can use to built this kind of PDF or ebook.

¹ The original site is http://www.slideshare.net/uyar/discrete-mathematics-proofs#, code on that side causes Google Chromium Version 31.0.1650.63 to exit

  • 6
    This seems to not be about ebooks but about pdf and presentations
    – mmmmmm
    Dec 28, 2013 at 10:56

4 Answers 4


As Nathan Yegler already blogged: “it’s more fun to write programs to help you write slides than it is to write slides.”. There is a plethora of programs out there that allow you to make slides in many forms and there are books on the subject as well¹.

From personal experience I can recommend starting with a structured mark-up based format for editing that is then converted to PDF and your preferred ebook format (e.g. EPUB). Using mark-up instead of visual positioning will make it easier to keep the slides consistent. Sphinx, based on the reStructured Text markup, can generate both PDF and EPUB and an extension allows you to embed your slides on slideshare.net.

If your slides are going to contain mathematics formula, you might want to look at LaTeX and the slide generation package (beamer) for that instead.

¹ Edward Tufte has written a great essay on the problems with PowerPoint presentations, a must read for anyone making slides.

  • 1
    another possibility is to use pandoc - johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/demo/example9/…
    – michal.h21
    Dec 28, 2013 at 12:36
  • @michal.h21 that is true, and I have recommended using pandoc it in other answers. But I am not aware of specific support for slides in pandoc
    – Anthon
    Dec 28, 2013 at 12:40

Creating a PDF which shows (effectively) as a a series of slides is not difficult. You just need to set the paper size to an appropriate size for your needs.

In a pinch, I sometimes use PDFs as slides since I can still use my remote control slide advancer (since it just sends page down and page up keyboard commands wirelessly).

Related to your question, you do not actually need to produce special sized pages. You can simply zoom your PDF while it is being displayed to support this kind of presentation. In this case you could produce your slides in anything from PowerPoint to Word to any of the free alternatives.


The PDF you linked was generated by LaTeX (or some other TeX derivative, like XeTeX) with the Beamer package. See:

Links from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beamer_(LaTeX)

QuickStart: http://www.math.umbc.edu/~rouben/beamer/ (note: link no longer working)


Pandoc makes it easy to combine the simplicity of Markdown with the power of LaTeX (beamer). A short howto is in the manual.

Additionally it's very straightforward with Pandoc to generate other formats from the same source.

Andrew Goldstone shares his valuable experience in a blog post. His examples will save you a lot of time if you want to tune the output.

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