More or less up to date as of 1 March 2006 and always under construction!

Computer-based presentations are at first sight a painstaking effort to prepare for those not willing to give up to M$ so-called "commercial strategy". Viceversa, not only there are good "political" reasons to avoid use of M$ PowerPoint, but also several different programs and techniques exist to ease the process of preparing nice-looking presentations within a Unix/Linux/MacOSX environment. Here I collect some suggestions, links and template material taken from my own experience at astronomy meetings. Hoping to be of help to free-software-fan speakers around the world...

There are at least four kinds of files I know about one can "freely" (sometimes just as in the free software definition, or at least with freely available software) create to be profitably displayed on PC/Projector as viewgraphs:


DVI files created with LaTeX can be directly displayed using xdvi(k) More versatile PDF files can be created from DVI files and then displayed using Adobe Reader in full-screen mode. This can be accomplished using a suitable DVI/PS-to-PDF conversion tool such as dvipdfm, producing mostly nice-looking PDF output.

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If this choice appeals you, then you could try:


Firefox and Opera, to quote only a couple, have a built-in full-screen mode which can be used to display HTML presentations containing bitmap figures and animations. Such use of Opera was code-named OperaShow and is briefly described here.

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HTML presentations can of course be created "by hand", but also or with one of several available tools:


The state of the art of free "office" software, OpenOffice provides M$ Word-, Excel- and PowerPoint-like functionalities on M$ Windows, Unix/Linux/MacOSX platforms. Note that, even if it is now included in most Linux distributions, OpenOffice is under continuous development and it is thus recommendable to check the aforementioned web site to download the latest release. Note that, starting with its endless series of 1.1 RCs, OpenOffice includes an efficient "Export-to -Whatever" feature allowing e.g. to produce HTML, PDF or SWF (Flash) files out of OpenOffice presentations. This allows to make use of OpenOffice presentations on systems where OpenOffice is not available and/or publish them on the web in a more widely accessible file format.

Mattia's Slides : after long standing frustration in trying to find template OpenOffice presentations on-line, I decided to provide some slides about the things I've been working on. Some properly converted and adjusted M$ PowerPoint material and some OpenOffice original stuff.

Last updated on 25 September 2003 and last tested on 8 October 2003 using both both OpenOffice 1.1.0 and OpenOffice on Mandrake Linux 9.0 - Available as SXI, HTML, PDF and SWF files!

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