Building Presentations

Oskar Wickström has a nice post on automating the build of your technical presentation. Wickström likes to develop his code examples and diagrams concurrently with the text of the presentation. That means that the code and diagrams can change often as the presentation evolves. His post discusses ways of automating the process—essentially through a make file—so that anything that’s changed gets rebuilt and added to the presentation.

Wickström is not an Org mode user so his process involves Markdown, Pandoc, and Beamer. If you, too, don’t or can’t use Org, his post has some good ideas to make the process smoother.

What struck me, though, was how much easier things are with Org. The code is simply embedded in the document and compiled and run in place, automatically adding its output to the document. Likewise, diagrams and graphs are generated automatically from commands embedded in the source document. Finally, the presentation can be exported to Beamer—that’s what Wickström is using—or perhaps reveal.js. Mike Zamansky has a great video that shows how easy it is to make really nice presentations with Org mode and reveal.js. Everything is in a single Org file so you don’t have to worry about copying the latest code into your source document. It’s a very smooth and easy process.

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  • Beamer and Reveal are great, but there's also Org-HTML-Slideshow!

  • Thanks for the great summary, and for writing about the org-mode perspective! I'm actually using org-mode quite often, but mostly for note taking and writing drafts, not for presentations. I'm not sure how I would accomplish having small Haskell snippets, basically small examples that wouldn't compile themselves, and still have the compiled in a larger project. But that may be solved by org-mode somehow?