Presenting from PDF

I’ve been using PDF as a file format for presentations for the last ~8 years and I LOVE it. The clue is in the name: Portable Document Format: it’s an open standard, and works everywhere. You can embed your fonts, images, whatever … if you end up presenting it from another machine for some reason, everything is going work, even when you want to upload the slides afterwards. Yet, it’s still a pretty unusual choice, I think because people don’t know much about the tooling around it – so I thought I’d share some of my tips.

Today: tools for actually delivering a PDF presentation (I make them with rst2pdf ).

One of the smartest things we can do for one another as speakers (even occasional ones!) is put a PDF presentation tool on our laptops. Every presentation tool should be able to save as PDF – and if someone has a PDF presentation tool on their machine? You’re saved :)

For mac: try Pré a Python script that gives a fully-featured speaker view with speaker notes, timer, next slide, etc.

For linux: try PDF Presenter Console. Ubuntu users can install from apt, and again, it supports speaker view, next slide, notes, timer, etc. It’s also an active open source project, so you can always fix something if you need to.

Both tools have similar features to what you’d expect from Powerpoint/Keynote/Impress, and I personally find them more than adequate for my needs. If you have other recommendations (especially for Windows, which I don’t have suggestions for) then please share in the comments, I would love to know of more excellent PDF tools!

One thought on “Presenting from PDF

Leave a Reply

Please use [code] and [/code] around any source code you wish to share.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.