Note: The Prosper Intro grew out of the comuter seminar held at the Max-Planck intitute for astro physics some time ago. The information were intended for MPA employees and the original pages (at http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/~georg/prosper) contained only local links pointing into the MPA intranet. These resources were not available from the outside and many people asked me for the MPA sylesheet. So I moved all information to this new location.

Short introduction into the Prosper LaTeX package

Prosper is a LaTeX package which is used to produce Powerpoint-like presentations. The LaTeX file containing your slides is translated into Postscript and then into the Adobe© Portable Document Format (PDF). With the Adobe Acrobat reader the presentation can be displayed on the computer screen or beamer. The same source file can also be used to print out slides to be used on conventional over-head projectors.

The seminar, graphicx, and the pstricks LaTeX packages are utilused by Prosper.

A rather unknown feature of the Acrobat reader is the possibility to use different page transition effects. Prosper offers these effects:

Configuration and use

You cannot use pdflatex to produce the pdf files. Prosper needs the Postscript features from pstricks. So you have to compile your LaTeX file file.tex with

  latex file
  dvips file.dvi
  ps2pdf file.ps

or with the dvi2pdf script:

  latex file
  dvi2pdf file

dvi2pdf is a Perl script. It takes care of all pdf issues: vector fonts, paper size, optimisation. It is just an example for such a script and you may have to adjust it to your local installation.

Example

Basic file structure:

\NeedsTeXFormat{LaTeX2e}
\documentclass[pdf,mpa]{prosper}
\usepackage{graphicx}

\title{A simple presentation}
\subtitle{Prosper in action}
\author{Georg}
\email{georg@mpa-garching.mpg.de}
\institution{MPA}

%%% Things which go on all slides:
%% the caption. The default is the \title argument.
\slideCaption{MPA seminar}
%% A logo. x and y coordinates measured in inches with
%% zero point at the lower left corner.
\Logo{\includegraphics[height=1cm]{mpa_logo}}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

%% every single slide in a separate slide environment
\begin{slide}{The first slide title}
  Text on 1. Slide.
\end{slide}

\end{document}

More complex example with overlays

\NeedsTeXFormat{LaTeX2e}
\documentclass[pdf,mpa]{prosper}
\usepackage{graphicx}

\title{A not so simple presentation}
\author{Georg}

%%% Things which go on all slides:
%% the caption. The default is the \title argument.
\slideCaption{MPA seminar}
%% A logo. x and y coordinates measured in inches with
%% zero point at the lower left corner.
\Logo{\includegraphics[height=1cm]{mpa_logo}}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

%% Regular one part Slide

\begin{slide}{The first slide title}
  Text on 1. Slide.
\end{slide}

%% Slide with 3 parts (overlays)

\overlays{3}{
\begin{slide}{Title of 2. page}

  This Text is seen on all parts

  %% not seen if a Postcript file is produced (option ps is used)
  \onlySlide{2}{
    And this Text is only seen on the second Slide
  }

  \FromSlide{3}
  only seen on 3. slide.  The Text from the 2. Slide is gone but the
  space is still reserved.  With the starred command
  \texttt{$\backslash$onlySlide*} also the reserved space is gone.

\end{slide}
}

%% simplified version of overlays.  One item is added at every step.

\overlays{3}{
\begin{slide}{Title of 2. page}
  \begin{itemstep}
    \item First item
    \item Second item
    \item Third item
  \end{itemstep}
\end{slide}
}

\end{document}

Starred and un-starred macros like \onlySlide and \onlySlide* differ by the allocation of page space on following Slide parts. The following example makes it clear for the code example

  1.text
  \onlySlide{2}{2.text}
  \fromSlide{3}{3.text}

and

  1.text
  \onlySlide*{2}{2.text}
  \fromSlide{3}{3.text}

With \onlySlide it looks like this:

   --------     --------     --------
  |1.text  |   |1.text  |   |1.text  |
  |        |   |2.text  |   |        |
  |        |   |        |   |3.text  |
   --------     --------     --------

and with \onlySlide* it looks like this:

   --------     --------     --------
  |1.text  |   |1.text  |   |1.text  |
  |        |   |2.text  |   |3.text  |
  |        |   |        |   |        |
   --------     --------     --------

The options in the line saying \usepackage[options]{prosper} control the look and the nature of the result. Here is a list of the important ones where the default setting is set in italics:

ps | pdf
Controls weather a postscript file for printing or a pdf file for a presentation is created.
slideColor | slideBW
Activates many colours or forces the use of a restricted colour set. This depends on the style file and might not work.
colorBG | nocolorBG
Lets the style file define the background colour or forces it to be white. This depends on the style file and might not work.
alienglow | autumn | azure | contemporain | darkblue | default | frames | lignesbleues | nuancegris | troispoints
are the styles which are distributed with the prosper package.

This page gives an impression of the styles which are available.

Prosper relies heavily on the pstricks package for LaTeX. This offers many nice features like arrows pointing from one Text element to another. The documentation is rather lengthly but most of the time you just have to look into the available example presentations to understand the syntax.

Technical oddities

Important references


Georg.Drenkhahn@NOSPAM.nefkom.net

Last modified: 2006-05-04