Vesa Linja-aho's Blog

Senior Lecturer in Automotive Electronics in Helsinki Metropolia UAS.

Slideshare, Scribd and LaTeX & Beamer

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Teachers who use lots of mathematicas formulas on their lecture slides, usually prefer LaTeX for creating their lecture slides. There are several LaTeX packages for making a slideshow, but I personally prefer Beamer, because

  • it allows creating very professional-looking slides
  • it is easy to learn and use
  • it is easy to customize.

However, there has been a little problems, when sharing slides made with LaTeX & Beamer in Slideshare and Scribd. In Slideshare, some slides (those with shadowed boxes) appear with annoying clutter in the box corners:

There is a bug in Slideshare’s rendering engine, and therefore the shadows are cluttered. The bug is promised to be fixed in the next version of the engine.

Another good service for sharing lecture slides is Scribd. Although Slideshare is “the” service for sharing slides, I like Scribd’s way to use HTML5 instead of Flash to show pdf documents. When I tested in 2010 how well Scribd can handle pdf slides with math formulas and circuit diagrams, I noticed that

  • the Flash viewer had the same cluttered corners bug as Slideshare has
  • the HTML5 viewer misrendered circuit diagrams and math formulas, like on this equation collection:

However, the bug is now fixed: when I re-uploaded the same pdf to scribd, the document will look correct, as you can see:

Summary: Scribd works great for sharing LaTeX-made lecture slides, and Slideshare works very good: only that one bug with cluttered corners is annoying, but it will be corrected soon.

The Lesson: if a web-based service has a bug, report it if it is made easy. And, reported it or not, come later back and see, if the issue is corrected. For example, Scribd corrected both bugs in about one year, despite I did nothing but waited :-).

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Written by linjaaho

July 16, 2011 at 2:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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