Some day I’ll go into my document processing workflow, but I have a workshop coming up and that’ll call for a presentation. That’s the theme today. It won’t be a “PowerPoint” — that semi-genericized term for meeting-killing, over-engineered presentation visuals — mind you, but a set of slides that exist as a PDF file, that are much easier to put together.
First, the text, like almost all of my work products, is set down in Markdown, a simple way of marking-up text to use as-is, or to post-process into other formats. (For those in the know, I use Github-flavored Markdown, an extended version.)
For the production of the slides, I use the beamer class within LaTeX. LaTeX is a hoary and rather difficult typesetting engine. commonly used in the hard sciences and mathematics.
But I want something easier, so I use pandoc, a command-line tool that processes a Markdown file through beamer to get the PDF output. Try pandoc through a web interface; beamer tranformations don’t work though.
Confused yet? This video should clear it up, and if that doesn’t appeal pandoc has other presentation options. and since it has found a vital place at the core of my document workflow, I’d recommend try it in any case.