LaTeX is a typsetting system that allows you to make great-looking documents, and is well-used to make academic papers. I even use it for homeworks and other documents. There are also packages that allow it to make fantastic posters and slide presentations as well. I spent the last few days getting caught up on this, and want to share what I’ve figured out:

  • A sexy Beamer theme that looks like Keynote
  • How to format the footer
  • How to make slide numbers
  • How to remove the navigation symbols
  • How to make movies show up in presentations
  • The best references

I’ll talk about each of these briefly and give links to download a demo presentation and the .tex and .sty files that made it. Here’s a sneak peek of what it looks like!

keynote beamer presentation

I’ve known about the possibility of LaTeX slides for a while, but never took the time to figure it out. Now that I have, I must say that this is *way* easier and better than Powerpoint. This is even more true when you’re presenting material that you have already written up as a paper in LaTeX. Copying figures and equations couldn’t be easier! I really recommend everyone try it out (especially grad students!).

My experiences have been with Beamer (but other options exist.) Phase I is to get this set up and working with LaTeX. Once this is done you’ll find it very simple to throw together a quick presentation. If, however, you are a man (or woman) of style, you’ll yearn for something that shines a little brighter.

I really wanted my presentation to look like those classy Keynote presentations you’re always seeing Steve Jobs giving. I’ve got something nice now and I use a few other tricks to get things just right for me. Hopefully this helps you out.

Keynote Beamer Theme

Here’s what we’re going for:

steve jobs presentation

I think I capture that pretty well! Download the style file and place it somewhere in the Beamer path (or in the same directory as the presentation). Then put this at the top of your document:


Voila! You’ve well on your way to a classy presentation. I also included my .tex code and the finished .pdf of this presentation. This file shows all the other tricks I talk about in this post as well.

Keynote-looking style file

Formatting the Footer

You’ll often want abbreviated author lists and titles in the footer of your document. Remember that the \authors{} and \title{} commands have options. Hence, use them this way:

\authors[First Author]{First Author\quad Second Author}
\title[Short Title]{Longer Title for the First Slide}

This essentially gives you the ability to put anything on the footer as in the next section:

Slide Numbers in the Footer

To get slide numbers in the footer (next to the title of the presentation) replace your \title{} command with this:

\title[Abbrev. Title\hspace{2em}\insertframenumber/
\inserttotalframenumber]{Full Title}

A good presentation should always have slide numbers to make it easier for the guy in the audience wants to make a fuss about a particular slide : )

Removing the Navigation Symbols

By default, these slideshows have a bunch of little symbols along the bottom right of the slides to assist in navigation. To remove these, include this text in your code:

\setbeamertemplate{navigation symbols}{} %no nav symbols

This is already included in my style file above.

Include Movies in the Presentation

No good presentation is *that* good unless it has a movie, right? Well, this is simple enough. Try this code:


I’ve found that this only works in Adobe Reader, but… hey! It works. This was the main thing I was worried about when I started using LaTeX to make my slides, but it really works beautifully.

Beamer Reference

I wish I had this reference right from the start: The Beam User Manual [pdf]

59 thoughts on “Beamer and Latex With Keynote Theme

  1. Hi Erik. You should start by getting a more flexible editor. EMACS is a great choice (there’s a OSX-native version, Aquamacs, that I used for LaTeX editing). Then it should be a simple matter of renaming the file as you did… good luck!

  2. I include the following in my preamble and it seems to do the trick.


  3. When I compile, latex sends me a message ” beamerthemelankton-keynote ” not found :(( someone can help me how to resolve this problem . and thnx :)

  4. Hi Shawn,
    I’m French (excuse me for my english…). I’ve an Mac (with OS X 10.10), and I don’t know how correctly installing your package (it isn’t recognize when I put it in the same directory than the presentation). So I put it here : /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/local. “texhash” in the Terminal. And nothing…
    Please, do you are an issue ?
    Thanks a lot,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.