Home > LaTeX > Beamer and Latex With Keynote Theme

Beamer and Latex With Keynote Theme

February 15th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

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]

Categories: LaTeX Tags: , ,
  1. February 26th, 2008 at 13:19 | #1

    Brilliant post! I shall give your theme a try :)

  2. March 17th, 2008 at 12:26 | #2

    Hi Shawn! Thanks for posting this, it’s a great theme. Do you have any suggestions for how to make modifications? (E.g. are there any recommended guides for making one’s own theme?)

    In particular, I’m trying to stick a logo on the bottom bar.


  3. March 17th, 2008 at 13:46 | #3

    I’m actually not sure how to add logos. If anyone knows how, please let me know!

  4. bak-a
    April 13th, 2008 at 00:24 | #4

    Thanks very cool.

    Some time ago, I saw a presentation with a “timer” (a small clock counting the total time presentation duration). I’m (almost) sure it was done with Beamer, have you see that? I know is possible with powerpoint and keynote.

  5. May 6th, 2008 at 20:47 | #5

    for the logos add, in the preamble:


    this declares the image unilogo.png for instance;

    then, also in the preamble


    and I don’t think you need anything else…

  6. May 11th, 2008 at 20:14 | #6

    this is a great template, congratulations. btw there is a way to add a transition effect into the template, e.g., disolve, cube. thanks in advance.

  7. May 12th, 2008 at 16:07 | #7

    This tutorial has a nice section about how to make transitions. The short version seems to be include this:
    at the end of whatever you want to dissolve in. This only works in some PDF viewers, so be careful!

  8. Mohammed
    May 26th, 2008 at 09:39 | #8

    Very nice tutorial Shawn and a brilliant style. When the slide numbers are added, they are added on the left panel of the slide, I was wondering if we can place on the bottom of the slide? Thank and keep up the great work

  9. Pablo
    June 24th, 2008 at 07:00 | #9

    very nice style. I love it and I’m using it for my presentations. I have a question:
    the \begin{block}-\end{block} commands are not working for this template. Do you know how can I fix it?
    many thanks! Pablo

  10. June 27th, 2008 at 21:05 | #10

    I’m not sure how to make the {block} environment work. If anyone figures it out please let me know or post a comment. I’ll investigate and try to follow up on this page.

  11. Demetrio
    July 24th, 2008 at 11:22 | #11

    Hi. I loved your template. There is a little issue though. The table of contents goes from dim gray to gray and it is hard to see. Does anybody know how to change this color to white? Also, include a counter? Thanks!

  12. Robs
    November 6th, 2008 at 04:43 | #12

    Hi, first of all, thank you for the awesome template. I’d like to see the outline in a single row… is it possible?

  13. November 10th, 2008 at 16:53 | #13

    Robs: I’m not sure how would you do that. If you figure it out, please let us know the procedure!

  14. December 6th, 2008 at 13:07 | #14

    By the way, it seems like the demo file doesn’t work as-is for MacTeX. A quick fix: comment out the usepackage{pstricks} line.

  15. December 6th, 2008 at 14:02 | #15

    Also, one might like to have the frame titles with no background. I’m not sure how to do this ‘properly,’ but a decent hack is to insert this in the header:

    \vspace{.5 cm}
    \hspace{-.5 cm}

  16. February 10th, 2009 at 20:49 | #16

    thanks for the sweet theme, it is beautiful! I’m using it for my master’s defense. :)

  17. Elie Khoury
    February 21st, 2009 at 22:34 | #17

    Nice template! I shall aspire to use it one day! Or even try to learn how to modify it for the astronomy and physics department at the university I study in.

  18. Jeremy
    April 13th, 2009 at 17:19 | #18

    Great template, really like this theme a lot! I did find out how to change some of the things that others above had asked about:

    Getting the block environment to work is simply a matter of changing the colors by adding the following to the style file:

    \setbeamercolor{block title}{parent=normal text, bg=gray}
    \setbeamercolor{block body}{parent=normal text, use=block title,bg=block title.bg!10!black}

    In this example, the parent causes the text to look like the normal text (e.g. white in this theme) and a gray background for the block title, where the block body is mixed with the block title background (10%) and black(90%). Note that the parent doesn’t have to be used, it just inherits from the parent, can also set fg and bg explicitly.

    As for changing the coloring of the table of contents, I used the following in the style file to make the main sections a bit lighter and stand out better:

    \setbeamercolor{section in toc}{use=structure,parent=structure,fg=structure.fg!50}

  19. MX
    May 17th, 2009 at 20:45 | #19

    This is a great theme.

    My only question is, how to add a header or sidebar to show the table of content?

    I am going to have a dissertation defense. I figured for long presentations, it’s better to let people know which section it has been through.


  20. August 13th, 2009 at 17:41 | #20

    Great theme – I started playing with beamer last night, and today googled beamer and keynote, hoping to find some high quality themes. This is nearly perfect.

    The first change I made was to add the following in order to remove the gray box around the title on the title page – I think it works properly:


    Thanks again!!!

  21. NS
    May 5th, 2010 at 11:06 | #21

    homework is not a countable noun

  22. Mario Chapa
    May 5th, 2010 at 20:42 | #22

    Hello :)

    I was helping my girlfriend with his seminar presentation, we were looking for a way to include the slide number in a beamer presentation and i found this awesome blog.
    You are great! thank you so much :)

  23. Humberto
    May 16th, 2010 at 13:05 | #23

    Hi Shawn,

    I am going to have a presentation in June 7, 2010 in Canada, and I have a 2003 Beamer version. I am new using beamer and can see the advantages it provides por presentations. I want to implement in my presentation the four features that you introduced to us: formatting the footer, slide numbers in the footer, removing the navegation symbols and include movies in the presentation. I write the following preamble in my file,

    \usepackage{amsmath, amsfonts, epsfig, xspace}

    but received the following messaje:
    Warning: could not copy file:
    textmf-dist/text/latex/algorithms/algorithm.sty to

    The same occurs with other sty files.

    Thanks for yany help you can provide

    I searched and couldn’t

    I am new using

  24. May 19th, 2010 at 06:01 | #24

    Do you know any good tutorial for making a Beamer template?

  25. Mikkel
    May 25th, 2010 at 05:31 | #25

    Very nice theme, you have made. I really like the clean look!

    Maybe you want to have a look at “Impressive” (http://impressive.sourceforge.net/). It makes your presentation run more smoothly, it provides a nice overview page, it lets you highlight things during your presentation, it allows video playback, it provides a timer and many other things.

  26. Mikkel
    May 27th, 2010 at 05:43 | #26

    Hi again,

    I had trouble getting LaTeX to recognize the lankton-keynote theme, eventhough I had copied the lankton-keynote.sty file to the same dir as all the other theme files (i.e. beamerthemeWarsaw.sty etc.). I got an error message in the line of “beamerthemelankton-keynote.sty not found. \usetheme{lankton-keynote}”.

    Of course it was just a matter of running “texhash” from the terminal, and everything worked smoothly. Somethimes you just can’t see the obvious ;-)

  27. August 3rd, 2010 at 00:54 | #27

    Thank you so much!!! This is exactly what i was looking for!!! Keep up the good job.

  28. Mateusz
    November 3rd, 2010 at 08:23 | #28

    Great template! However, I cannot get it working. I have no background and the slide titles are some rectangles instead of letters. Does anyone know how to fix it?

  29. Dominique
    December 28th, 2010 at 19:01 | #29

    I find that the texnansi package messes up the monospace fonts, which are not monospace any more. Not including this package resolves the problem. Is this a known thing?

  30. Huang
    December 29th, 2010 at 11:39 | #30


    How do you insert the figure? My figure is hard to recognize because of the background color. Why did your figures look as if they are in a while background?

  31. Alex
    January 4th, 2011 at 16:35 | #31


  32. loglog
    January 8th, 2011 at 18:51 | #32

    if anyone else has this problem:
    when using \setbeameroption{show notes on second screen}
    you can’t see the text on the note pages (because it is white on white) to fix this add the following to the beamerthemelankton-keynote.sty file:

    \setbeamercolor{note page}{bg=black, fg=black}

    Anyway, thank you for this nice theme!

  33. February 19th, 2011 at 14:36 | #33

    hi friend! this my problem, i work with Windows 7, i try to use this theme but when i run the beamer_demo.tex, it poster this msg ” `beamerthemelankton-keynote.sty’ not found.” how can i resolve this problem ? if any one can help me please.

  34. March 7th, 2011 at 13:46 | #34

    @Shawn Lankton

    Add the item to be included in the box here

  35. March 7th, 2011 at 13:48 | #35

    That was to make the block enviornment work!

  36. Nabil Awan
    August 16th, 2011 at 13:40 | #36

    Dear Shawn, this template is great! But can you tell me one thing, when I add a figure by writing-

    \frametitle{Two Normal Components}
    \caption{\small Histogram and density curves of two normal components}

    where 1_2.pdf is the figure generated from R that I want to add, it becomes tough to distinguish this plot because it matches with the background color. I am sorry for my amateur question but can you tell me how can I add figures that will be added as pictures not mixing with the background?

  37. October 25th, 2011 at 17:41 | #37

    Very nice. Please upload it to CTAN.

  38. Tim
    December 2nd, 2011 at 09:35 | #38

    @Ricardo Reis
    Thank you so much for this. You turned what I thought would be an arduous task into a snap.

  39. Vladimir
    February 1st, 2012 at 02:34 | #39

    Thank you very much for such nice theme. Only one problem sometimes I experienced to this moment was a color shift, when viewing a Beamer created document in Adobe Reader, at slide, when I include some graphic files. Fortunately I have found a fix at http://wouter.horre.be/doc/latex-beamer-and-colors-in-acrobat-reader

    For the fix (if you use a pdflatex) you have add to the preamble of your document the following:
    \pdfpageattr {/Group <>}

  40. Vladimir
    February 1st, 2012 at 02:37 | #40

    Previous post has problem with command cut. Full line of the fix is:
    \pdfpageattr {/Group <>}
    or if the line above is no properly displayed again please look at the link http://wouter.horre.be/doc/latex-beamer-and-colors-in-acrobat-reader

  41. Ingo
    May 23rd, 2012 at 09:47 | #41

    Hello Shawn!
    I just want you to know that I took the freedom to put the source of your presentation template into a Github repository:
    I hope you don’t mind, otherwise feel free to send me a mail.

  42. marewa
    May 30th, 2012 at 03:29 | #42


  43. MichaelG
    June 5th, 2012 at 04:05 | #43

    Hi Shawn,
    I’d like to remove the black and grey colored boxes at the bottom of the slides (author and short title + slide number), to show the main background by transparency. Obviously, I cannot figure it out. Can you help me out?

  44. ErikM
    October 9th, 2012 at 10:09 | #44

    I’m relatively new at Latex. Whenever I attempt to download the .sty file it comes as a .sty.html file. And when I simply open the link to the .sty file, I see what is in the file, but I don’t know how to create a .sty file, it “is not a valid file type” according to my text editor. I’m on OSX. Thank you

  45. October 15th, 2012 at 09:29 | #45

    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!

  46. Anonymous
    April 6th, 2013 at 18:37 | #46

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


  47. math8
    May 6th, 2013 at 14:45 | #47

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

  48. Álvaro
    August 27th, 2013 at 15:24 | #48

    There are more PDF readers that supports video. For GNU/Linux Okular works well

  49. Frédéric Stévenot
    August 27th, 2015 at 11:12 | #49

    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,

  1. April 20th, 2008 at 17:21 | #1
  2. June 30th, 2008 at 21:14 | #2
  3. July 7th, 2009 at 21:41 | #3
  4. April 9th, 2010 at 06:54 | #4
  5. November 3rd, 2010 at 11:48 | #5
  6. November 15th, 2010 at 21:19 | #6
  7. October 30th, 2012 at 04:06 | #7
  8. March 9th, 2013 at 07:48 | #8
  9. March 19th, 2013 at 14:19 | #9
  10. October 11th, 2014 at 00:13 | #10


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