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 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.


  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. Hello,
    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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}

  12. 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.

  13. 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!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}

  14. 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.


  15. 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!!!

  16. 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 :)

  17. 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

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

    Maybe you want to have a look at “Impressive” ( 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.

  19. 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 ;-)

  20. 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?

  21. 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?

  22. Hi,

    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?

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. @Shawn Lankton

    Add the item to be included in the box here

  26. 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?

  27. 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

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

  28. 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?

  29. 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.