[OS X TeX] FOILtex OR Seminar

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Thu Jan 26 16:14:03 EST 2006

On 26 Jan 2006, at 3:06, Marcus Michalsky wrote:

> Hi, can anybody help me, with the decision of using FOILtex or  
> Seminar to make a presentation ?

I recently used powerdot. It is a further development on Prosper,  
circumventing limitations in prosper. I found it easy to use, with  
easy to follow documentation (and at ~40 pages not overwhelming). The  
provided samples are great to get started, and show the available  
effects really well.

The class uses pstricks, so latex+ghostscript is needed, but the  
effects provided by ppower4 are included in the class itself, so you  
may gain some speed there. (don't ask me how they pulled that off).

Your LaTeX sources for a presentation are easy to read, and the  
effects are coded with obvious names (so they're easy to remember).

The class includes some 8 sample document styles. I haven't tried to  
code my own style, but radical changes probably require some pstricks  
code. Using a standard style is trivial, and the documentation for  
rolling your own seems good enough (it takes about a third of the  

> I have to do a presentation in a seminar at the university.  
> (meaning landscape slides beaming to the wall)

Will work, have used it.

> I have found FOILtex and Seminar. Which one is easier to learn,  
> better to use ?
> Is one of them outdated ?

FOILTeX is covered by a non-free license, so you may not be able to  
use it (it is a rather liberal license, but not free). I did use it  
once, and found the command names somewhat confusing, with seemingly  
gratuitous changes relative to the "slides" class, while still  
following the same overall method. Setting up a style was a bit  
confusing IIRC. The end result was fine though. If you have a sample  
presentation, you should be fine, but the same is true for any of the  
other classes.

I never used Seminar. And then you have prosper, HA-prosper, and a  
few dozen others. Don't discount the Context presentation styles.  
They can be stunning, but learning metapost, context and preparing  
the presentation itself can be a bit of a challenge (been there done  

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