multiple overlays and a handout (was: overfull boxes; was: Re: [OS X TeX] Suggestion for TeXShop)

Roussanka Loukanova rloukano at
Wed Feb 28 08:33:35 EST 2007

On Wed, 28 Feb 2007, Roussanka Loukanova wrote:

> On Wed, 28 Feb 2007, Luis Sequeira wrote:
>>> 3. In a beamer presentation, I have a sequence of \only<5>{...}, ...
>>> \only<7>{...}, i.e., multiple *alternative* overlays, which take the space
>>> of each other on successive pages. They show finely on the presentation,
>>> but not on its handout version where, all alternatively overlaid parts
>>> get stacked on a single page, i.e. in an overfull vbox, which stretches
>>> down out of the page. I had such a case, which (for now) I resolved by
>>> force:
>>> I've put the overlay blocks inside {\tiny ...}. I dislike such a
>>> forceful solution, esp. because in a next round of lecturing on this
>>> topic, I will certainly update it, and would easily forget
>>> about this {\tiny ...} extra in the handout version: The only difference
>>> between handout and presentation modes should be the two lines:
>> I don't use beamer, but I use powerdot for the same thing (and use the same 
>> trick of having two alternative \documentclass lines).
>> I think a better solution is to use some form of conditional compilation - 
>> so that you decide, in advance, how the material should appear onscreen and 
>> on the handout; and don't have to do any further
>> changes later.

What follows is a solution, which I extracted from beameruserguide.pdf
sec. 20.3, p.183-184. As it turns out, it works even only on a single 
command, excluding its argument, like {\tiny ...}. I.e., the command \tiny 
is the only token that I have put in the handout mode, but not in the 
beamer mode.

I needed the extra pair of braces "{" and "}" to delimit the scope of 
\tiny. I've put them outside because the 1st flavor of \mode doesn't 
accept unbalanced parenthesis. (This is mentioned in the 
beameruserguide.pdf. I've briefly tried the 2nd flavor of 
\mode, but couldn't get it working.)


\mode<article> % only for the article version







   \item bla-bla 1

     \item \only<2-5>{{\color{green} bla-bla 2-5 or}}
       bla-bla 2-7
       bla-bla 3-
     \item<4-> bla-bla 4-

\mode<handout>{\tiny }
{\color{green} $\therefore$ \ we can skip bla-bla 2-5 in} (1) as follows:

This is on slide 7.

Both alert (red) blocks are in tiny font size in the handout mode.

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