[OS X TeX] Follow-up on Powerdot

Alan Munn amunn at msu.edu
Sun Feb 3 15:07:26 EST 2008

At 5:06 PM -0600 2/2/08, David Kaplan wrote:
>Thanks to those who responded.  Forgive my newbieness here, but I am 
>using TeXShop.  Is there a way to configure TeXShop to get to 
>Powerdot?  I believe this is through TeXLive, but as a newcomer to 
>this, I don't know how this is done.  Please advise.

Dear David, it seems from your question that you may not have much 
experience with LaTeX generally.  Since you mentioned MacTeX, I 
assume that you have installed the whole MacTeX package, and not just 
TeXShop by itself.

Powerdot is a document class, which means that you use it by creating 
a document which looks like this:

%!TEX TS-program = latex
\begin{slide}{Slide Title}
Some text in the slide.

Some more text in the slide.

Since powerdot uses PSTricks to do its magic, it MUST use latex+dvips 
to for typesetting (i.e. it can't use pdflatex). (This isn't actually 
made very obvious in the documentation.)

In TeXShop, this means that the default typesetting settings won't 
work for your powerdot documents.  The easiest way to solve this is 
to put

%!TEX TS-program = latex

as the first line of your document, which tells TeXShop to use 
latex+dvips for this particular file (as I did above).

If you cut and paste the above document into a TeXShop file and 
typeset it, it should compile with no errors.

The instructions that I gave you earlier were to get you to the 
documentation for powerdot, which will tell you how to use it.

To access the documentation for latex packages it is useful to use 
the Unix command "texdoc".  To use it, you need to open up the 
Terminal (which from the Finder is inside Applications/Utilities)

Then you can type

texdoc powerdot

and that should open up a PDF document containing the documentation. 
I assume you tried this, but when you tried to compile your document 
(using pdflatex) it failed.  Hopefully this should get you going now.

I generally use Beamer instead of powerdot, so I can't answer 
specific questions about how powerdot itself works, but there may be 
others here who can.


Alan Munn 
amunn at msu.edu
Department of Linguistics                             
and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages   Fax.  +1-517-432-2736
Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824       Tel.  +1-517-355-7491
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