More on: Using document classes to influence design

Journal-specific classes

Many academic journals provide LaTeX classes for submissions. These typically set up the layout to be similar to the final journal, although that does depend on font usage, etc. If there is a class available, it is normally provided directly by the editorial office, who should give appropriate detail on what features it has. Many of these are also available on CTAN and in standard TeX distributions.

Classes for presentations

One area that needs a lot of special treatment is creating presentations. The slides class was written for making ‘classical’ printed slides, and it does not have any special support for on-screen presentations. Two classes have been developed to do just that, and that are widely used: beamer and powerdot. As beamer is probably the more common one, we will give you an example of how it works:


\begin{frame}{A first frame}
  Some text

\begin{frame}{A second frame}
  Different text
    \item<1-> First item
    \item<2-> Second item


This shows two important ideas. First, beamer divides a document into frames, each of which can make more than one slide (page). Second, beamer adds to the normal LaTeX syntax to allow parts of the source to appear ‘a bit at a time’. This is powerful but more complicated than we can cover here: take a look at this blog entry for more.

A class for images

There are occasions when you need to make an image (which might be text-heavy) using LaTeX. Often, you do not want anything other than the content itself on the ‘page’. That is easiest to do using the standalone class. It automatically sets the size of the page to surround the printed content.

A simple document: this will be a very small box!

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