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SlidePilot is a powerful native macOS tool for presenting PDF slides with support for LaTeX Beamer1.

I was struggling with presenting PDFs with the built-in macOS Preview2 App. I tried several options to optimize Preview’s setup so I could present it easily. But I realized I could look around to see if someone had solved the problem. Well, they did. I stumbled on SlidePilot and is one of the best finds in recent times. It is free and open source.

Use the Beamer class notes slides or add your notes in RTF3 format. For notes, SlidePilot supports the note function of the LaTeX Beamer class. On the other hand, you can easily add notes in RTF format to any PDF with the built-in text editor.

The canvas function will let you draw on the current slide while presenting. You can also have Stopwatch, Timer, and Clock - things you need for a smooth presentation. The layout options are just there; that makes perfect sense. If you have a secondary/tertiary display, it just works the way it should.

It comes with a companion iOS Remote Control App to remotely control presentations that you are holding on your Mac with SlidePilot via your iPhone.

  1. Beamer is a LaTeX document class for creating presentation slides, with a wide range of templates and a set of features for making slideshow effects. It supports pdfLaTeX, LaTeX + dvips, LuaLaTeX and XeLaTeX. The name is taken from the German word “Beamer” as a pseudo-anglicism for “video projector”. Beamer is Open Source

  2. Preview is the built-in image viewer and PDF viewer of the macOS. In addition to viewing and printing digital images and Portable Document Format (PDF) files, it can also edit these media types. 

  3. The Rich Text Format (RTF) is a proprietary document file format with published specification developed by Microsoft from 1987 until 2008 for cross-platform document interchange with Microsoft products. Prior to 2008, Microsoft published updated specifications for RTF with major revisions of Microsoft Word and Office versions. 

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