09 October 2008

Preparing a math presentation with Zoho

I had to give a presentation yesterday. A math one. Filled with dirty little symbols, expressions, equations and geometrical figures.

I had done that quite a few times already, but this time, I wanted to try to make slides and see what tools are available out there.

I'm pretty sure there is a proper LaTeX template, but I wanted something more modern and colorful. I was thinking Google Docs, but they don't support any kind of math. There is however a better tool, Zoho, that does. Insert a whole paragraph of praising Zoho here.

Using LaTeX in Zoho is fast and easy: you click on "insert equation" and a little LaTeX editor shows up. Once your equation is ready, an image is inserted in your document. Image, but you can always right-click on it and edit it. All I can wish for is that those images were rendered a little faster.

Okay, I've been a little manipulative here. LaTeX works great, but only in Zoho Writer (the "Word") and not in Zoho Show, the presentation tool. At least officially. I did, however, manage to make a math presentation, not without issues, but I easily found workarounds:

  • First, prepare your whole presentation in Writer. You won't be able to edit much in Show.
  • To make a slide with math, pick a text slide. Put some text you might remove later, then paste your text with math. If it looks good, better not touch.
  • Do not use bullet lists, they don't work. Your text gets parsed and the equations disappear.
  • Sometimes a bug occurs: a slide stays on the screen and seems to overwrite all the others. Close the presentation and reopen it, it should work then.
I'd love to see LaTeX supported in Zoho Show soon, but still, I managed to prepare my presentation, so insert another paragraph of praising Zoho here.

Here's the result (in Polish):

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