Home > Artesis, latex, linux, script > Build script: course handouts from latex-beamer slides

Build script: course handouts from latex-beamer slides

As a lecturer, a part of my job consists of giving presentations using some kind of presentation software.

In the past, I uploaded a pdf file for each presentation to the  educational learing platform we use at our university. Typically 12+ files for one semester. Because some students prefer to print out the handouts, I provided a printer friendly version (8 slides per page), instantly doubling the number of files.

During the semester, I tend to adjust/tweak/update these files from time to time, making it dreadfull for me to update the files, and making it difficult for the student to ensure they have downloaded the last version of each file.

When I switched from OpenOffice.org to Latex beamer to prepare my presentations, I also decided to resolve this annoyance and add some extra features to my handouts.

This resulted in a build script.

What is it does:

  1. Build two pdf version for each lecture: presentation version and handout version (printer friendly colors, no slide transitions)
  2. Build a 8 slides per page (8pp) version starting from the handout version
  3. Create a nice handout document by joining all the 8pp files + include title page, introduction, table of contents
  4. Create a .zip archive file with all these documents

The end result is an updated .zip archive, with the last version of all the slides.  About once a week, I do a full build and upload this one file to our learning platform.

Sample commandline output:

$ ./build
Now processing: 0-hfdst0
Latex build succesfull
PDF 8pp build succesfull
Now processing: 7-hfdst7
Latex build succesfull
PDF 8pp build succesfull
Now processing: 8-hfdst8
Latex build succesfull
PDF 8pp build succesfull
Now joining all documents
Latex build succesfull
Build took 6 seconds.
done

Sample files:

(remove ‘.doc’ from the file extension, wordpress does not allow .zip/.sh)

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