LaTeX and Beamer and pretty much like Word and PowerPoint. LaTeX allows one to make documents while Beamer is used to make presentation slides. The great advantage with using these two is that they produce elegant, professional-looking documents, usually as pdf files. LaTeX is much in use in research, particularly in mathematics, since it facilitates importing documents into other templates, and has full support for typesetting mathematical equations and graphics. The major disadvantage, though, is one must learn to write “codes” – LaTeX and Beamer outputs are not created via a WYSIWIG interface. The codes take some patience to learn, but they’re not entirely difficult.
Below are three easy steps to install both LaTeX and Beamer.
1. First we need to install MiKTeX. It’s pretty much the core of the of the LaTeX system – it’s the software that actually creates the documents. Size is approximately 110 MB. Click here to download MiKTeX. The rest of the installation process is pretty much intuitive. Installation may take minutes so be patient.
2. Next we will need an environment on which to type codes. The most commonly used is TeXnic Center (go to the download page). Once you’re done downloading, installation should be a breeze. When you first run Texnic Center, the set-up will ask you for the location of executable files. The default location should be \Program Files\MiKTeX 2.8\miktex\bin.
3. Now let’s install Beamer. Note that this only if you have an internet connection. Otherwise, you might need to download Beamer’s components at its SourceForge page (look elsewhere on how to install Beamer manually). Click Start, look for MiKTeX then go to Maintenance –> Settings. On the General tab select your default paper size, and on “Install missing packages on the fly”, choose Yes.
This option will save you from downloading all the necessary packages to install Beamer, which is kind of a hastle. Open TeXnic Center and go to File –> New. Then copy and paste the code below. It’s a sample Beamer code. Don’t worry about the code if you do not know any LaTeX yet. Plenty of tutorials are available on the web.
Save the file, then click CTRL + F7 to compile it. TeXniC Center will automatically call MiKTEX install whatever package is needed.
NOTE: If the code below doesn’t work, try the ones posted in the comments below, or this:
Apparently, there isn’t a single way of installing Beamer that works for any computer system. In particular, choosing “yes” for “install packages on the fly” does not seem to seem to work to those who are using MikTex 2.9. I suggest that you install beamer, xcolor and pgf using the Package Manager. Each of these packages may have other dependencies, and this will be shown in the “Build” window when you run the sample code above (or those in the comment below) in TeXnicCenter.