My approach to text based presentation software

I was inspired by Alexander's blog about text based presentation software. This has always been a sore point of mine. See the problem with most software is they are focused on making it pretty but not the content. This imho leads to a wasteland of bullet points with no flow, and people who just read their points right from the slides.

So a few years ago I hacked together a tool that took an input file and generated a post script file that I could display with KGhostView...

So fastforward 3 years and Alexander's blog and it inspired me to fix it up a little. Since I have grown an affinity for wiki, I updated the input format to take a small subset of wiki formatting. I also made it export PDF since Qt can now do that.

So the end result is MyPoint. Its still one step above a hack, and the code is a mess, but it works. If anyone finds it useful please let me know. I can be coerced into expanding on it if people use it more.

Right now it takes optional background and layout template files to customize the output. These are pretty limited, but that is because I am more concerned with the content than the prettiness factor. The wiki format gives me a fast way to generate an outline and the fact each point must be one line helps keep me short an concise.

So please check it out and let me know what people think...


It has a PyQt GUI and is based on Restructured Text instead of wiki markup, and I called it tobogan.

It also generates HTML instead of PDF (but it could be made to do that, or LaTeX slides).

There's a basic demo slideshow (about another thing) embedded here:


There are other transitions supported on the later standalone version (http://tobogan.googlecode.com)

By ralsina at Mon, 02/18/2008 - 11:23

I like it very much. You handle quite a bit more formatting than mine does. Does it allow image embedding also? I have been looking at S5 support in this one, but I really like how KPDF works in presentation mode.

By Ian Reinhart Geiser at Mon, 02/18/2008 - 11:51

So you can use anything rst supports. To get an image, just do

.. image:: url-of-the-image

I wrote a little about it on my blog right now: http://lateral.netmanagers.com.ar/weblog/2008/02/18.html#BB676

Also, all the "look" of the slide can be hacked using CSS, so you can do pretty nice things.

One thing that's not implemented is making slides with different styles, though.

Also, a way to make it a single file (.war?) would be nice.

By ralsina at Mon, 02/18/2008 - 12:40

MyPoint is a very neat application! The script is very clean and easy to follow. Wonderful work. Have you ever considered selling this?
Mary-Anne Davis, outsourced affiliate.

By maryadavis at Fri, 06/06/2008 - 10:44