This is an **Update** to my previous post, which includes some comments by a number of people. During the Wolfram Technology Conference 2012 I attended several "meet-ups". One of them was concerned with style sheets. Personally, I am not interested in generating my own style sheets but I am concerned that some people get carried away with style sheets.
I usually try to keep all texts and presentations as simple as possible and encourage my students to use the simplest available style sheet for **Word** and **PowerPoint**. The main issue is to stick to the content and to worry about its quality. One starts to improve the quality of the layout and the color of the headings once the content is acceptable. I would also like to point out that I do not share many peoples' consent towards **PowerPoint**. Apart from Fade-In and Fade-Out I use none of its fancy functionality. I appreciate that it runs videos very easily and smoothly and that nice arrows and boxes are easily integrated into a slide.
On the other hand, over many years, I have tried several times to use *Mathematica* for talks and for writing texts and even papers. Currently, I would say it does not perform very well. However, I think it is about time that Wolfram accepts the challenge and invests the resources to change this. In this post I stick to the topic of **slide shows** and I will make a number of suggestions that are based on my interests as well as those of many other people.
For professional reasons I give talks all over the world and have to accept that the quality of the projection equipment is very often not optimal. Typical problems include: out of focus, low resolution, 4:3 instead of 16:9, small screen, loss of red and blue colors, room light too bright, etc.. Therefore, I make sure the font size is quite large and I avoid using too many colors. In a slide with a dark background, which I prefer for my gray level videos, I might use yellow, magenta and cyan and with a light background, which I prefer for mathematics/physics, I might use red, green and blue, but I usually stick to either white or black. Whenever I emphasize a phrase I will make the rest of the text gray.
- I avoid fancy backgrounds and fancy fonts.
- As mentioned above, I use fade-in and fade-out (always one second long).
- I do not use frames that contain logos, the date/time, slide number, my name and/or my affiliation, i.e. repetitive and boring non-information.
- I use all the available space for my message(s).
What I would like to see in *Mathematica* are simple black and white templates for slide shows that use at most two fonts. One for headings and maybe another one for text. I would love to have **generic sheets** that contain simple to use examples on:
- how to play any video (i.e. using any codec or at least many codecs) from within a *Mathematica* slide show without using `Animate` or something similar and **without embedding the video** in the notebook,
- how to embed and reference a **Youtube** video,
- how to embed and reference an **Excel** sheet,
- generic `Grid[...]` for more fancy tables,
- how to include or reference a short **Word** fragment,
- how to embed or reference a **HTML** document,
- how to refer to a **Web Site** etc.
- how to include complete references to the source of images that were simply inserted by drag and drop.
I know how to use **Hyperlinks** and I am quite sure all these problems have been solved. But in a slide show template they become available at my (and anybody else's) finger tips and **Wolfram** can make sure the slide shows use the most recent *Mathematica* technologies. I look forward to many other suggestions.