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Converting slides to .pdf ... ?

Posted 8 years ago
11 Replies
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Does anyone have "Best Practices" for converting a Notebook or Slide show to a .pdf ... ?

I have several Notebooks used in Slide mode for a recent presentation. I wanted to post them as .pdf's but could not get the Mathematica functionality to generate anything useful. The pagination was completely wrong, generating both excess pages by a factor of two or more and page breaks at (seemingly random locations in each slide). Attempts to use the Scaling factor truncated some text, and didn't fix the pagination.

At present, I'm generating .cdf's and they look fine, and I look forward to using the full functionality available with .cdf's, someday. But, for the moment .pdf's would be simpler.

Thank you, --Mark

POSTED BY: Mark Tuttle
11 Replies

I have found that Print Selection... does a much better job at creating multiple-page PDF's than Save Selection As...

In version 9 I have not been able to get useful multiple-page PDF's with Save Selection As... I think Exporting to a PDF file does not help here either, but I have gotten good results with printing to a PDF. This may have been fixed in version 10.

I have not tried slides, just large outputs (say about 15 graphs, each taking a landscape page in a PDF). It normally results in fairly large PDF's (~ 50 M).



POSTED BY: Otto Linsuain

Agreed. While the details in the replies have been very helpful, and I feel I could probably get making .pdf's right next time, what is needed is a "Best Practices" procedure. I need more experience before I could compose such a thing. Thank you, -Mark

POSTED BY: Mark Tuttle
Posted 8 years ago

I sure wish we could do this without providing a one-page proof of Fermat's Last Theorem in the process. ;-}

POSTED BY: David Keith

Hi Mark, just a minor correction. What I referred to as page size is actually the paper size. The dialog that sets the paper size is located in File > Printing Settings > Page Setup....

POSTED BY: Larry Adelston

Wow. I explored may paths, but not the combination you suggest. Thank you. -- Mark

POSTED BY: Mark Tuttle

BTW, Using your notebook I was able to fit an entire slide on each page by doing the followng: 1. Set the printing environment in your notebook to SlideShow (i.e., choose File > Printing Settings > Printing Environment > Slide Show) to preserve your slideshow layout and prevent the slide separators from appearing. 2. Increased the page size to 20 X 20 in. 3. Change the page orientation to Portrait. 4. Reduced the page margins to Left == Right == 0.15 and Top==Bottom==0.25.

POSTED BY: Larry Adelston

Hi Mark, As John mentioned, the printing settings affect the pdf pages. To make it possible for the entire slide to fit on each page you need to increase the printed page size. You can change the page size through the printer driver that is accessible via File > Printing Settings > Page Setup... menu. Reducing the page margins can also help. You can access those setting via File > Printing Settings > Printing Options...

If you need to change the headers and footers, select File > Printing Settings > Headers and Footers....


POSTED BY: Larry Adelston


This - page orientation - is one of many variables I explored. I can't claim to have enumerated all possibilities, but tried many. Nothing seems to give satisfactory results. It doesn't have to be perfect, just useful; but I haven't gotten there yet.

Fortunately, the .cdf route seems useful.

Thank you, -- Mark

POSTED BY: Mark Tuttle

Thank you, Daniel. Your .pdf looks great.

I'm appending two files - my simplest presentation Notebook, and what I get when doing the most straight-forward conversion to .pdf - using the Mathematica ( Save menu choice. (I'm using Mac OS 10.9.5)

As you can see, it doesn't go well.

This is not critical as I can use the .cdf form, but it's annoying not to be able to create .pdf's in a simple way.

Thanks, -- Mark

POSTED BY: Mark Tuttle

PDF export uses the same settings that would be used during printing. Your notebook has been configured to print in Landscape mode, but the content is not well formatted for Landscape. You can change it to Portrait in the Page Setup dialog (in the File->Print Settings menu).

POSTED BY: John Fultz

I'm not sure what is the best way to go about this. Using the most recent version (that is, version next) I had no problems with pagination in a set of slides I worked on recently.

This might be dependent on underlying style sheet; I used one of the standard slide show style sheets and maybe those are better than others for conversion to pdf. Also it might be dependent on platform and underlying method for saving (Save As vs. Print to PDF; I believe I used the latter of those).

POSTED BY: Daniel Lichtblau
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