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I am looking for software to create slides like these.

  • I want everything to be hand-drawn/hand-written.
  • I don't want to draw/write anything at the time of presentation, but I want parts of the slides to be revealed bit by bit, exactly as if I have created them with LaTeX beamer or PowerPoint.
  • I want the creation process to be easy and flexible. Sure, I can create a slide in just any software, write text, clone the slide, and add the next bit. But if I need to change something on the first slide, I have to rewrite everything else too. Ideally the software has a feature for this.

What software can achieve this? I have a tablet and a bunch of "whiteboard apps". But none of them allows for creating presentations as far as I know.


I am not asking the same as this question (writing slides during the talk), nor this question (machine typed slides to write on).

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  • 52
    It might be a useful data point for you that some people, myself included, definitely do not appreciate that "reveal" mechanism in slides. For one thing, usually the actual information content of a single slide is low enough that I'm not needing to do much processing of the first few lines... :) The "control" aspect of this style is also fairly annoying... so I myself would want to ignore everything until the full page is presented, scan it, and then wait for the next (if you'll pardon me) badly presented page. The line-by-line thing is micro-managing... May 20 at 23:03
  • 3
    What you're proposing might work excellently, but I want to make a remark that applies more generally to preparing presentations: avoid using the convenience of a slide show to get through lots of material. One thing I appreciated as a student was things being presented at a comfortable pace, and did not appreciate a rapid succession of definitions, theorems, or diagrams.
    – Galen
    May 21 at 0:25
  • 3
    @paul and Galen. I appreciate your "data points". I really do! But please let us focus the discussion on how to achieve the goal, not whether it should be achieved. Let's just say, I am already using slides successfully for [appropriate purpose], and this question is basically about how to achieve a different visual style.
    – M. Winter
    May 21 at 0:33
  • 44
    To contrast the data point from @paulgarrett's comment, I'll add that some people, including myself, do not appreciate it if the entire slide is thrown at them at once. When I see the entire slide at once, it is often very hard for me to keep track of which part of the slide the speaker is currently talking about (even if they use somekind of pointer). One of the great advantages that a blackboard talk has compared to slides is the temporal synchronization between what the speaker says and writes. Overlay mechanisms on slides at least partially preserve this advantage. May 21 at 9:49
  • 1
    Paul Garrett and Jochen Glueck's opposing comments inspired me to ask a question about these two approaches. May 22 at 19:31

12 Answers 12

20

I am not sure, but I suspect the slides in the talk were made as follows:

  1. Everything was sketched on a tablet, in an app like "Notability".
  2. These were imported into a blank Powerpoint deck. Not entire slides, but the elements like the headers, text, formulas, figures were imported separately.
  3. The reveals were added via animations or cloning.

The only down-side is that updating the content is a bit cumbersome, there is no way to change the "figures" other than going back to the tablet and re-importing them. This is not too painful if you have a good workflow for importing the drawings. But I don't think that a truly seamless solution exists yet.

Edit: Soegaard's answer below indicates that PowerPoint-for-iOS will let you draw content directly on the slides with an Apple Pencil. I haven't tried this myself, but if true, this may be the most seamless option.

3
  • It looks like that to me too! I'd guess they made a PDF of the handwritten story and then used copy/paste of bits and pieces from that PDF into the presentation slides in exactly the same way one uses other images in slides. That wouldn't take too long! I also would say that the presentation would look just as good (possibly even more legible) if carefully typeset. BUT the real benefit lies in getting all the mathematical notation and sketches just right by hand. I expect that to lead to satisfying results much more quickly that tweaking some latex formulas or drawing programs... May 21 at 17:23
  • 1
    Note that you could also import as one image, and then have covering panels that disappear to reveal the pieces that “build in”.
    – RLH
    May 22 at 3:49
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    PowerPoint for Windows will let you draw on a slide as well, although that's likely only helpful if you have a touchscreen laptop with a pen or a drawing tablet.
    – Esther
    May 22 at 4:41
7

Take your favourite program for pen drawing / hand-writing / annotating. Set the page to landscape mode. Write the first part of the first slide, save the page and copy it to the next page. Continue writing on the next page. Repeat.

When your sides are ready, export them to pdf. Use any pdf viewer for your presentation. If you want to annotate during the presentation, use pdf viewer that has this option.

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    Thanks Dmitry. That certainly works, but has clear drawbacks. E.g. if I have to change a detail on one slide, I have to redo all the cloning. I usually have many reveal steps on a single slide. I would prefer a solution that uses a software as intended.
    – M. Winter
    May 20 at 22:38
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    Essentially, you want handwritten slides that are easy to maintain. Well, this might be the trickiest part. Not sure if such software exists already. Consider amending your question to emphasize your expectations. May 20 at 22:41
  • 1
    I edited the question according to your suggestion. :) I hope it is clearer now.
    – M. Winter
    May 20 at 22:48
  • @M.Winter If you have many reveal steps I would read that as a sign that there is way to much information on a single slide. This is also the main counter argument to Jochen Glueck's comment who prefers partial reveal to seeing the entire slide at once. If listeners are overwhelmed as to where on a slide the speaker currently is then there is too much stuff on the slide. I would recommend using slides with a lot fewer words on each, possibly that means more slides or it means less detail is spelled out on the slides.
    – quarague
    May 22 at 11:41
7

A screenshot of the beginning of the presentation:

enter image description here

From the upper, right corner we can see the presentation is running on an ipad. The blue icon suggest that the screen is shared - perhaps to macbook.

The program in question is good old (new?) Power Point for ios.

The hardware/software used is therefore an ipad with support for the Apple Pencil running Power Point.

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    I feel that OP's question is more focused on how to create and maintain a presentation like this, rather than on how to show it. May 21 at 10:16
  • Put another way: does PowerPoint for iOS allow you to handwrite your content directly on the slides with Apple Pencil? If so, that would be awesome, so I hope the answer is yes....but I suspect the answer is no, and the handwriting had to be imported as described in my answer.
    – cag51
    May 21 at 17:54
  • 8
    Yes, PowerPoint allows handwriting with the Apple Pencil.
    – soegaard
    May 21 at 17:58
7

I just did this on PowerPoint on Windows, and according to @soegaard, this should work the same way on an iPad that supports Apple Pencil.

  1. Create a powerpoint presentation, go to "Draw" and write whatever you want on the slide. Switch to "select" mode by clicking the cursor icon in the Draw tab when you are done.
  2. Go to "Animations", select one piece of writing that you want to come on screen all at the same time; click "Appear" (or some other animation, if you want). New animations that are added should automatically be set to run "on click"
  3. If you want to change the order in which pieces of writing appear, you can click and drag to reorder animations in the "Animations Pane", which you can open in the Animations tab.
  4. If you wish to change any piece of writing, just erase what is there, write something new, create a new animation, and move the animation to the correct place in the sequence (it will automatically be put at the end). No need to redo anything else.
  5. If you wish to move pieces of writing around on the screen, just select all the lines in the writing, and move the selection box. Animations will still remain in place.
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  • 1
    If you do this with hand-drawn objects and make heavy use of the animations pane, look up how to rename objects in powerpoint; it makes it a lot easier to sequence things when they're not all called "Shape 23" or something.
    – Sneftel
    May 23 at 10:51
4

My recommendation is to use Tayasui Sketches and to work with layers (you will need to buy the pro version for this).

You prepare by writing each separate „part“ (to be revealed at one time) of your presentation on a separate layer. Before your presentation you hide all layers (except the first of each page if you prefer) and then reveal them by unhiding the layers one-by-one.

An advantage of this style of presentation is that you can decide on the fly whether you want to unhide the prepared content or to rewrite and even deviate from your preparation. Finally you can easily export the presentation as pdf after your lecture/talk. In have used this style of presentation successfully both online and in class.

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You can also do that with a tablet, a note-taking app and LaTeX beamer (the LaTeX class for slides):

  1. Write your text, equations and theorems with the note-taking app and the tablet, and export it as PDF. You can write them in random order, and you can can also have more than one PDF file.
  2. Create a slide deck with LaTeX beamer, including the various parts of the previous PDF(s) as graphics, uncovering them in the order you prefer. It is possible to "cut out" parts of a single PDF multiple times on a single beamer slide.

I think that with this solution it could be relatively easy to maintain and update the slides, just change one PDF page and recompile.

2

I am against suggesting closed-source software, but why don't you use something similar to microsoft Powerpoint, create a slide, insert the image (a scan of your hand-written text) and then cover it with some white rectangular boxes filled with withe color? then you progressively remove the boxes, and show the slide.

You need to update the slide? you simply import another image, the boxes are still there.

1

You could potentially use layers in an image editor like Gimp (or presumably Photoshop; I don't use it). The attached images are a quick example where I create 4 layers in Gimp. First a plain white background layer, then a text layer, then a transparent layer with a black circle, then a transparent layer with a red star.

This makes it easy to add, edit, and remove individual components.

To export the different slides, just use the little eye icon to toggle visibility. The manual export might be tedious, though. Making sure you have everything ordered correctly in the layers will help streamline the process, but it also shouldn't be too hard to write a custom exporter that just goes through and exports everything automatically.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

Gimp also has layer groups, so you can create hierarchies for more intricate setups. Here's an example. Pay close attention to the visibility icons; I start with groups visible, but not layers (except the background)

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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    For Windows I recommend Paint.NET. Much simpler and intuitive, yet powerful enough for what the OP needs.
    – Vilx-
    May 21 at 19:22
1

Have a got at pencil2D

It's free and you can copy frames.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7yoxskkkLg&list=PLqazFFzUAPc4no9KK5KMpSiOFlzaQKEJA&index=5

Also peruse google to see various tutorials.

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This works for PC-

1_Download "open broadcast", install, check settings>FPS> 1to10 frames per second. Try near lossless or lossless quality.

Check "do not capture pointer".

Record fullscreen or selected area in your favorite image editor, with lots of drawing tools, multiple colors, linedraw, so forth.

Photoshop/gimp/something else.

Stop the recording after 1 hour of work.

You will have a nearly finished video containing 100ds of slides.

Load the video into Shotcut editor to extract your frames to images... Select timeline and "extract frame to image", takes 5 seconds per image. Your slideshow images are now all saved n labeled on your pc for ppt xls.

Else use shotcut change the video properties to 20x times faster than it was drawn, and play it back on a player in pause mode using the right arrow key to move frames. Also can add your voice to a finalized video.

The learning process is about 45 minutes. It is really very easy and I expect a lot of people on the internet use that method for drawing.

Use infracap or a screenshot at and press ctrl-print or whatever screengrab the images, so that you can grab an image every 20 seconds of drawing if you want and they will line up in a tidy place on the disc.

3_If you know how to program a bit then you can search get hub 4 pencil drawing unity project and change them to serialise in an array or screengrab the images using keypresses.

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  • Hmm...this seems very difficult to maintain. If OP spotted an error, they would have to redo basically everything, wouldn't they?
    – cag51
    May 21 at 17:56
  • There are many ways to correct it after recording. The easiest is probably to export the frame that needs correcting in 2 seconds, fix it in the paint program, drag it back into shotcut and use the corrected xone as an overlay on the video using shotcut rectangle mask from the filters onto the correction image, cos the correction can be resized and moved. And frames re-exported. That would take me 5min to change all the video frames. Plus its a tool of very great creativity. May 21 at 18:40
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This can be done pretty seamlessly with IPE, at least once you learn how to use it. IPE is not very intuitive at the beginning but is pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. I often use it for creating slides, including those that reveal gradually. IPE also has an option called "Ink" for freehand drawing which does exactly what you want. I just tried it out and it works really nicely.

The trick to make things reveal gradually in IPE is to put each line into a separate layer and then add views. For each view, you get to set which layers are visible.

-7

You can do the first two steps using pen+paper or pen+whiteboard with the Adobe Scan app on Android.

If you want it to be easily editable, handwriting is not the right way to go.

I am highly skeptical of your goals. Do what's good for the audience, not what feels good to you.

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    Thanks for your answer. I highly enjoyed the talk that I linked to. Do you have any specific objections that are not a matter of taste?
    – M. Winter
    May 21 at 0:44
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    I had not looked at the link before, but having viewed it now it confirmed my expectations that the handwriting is not as legible as the Computer Modern font. May 21 at 0:54
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    Handwriting is more interesting, the slides stand out and keep attention better. Also, when you write by hand, you can't make it too small, which helps not to overload your slides. Also, pictures are easier and faster to make than with TikZ. May 21 at 10:18

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