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132 Stars 10 Forks GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 101 Commits 3 Opened issues


dead simple way to create semantic, nice to look at slides - without any dependencies

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dead simple way to create semantic, nice to look at slides

  • forget about styling, only think about content
  • p_slides is static files only, it doesn't need a server, installed software, pre-compilation or a special editor (unless of course your favorite and very special editor!)
  • for editing and presenting, there are no external dependencies - it's just a html file (therefore it can easily be put into version control for example)
  • it's extendable and supports themes(see section "extensibility" for details)
  • write markdown (uses remarkable.js)
  • slides are automatically styled nicely (uses twitter bootstrap)
  • code samples are syntactically highlighted (uses jquery syntax)
  • generates nice slides in the browser (uses slidy2)
    • use arrow keys to navigate
    • use the generated 'table of contents' for quick navigation
    • supports printing to pdf (see presentation.pdf)
    • every slide has a unique url for easy sharing
    • supports having a timer in the presentation (see meta[name="duration"] element in presentation.html
      • use an empty first slide if you don't want the timer to start automatically


  • open the demo presentation.html in your favourite browser
    • tested in current versions of chrome/safari/ff
  • print the document to pdf if you need to
    • slides will automatically get separated into pages


syntax highlighting

  • write your code in <pre> tags
  • annotate the given language using a css class

example code

<pre class="syntax c">
static int foo;
void bar(void) {
    foo = 0;
    while (foo != 255) ; }


static int foo;
void bar(void) {
    foo = 0;
    while (foo != 255) ; }

syntax highlighting

  • if you want to syntax highlight all your code in the same way then you can uncomment and customize the following line at the bottom of the presentation.html file:
$('pre > code').parent().addClass("syntax cpp");



  • Five years ago I became a lecturer at the Zurich University of applied Sciences
  • With this, I was tasked with creating great lectures with good presentations and labs
  • Looking at the landscape of the popular tools out there, I saw that most people are doing WYSIWYG - however, I knew that this was going to be a waste of time (I'm not going into this generic argument here, if you don't agree, that's absolutely ok)
  • I wanted a tool that
    • works well cross-platform
    • works well with version control
    • uses a succinct and well-known markup language (markdown, org-mode, ...)
    • has no dependencies to install for other lecturers
    • allows for demos in the browser with distribution via PDF
    • allows editing with a regular text editor (for me that was VIM for well over a decade, now it's Emacs), because this yields the greatest typing efficiency
  • There was no such thing in 2011, so I created p_slides
  • To this day p_slides prevails with regard to the above list
    • There are a lot of other tools out there, but as far as I know, they all fail one of the above criteria.

p_slides design decisions

  • a p_slide presentation is only a static file that you can put into version control and work on collaboratively with your peers
  • p_slides is explicitly dumb
    • it has no requirements to install additional software, pre-compile anything or run a server
    • therefore it is completely self-contained/self-hosted and doesn't require any complications for less technical users
    • no usage of the command-line is required (no ruby, node, npm, browserify, gulp, babel, ...)
    • no compilation step is required
    • no hosting solution is preferred, not even Github Pages

difference to reveal-js (and other popular options)

  • Out of the box reveal-js does not support Markdown Slides. Yes, of course they do, but you'll have to write HTML per slide and then embed Markdown. With p_slides, you'll write your markdown directly inline - no HTML cruft where it doesn't add benefit.

  • reveal-js is much bigger whereas pslides relies on well tested and established software. For example many features that you can find on the reveal-js README are also included in pslides, because it uses W3Org slidy2. p_slides actually is only very little code itself as it glues together very well established and good existing libraries. reveal-js does a lot by itself. Both options are valid, yet they are different(;

printing to pdf

Using a browser

Printing the slides to PDF can be done in any browser that supports printing to PDF. Choose landscape over portrait and whatever paper size that looks good. The required paper size differs from Browser to Browser and OS to OS.

If possible, use one of these browsers: Chromium, Chrome, Safari

Automated export as PDF

If you have chrome/chromium, you can automate the export:

chromium --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf=presentation.pdf "URL"

This will create a `presentation.pdf` file for the particular slide deck.

If you want to, you can automatically cut the first slide, because for us this is usually an empty slide. That's what pdftk is used for.

pdftk presentation.pdf cat 2-end output final.pdf

editing tips

With p_slides you are completely free to use your favorite Editor - that might be Atom, Visual Studio Code, Notepad++ or anything really. All of them have good markdown integration - for some of them please find the documentation directly here:


For Emacs, there is a great markdown-mode. With this snippet in your

, you can automatically enable it. The snippet also shows how to enable automatic spell checking with flyspell-mode.
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("presentation.html" . markdown-mode))
;; If you are into spell-checking
(add-hook 'markdown-mode-hook 'flyspell-mode)


If you want VIM to automatically use Tim Popes great markdown plugin, use this snippet for VIM to automatically register the correct filetype - or write a better solutions and make me a Pull Request(;

au! BufRead,BufNewFile *html,*htm call TestForPSlides()
"Check whether it is a p_slides presentation
function TestForPSlides()
  if match(join(getline(1,'$')), 'p_slides') > 0
    set filetype=markdown



  • create a new tag
  • change links to assets (examples and README) to refer to new tag



| Library | License | | ------- | ------- | | slidy2 | W3C software license | | jquery-syntax | MIT | | bootstrap | MIT | | remarkable | MIT |

p_slides is licensed under the GNU AGPL.

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