That's ok, I understood what you meant -- just not why you did it. I don't use article (Beamer), but my impression is that it's purpose is to facilitate turning a slideshow into a paper (either after the fact or in parallel development). I don't think it's really intended to reproduce slides in slide-like form (although I could be wrong), and in any case it seems to be overkill for handouts (unless maybe you mean to annotate the handouts a fair bit).
Ah, but we have a fundamental misunderstanding. The reason I started using Beamer was the very fact that I could prepare slides and lecture notes (article) in parallel. I don't want a print out of the slides in a slide-like form. I use the slide content as an outline for my lecture, but expand on this (with more text than you would want to put on the slides), and additional diagrams, examples, reference list etc as a class hand out. So students get properly written (and illustrated) hand outs, for my lectures.

In fact it was this capability that brought me to latex/beamer in the first place after a plea on various forums for any ideas on how I could keep my handouts and presentations in sync so I didn't have to try and keep two documents (Powerpoint and Word) up to date and in sync. But Beamer became available in Lyx before I managed to develop any real expertise in Latex, even though I had started to rewrite all my lecture material in Latex

I have put up with the wide margins up to now, but it seems a waste of paper, and it would be useful to allow diagrams and graphs to expand across the full page width.

Am I in the wrong place? A simple handout option would be nice. This is 1.6.2 on Ubuntu 9.04

In this case, just type the word 'handout' (no quotes) in the "Custom" field and then View->PDF (pdflatex). What you get is a bunch of slides, one per page, same margins as the original.
Ahh, now that is still useful, as I still produce a single copy like this for myself (as a guide for my lecture), but do it by commenting in and out the following lines in the preamble (lifted from one of my original Latex presentations)


%\pgfpagesuselayout{4 on 1}[a4paper,border shrink=2mm]

%\setbeamercolor{background canvas}{bg=black!1}

%\setbeamertemplate{footline}[page number]

Now that we aren't talking at cross purposes :-), have you any suggestions on my original question.

I could of course add a line for the margins in the preamble that I comment out and in depending on the output, but I was hoping for something a bit more automated than that.


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