On 11/13/2002 04:11 PM, Jeff Hatcher wrote:
> At PHP-CON most of the presenters were using a presentation tool
> built in PHP. It would convert html to PDF and several other cool
> functions. Is anyone familiar with this and where I can find it? If
> not, does anyone one know of a conversion tool built in php that
> converts html to PDF? I am fully aware of the pdf-lib. This is not
> what I am looking for.

I suppose that is Rasmus presentation tool.

Personally, last time that I loook, I found that tool limited and inadequate for most people's needs.

One problem is that it is dependent on that you must serve the presentation from a server that has PHP installed. This is bad because if you want to provide just the HTML pages to the people for download, you can't do it with Rasmus tool. I believe that this is good for Rasmus presentations because he can show some PHP features interactively but most people (that does not present PHP specific things) does not need that.

Another problem is that Rasmus tool lack from single stepping bulleted lists. This means that if you have a slide with a bulleted list, it will show the whole slide at once. This distracts the audience that instead of paying attention to the speaker, they start reading the whole slide.

Alternatively I use Prestimel which is a tool that generates slide presentations in pure HTML (no PHP needed), so you can pack your presentation in .zip or .tar.gz archive that people can download and view offline like these:


It also single stepping support that as I mentioned is good to keep the audience focused on what the speaker is saying on the current item of the bulleted list. It generates several step slides that makes one bulletted item appear at once in an highlighted color. Brilliant feature. Very helpful for live presentations. See this in action here:


It also generates a table of contents page that shows the list of all slides divided in presentation sections. Table of contents can be accessed by clicking on the top title in the any presentation page. Here is an example:


It can also generate TeX documents from which you can generate the presentation in several formats, including Postscript and PDF. From the Postscript you can make documents that can fit more than once slide per page with the usual n-up Postscript tools. Converting the Postscript to PDF is trivial with the existing tools. Here is the same presentation in PDF with 2 slides per page:


Prestimel is Open Source and comes with some Linux distributions. Its home page is located here:



Manuel Lemos

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