Creating HTML-based presentations

Show and Tell in HTML

Article from Issue 161/2014

You can whip up great-looking HTML-based presentations that run in a regular browser using just a text editor.

When you need to create a presentation or slides for your talk, LibreOffice Impress may seem like an obvious choice. Indeed, it's a powerful tool that lets you build rather advanced presentations. In certain situations, however, the Impress functionality is overkill, and something more lightweight and straightforward might be a much better tool for the job. Enter the wonderful world of tools for creating HTML-based presentations that run in a regular browser.

These tools have several advantages compared with a full-blown presentation application like LibreOffice Impress. For starters, you can create slick presentations using nothing but your favorite text editor then run your presentation in any modern browser, so you are not tied to a specific application. Basic HTML and CSS skills are all you need to create swanky presentations, and you don't have to fiddle with myriad features and options to achieve the desired result. Of course, HTML-based presentations have their limitations, but in most cases, they are perfectly adequate for illustrating points or conveying a message. Quite a few lightweight tools are available for creating HTML-based presentations, and in this article, I will help you to choose the one that meets your specific needs.


The Big presentation tool [1] is actually pretty small, and it consists of only three files: the big.css stylesheet that controls presentation style properties, the big.js core JavaScript file, and an HTML presentation file. Designed for "busy messy hackers" (Figure 1), Big is not overloaded with features, which makes it suitable for whipping up quick presentations when you are in a rush. Big's main attraction is the ability to scale the text automatically to make it fit the screen.


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