Building Slide Presentations with present

Presentation as Code

Article from Issue 262/2022

The Golang package present may be the key to making attractive slide presentations with less work and hassle.

Creating slide presentations has been a necessary part of technical life for a long time, but creating crisp and beautiful slides using the popular traditional tools requires a lot of tedious work. I have always been intrigued by the elegant presentations in Golang community talks, but there was no clear-cut information available on how those beautiful presentations were rendered. In researching, I stumbled upon a Golang package named, not surprisingly, present [1], which renders amazing presentation slides from markup text description. For many years now, present has been my go-to tool for creating and delivering impressive presentations.

Getting Started

There is no separate installation step needed to start using the present utility. It's just a statically linked binary that is grab-and-run; there's no need to set up any other runtime dependencies. You do need the Golang compilation toolchain already set up on your machine if you want to run the present command natively. Alternatively, you can run present out of the box, provided Docker Engine is installed on your machine (which is very common nowadays). I personally took the Docker route to use present without doing any extra work. You can use the Dockerfile (Listing 1) and script (Listing 2) to fetch and run present to display your slides on your local machine.

To create a Docker image from which you can launch present, use the following command:


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