PSU (Penn State) Beamer Template for LaTeX

Few months back I wrote a Beamer template for LaTeX on Overleaf.  Recently, I was asked to give a brief description about it. In the following, I give a beginners' guide to start producing their presentation through this platform. Please reach out to me if you had any questions.

PSU Beamer Template Documentation

And now, this is my response to one of the emails that I got regarding how to start producing your own presentation in PSU Beamer template (no prior knowledge is needed):

Hi --------,

Thanks for your email. I am very glad that you liked the template and others are using it.

This template is written by me using a text editing platform called LaTeX. has made it way easier since you do not need to install anything. (That installing was such a headache.) The only thing that you need to do is to sign up.

Then, go to this link: and click on Open As Template. At this point, it will clone one copy of the project for you that you can change for your presentation. 

This is using a package called beamer, which helps one have that nice feature that uncovers lines one after another (I have created beamerthemePSU which has made it specifically for Penn State). On Overleaf, you have three sections:

- The left hand side is where the files are located.

- The middle section is where you update any file that is present on the left hand side. The file that you should be changing is called presentation.tex (automatically selected when you start the project).

- After any amount of update, you can click on the Recompile button on the right hand side to apply the changes for you and show the output. If there is any error, there would be a red sign beside the Recompile button (log file). You can click on that to see where the errors are. Also, if you want to download the current version file, you can click on the last button (two to the right of Recompile, which has a down arrow sign. You can ignore yellow signs since they are just warnings. You can go back to them at the end.)

Unlike MS Word, LaTeX is like a code (nothing serious though, it just seems in the beginning a little bit complicated but it actually is not). You change places and then compile the file to see the results.

To make it easier for you, here are the places that you should change for your project (after clicking on presentation.tex (select it on left side) and update it on the middle side):

line 26: replace "Title: We Are" with the title of your presentation.

line 27: replace "Subtitle" with your subtitle. If you do not wish to have a subtitle, leave it blank (leave the curly brackets as they are).

line 28: Replace "Mahdi Belbasi" with your name.

line 29: I have set the date to automatically replace today's date but if you want to have a date in the future, replace "\today" with either "05/04/2022" or "May 4, 2022" (tomorrow's date or any other date).

line 30: replace "CSE Department" with your department's name ("\\" means go to the next line)

line 30: replace "" with your email.

This presentation has some sections and subsections. (You can even add subsubsection but not subsubsubsection and so on.) This way, it automatically adds the sectioning to the left bar on your presentation.

See line 39 where the first section begins. Its name is introduction. Replace it with anything you want.

Any section goes on until the next section begins. Here, I have included only two sections. Section 1 ends where section 2 begins. See line 64. Same applies for subsections and subsubsections. E.g. see line 47.

Every page is a frame. See line 48. It starts with "\begin{frame}{Title}" and ends with "\end{frame}". For instance the next frame starts in line 48 and ends in line 59. Replace "We Are" in the title of the frame with the title of your current slide.

There are two ways of generating bullet points in general. (However, you can make them fancier by adding some options. You can search online to see more but you can always send me an email and I can help you with.)

The following code (lines 49-58) generates the outcome that is included in the end of this documentation:



        \item<1-> Penn State

        \item<2-> Happy Valley


            \item<3-> Nittany Lions

            \item<4-> CSE Dept


        \item<5-> State College

        \item<6-> ...


This is done in 6 steps. The numbers inside "<k->" indicate which one should come first, second, third, and so on (by clicking). k is the order. For instance, in order to see the first item "Penn State" you have to click once (<1->). This is awesome because you do not need to copy your code and add to every line the next line in a separate page.

Itemize (for example lines 41-44) is another way of producing bullet points. Enumerate adds the count to the left (I, II, III, ...) but itemize just adds the bullet points. You can even change what type of bullets you want. You can search this online but again you can ask me.


LaTeX became popular because it makes writing math equations way easier. See for more information. If this seems long, there are widgets that do this for you. Check this widget as an example:

References are a bit different. If you need to include references, please let me know and I can add that to the file. I have not completely included it in the published version.


1- One way of jumping to the source code of every section is to double click on that section on the output file on the right side. Then, Overleaf tries to move the cursor close to the lines that generate that output. (Sometimes this is off by a few lines but overall is good to get closer to that point rather than just scrolling.)

2- In order to change the logo in the last slide: find a logo that you like. Download it. Then go to the Overleaf project. On the left hand side, click on upload (third from the left) and upload the file. Then, go to beamerthemePSU.cls (first file on the left side). Scroll down to line 46 and replace "PSU_ENG_RGB" with the name of the picture file that you uploaded (without extensions). Then, press Recompile to see the result.

3- Each time to see the updates, you have to press the Recompile (green) button. 

4- To go to the next line in the output, use "\\". If you want to go to the next line while having an indentation press the enter button twice. Pressing it once in the code does not go into the next line in the output.

In the end, please feel free to reach out to me with any other questions. You can even share the file with me and I can look at it. Overleaf allows many people to change the project at the same time. You can share the project with one more person for free but for sharing with more than two people, you should pay a monthly fee. (They have institutional discounts.) I should mention that I made this voluntarily for one of my course projects and is not supported by Penn State. I did not know to whom I should talk to and make it official and it is in its early stages.