[tex-live] Landscape bug in LaTeX Beamer class from TeXLive 2008

John Murdie john at cs.york.ac.uk
Tue Oct 6 15:18:32 CEST 2009

On Mon, 2009-10-05 at 12:55 -0500, Karl Berry wrote:
> Hi John,
> Back in March, you wrote about landscape/beamer/dvips woes.  I'm not
> sure where that stands.

I very nearly missed your E-mail, Karl - I subscribe to the TeXLive
mailing list and watch the mails as they go past for anything of
specific interest, but don't have time to follow the list closely.
(There's nothing you could have done to help - I just have to remain

It turned out that I had encountered *two* problems back in March: i) a
problem with the (obsolete?) LaTeX "landscape" class option, and ii)
something I hadn't realised about using dvips with Beamer.

i) The class option problem may well now be a matter of history - but my
problem with it is explained in my first posting on the subject - see
http://www.tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/2009-March/020586.html - and
Imperial College still have the web page which I mentioned as reporting
the problem: "\documentclass[,landscape]{article} is broken." The
problem that they describe still appears to happen for me with TeXLive
2008 (of course, though I've not patched that for a while) - I can only
get a portrait-width column page (shown by gv in seascape whether I use
"dvips -t landscape" or "dvips -t unknown"). Perhaps the problem is that
the "landscape" class option is obsolete? If so, however, latex(1)
writes no warning message for this.

The Imperial College FAQ - http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/csg/faqs/latex.html -
example makes use of a 'landscape' package which doesn't seem to be
standard. I gather that the current way to set landscape output is with
the 'landscape' option to package geometry.

There's so much obsolete tutorial and reference material about LaTeX out
there that I often find it difficult to decide what is still current!

ii) A search finds my last E-mail to texlive-users on the
Beamer-specific matter:

"[tex-live] Landscape bug in LaTeX Beamer class from TeXLive 2008" -

in which I thanked Lars Madsen for pointing out the solution to my
problem when using latex to produce DVI for Beamer slides; because
Beamer sets things in landscape by default, one has to command "dvips -t
unknown" and not "dvips -t landscape" or else the output will be
landscaped twice, with ugly effect. (This problem was raised by a user
here who, alas, still requires or prefers to use latex/dvips rather than


Thank you for following up these matters Karl. Perhaps you'd be better
placed than I to characterise i) above as a bug, if that's what it is.

John A. Murdie
Department of Computer Science
University of York

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