Skip to main content
Department of Information Technology

Unofficial Uppsala theme for Beamer

I am not a LaTeX expert but I like to use the beamer package to create my slides. I find it handy and good-looking. It fills its purpose without fancy animations or transitions.

My hacking is probably not the best, but I got it to work using the theming framework of beamer. I used my basic understanding of it to put together a theme for Uppsala University. I present here my version of it, unofficial.


There are several mode in beamer:

  • A beamer mode, used for projector presentation
  • A handout mode
  • A notes mode, same as beamer but includes notes
  • A trans mode, used for transparencies
  • A presentation mode, that simply encompasses beamer, handout and trans.

Eventhough it is possible to specify several modes in the files that you compile for a presentation, I have decided to create (and settle) the beamer, trans and handout mode for the Uppsala University theme. That is to say, you don't need to specify it yourself, it is done within the Uppsala theme directly.

You consequently only need to specify the Uppsala theme, through


\author[short version]{long version}
\date[short version]{long version}
\institute[short version]{long version}

%% For the title
%% Oh, my first slide...
  \frametitle{title here}
  text here


The hereabove code would use the default options for the theme: A red sidebar with the menu under the logo of Uppsala University. In the foot line, we would see the short date, the short institute and the short author. The long version for author, date, and institute would appear on the title page, beside a grey logo of Uppsala University.

A title page with Uppsala beamer theme:


A bulleted frame with Uppsala beamer theme:



It is however possible to control few options.

\usetheme[options]{Uppsala} where options is a comma-separated list of the following words:

  • numbers: inserts the frame number in the footline (Note: it takes care of animations)
  • totalnumber: inserts a slash and the total number of frames in the footline (Note: doesn't appear without the numbers option)
  • hideallsubsections: removes the subsections from the menu, leaving only the top sections
  • hideothersubsections: removes all subsections from the menu but the currently active section.
  • withnav: inserts the navigation bar just above the short author (over the footline)
  • sidebarshades: inserts shades (darker red boxes around the active section)

I gave those options because I don't want to put too much of my taste in the theme, but I like these options:



Handout mode

The handout mode is different. To access it, change the \documentclass{beamer} to \documentclass[handout]{beamer}.
It doesn't look like the default mode (ie the beamer mode). Nobody needs the sidebar when we can have a quick look over all slides.
The sidebar menu is used for long talks, like a lecture, which the audience needs the keep track of.

This is why I choose a top bar menu, with top sections only, no subsections and small bullets to show advancements. The color of the menu is black. The title keeps as background the red from the theme. The footline changes to short date | title without any background.
I removed the institution, the author and the page number since that information is not necessary on each page for this version (Readers can find it on the title page)

With this theme, the usefull information is kept for the students' handouts (and some space is gained on the side ... well ... little space...)


It is advised though to combine the PDF output file with a pdfnup, to create several slides per page. Beamer has such an option, but I didn't get it to work, and pdfnup is pretty handy.

For a 2x2 slides handout:

$ pdfnup --nup "2x2" --offset ".25cm .25cm" --delta ".25cm .5cm" --frame true --scale 0.9 beamerUppsalaExample.pdf


Wish list
  • Another mode: I would like to create a mode for "handout with blanks". The slides created through the handout would contain empty slots, where students can fill in the content that they see from the projector version. I believe it to be a very good pedagogical help for students to get more active learning, than sitting in the class room and only listening to the presentation.
  • A top menu version
  • A grey sidebar theme
  • Some help to improve the code, or at least double-check it. There are still many warnings coming out of compilation, and eventhough they are rather harmless, I wish to suppress them (They're ugly!!)
  • Publish my script for automatic creation
  • Create a makefile version of my script, maybe


Point your browser to:
Don't forget to leave a little note in your code, about where the theme comes from, in case you plan on hacking it.
That is not the latest version, but it is nonetheless a fine version. Enjoy the effort!

  • TODO: Place a tarball with some instructions
  • TODO: Supply an example file, as a conveniency. Good to quickly get working and hack around.


I'm far from being a LaTeX expert, so I would appreciate some help. Drop me an email at

I have some other ideas, but I didn't manage to get them to work.
But at least, I've got the hereabove working.
Already something.
If things really don't work for you, fall back to the beamer-supplied themes (I suggest Frankfurt for handouts and Copenhagen for beamer presentation, where you can set the color to red)

Updated  2015-10-31 22:27:46 by Frédéric Haziza.