Frequently Asked Questions
How is PresTiMeL licenced ?
PresTiMeL is licenced under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL).
You can read the full text of the GPL at
On which platforms will PresTiMeL compile ?
PresTiMeL originally was written for GNU/ Linux.
So it should be compilable on all GNU/ Linux-distributions.
Currently, PresTiMeL is also compilable on FreeBSD, Solaris and AiX.
Because GNU autoconf and automake are used,
porting PresTiMeL to other Unix-systems should be a rather easy job.
Is there a Windows version of PresTiMeL ?
No. But the sources of PresTiMeL are licenced under the
So anyone can take the source and port it to Windows.
But I won't do this, because I don't use Windows and I don't have any
experience with programming C/C++ on Windows... Moreover, I won't spend time on making prestimel working on a non-free OS.
Starting PresTiMeL leads to a Segmentation Fault
After starting PresTiMeL, it will crash and no slides will be created.
I started gdb to find out the location of the Segmentation Fault and to
perform a backtrace of the stack :
> gdb prestimel
GNU gdb 4.17
--- snip ---
(gdb) run example.xml
--- snip ---
Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
0x404b8259 in _IO_flockfile ()
#0 0x404b8259 in _IO_flockfile ()
#1 0x4027b76b in getc ()
#2 0x40080a62 in SetImageInfo ()
#3 0x4007edae in ReadImage ()
#4 0x4007ecd4 in PingImage ()
#5 0x8050fb6 in Parameters::initImageSizes (this=0x80647a8)
#6 0x804ceb3 in main (argc=2, argv=0xbffffb74) at main.cc:327
#7 0x4024a7e2 in __libc_start_main ()
It looks like,
your ImageMagick-library was compiled with large file support (LFS).
So you have to compile PresTiMeL with LFS too.
This is done by calling configure with the argument
--enable-lfs and performing a re-make with make clean
The commandline option -t without an argument doesn't print a list of
all available themes
Your system doesn't have the GNU-implementation of the function
Unix systems which are not based on the GNU-libc library have a
getopt() implementation which doesn't support optional arguments.
The long options don't work
See the last question.
You will need the GNU-libc or the
Where is the graphical user-interface (GUI) ?
PresTiMeL was designed to take a XML-file and create HTML-files out of
it. So there is no need for a GUI. :-) You may want to use PSGML,
an Emacs major mode to edit your XML files.
Why using XML for the presentation-files ?
In his diploma thesis, Bernhard Trummer, original author for Prestimel
had something to do with XML. So he decided to try XML as file-format
in PresTiMeL. With this he was able to learn very much about XML (and
other XML-related stuff) just by doing it. A big advantage
related to PresTiMeL is, that the reading and validating of the
inputfile is done by the XML-library. That means, PresTiMeL doesn't
have to take care of this nasty stuff. :-)
How can I emphase words in a text ?
You can use the markups
<bold> to emphase some text.
For example :
<item>I want it all</item>
<item>And I want it <emph>now</emph></item>
How can I create handouts of the presentation ?
If you call PresTiMeL with the commandline-parameter -l,
it will create a LaTeX-file called
rather than HTML-slides.
Needless to say,
that you will need a LaTeX-installation to process this LaTeX-file.
How can I adjust the number of slides per page in the LaTeX-output ?
I decided to put just one slide on one page,
because putting multiple slides on one page can easily be done at
PostScript-level using the PostScript-tool
For example :
"psnup -4 presentation.ps 4slides.ps" will create the
4slides.ps which contains four slides per page.
My slides need french accents, but PresTiMeL complains
that the XML file describing them has errors.
This is an XML issue, not specific to PresTiMeL.
Simply using your charset isn't enough because it is ambiguous.
The input XML file must indicate the character set used.
For example, is you use the Western Europe charset (the most common),
the first line of the XML file must be:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-15"?>.
If you don't use the euro character, you may alternatively use
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>.