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

John Murdie john at cs.york.ac.uk
Wed Mar 25 19:12:20 CET 2009

A colleague has long had a minor annoyance with viewing the PostScript
produced with latex/dvips from a LaTeX document which makes use of
Beamer. (He's using a LaTeX package for some specialised diagrams which
requires the use of latex/dvips rather than pdflatex.) When he views the
resulting PostScript, it is upside-down and he has to choose 'Seascape'
in gv to make it display correctly. It's only an annoyance, but in
trying to determine why this happens I found a general explanation of
and work-around for a bug "The landscape document class option doesn't
work?" which is the last item on a LaTeX FAQ web page
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/csg/faqs/latex.html at Imperial College. (Many
thanks to whoever wrote that and made it public!) It says:

> \documentclass[,landscape]{article} is broken. There is an
> (impressive!) conflict between papersize and landscape in the global
> documentclass attribute settings which means they argue about
> textwidth, ultimately resulting in [landscape] being *entirely*
> ignored!
> The right way to do it is:
> \documentclass[11pt,a4paper]{article}
> \usepackage{landscape}
> \def\printlandscape{\special{landscape}}
> \special{! TeXDict begin /landplus90{true}store end }
> \begin{document}
> Content
> \end{document}
> The \def and \special lines fix landscape rendering in gv so you don't
> have to flip to seascape -- part of one of my "defs" files by now,
> since it proves very useful! 
> xdvi doesn't understand landscape, so don't try and view raw DVI in
> there.
> Also remember to run dvips as 'dvips -t landscape', otherwise you'll
> just get a portrait A4 page with a landscape \textwidth.

A quick test on Linux with the latex and dvips from the TeXLive 2008 DVD
shows me that the basic problem is still there for a simple LaTeX
document (which does not use Beamer), and that the above work-around
works fine in this case. It doesn't completely fix an example which uses
Beamer and \pgfpagesusepagelayout{...,landscape}; it corrects the first
slide, but subsequent ones are the right way up but offset to the left.

Two questions: i) is there or when will there be a fix available for the
LaTeX class(es)? ii) Does anyone have a work-around which can be applied
to a Beamer document which uses the pgfpages landscape option?

John A. Murdie

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