Lose the beamer navigation symbols!!

We’re all getting ready here for next week’s Australian Math Society conference in Adelaide, so I’ve been watching a few practice talks. Watching these, along with a few other recent talks,  reminded me of a pet peeve.

Nowadays, even in mathematics conferences, most talks are computer presentations, and most of these are prepared using Till Tantau’s beamer package for LaTeX.

Although beamer is amazingly good – or perhaps because beamer is amazingly good – its sheer ubiquity means that so many talks “look the same”.

And one way in which they look the same is that although I have never seen anyone use them in a talk, almost everyone seems to keep the default navigation symbols at the bottom corner of every page, where they often overlap the content and generally clutter the page.


But it is so easy to turn them off – just add

\setbeamertemplate{navigation symbols}{}

before the beginning of the document and away they go!

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