Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science, The University of Birmingham, UK.

This file is now probably dispensable since almost everything I produce is available in either plain text, html, or pdf, and nobody should have problems reading any of these, given the capabilities of widely availabel internet browsers (e.g. Firefox) and PDF viewers, including Acrobat reader, xpdf, kpdf, okular, evince, and others.

This page is not regularly maintained. If any of the links here fail to work please use a search engine to look for more up to date links.


Most of my papers and slide presentations accessible through the Cognition and Affect project directory or through my talks/presentations directory are available on the web in PDF format, and some of the older ones are also in Postscript.

These are formats which are publicly specified and for which there are freely available readers which work on many types of computers and operating systems. (I use only Unix and Linux operating systems running on Suns and PCs). Some governments have introduced legislation requiring publicly funded organisations to use only public, open formats for documents. (I believe Peru led the way, years ago.) All governments should do the same.

Unix and linux users

Most unix and linux users will already have "gv" for reading postscript, and some versions of "gv" can also display PDF. Another useful reader for PDF (on linux/unix systems) is xpdf (small and fast):

PDF Viewer from Adobe (for all platforms)

Acrobat reader is available for reading PDF from Adobe. This link worked in 2012:
If it fails, use a search engine.

This can be used on linux, a variety of unix platforms, windows, and macs.

PC+Windows Users

For reading and printing postscript files, PC+Windows users can obtain "ghostview" from

Mac Users

Mac users can try this

How my papers and presentation slides are produced.

Many of my papers, discussion notes, and tutorial materialas are plain text or html.

However, most of them are produced in Latex. This has faclities for producing both postscript and PDF files. In the past I produced postscript which I converted to PDF using ps2pdf or distill. Nowadays I simply use pdflatex to produce papers and presentations in PDF format, and do not produce a postscript version. Occasionally I also use OpenOffice, e.g. to convert html to PDF, or in some cases to produce PDF from a word file created by a collaborator. (Now superseded by LibreOffice available from


The diagrams are all produced using the tgif package, a small, fast, versatile, user-friendly and FREE package which runs under the X window system. (Many people use xfig for this. It's a matter of personal preference.).
Tgif can be used for preparing diagrams, for capturing screen images to be inserted in diagrams, and also for preparing and presenting slide presentations with "active" regions, and more besides. (I.e. it has much of the functionality of powerpoint.) It can save diagrams in many formats, including "eps" for inclusion in other documents. Tgif is freely available for linux and unix systems from these sites: However, I am likely to start using Inkscape for diagrams in future, as that provides a much wider rang of facilities than TGIF, and also provides much more convenient text-formatting capabilities for annotated diagrams.


My slides and papers are all composed in a plain text editor (I use Ved, the programmable editor provided in Poplog, but any editor can be used) using Latex formatting commands. For my slides I use home-grown macros. The output of latex can be displayed on unix and linux systems using xdvi (though older versions of xdvi do not handle colours). I use dvips to transform the dvi format to postscript, which is suitable both for displaying and for printing. The pdflatex command goes straight to pdf, without producing dvi files.

Most of the papers and older presentations are in A4 Portrait format (long edge vertical). Since about May 2001, have prepared slide presentations in the landscape format, which is more suited to fill a typical computer screen which is wider than it is tall. These need to be viewed in "Landscape" or "Seascape" mode (rotated 90 degrees to the left). Your browser should either automatically detect the orientation and show it correctly, or provide a mechanism for rotating 90 degrees left or right. If you are using "gv" it may show the slides in landscape format but upside down. In that case select "seascape". On some displays you may have problems with slides that use colour, if you have anti-aliasing turned on in "gv". You can solve this by turning it off, though the text will then look slightly poorer.

If anyone would like a copy of my latex style file used to produce the slide presentations, just ask. (Email: A.Sloman AT

28 Jan 2006: I found a web page commenting on the quirky style of a presentation I gave in 2002, so I wrote a little response here, explaining why I do what I do and why I don't like flashy gimmicky presentations.

Last updated: 18 Aug 2009; 5 Nov 2012