Problems using latex seminar class with pdflatex

This is a technical latex post, but is related to my teaching.

The latex seminar document class ( \documentclass{seminar}) is quite useful,
though a bit old.

Note added 3/11/09:
In fact I use \documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}

I often use it when preparing my “unannotated slides” (to be annotated later during lectures, using Windows Journal on my tablet laptop).

I found that pdflatex worked fine for me with the seminar class on linux, but that the same files would not give me the results I wanted using pdflatex on my Windows PC (MikTeX, I believe).

Once I incorporated pdf graphics into my seminar-class document, neither version of pdflatex produced the slides I wanted. (The material on each slide was compressed into one corner, though which corner varied!)

I looked up various solutions on the web, but none did the trick until I found this solution

As I use A4 portrait for my unannotated slides, I had to change things a little. I have put my version on the web at http://www.maths.nottingham.ac.uk/personal/jff/Beamer/pdflatex-and-seminar.html

I reproduce that page here for convenience.

Joel Feinstein,

June 11 2009

Problems using latex seminar class with pdflatex

It appears that many people have had problems making pdflatex work with documentclass{seminar}.

Not all of the recommended fixes appear to work for everyone.

Here is what worked for me, based on my own experiments together with the solution suggested on the page http://www.tug.org/pipermail/pdftex/2001-March/000450.html

As I am working with A4 portrait slides, my documents now begin with:

  \documentclass[a4,portrait]{seminar}
  \usepackage[pdftex]{graphicx}
  \pdfcompresslevel=9
  \pdfpagewidth=8.27 truein % A4 portrait
  \pdfpageheight=11.69 truein % A4 portrait
  \pdfhorigin=1truein     % default value(?), but doesn't work without
  \pdfvorigin=1truein     % default value(?), but doesn't work without
  \slideheight 23cm
  \slidewidth 17.5cm
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