The beamer class is probably the most advanced way to produce slides with LaTeX. It outputs well laid-out pdf slides, ready to be shown with pride alongside their Keynote equivalent (not to mention the crappy, pixelated thingies that come out of PowerPoint).
Beamer comes with a choice of templates, more or less associated with color schemes. Outside of the main hue that determines the appearance of slides, there are color conventions in Beamer: examples are in green and important bits, errors, warnings are in red. This usually restricts the slides to a maximum of three hues: green, red, and the main color (cyan, pale blue, yellow, etc.). Three hues is thought to be good to keep the audience focused. When adding graphics on the slides it is therefore interesting to keep the same color choices.
To achieve that, I created a color palette containing colors of most of the classic Beamer themes (default, seahorse, beetle, etc.) and named them according to their use in the theme (e.g. default block header, beetle background, etc.). You can use the palette in Gimp, Inkscape and any application that supports the Gimp palette format (.gpl). The palette as well as a Beamer template will be included in Inkscape 0.46.
I produce most of my graphics in R, so I also converted this palette to an R script which defines Beamer colors as named colors (e.g. DefaultBlockHeader, BeetleBackground, etc.) so that they can be used directly in R:
plot(runif(30), type="l", col=DefaultBlockHeader)
The script also defines some color scales, such as beamerDefaults or beamerBeetle, in which colors are more or less nicely ordered. Eventually, aliases for commonly used colors are defined (e.g. beamerBlue, beamerRed) as well as a few color related functions (color scales, ggplot2 themes etc.).
Update 2010-Feb-04 — I also created an OpenOffice version. To use it, put it in
user/config/ in your profile directory (
~/Library/Preferences/NeoOffice-3.0/ for NeoOffice on OS X). You’ll be able to access from
Format > Object > Area... (how convoluted is that!). To set it as default, just copy it over
Download the R script: beamer_colors.R
Download the OpenOffice color palette: LateX-beamer.soc
I hope this can be useful to the many Beamer users out there. If you enhance the palette or convert it to another format (Photoshop, etc.), please mention it in the comments and I will add it here.