I used sli.dev to create my slides for my recent talk at Pittsburgh TechFest 2023. I’ve previously used Google Slides—which is a great option—but I’ve been interested in finding a good tool for creating slides from Markdown.
There were two main motivations for this:
- I want the content of the slides to be easier to edit and share.
- I want to spend less time fiddling with the design of the slides and more time on the content.
The main reason to move away from Google Slides is productivity. I find it incredibly easy to sink tons of prep time into designing slides. It provides a perfect opportunity to procrastinate when I really need to be working on the content of the talk.
- Design: The default designs are high-quality enough that I didn’t feel the need to customize them to make it look nice.
- Presenter mode: I think this worked better than Google Slides. The ability to edit content and comments from presenter mode was really useful when prepping.
- Markdown: It was really nice to be able to “markup” my slides and comments with Markdown like bold, italics, and code blocks. That feels like that is pre-requisite for any dev slides now.
- VS Code extension: I didn’t use it much, but it was a nice option to have.
- Formatting: I couldn’t figure out how to get the VS Code formatter working correctly. If I accidentally hit the format shortcut (which is a reflex of mine), it broke all of the slides with frontmatter.
- Slide images: Slidev has nice options for decorative images with layouts, but I couldn’t figure out how to position content images correctly. A single centered image was fine, but if you wanted to have an image beside text then it was more difficult.
Overall I was happy with Slidev, and I think I will use it again for future slide decks.