I posted some time back about using Marp to make presentations (see here). In keeping with the idea that this blog is mostly for myself as a space to store stuff that is useful to me, here is a compendium of commands that I have found useful when preparing slides using Marp. I will edit this post regularly as I discover new tricks, rather than create another entry.

As I mentioned in my original post about Marp, there is a gap between the way Marp is documented and my capacity to understand said documentation, but altogether: going further than what is doable using straight markdown is going to require using html/css code. So what follows is mostly in these formats. Note also that I am detailing stuff that works within Visual Studio Code, not using the command line version of Marp. The latter is more powerful and versatile but does not fit my current workflow.

Using multiple columns of text

To generate the equivalent of a minipage in Beamer, you can use the following code.

<style scoped>
@import url('https://unpkg.com/tailwindcss@^2/dist/utilities.min.css');
<div class="grid grid-cols-2 gap-4">

Content of first column


Content of second column

Two remarks. Firstly, the place where I got the code advocated for placing the import statement in the yaml header, something like

marp: true
-style: @import url('https://unpkg.com/tailwindcss@^2/dist/utilities.min.css');

but I found that this results in a massive (1 MB) html file. Secondly, in the same spirit, I am using <style scoped> to say that this only applies to the current slide. Removing the keyword scoped would imply that all subsequent slides have access to the grid grid-cols-2 gap-4 class. With, I imagine, the same code bloating. (Untested at this time.)

Centering figures

Another frustration when switching from Beamer to Marp is that there is no easy \begin{center} type command to center a figure in Marp. A variety of ways are available, but I found that the one that is easiest is to include something like

img[alt~="center"] {
  display: block;
  margin: 0 auto;

somewhere in your slides. Using <style> without the keyword scope means that the style is defined once and for all, so I put this at the end of my title page and forget about it. Once this is done,

![width:200px center](image_file.png)

will center the figure.

Boxes for definitions, theorems, etc.

Another one of these Beamer classics that is difficult to do in Marp.

<div align=justify 
padding:10px 20px 10px 20px;
box-shadow: 0px 1px 5px #999;">

Some beautiful theorem (make sure to leave an empty line above the first line
of text if you want markdown to work).

Now, here I have not done my homework: surely, there is a way to define this as a style, and it is likely that a future update of this blog post will have this. For the time being, I just copy and paste this code wherever I need it, changing the colour for definitions, etc.

Numbering equations and referring to them

This is my biggest frustration so far with using Marp. In many talks, I do not really care for this, but as part of a course that I am preparing (more on this in another post), I really need equation numbers. Whether it is MathJax or KaTeX, support for equation numbers is still sketchy altogether, but I find that Marp adds one level of complication. What I have managed to make work, at present, goes thusly.

  • Switch the LaTeX interpreter from KaTeX to MathJax.
  • Manually (grr) tag the equations with the number you want. Note the \qquad commands on the first line: if you do not use them in an align type environment, the equation numbers will be over the equations themselves.
S' &= d(N-S)-f(S,I,N)+\nu R\qquad\qquad \tag{8a}\label{sys:SLIR_dS}\\
L' &= f(S,I,N) -(d+\varepsilon)L \tag{8b}\label{sys:SLIR_dL} \\
I' &= \varepsilon L -(d+\gamma)I \tag{8a}\label{sys:SLIR_dI} \\
R' &= \gamma I-(d+\nu)R \tag{8d}\label{sys:SLIR_dR}
  • Use $\eqref{sys:SLIR_dL}$ to refer to, say, the second equation. Yes, the dollar signs need to be there..

Yes, this is bad. It is particularly bad, actually, because I like the subequations environment and this is supported in neither KaTeX nor MathJax. I am hopeful that things will evolve in the future and will update this post if I find better ways to do this, but for now, this seems to be the way to do it.

Remark that if you are not after a subequations type numbering, then you can do

S' &= d(N-S)-f(S,I,N)+\nu R\qquad\qquad \\
L' &= f(S,I,N) -(d+\varepsilon)L \\
I' &= \varepsilon L -(d+\gamma)I \\
R' &= \gamma I-(d+\nu)R

This is a bit better. But no subequations..