Apr 28th 2008 02:43 am Using Apple remote control with PDF presentations


I do all my presentations in Latex/Beamer and I wanted to control my presentation with the remote control of my MacBook. Apple support already Keynote, and there are applications for Microsoft PowerPoint. So, frustrated by that, I did it myself and here it is for you to use it freely:

  1. Get and install iRed Lite from http://www.filewell.com/iRedLite/
  2. Download the iRed layer I created (AcrobatReader.irla) from here: acrobatreader.

If you have problems downloading the irla file, try this acrobateraderirla.zip version

This is the button / action pairs:

  • Play/Stop: Enter in Full Screen Mode
  • |<< : Backward one slide
  • >>|: Forward one slide
  • double |<<: First slide
  • double >>|: Last slide
  • +: Last Link/ Field/ Comment
  • -: Next Link/Field/Comment

This setup works for me, however, if you don’t like it, you can easily edit it using the iRed Lite – Editor. The truth is that it’s very simple.

Let me know if you find this helpful.


Acrobat Reader layer for iRed Lite
    Copyright (C) 2008  Julian Villegas

    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>

Posted by julovi / Salt and pepper

28 Responses to “Using Apple remote control with PDF presentations”

  1. Eddy on 17 Jul 2008 at 07:30 #


    Nice infromation but I couldnt find the file acrobatreader.irla I would like to use it… thanks


  2. julovi on 17 Jul 2008 at 21:05 #

    Try downloading the zip file

  3. Manuel on 06 Apr 2009 at 09:38 #

    Workaround for PDFs:

    I user returned the remote and said it was useless because she could not control a PDF presentation with it.

    You would think that opening the PDF in preview would do it, but no go.

    I had to open the PDF in Quicktime and it was able to advance/close from there using the Apple Remote.

    Go figure.

  4. Ben on 15 May 2009 at 12:02 #

    Ah ha! That quicktime trick is very handy. Thanks, Manuel.

  5. Tim Andersen on 03 Jul 2009 at 06:31 #

    Why did you use Adobe Acrobat Reader? Why not Preview?

  6. julovi on 03 Jul 2009 at 15:37 #

    Did you try it Tim?

  7. schmax on 07 Jul 2009 at 01:49 #

    Ha! Quicktime actually works with PDF. And the remote… Thanks Manuel!

  8. Adobe Air courses on 30 Sep 2009 at 11:45 #

    great article. I will bookmark this

  9. Will on 01 Dec 2009 at 22:54 #

    The remote controls do not work for me when the PDF is in full screen mode.

  10. julovi on 03 Dec 2009 at 06:11 #

    Hi Willy,
    What reader are you using? Preview? Acrobat? it definitely works for me when I use Acrobat.

  11. Bill on 21 Jan 2010 at 08:08 #

    I’m so happy you wrote this – it’s exactly what I wanted! I installed your irla file but unfortunately it does not seem to be working. I can see in the iRedLite OSD panel that the button presses are registering, but nothing is happening in Acrobat. Any ideas?

  12. julovi on 21 Jan 2010 at 18:04 #

    what Acrobat version are you in?

  13. Arnav Sheth on 01 Feb 2010 at 14:06 #

    Great app. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Sum on 09 Jun 2010 at 23:07 #

    I could not get iRed to work.

    But i figured out that apple remote works with the pdf-viewer Skim work

  15. Su on 09 Jun 2010 at 23:10 #

    I could not get iRed to work.

    I tried quick time, but since I do not have Quick time pro, the resolution is too low.

    But i figured out that apple remote works pretty fine with pdf-viewer skim.

  16. MArtin on 03 Sep 2010 at 01:34 #

    Thank you so much, graet work =) I love it and my students will enjoy my latex beamerclass slides =)

  17. jirka on 17 Feb 2011 at 16:24 #

    You can try this SIMBL plugin: remotepreview.openagency.cz

  18. Flavio Franca Cruz on 06 Sep 2011 at 22:40 #

    Does it work for preview? If it does, how?

  19. Florent Benaych-Georges on 01 Dec 2011 at 17:54 #

    Hi Julian (sorry for the accent on “a”),

    I do not understand how to use your fantastic tool for another application than iTunes. I would like to use it for my Habilitation defense next week, but with preview or Acrobate Reader, and not with iTunes.

    How can I do that ?


  20. Apple Remote / Advanced Configuration » Philipp Klaus's Computing Blog on 20 Dec 2011 at 16:47 #

    […] iRedLite http://www.filewell.com/iRedLite/ This program works well, you can configure a load of possible actions depending on the currently open application. To get Preview PDF presentations to work with the Apple Remote in Preview/Adobe Reader have a look at http://julovi.net/j/?p=83. […]

  21. Juliano Dorneles on 05 Jan 2012 at 12:22 #

    I use Skim for my PDF presentations. Works perfectly with Apple Remote. Lion here.

  22. Giovanni on 28 Feb 2012 at 13:56 #

    Hi Julian,

    Thanks a lot for giving this with GNU licence.

    I was wondering whether you have a version of it for Adobe Acrobat Pro?



  23. Giovanni on 29 Feb 2012 at 02:11 #

    Hi Julian,

    Thanks for posting this.

    I was wondering whether you have a version for Acrobat Pro?



  24. mrfcobf on 01 Apr 2012 at 15:54 #

    Using Acrobat Pro (CS5), and can’t get it working. Any ideas?


  25. julovi on 12 Sep 2012 at 03:44 #

    I don’t

  26. Reda on 02 Feb 2013 at 11:33 #

    Works perfectly … thanks ;)

  27. Asim on 12 Feb 2013 at 09:57 #

    The iRed app is not allowing to add a script. Any help?

  28. Lapin on 03 Aug 2014 at 12:23 #

    What can I do if I am using windows 8.1 pro?
    I am also doing my presentations using LaTeX/Beamer and I use Adobe Acrobat as my viewer. I want to remote my presentation using my iPhone 5s. I spent time surfing google but I could not find it.

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