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
  2. Download the iRed layer I created (AcrobatReader.irla) from here: acrobatreader.

If you have problems downloading the irla file, try this 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 <>

27 thoughts on “Using Apple remote control with PDF presentations

  1. Hi,

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


  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. I could not get iRed to work.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ?


  7. 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?



  8. Hi Julian,

    Thanks for posting this.

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



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