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Formatting and Style Sheet woes


I am a Mathematica newbie, so please forgive me if the following seem
like  elementary questions. I have looked through the Mathematica Book,
but the  correct answers seem to elude me. They are mainly to do with
formatting and  styles, and it seems that I can't come to grips with
the basic philosophy  behind the formatting functionality. If you can
answer these, if possible  could you please also incorporate references
to the Mathematica Book ?

The questions are as follows :

(1) I am trying to create a text cell (as per the example in section
2.10.1  of the Mathematica Book). When I type in a sentence in a new
notebook, and  then hit Ctrl-Shift-E to show the expression, I get the
following :

    RowBox["This", " ", "is", " ", "a", " ", "text", "  ",
      RowBox["cell", "."]]], "Input"]

But I was expecting something like the expression quoted in that section
(i.e. "Cell["This is a text cell", "Text"]).

I have tried the following :

(a) I noticed that  when I dropped down the Format/Style sub-menu, that 
"Input" was ticked. So I ticked the "Text" option (I tried by selecting
that row in the menu, and also by hitting Alt-7), and tried again. It
came  out the same way as before, and I noticed that the style was set
back to  Input. It seemed to ignore my request to change the style of
the current  cell to Text.

(b) I tried the Format/Edit Style Sheet option, but I didn't know which
is  the correct cell to update. So, I tried a few of them, but none of
them  seemed to work. In other words, I make the changes and save
Default.nb.  Then I open a new notebook, and the style persistently
stays as "Input".  How can I change the style of the cell data (for the
Default style sheet)  to Text ?

(2) It doesn't always seem to work the same way when I set the style to 
Section. If I open up a new notebook, and straight away set the Section
style, it behaves as expected (i.e. bold with a bullet). However, if I 
start typing with the default Input style (as previously discussed),
and  then change to Section style, the Font size increases but it
doesnt become  Bold, neither do I get the square bullet on the left of
the heading. In  fact when I do a Show Expression, it tells me that it
has been formatted  using BoxData. The style of the RowBox is set to
Section, but the overall  Cell style is still Input.

(3) I find the Options Inspector confusing. I open it, and select the 
Formatting options and then the Font options. When I click on the arrow
on  the right, I expect to get a list of fonts, however I just get the
one  entry "Automatic". What does this mean ?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Andrew J Fortune 

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