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MathGroup Archive 1999

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Re: Q: Can I create a button function ?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg18861] Re: Q: Can I create a button function ?
  • From: paulh at (P.J. Hinton)
  • Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 03:30:03 -0400
  • Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
  • References: <7n6aq7$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <7n6aq7$h8v at>, xingjing at (Xingjing Li) writes:

> I am trying to create a Mathematica notebook as a calculator type
> application for our project. I put some buttons such as fraction,
> square root,  integration, differentiation etc. inside the notebook
> and an editable cell which works as the work and result window. I also
> put in a "Clear" button which  I want to clear the contents in the
> editable window when I click it. But I can not find a function which
> can clear the cell but keep the original notebook open. I tried to
> write some button functions which I hope can replace the cell with
> blank cell or close the old, edited notebook then open an identical
> new notebook. But none of them worked. How can I achieve this goal by
> create my own Button Function and where should  I keep this function?

The ButtonFunction can be expressed explicitly as an option value in
the ButtonBox object itself, or you can specify a style in the style
sheet from which the button can inherit the function.  In your situation
you probably want the former.  You can probably accomplish what you want
by embedding a cell tag in the user input cell.  A call to NotebookLocate[]
can then be used to move the selection to the cell and then a NotebookWrite[]
can be used to replace the cell with a blank.

Evaluate this expression to create a cell for input entry.

Cell[TextData[""], "Input", CellFrame -> True, 
    CellTags -> "UserInput"] // CellPrint

Now evaluat this to make the button.

ButtonBox["clear input", 
    ButtonFunction :> 
            Cell[TextData[""], "Input", CellFrame -> True, 
              CellTags -> "UserInput"]]}], ButtonEvaluator -> None, 
    Active -> True] // DisplayForm

Now enter something in the first cell you created and then press on the button
to make the cell contents disappear.

> I suspect that I can not keep it with my notebook but somewhere with
> the system files. Is there a place I can find some sample code for
> create button functions? I am using V3.0.1 on Power Mac.

See my tutorial notebook on MathSource

You may also want to review this excellent demo that is bundled with the
Mathematica online documentation.


P.J. Hinton	
Mathematica Programming Group		paulh at
Wolfram Research, Inc.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.

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