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RE: custom look for the notebook

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg47920] RE: [mg47904] custom look for the notebook
  • From: "David Park" <djmp at>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 19:26:58 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


1) Learn how to enter and use Sections and Subsections. Learn how to open
and close them. Then, when the sections are closed, your notebook is
presented to the user in outline form.

2) Learn how to enter Text cells. Text cells with explanatory material are
almost as important as the calculations.

3) If you use Ctrl-K after typing a few letters of a command, Mathematica
will automatically complete the command name, or give you a list to choose
from. If you use Shift-Ctrl-K, Mathematica will fill in dummy arguments for
the command.

4) I wouldn't go for too much color in the Input statements except for very
special purposes. Generally it will confuse the reader because he will have
to learn your color coding as well as Mathematica and the mathematical

5) For long Input cells, say for producing a fancy plot, you can close the
Input cell (Menu/Cell/Cell Properties/ Cell Open) so it becomes a thin empty
cell. It can still be evaluated to produce the output or associated
graphics. This way, ugly code can be hidden and beautiful output displayed.

6) With StandardForm input, Mathematica automatically indents statements in
a sensible manner.

7) At some point you could learn how to edit a notebook style and save it
for your own style. However, if you are just starting I would put this off
for a while and stay with the Default notebook style until you are
comfortable with the Mathematica basics.

I don't know off hand of a good book or tutorial that covers the various
items of notebook style. It's too bad because it is important. Perhaps one
of the other responders will know of one.

David Park
djmp at

From: Cindy [mailto:Cin198803 at]
To: mathgroup at

Hello there

As I just started reading and learning mathematica 5 under windows 2000.

Is there some online tutorial for formatting the notebook in such a way
that it would be easy to read the code? E.g. coloring the function-names
as you type them, auto indentation, Tab to complete typing the rest of
the previously typed variable or function-name  etc, instead of just
all black text in one paragraph of code.

Many thanks

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