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Creating Evaluation Palettes

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg45596] Creating Evaluation Palettes
  • From: Harold.Noffke at (Harold Noffke)
  • Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 06:05:11 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


In the Mathematica 5.0 textbook, in the section titled "To create a
palette that performs evaluations:", there is sufficient ambiguity in
the instructions to produce defective evaluation palettes.  The menu
chain "Input > Create Button > Evaluate" seems to produce unexpected
results.  Instead of using this chain, use instead "Input > Edit
Button" to bring up the "Edit Button" dialog box.

Following are detailed directions on what to do.

	1.  Set up an empty palette using the menu chain "Input > Create
Table/Matrix/Palette", or just press the chain's hotkey, "Shf-Ctl-C". 
You will first need to change the style of each button so that the
button knows to evaluate the resulting expression when it has been
clicked.  To do this, select all the buttons in your palette template.
 Menu select "Input > Edit Button" to bring up the "Edit Button"
dialog box.  Then go to the "Button Style" pulldown menu and change
the selection from "None" to "Evaluate".  Exit this box by clicking
	2.  In your working notebook press "Home" to move the cursor to the
left of your palette template, then press "RtArw" once to enter the
palette.  Now "Tab" to select the first placeholder.  Start typing-in
the name, say "N", of your first evaluation function.  Typing
characters will erase the placeholder, but this is precisely what you
should do.  Do not wrap your typed function, N[], around the existing
placeholder.  After you have typed "N[", type "Esc", "spl", "Esc". 
You will see a new placeholder appear.  The reason you do this is
because the old placeholder's name was just "Placeholder", while the
new placeholder's name is "SelectionPlaceholder", which is what you
need for function evaluation.

	3.  Finally, type the closing "]" to complete the "N[]" function. 
Then "Tab" to highlight the next placeholder, and construct the next
function in your evaluation palette.  Finish constructing evaluation
functions by following this label pattern.

	4.  Last, highlight either the palette cell bracket, or the entire
palette you have just constructed.  Menu select "File > Generate
Palette from Selection".  This will give you individual, accurately
working buttons in your evaluation palette.

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