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Re: Using a text editor like interface for Mathematica?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg64383] Re: [mg64370] Using a text editor like interface for Mathematica?
  • From: "Yasvir A. Tesiram" <tesiramy at>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 03:31:53 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


If you are talking about just writing programs in a package context than 
any programmers editor should work for you. I use vim (or gvim) for 
writing packages. It recognises Mathematica .m files and will colorcode 
accordingly, plus indicate matching parentheses etc. It's basic but 
sufficient. I have never used the notebook interface for writing packages, 
because such things as escape characters, "->" etc get automagically 
translated and it makes editing the package file a chore. 
Recently, Wolfram released WolframWorkBench. You can also use Eclipse. 
Never tried Emacs, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't.
Direct evaluation via vim is not possible. So you have to either use the 
Notebook interface or the command line.


On Tue, 14 Feb 2006, grub_snuffler at wrote:

> I very much dislike how using Mathematica's front end is like programming in
> Microsoft Word.  It makes its own style and indenting choices, and I
> prefer using something like the syntax-highlighted text editor format
> that most traditional compilers use (e.g. Visual c++).
> The tabs / spacing,  fonts and colors are never right.  The non-bold
> fonts look anemic.  I know this sound neurotic, but I program in Mathematica
> frequently, so it's important.
> To add to the problem, Mathematica 5.2 (and probably earlier releases) has some
> nasty bug in the front end that loses track of my tabs and other
> whitespaces.  Occasionally (frequently) I have to cut my code and paste
> it into a text editor and then cut and paste it back, which destroys
> all my tabs and spacing.
> I'd like to get Mathematica to be as similar as possible to a text-editor
> (preferably with syntax highlighting intact), but I've never been able
> to get it quite right.    Does anyone know of a style sheet that does
> this?  Or is there any other way to do it?  I just want a nice, Courier
> New, 12  or 14 pt. font, with the tabs and spacing behaving *exactly*
> like they do in a text editor, and with a gray background.  Exactly how
> I've set my VC++ editor and Textpad settings.
> A million thank yous to anyone who can help.
> -john

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